City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
January 28, 2013
Present: Commissioners Landt, Lewis, Seffinger, Shaw; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
CALL TO ORDER
Seffinger called the study session to order at 6:05 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
PARKS COMMISSION POSITION #3 INTERVIEWS AND DISCUSSION
Seffinger said Joe Graf and Scott Kurtz withdrew from consideration for Parks Commission seat #3 but Mike Gardiner was on hand for his interview. She welcomed Mike and said she was excited he chose to apply for the position. She asked him to speak to the commission about his interests.
Mike Gardiner said he was not up-to-date on every Parks Commission issue over the past two years (Note: his second term expired on December 31, 2010). He reported recent involvement with the Bear Creek Greenway Committee and the Transportation Commission. He said he saw a fairly major shift coming between Parks and the City and he wanted to share his eight years of experience on the Parks Commission to support staff and work toward consensus on problems and issues facing the commission. He said his experiences included speaking with City officials, making budget presentations, and understanding historic perspectives. He said staff does an excellent job and the commissionís role was to support them and help them move projects forward and provide for a healthy parks system. He said the commission was not at odds with the City but they might need to stand up for what they believed was important.
Lewis said the commission was lucky to have Gardiner as a candidate and he was one of the most qualified candidates in town. He reported working with Gardiner on the commission for eight years and said Gardiner would come in already up-to-speed to Parks issues.
Shaw said he remembered Gardiner from when he first came to the commission to speak about dogs in parks. He reported also talking to him once at a Transportation Commission meeting.
Seffinger said the commission would present Gardinerís name to council for appointment for the two-year Parks Commission vacancy.
Gardiner departed the room. Landt arrived at 6:15 p.m.
Robertson said the joint study session scheduled for January 24 between Council, Budget Committee, and the Parks Commission had been cancelled or postponed. He referenced the 1998 letter from attorney Harvey Rogers out of Portland on his interpretation of Measure 50 and said Seffinger and Landt met with the mayor and expressed their concerns. They asked the mayor if the City legally had the right to absorb the full City budget and the mayor decided to delay the meeting and seek a second legal opinion. Robertson said the 1998 opinion by Rogers was a joint effort between the City of Ashland, City of Lake Oswego, and another city entity.
Landt said the meeting culminated in the mayor voicing his willingness to ask City Attorney David Lohman to write to Harvey Rogers and reopen the conversation. Seffinger said she and Robertson spoke with Rogers over the phone and felt comfortable about his ability to render an objective opinion. Landt said the Ashland Parks Commission was unique throughout the State of Oregon in that it had its own separately elected commission. He said if the commission prevailed legally or at the ballot box, it would be good for Parks. If not, the City would still have a Parks Department because parks were too important to the Ashland community. Lewis said the commission and staff were trying to fulfill the wishes of the citizens of Ashland.
Robertson said Article 22 of the City Charter combined the Recreation Commission with the Parks Commission. Article 23 said the Parks levy would not be used to support recreation programs, as money from council was to be used for those programs. He said it was important to clean up the issues soon.
Robertson said the next step would be to wait for the Harvey Rogers clarification. After that, the commission could request a rescheduling of the joint meeting with council.
With no further business, Seffinger adjourned the meeting at 6:35 p.m.
Ashland Parks and Recreation