Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

September 4, 2001
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison and Hearn were present.

The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 21, 2001 were approved with note to add a heading for the Ordinance, Resolutions section.

1. Presentation by the Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission on current activities.
Keri Green, chair for the commission, briefly highlighted the activities of the commission. Member Alexis Rewcastle reported on issues that the commission has worked on, including safety and promoting a monthly "car free" day. The commission encourages participation through the school system, utilizing school programs and flyers. Binders were provided to the council, which are used as a resource guide to the community. Member Carol Rogers reported that her interest is in education. Member Joan Spear reported that she participates by providing directional signs for bike paths and slogans that encourage walking/biking. Member John Baxter commented positively on the community’s continuing progress in promoting alternative modes of transportation. Member David Chapman reported his interest in pedestrian and bicyclist safety. He also provides computer support for the commission’s advertising. Hartzell, council liaison, voiced her appreciation for the members of the commission and staff liaison Maria Harris.

Car Free Day is scheduled for Friday, September 21, 2001.

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Community Emergency Response Team Enhancement.
3. Ratification of labor contract between the City and Laborers Union Local 121 and IBEW Clerical Technical Local 659.
Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

1. A Public Hearing on an Ordinance Amending Chapter 18.62 of the Ashland Municipal Code – Land Use Ordinance, amending the detail site review zone standards for large buildings, and amending Section II-C-3a(2) of the Site Design and Use Standards.
Community Development Director, John McLaughlin, gave an explanation of the relevant portions of the ordinance, the process involved in it’s drafting, and the proposed changes. He clarified the Planning Board’s findings that the 45,000-sq. ft. limit applies to the footprint of the building and not the total square footage of the building, and that these standards do not apply in the downtown area. He also addressed various questions concerning the application of the ordinance and how it relates to maintaining the scale and design standards of the downtown area.

Reid noted that she was part of the committee that worked on the current ordinance and gave an example of how solid block design standards are important to maintaining the downtown area’s rich historic past.

Eric Navickas/711 Faith/
Spoke concerning his perception on how the ordinance change would allow inappropriate building within the downtown area.

John Freedom/442 Holly Street/Stated his agreement with ordinance and complimented the Planning Department in the visioning and planning process that went into both the creation of the ordinance, and in maintaining the character of the town. He suggested that before changing what isn’t broken, look at how we can embrace the process of creating a vision of where we want to be in 25 to 50 years. And once that is in place, and written into our comprehensive plan, then begin the process of taking a look at our ordinances and how those ordinances fit in with the accomplishment of our vision.

Debbie Miller/160 Normal Avenue/
Commented on her perception of how this ordinance might adversely affect the character of the city. She urged consideration of the ramifications of allowing big buildings, what the future holds, and what kind of city we want to be.

Colin Swales/461 Allison/Noted that the footprint was never actually mentioned in the findings and wondered why it is now a part of the argument. Stated a concern about laws being rewritten by persons seeking loopholes in existing land use ordinances. Contends there are several mistakes in the staff reports and that the amount of information provided to the community was inadequate.

Bill Street/letter read into the record/Voiced concerns about misinformation published in the public notice, as well as lack of detail and an adequate time frame for public response. States the proposed changes dismantle the original ordinance as it applies to the downtown area. He urges public education and involvement.


McLaughlin clarified that the proposed ordinance change should be Chapter 18.72, not Chapter 18.62. He also noted how the total square footage of a block is calculated and how that calculation serves to maintain the scale of the building in the downtown area. Notes the YMCA building exceeds 45,000 square feet in total floor area.

Reid noted that the downtown plan promotes the look of multi-storefronts even if they are not separate and that this gives flexibility in growth and maintenance of the area. Also that consistency and the ability to address problems as they arise are needed

Laws notes that the original ordinance clearly did not apply to the downtown area. Notes that the council’s interpretation of the 45,000 square foot issue was done with the input of legal counsel. He supports the downtown area being a mixture of old and new, big and bulky, and claims the current downtown design standards are adequate to protect the balance. Stated openness to the airing of various opinions on the subject.

The council discussed the need for additional time to consider the impact and intent of the proposed ordinance changes and to allow more public input on the matter.

Councilors Hanson/Hartzell m/s to delay first reading of ordinance until the first council meeting in October to allow public input. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/
Urged the City Council look very carefully at the proposed ordinance changes just discussed. Spoke regarding Ashland Municipal Code Chapter 2.27 - Citizen Involvement in Planning. Swales noted that the previous mayor abandoned this part of the ordinance. He feels this is an important part of the decision making process and would like to see the Citizen Planning Advisory Committee reinstated. Reid clarified that the CIP dissolved because of lack of citizen interest due to lack of empowerment in the decision making process.

John Freedom/442 Holly Street/Spoke about the recent edition of the City Source that included a poll vote regarding welcome signs at the entrances to the city. Commented that pedestrian right-of-way is a major concern to all who live in town and noticed that violations are rampant. Noted lack of specific language options in poll vote. He favors being very direct with visitors regarding pedestrian right-of-way. Morrison clarifies that the Traffic Safety Commission is looking for additional ideas and will be open to considering other slogans.

Eric Navickas/711 Faith Ave/
Feels there is a need for the city to promote the arts and suggested that 1% of public projects to be allocated to funding the arts. Suggested that the present fire station expansion offer an opportunity to begin funding the arts. Hartzell suggested bringing in other model ordinances or examples where communities have funded the arts in such a manner.

Elizabeth Bretko/1372 Oregon Street/
Gave her thoughts on Car Free Day and how she feels Ashland currently has too much car traffic and that this traffic detracts from the community feel of the city. Encourages everyone to walk or ride bikes. Mentioned "Women Who Move Mountains," and the next meeting on September 11, in Triangle park.

1. Update on water use.
Public Works Director Paula Brown reported that on August 16th Stage 1 water curtailment was imposed. Previous to the curtailment, water usage was not below 5.2 million gallons per day, with a peak, on August 10th of 6.4 million gallons per day. Since the curtailment went into effect the average is 4.6 million gallons per day. This saves an average of 1 million gallons per day and is an important factor in projecting and looking toward the possibility of no rain through October. Reeder Reservoir is currently at 70% full.

2. Designation of Voting Delegate for National League of Cities meeting.
Councilors Reid/Morrison m/s to appoint Councilor Hanson as the voting delegate for NLC meeting. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilors Hanson/Hartzell m/s to designate Councilor Reid as an alternative delegate for the NLC meeting. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

1. First Reading of "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 18.62 of the Ashland Municipal Code – Land Use Ordinance, amending the detail site review zone standards for large buildings, and amending Section II-C-3a(2) of the Site Design and Use Standards."
First reading postponed until October 2, 2001 council meeting.

2. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Requiring that a Living Wage be paid to Employees of the City, to Employees of Contractors of the City, and to Employees of Recipients of City Grants insofar as Employment relates to City Grants."
City Attorney Paul Nolte noted the following changes: 1) Section 3.12.020; the definitions were alphabetized which required the subsections be renumbered/lettered. 2) Section 3.12.040 Subsection B, top of page 5; "they were" changed to "the employee was." 3) Section 3.12.020 Subsection C; "Person means natural person, joint venture, joint stock company, partnership, association, club, company, corporation, business, trust, or organization." 4) Section 3.12.030 Subsection C; changed from "March through February," to "January through December." 5) Section 3.12.040 Subsection A; period of "five," years, is changed to "two" years. 6) Section 3.12.020 Subsection A; the words, "in a month" were removed.

Michael Riedeman/632 Iowa Street/Notes that under the current reading of the ordinance 60% of the contractors are exempt and asks that the ordinance be reevaluated.

Marilyn Briggs/590 Glenview Drive/
Stated that she didn’t find anything in the Comprehensive Plan that gives the Council the authority to establish a living wage, and noted that in the Chapter on Economics, on page v11-21, it is stated that the market place should decide the wage rate.

Bill Mansfield/408 So. Oakdale, Medford OR/ Appreciates the work of the Council in crafting this ordinance and notes it is a philosophical issue as to if it is the proper function of government to regulate wages. He is opposed to the exception proposed at the last meeting and questions if the exception violates the Equal Privileges and Immunities provisions of the Constitution. Requests that the ordinance be passed without the exception. Nolte notes that in his opinion the waiver provision as written does not violate the Constitution.

Valri Williams/744 Helman Street/Urges the Council to address the issue of differences in treatment of sub-contractors and for everyone to fall under the same rules as the City. Also to apply the inflation clause to all other monetary factors in the ordinance so it will still make sense in the future. The Chamber feels this ordinance should not be passed.

Nolte clarified for the council that the waiver provision applies both to recipient and service contractors and it is his opinion that there would not be a problem with the privileges and immunity clause in the constitution for the equal protection clause. He feels that the provision as written meets any constitutional challenge. As it may be applied in the future, could be a problem, but anytime there is discretion in what is done, the privileges and immunity clause may be being violated unless there is a rational basis for making a distinction on how classes of individuals are treated.

Nolte explained that the exemptions to the ordinance do not apply to subcontractors, which means the city does not apply the ordinance to goods. He understood the ordinance as reading, if the city subcontracts for supplies to help with service contract, it may apply to that supplier of goods. Nolte suggested that the amount of the subcontract has to equal a certain amount before the subcontractor must comply or to make the exceptions to what is financial assistance, as defined in the ordinance, also applied to subcontractors. For example, make definition of Service Contractor, "A service contract does not mean purchase of goods or other property" applicable to subcontractors.

Hartzell suggested that the wording in Section 3.12.020 (F)(1), be changed to " A service contractor to assist the service contractor in performing 50% or more of the service work on a project or portion of business that receives City financial assistance, " and (2) "A recipient to assist the recipient in performing 50% or more of the service work on a project or portion of business that receives City financial assistance. She felt that a percentage would be easier to work with than a dollar figure.

Scoles noted that "goods, or other property, etc." should continue to be exempt for subcontractors. Morrison suggested that in Subsection D (5), that this wording be added as (3) to Subsection F, but reduce the $15,000 to $5,000.

Laws noted, what he described as a fallacy, the thought of the whole idea of the minimum amount should be applied to contractors/subcontractors. He voiced the fear by many, that if they are required to pay higher wages to their employees, they will have to reduce their costs in order to pay the higher wages, most probably through reduction of employee cost. He explained the theory of a living wage, that in an organization, if you pay your employees a sufficient wage, they will become more productive workers and contribute in ways that recover the employee costs. He believes that this theory is correct, but only in a statistical manner. That the smaller the organization the less likely that this theory will apply. He is not convinced that a limit of $5,000 will work and is not sure that the $15,000 is enough. Laws proposed that a dollar figure be used that applies to all contracts and be consistent. In addition, Laws proposed that in Section 3.12.020 Subsection F; that the word "service" be inserted to identify the contract as a "service contract."

Hearn suggested, and the council discussed the need to tie the dollar amount to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Nolte clarified for council the procedure for making a motion that would encompass amendments to the ordinance. He stated that any amendments, other than the ones noted in the updated version, would need to be specifically articulated. He supported inserting into the first line, the word "service" which would identify the contract as a "service contract" in Section 3.12.020 (F).

Hartzell commented that in Section 3.12.020 (C), there is no need to define, "person," since it is sufficient in all other sections of the Municipal Code. In addition, she questioned the need for Section 3.12.020 (E)(3), and proposed that in Section 3.12.020(E)(5) that it be struck or modified in order to address amendments to the contract that bring the dollar amount over the $15,000 limit.

Scoles explained that the sub-committee was trying to not injure the contractor when circumstances change and it was fairly dominance in terms of that amount being subject to the living wage, that it should be at least $15,000. He noted that there is further provision in the ordinance that speaks to modifications that, in and of themselves are above the limit, should be subject to the living wage.

Nolte agreed that Section 3.12.020(E)(3) could be removed.

Morrison clarified the additional amendments to the ordinance as 1) inserting the word "service" in the first line of Section 3.12.020 (F); 2) Section 3.12.020 (F) (1) and Section 3.12.020 (E) (2) to read "The service contractor to assist the service contractor in performing 50% or more of the service work on a project or portion of business that receives city financial assistance."

Scoles suggested that in Section 3.12.030 (C) that it be amended to include reference to Sections D and E.

Reid noted that many of the city contracts would not be covered by the proposed living wage ordinance at the $15,000 limit. She felt that there are both small and large businesses that do small contracts and that by limiting this to $15,000 in order to save small businesses will work as she does not feel that the size of the company is being addressed properly.

Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to approve second reading of Ordinance #2875 with the amendments reflected in the council packet version and the amendments clarified by Morrison and Scoles in Section 3.12.030 (C).

DISCUSSION: It was clarified that the CPI is released on a monthly basis and that the CPI would provide consistency in how all city contracts are handled. Hartzell proposed an addition to the definition section to include Safety Net Services. Nolte clarified the definition as follows: Safety Net Service includes: a) Temporary emergency food and shelter. b) Substance abuse education, prevention and treatment. c) The preservation of dignity and equal access to justice. d) Primary and preventive healthcare services. e) Critical supportive services for families, seniors, and victims.

Councilors Reid/Hartzell amended the original motion to include the definition for Safety Net Services.

Nolte clarified an additional amendment to Section 3.12.020 (E)(5): after the sentence, "contracts involving payment of less than $15,000" to add the following sentence; "This amount shall be adjusted annually effective June 30 to reflect increases during the preceding year January through December using Consumer Price Index Urban Wage Earners as published by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics." In addition, under subsection (D) following the definition of "Recipient", the following sentence would be added, "This amount shall be adjusted annually effective June 30 to reflect increases during the preceding year, January through December using Consumer Price Index Urban Wage Earners as published by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics."

Hanson urged the council to not approve the proposed ordinance stating that it is discriminatory, inequitable and bad economics. DeBoer voiced his concern on how the proposed ordinance would affect Skinner Aviation at the Municipal Airport and the possible negative impact the ordinance may have on this firm in the future. He continued to voice his concern on how this would affect Ashland Community Hospital and the subcontractors used by the hospital. He noted that the Bureau of Labor Industries is the normal place to apply to when there is a wage and hour issue and will not be at the benefit of the city, because this is a city ordinance. DeBoer urged a "no" vote because it is outside the city perimeters and respectfully disagrees with Councilor Laws as he believes that the city, state, and federal have distinct responsibilities. He feels that the number of people that this will affect will be very little and that the number of Ashland people it will affect will be worse. The chance for services to be cut by non-profits is immense. He stated that there would need to be an even greater need to donate to these organizations.

Morrison commented that it is within the purview, as written by state law. He felt that the proposed ordinance would not be being discussed if the minimum wage had kept up with the cost of living. He felt that the city would be helping people more than just with the people that will be directly affected by making a statement that the city is supporting those employers that are paying a livable wage. He noted that the ordinance would most likely need to be revisited and amended as needed.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to extend meeting past 10 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to approve Ordinance #2875 with amendments as discussed. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Hartzell, Laws, Reid, and Morrison – Yes. Hanson - No. Motion passed 5-1.

3. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance amending Section 15.28.070H of the Ashland Municipal Code to Prohibit the Use of Fireworks within the City except when sale of Fireworks is permitted within the State of Oregon."
Councilors Hanson/Hartzell m/s to approve Ordinance #2876. Roll Call Vote: Morrison Laws, Hanson, Reid, Hearn and Hartzell – Yes. Motion passed.

4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Dedicating Property for Open Space Purposes Pursuant to Article XIXA, Section 2, of the City Charter (Vogel Property located at 23 Hersey Street)."
Councilors Reid/Hanson m/s to approve Resolution #2001-25. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Morrison, Hearn, Laws, Reid and Hanson – Yes. Motion Passed.

5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Modifying Street Cut Permit Fees set forth in Resolution 2000-24 by providing a Blanket Permit Fee for Entities Performing more than 100 street cuts in any one fiscal year."
Councilors Morrison/Reid m/s to approve Resolution #2001-26.
DISCUSSION: Public Works Director Paula Brown clarified that the last fee scheduled adopted by the council was based on the age of the street, width of the cut, depth of the cut, etc. She explained that most of the fees collected go toward the cost associated with inspection by the public works department to ensure that the work is being done properly, and that a portion also goes toward street fees. Roll Call Vote: Hanson Laws, Hartzell, Reid, Morrison and Hearn – Yes. Motion passed.

6. Reading by title only of "A Resolution regarding Membership in the City/County Insurance Service (CIS) Trust Property Self-Insurance Pool."
Councilors Hartzell/Hanson m/s to approve Resolution #2001-27. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Hartzell, Hanson, Laws, Hearn and Reid – Yes. Motion passed.

DeBoer announced that Access has a board position available for an elected officer, of which no one from Ashland has served. The board meets on the 3rd Friday of each month at 9 a.m.

Hartzell noted the vacant position at the Rogue Valley Council of Governments for Ashland. Morrison clarified that he does not "sit in" for Ashland at the Rogue Valley Council of Governments when there is no representation from Ashland. DeBoer stated that he has been standing in for the balance of the year.

DeBoer agreed to pursue with the county, who will begin discussions soon, on giving a jurisdiction the opportunity to constrain the time of sale for fireworks.

It was noted that there will be a Study Session on September 5 to review the Storm Water Master Plan, and update of the Transportation projects within the City. Council agreed to allow a Study Session, on October 3, 2001, in order for Representative Bates to give a legislative update.

Reid voiced her continued concern regarding the council responding to the public at the time of Public Forum. She felt that the council chooses who they want to respond to, which appears to be unfair, irresponsible and inconsistent. She suggested that information sharing could be done during a break time or at a later time. Council concurred with concern raised by Reid and discussed proper response methods in addressing the issues raised by citizens. Laws felt that by informing the citizens immediately after the Public Forum is closed, how their issue would be disposed, is the best method to use. He stressed that consistency is very important. DeBoer stated that he will do his best to only give a quick response after the Public Forum is closed and dissuade the council from responding directly to the citizen.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer

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