MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
December 18, 2012
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
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 Marsh were present.
Mayor Stromberg noted the Newtown CT shooting massacre that occurred Friday December 14, 2012 and observed three minutes of silence out of respect for the loss of life. The Mayor and Council would send a letter to Newtown and determine a form of ongoing support.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Executive Session of December 4, 2012 and Business Meeting of December 4, 2012 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
General Manager Kim Clark from the Mt. Ashland Association (MAA) submitted into the record a Phase One Proposal for improvement projects at the Mt. Ashland Ski Resort. The proposal included 90 additional parking spaces on the uphill side of the access road that enters the current parking lot. This area was located on the Cottonwood drainage side of the Permit area and did not involve fill material. Phase One would also re-contour the Sonnet beginner area and require 31,000 cubic yards of fill material. The last part of the proposal would widen selected ski runs through tree removal under the guidance and prescription laid out by the USFS (United States Forest Service). Mr. Clark stressed no tree removal was proposed for any of the new runs in the C-6 expansion area in Phase One.
Mayor Stromberg provided plaques to departing Councilors Russ Silbiger and David Chapman and commended them for their contributions and efforts to the City.
The Mayor’s proclamation of January 5, 2013 as Christmas Tree-Cycle Day was read aloud.
Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness introduced Police Detective Carrie Hull, the Ashland Police sexual assault detective, Molly Harris coordinator of the Southern Oregon University (SOU) Women’s Resource Center, Susan Moen, executive director of Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), and Anna DeMatteo, director of Victim Services through Community Works who were collaborating with the Police Department.
He explained sexual assault was the most common crime in Ashland due to an overall low crime rate. Statistics showed that only 15%-20% of victims of sexual assault reported. In 2010, the Police Department improved how they processed sexual assaults that increased reporting 60% from 25 cases in 2009 to 43 in 2012.
Detective Hull provided a presentation on the You Have Options Campaign starting January 1, 2013. The Ashland Police Department (APD) formalized an option-based process they used over the past two years collaborating with advocates and working with victims. The presentation covered the following points:
Focusing on the reporting process enabled the officer to connect a victim with advocacy and medical resources. Participating advocacy organizations provide the following services:
Community Works – Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS) provides volunteers that respond 24 hours seven days a week to sexual assault survivors through the three hospitals, and by working with a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). Community Works also operates a helpline, and receives calls from sexual assault survivors who were previously assaulted and need resources.
Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) – Provides a nurse, medical exams, forensics, prophylactics, and anonymous evidence. SART also runs counseling groups, and meets monthly with nurses and law enforcement to discuss cases, victims’ needs, and track how they are doing. SART works with Community Works and APD on the prevention programs for middle and high school students, as well as a bartender program with OLCC.
Women’s Resource Center SOU – Provides a designated space for survivors of sexual assault, stalking and battering, promotes campus safety, and medical advocacy through SART and Community Works. The center collects anonymous misconduct reports, tracks sexual assaults, and why survivors do not report. They also provide prevention education for first year students, train on what is consent, what is assault, options for medical, legal and support advocacy.
Barriers include confidentiality issues and credibility. Reporting anonymously often does not work. Law enforcement needs an immediate response, and victims rarely report right after the assault occurs.
Chief Holderness explained why APD might not report a sexual assault reported by teenage girls aged 15-17 to their parents. Often drug and alcohol use is involved with teenage victims of sexual assault and they do not want their parents to know that aspect. However, APD will remove them if the abuser is in the home, and will not conduct a comprehensive interview without parent or guardian approval. Advocating with the victims could contribute to them eventually disclosing to their parents. Detective Hull added APD receives information from advocacy showing trends and victimization at that age level. The only way to stop sexual violence is getting victims to talk.
Council supported the program and commended the Police Department for their efforts. Detective Hull further explained how focusing on the offender contributes to prevention. An offender targets a victim based on their vulnerability, accessibility and perceived lack of credibility. APD focuses on how the offender executed the sexual assault. Chief Holderness addressed middle school prevention training noting people in that age group often do not understand consent.
The short-term goal of the program was increasing reporting, with long-term goals to increase prosecution and reduce the number of sexual assaults since 90% of all assaults were from serial rapists.
1. Approval of commission, committee, and board minutes
2. A resolution transferring appropriations within the FY 2012-13 budget
3. Approval of contract for replacement of sidewalks at Hunter Park
4. Liquor license application for The Deli Downstairs located at 107 E. Main Street
5. Public contract for safety training (in Public Works and Electric)
6. Appointment of Craig Anderson to the Transportation Commission
7. Consideration of Planning Commission Term Completion
8. Confidentiality agreement concerning information submitted by Asante as part of Ashland Hospital affiliation and lease negotiations
9. Approval of a resolution to repeal bicycle license registration fee in Resolution 2012-21, Miscellaneous Fees and Charges
Assistant City Administrator Lee Tuneberg added a liquor license application for TOT restaurant to the agenda. Staff removed Consent Agenda item #7, the current ordinance allowed one person to live outside city limits, the request would extend it to two and could jeopardize the decision process for that position.
Councilor Slattery pulled Consent Agenda Item #3 for further discussion.
Councilor Voisin/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1-10 except for item #3.
Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Parks Department Superintendent Bruce Dickens explained replacing the sidewalks at Hunter Park was a deferred project suited for dry winter weather.
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #7. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
Rabbi Joshua Boettiger/Temple Emek Shalom/Explained in Judaism, it was a communal right to provide shelter and basic human needs services. In addition to the Episcopalian and Presbyterian shelter nights, the UUF (Unitarian Universalists Fellowship) with Temple Emek Shalom wanted to provide a third night for shelter. They did not have the facility but had volunteers to run it and provide a light breakfast in the morning. If the City provided a site, they could commit to staffing. Rabbi Boettiger asked Council not to wait until January 15, 2013 to move forward but start the process right away.
John Wieczorek/165 Orange Avenue/Thought the proposal got confused with the emergency shelter resolution during the previous night’s Study Session. He reiterated the UUF and Temple Emek Shalom wanted to collaborate with the City to have a third shelter night. He had looked at the schedules and The Grove, Community Center, and Pioneer Hall had good availability on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the exception of Tuesday night, The Grove was free after 8:00 p.m. He noted the cost to rent The Grove was slightly over $65 a day. UUF and Temple Emek Shalom wanted 16 nights of shelter for over $1,000. Research showed the greater costs in not providing shelter to the community through hospital and emergency care, detoxification, mental health and law enforcement. He urged Council to take the political risk and expedite the process to provide and protect the community’s most vulnerable citizens.
Leslie Becknell Marx/Minister Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship/87 4th Street/ Addressed the moral issue of honoring human dignity around homelessness. She referenced an episode aired on NPR’s This American Life program about myths surrounding the United States that people living in refugee camps did not believe but were actually true. One was America allowed homeless people to sleep on the streets. Even though it was normal in society for people to sleep on the streets, it was not OK or easy to solve. The Presbyterian Church was unable to provide a third night so they were here asking the City for a space they would staff with volunteers.
Max Afshar/419 Willow Street/Expressed moral opposition to the removal of the two sweetgum trees in the Plaza. The reasons stated to remove the trees were actually a consequence of living with trees, one the City dealt with for decades. As humans and stewards of land, everyone was responsible to nourish the land and allow beauty to flourish and keeping the trees alive was doing just that. He suggested a second opinion or allowing them to live while their replacements grew. These were living beings without a voice, supporting thousands of organisms above and below the surface. They had a right to life just like people.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to put on the end of the agenda, the request from the faith community to consider partnering with the City for a one night a week shelter.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Slattery had reservations but was willing to try the shelter. He appreciated the testimony from the faith community and hearing why the request was so late in the season.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
1. FY2011-2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Assistant City Administrator Lee Tuneberg explained they had pulled the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from a previous agenda because the Audit Committee did not have a quorum during their meeting to recommend approval. The opinion from the auditor was unqualified meaning there were no exceptions but they made recommendations regarding internal controls on staff size and segregating duties. The CAFR met all state and federal requirements. The City’s financial condition had improved with an increase in net assets. However, the aging infrastructure would be costly.
It would also be difficult to resolve staffing issues and segregating duties in the Municipal Court within the next year. Mayor Stromberg thought the issue needed to go into budget preparation as proposed by the City Administrator and should include provisions for solving the problem.
Mr. Tuneberg explained when Oregon Shakespeare Festival reported land improvements it rolled into the Parks and Recreation Department financial report as part of a lease hold improvement that contributed to their net assets.
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to accept the Audit Committee Report and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, as presented.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Lemhouse, Voisin, Morris, Marsh, and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS (None)
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Second reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance authorizing full faith and credit bonds for multiple purposes”
Assistant City Administrator Lee Tuneberg read the following changes to the ordinance:
Mr. Tuneberg confirmed that adding the $500,000 provision for the Parks Department did not obligate them. The Parks Department had until late January to determine whether they needed the funds.
Councilor Voisin/Morris m/s to approve Ordinance #3079. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Silbiger, Marsh, Slattery, Lemhouse and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Councilor Slattery/Voisin m/s to open one night per week additional night utilizing a City facility to be named in the future, utilizing the Faith Community. DISCUSSION: Assistant City Administrator Lee Tuneberg explained staff would need to consider which facility to use, schedule disruptions, impacts to the Parks Department, maintenance, utilities, liabilities, insurance, and opening, closing, and inspecting logistics.
Councilor Marsh supported the staff direction from the Study Session held the previous night to research opening a third night of shelter consistently and wanted those answers before moving forward. Councilor Silbiger noted Council could call a special meeting instead of waiting until the January 15, 2013 meeting. Councilor Lemhouse appreciated the Faith Community coming forward to talk, but found it frustrating the proposal came at December 17, 2012 instead of earlier in the year to allow better preparation. He supported a special session for further discussion.
Councilor Voisin explained the cold weather resolution stated City facilities with previously booked events were subject to cancelation. She wanted staff and the faith community to revise the resolution and incorporate what the UUF and Temple Emek Shalom offered. Councilor Slattery disagreed and suggested a dedicated agreement with the faith community that did not involve the resolution.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to amend the motion to instruct staff to work with the faith community on a proposal to be bring to Council at a special meeting on January 2, 2013.
City Attorney Dave Lohman added the need to involve the Parks Commission regarding space and a review of City insurance regarding personal liability.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to amend the motion to state Council instruct staff to work with the faith community and all entities, Parks Commission included, to come up with a resolution that sets forth a program for one day a week for a shelter in a City building and that be done if not on January 2, 2013, at a time the Mayor will set forth for a special meeting. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Silbiger, Lemhouse, Voisin, Slattery, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse/Voisin m/s to amend the motion that the shelter will be temporary in nature and staff will provide a reasonable sunset date. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Voisin, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
Staff was not sure whether the faith community could lease a City building on their own and assume the liability.
Roll Call on main motion: Councilor Morris, Silbiger, Slattery, Lemhouse, Voisin, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse noted Councilor Silbiger was recently awarded Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce.
Meeting adjourned at 9:00.
Dana Smith, Assistant to City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor