Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012

Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, and Chapman were present.
Mayor Stromberg requested on behalf of Housing Commission Chair Regina Ayars to add the appointment of Evan Lasley to the Housing Commission to the agenda.  Council and staff discussed the need to advertise an item like a commission appointment to allow enough time for citizen input and did not add the item to the agenda.
Mayor Stromberg went on to announce the City was accepting applications for the annual appointments to Commissions and Committees.  The deadline for submitting applications is March 30, 2012.
Councilor Voisin noted that April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and that Dawn Schiller, the author of The Road Through Wonderland: Surviving John Holmes was speaking April 5, 2012, from 6:30-8:30 in the Southern Oregon University (SOU) Recital Hall.
The minutes of the Study Session of March 5, 2012, Executive Session of March 6, 2012 and Regular Meeting of March 6, 2012 were approved as presented.
1.   Will Council approve the minutes of the Boards, Commissions, and Committees?
2.   Will Council approve a recommendation from the Public Art Commission to endorse Southern Oregon Arts and Research (SOAR) which will occur on the SOU campus in May?
3.   Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, approve the request for approval of a Contract Specific Special Procurement to seek an exemption from the competitive bid process to directly award a contract to Elstor Sales for the repair and maintenance of City-owned transformers until June 30, 2016?
4.   Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, approve the request for approval of a Class Special Procurement to seek an exemption from the competitive bid process to directly award public contracts to contractors to perform repairs, maintenance, and service as needed and required on City owned vehicles and equipment until June 30, 2016?
5.   Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, approve the request for approval of a Class Special Procurement to seek an exemption from the competitive bid process to directly award public contracts to contractors to perform repairs, maintenance and service as needed and required to HVAC (Heating, Air & Ventilation) Systems in City-owned buildings until June 30, 2016?
6.   Will Council approve the renewal of a Memo of Understanding with the Parks Commission regarding certain services provided between the two organizations and the agreed upon costs?
Councilor Chapman/Silbiger m/s to approve the Consent Agenda.  Voice Vote:  All AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, hold a public hearing, declare the fire hose as surplus, and award a public contract at no cost for the fire hose to the Sixes Fire Department in Sixes, Oregon?
Fire Chief John Karns explained the Ashland Fire Department acquired a complete compliment of fire hose due to a FEMA Grant they received the year before. The surplus fire hose would help the Sixes Fire Department who was currently struggling with their budget.  Although the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and federal guidelines often became policy for many fire departments, it did not bind them.
Public Hearing Opened: 7:09 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:09 p.m.
Councilor Lemhouse/Voisin m/s that the fire hose be declared a surplus and approve the contract award.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Julie Norman/596 Helman Street/Provided an update on the Mt. Ashland Ski Expansion discussion.  The US Forest Service recently filed a motion to lift the 2007 Injunction that had stopped the expansion.  The Plaintiffs filed a response.  She attended the Mt. Ashland Association’s (MAA) Board meeting the night before and distributed information regarding climate changes and precipitation.  She noted the MAA Treasurer report stated MAA had more debt than assets to pay them and the board agreed to a special Study Session.  She asked Council to add an agenda item to a future meeting to discuss the City’s role now, to strengthen the Memo of Understanding (MOU), and write a letter to the US Forest Service pertaining to City involvement if implementation went forward.
Councilor Slattery spoke as the Council Liaison to both the MAA Board and the US Forest Service, acknowledged there were rumors to the contrary, but MAA and the US Forest Service would follow all the legal processes.  He was meeting with the US Forest Service the following week.   
Chris Hardy/774 B Street/Provided background on Village Farm and its organic certification through the USDA National Organic Program and expressed concern that Syngenta was growing genetically modified organisms (GMO) sugar beets just outside city limits.  This prompted the formation of GMO-Free Jackson County who were currently working on an initiative for the November ballot to ban GMO crop production in Jackson County.  He explained organic farms do not use the same mode of operation as GMO farms and requested Council to have a Study Session regarding GMO’s to discuss the issue further.
Liza Maltzberger/1257 Siskiyou Boulevard/Addressed the 1929 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the City’s right to comment on the health of the watershed and the US Forest Service’s obligation to listen.  It was important for the City to remind the US Forest Service that they would be in contempt of court if logging occurred prior to the injunction being lifted.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street/Expressed concern Mt. Ashland would log preemptively.  He agreed there were many rumors but attributed it to a lack of transparency from the US Forest Service and the Mt. Ashland Association (MAA) that they intended to exhaust full judicial process before implementing the project.  He felt that it was imperative the City send a letter to the US Forest Service and add it to a future Council meeting for discussion to ensure they allow full judicial process to be exhausted.  Once the judge lifted the injunction, the project could go forward.  Council was in a strong position with the US Forest Service under the 1929 agreement and by not having the lease.
Councilor Slattery agreed with Mr. Navickas’ testimony and added there were three stakeholders trying to ensure they were working within the law and currently were identifying the process and benchmarks.  Once that was established, they would make it public but it would take time.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s the Council add to the agenda this evening consideration for a Study Session on Mt. Ashland and the US Forest Service after Councilor Slattery as the Liaison has the opportunity to discuss and deal with both entities.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin agreed on  transparency, thought it was good Councilor Slattery was the Liaison to MAA and the US Forest Service and that a Study Session would help determine the City’s future role.  Councilor Chapman thought it was premature to discuss the role but agreed a discussion was needed at some point.  Councilor Slattery thought in addition to a Study Session, a community dialogue needed to occur as well.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin and Slattery, YES; Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Lemhouse, and Morris, NO. Motion failed 2-4.
1.   Will Council, acting as the local contracts review board, approve a construction contract with Pilot Rock Excavation, Inc., in the amount of $344,164 to construct the Schofield and Monte Vista Local Improvement District (LID)?
Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson explained the project started in 2007 and described the delays that prevented the project from going forward until now.  The project was recently re-bid and of the two bids the City received, Pilot Rock Excavation came in with the lowest bid.  Staff recommended proceeding with the project as quickly as possible and urged Council to approve the contract.
The LID contained 20 units with three lots that had potential for extra units reflected in the cost.  The City would pay $13,613.82 because the cemetery was included in the LID and was sizable. 
Stuart Cotts/100 Schofield/Expressed his appreciation to Council and City staff regarding the project.
Councilor Voisin/Chapman m/s to approve a contract with Pilot Rock Excavation Inc., in the amount of $344,164.00 for the improvement of Schofield & Monte Vista under Assessment District No. 87. 
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Should Council approve the First Reading of an Ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2.10.090 Council as Final Decision Maker and Chapter 2.10.100 Budget, Compensation and Expenses on the Ashland Municipal Code” and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?
Councilor Morris/Slattery m/s to approve First Reading and set the matter for a Second Reading. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Voisin, Slattery, Silbiger, Morris and Lemhouse, YES.  Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.
________________________________                    _______________________________
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor

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