MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING9
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
March 19, 2013
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 Marsh, Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, and Rosenthal were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced the City was in the process of reviewing applications for the Annual Appointments to the various Commissions and Committees.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Study Session of March 4, 2013, Executive Session of March 4, 2013 and Business Meeting of March 5, 2013 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1. A report from the Mount Ashland Association on Summer Work Plan/ Expansion-Related Activities
Kim Clark, the general manager for the Mount Ashland Association (MAA) provided the approval history and upcoming inspections from the US Forest Service (USFS) that would allow MAA to proceed with three projects under Phase 1. Project 1 would widen existing runs through tree harvesting starting April 24, 2013. Project 2 would add 101 parking spaces starting late August 2013. Project 3 consisted of re-contouring the Sonnet ski run and possibly the Blossom ski run. The projects totaled $250,000 and MAA had the funds to proceed.
Council expressed concern that the agreement stated MAA would have $2,200,000 in cash or binding pledges prior to starting Phase 1 and MAA did not have that amount. Mr. Clark clarified the three projects were considered Phase 1 and MAA was not ready to start the projects in the watershed at this time. The ski area had $1,670,000 worth of unencumbered assets for restoration. Fill on the new ski slope would be monitored through the Monitoring Mitigation Plan and considered Phase 2 or Phase 3 projects. The USFS would not allow MAA to cut new runs until they had set up the lift and defined Phase 1 projects.
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the agreement defined Phase 1 through permits issued by the USFS and gave MAA the discretion to determine what to apply for with the US Forest Service deciding the projects by issuing the permits needed.
MAA thought they would accomplish the remaining projects on the list during the next Phase. MAA went on to confirm they did not have the money for the full expansion but would when they came before Council for the rest of Phase 1.
Mr. Lohman further explained the agreement only referred to Phase 1 and did not pertain to any of the projects that would follow. The USFS also required MAA to have sufficient funds to pay for projects proposed in any phase of the expansion.
Nancy Nelson/149 Clear Creek/Explained MAA plans were from 2004 and there were recent studies on ecological impacts, water rights, and climate change that needed consideration regarding the expansion.
Angie Thusius/897 Beach Street/Read Section E of the MAA-City of Ashland agreement requiring MAA to have the funds prior to starting the project and noted that amount was $2,200,000 and MAA had only $250,000. She urged Council to adhere to the contract.
Julie Norman/596 Helman/Expressed disappointment some of the wording in the agreement was vague. She wanted Council to address how the public could read MAA documents so they remained current on what was happening.
Andrew Kubik/1251 Munson Drive/Read from a document he submitted a statement into the record.
Eric Navickas/2060 Mill Creek Drive/Clarified the Sierra Club had a pending agreement with MAA and did not support the projects, noted the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) criticism of the US Forest Service statement on impact to Cottonwood Creek, and MAA’s questionable performance on previous projects.
Daniel Lehner/Wellsprings/Read two poems he had written.
Ron Roth/6950 Old Highway 99 South/Supported the projects in Phase 1 and explained they would have little environmental impact. He commented on the prior Council’s actions that resulted in the City losing a lawsuit, and suggested current legal counsel clear up any vagueness in the recent agreement.
Charlie Delgado/1354 Quincy/Did not think MAA had complied with the agreement under Section 4-E, and Section 3-B and Council needed to ensure MAA complied with all terms before moving forward on the project.
Council appreciated MAA providing status on the expansion, thought the projects were reasonable and affordable improvements but not Phase 1 projects, and expected MAA to have to the full amount required to complete Phase 1 when they returned.
City Administrator Dave Kanner suggested Council direct staff to work with MAA on an amendment to the agreement to clarify the terms of Section 4-E applied to all phases of the work and not just Phase 1.
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal m/s to direct staff to work with Mount Ashland Association to create an amendment to the agreement to clarify the terms of Section 4-E applied to all phases of work and not just Phase 1. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse thought the motion clarified what MAA had stated earlier and made the agreement clearer. Councilor Voisin thought Phase 1 had already started and even with an amendment MAA was obligated to have the $2,200,000 for the entire expansion. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Rosenthal, Slattery, Morris, and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained there was a Mt. Ashland Documents folder in the archived city documents on the city website under City Documents, then Documents by Subject. Staff would research the interpretation of the performance bond in the agreement and provide results to Council.
1. Approval of minutes from Boards, Commissions, and Committees
2. Recommendation for endorsement of the AAUW Garden Tour by the Conservation Commission
3. Authorization of new lease for the downtown Police contact station
4. Liquor license application for Anna Hogan dba Salame
5. Liquor license application for Kjae Nam dba Umi Sushi
Councilor Rosenthal pulled Consent Agenda item #3 for further discussion. Police Chief Terry Holderness explained the 88 North Main site was a larger space than the Police Department required and did not afford the visibility the existing building had.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - None
Ali Stauffer/987 Forest Glen Drive, Central Point/Stressed the need to lower carbon emissions to avoid water contamination, explained how carbon emissions have a negative effect on the region and using alternative modes of transportation and being careful of what went into the water would help offset damage. She urged Council to take stronger action against the poor treatment of local water systems.
Nancy Nelson/149 Clear Creek Drive/Represented the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and announced the WILPF woman of the year locally was Estelle Voeller. In Southern Oregon, WILPF opposed the Mt. Ashland ski expansion, and GMO crops.
Samantha Burress/1401 Oregon Street/Explained how polluted runoff water contained various chemicals and carbon dioxide emission that were chemically acidic, got into storm drains and then the creek, Rogue River, and the ocean. Ashland needed to reduce their water runoff levels. Current damage done to the earth and ocean made it highly improbable to fix itself. She encouraged Council to raise fines against polluters.
Savannah Castillo/1401 Oregon Street/Spoke on the need for the hotel industry to become more sustainable by becoming energy independent, wasting less food, and conserving water. Hotels could install solar panels, compost unused food, start local gardens for their guests, and conserve water. She asked Council to encourage the hotel industry in Ashland to become more sustainable.
Ford Murawksi-Brown/875 Beswick Way/Addressed sustainable theater and recycling. Ashland did not accept a large number of recyclables that smaller semi-local groups like Southern Oregon Aspire Recycling did. He noted the annual Plastic Round Up and requested Council consider at minimum a similar event on a quarterly basis in conjunction with Aspire. People dropping off plastics could pay $5 that could pay homeless people to sort materials or anyone else working the event.
Mackenzie Dennis/1401 Oregon Street/Spoke on energy use in Oregon. There was a plan to close the Boardman Coal Plant in Boardman, Oregon by 2020. Currently the state paid $284,000,000 to keep the plant open. He thought government should close the plant early and use the savings to construct other forms of sustainable energy.
Karen Smith/165 Jessica Lane/Addressed funding for Parks and moving the Ending Fund Balance to the City’s General Fund. She suggested Council overrule their decision and take the next year to study all the City’s future revenue requirements.
1. Second reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt the Transportation System Plan as a supporting document and to amend the street dedication map”
City Attorney David Lohman explained there were minor wording changes to the ordinance and read them aloud.
Councilor Voisin/Marsh m/s to approve Ordinance #3080. DISCUSSION: Councilor Morris explained he would vote against the Transportation System Plan (TSP). One of Council’s goals was simplifying the planning process and the more he read of the TSP the more it went against that Council Goal.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Rosenthal, Voisin, Lemhouse, and Slattery, YES; Councilor Morris, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Economic Development Strategy update
Management Analyst Adam Hanks reviewed the following Priority 1 Actions:
7.1 Improve the Land Use Development Process
2.1 Formalize relationships and roles for Ashland specific strategy implementation among major partners
2.2 Create formal and routine communication with all regional economic development partners
3.3 Create a coordinated economic development information and marketing plan to maximize public communication tools
6.4 Pursue the expansion of a State E-Commerce Zone for Ashland
6.5 Evaluate land availability for business expansion on lands on or adjacent to existing businesses
1.5 Assist local businesses in energy, water, waste, supply chain reductions, and efficiencies
4.2 Develop, promote, and expand job-training programs to meet skill needs identified by local business
1.4 Create/Expand a local business resource & mentoring program
4.1 Develop/expand programs to connect local education partners with business community for experience and exposure to entrepreneurship, business development, & operations
Mr. Hanks explained the E-Commerce zone had potential for business retention and expansion, and the Buildable Lands Inventory was helpful for occupancy data. The plan contained points for measurements and desired outcomes.
Council noted the Council Goal for internet based businesses. City Administrator Dave Kanner explained any operating margin from Ashland Fiber Network (AFN) went to debt service for the next 14 years. Because the system was cable modem based it would not be attractive to businesses requiring fiber to desk top and greater bandwidth. Council went on to discuss code compliance as a strategy to maintain quality of life.
ScienceWorks Executive Director Chip Lindsey shared his experience at the Lemelson Center in the National Museum of American History and their focus on what made a community innovative. He suggested the City convene a group of people to determine what made Ashland innovative and how to foster that value.
2. Proposal by the Mayor to form an Ad Hoc Committee on sustainable funding of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department
Mayor Stromberg explained this was a joint proposal by the Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Seffinger and himself. In addition, Councilor Rosenthal had suggested a proposal of a different duration.
Chair Seffinger further explained her concern on funding Parks and Recreation long-term and the need to provide a funding stream that extended beyond the next two years. She and the Mayor discussed establishing an ad hoc committee to look at long-term solutions. Councilor Rosenthal focused on the short-term funding needs for Parks and Recreation and thought the ad hoc committee could accomplish that task as well.
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the Parks and Recreation budget funds would come from a combination of work capital, a transfer from the General Fund, and fees the Parks and Recreation Department generated from their Recreation programs. It would fully fund the Parks and Recreation Department needs without budgeting a property tax contribution of $2.09 per $1,000.
Parks and Recreation Director Don Robertson shared his perspective on the previous night’s meeting, his comfort level with the budget and the ad hoc committee.
Cyndi Dion/897 Hillview/Supported a plan that would provide secure, sustainable funding for Parks and Recreation that made sense accounting wise, was vetted by an independent auditor for gap, and spoke to the needs of the Parks and Recreation Commission as a policy making body. She proposed the ad hoc committee include citizen members.
Ron Roth/6950 Old Highway 99 South/Thought the City should fund a local, trained facilitator to chair the ad hoc committee.
Cate Hartzell/892 Garden Way/Requested the City look at the Parks and Recreation budget holistically, and leave the Parks and Recreation Department Funding Balance alone until 2014. If they could not look at the budget holistically, she suggested Council appoint its own Council Liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission as well as the Councilor with the most Parks experience to the ad hoc committee. Lowering property tax rates without a plan or public discussion, and reducing the integrity and control of the Parks and Recreation Commission in managing its own budget would result in the elimination or reduction of Parks services in North Mountain Park programs, Senior Service programs, community gardens, intramural sports programs and new parks development and acquisition.
Rick Landt/468 Helman/Explained as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner he was comfortable with the budget but not comfortable with taking money from the Parks and Recreation Ending Fund Balance for non-parks purposes. He supported the ad hoc committee and suggested it have an even number of Councilors and Commissioners for consensus.
Councilor Rosenthal/Marsh m/s to direct the Mayor to create an ad hoc committee consisting of three Councilors and two Parks Commissioners to examine short-term and long-term Parks funding issues in greater depth. DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal explained having three Parks Commissioners serve on the ad hoc committee created a quorum. The Parks and Recreation Commission had already voted on a Chair and Vice Chair to represent the Commission. The committee would meet as often as needed but soon to discuss short-term issues.
Councilor Lemhouse suggested City Attorney Dave Lohman participate on the committee as legal counsel and facilitator. Councilor Slattery was not comfortable with the 3-2 ratio of Councilors and Commissioners. He suggested having two ad hoc committees with two Councilors and two Commissioners meeting without staff. Councilor Morris supported the motion and the amendment to add Mr. Lohman to the committee.
Councilor Rosenthal explained the committee would identify core issues, look at the existing plan, and examine a range of options. Councilor Voisin supported the motion but wanted three Commissioners instead of two. Councilor Marsh supported the ad hoc committee but did not think it needed parameters other than having the committee discuss the issues and was in favor of a single committee.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to suspend rules to allow questions. Voice Vote: ALL AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Slattery clarified having three Commissioners on the ad hoc committee established a quorum. City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained the meeting would then be advertised as a Parks Commission meeting because it was a quorum.
Chair Seffinger preferred having three Commissioners. Mayor Stromberg explained he would appoint all the members subject to confirmation by the City Council, but would select Commissioners Chair Seffinger recommended.
Mr. Lohman further explained having a quorum of Commissioners made the meeting a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting and was open for all the commissioners to attend.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to amend the main motion to include City Attorney Dave Lohman as a non-voting staff person on the ad hoc committee. DISCUSSION: Councilor Slattery and Voisin would not support the motion. Councilor Rosenthal supported the motion and saw the City Attorney’s role as a resource position instead of a mediator role. Councilor Marsh thought Mr. Lohman would be a good asset for the first and second meetings. Councilor Lemhouse confirmed Mr. Lohman’s role could be an as needed position. Councilor Slattery strongly disagreed. Councilor Voisin questioned why the committee could not consult with Mr. Lohman outside of the meetings instead. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES; Councilor Slattery and Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Ms. Christensen added her office would be noticing and attending the meetings.
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s called for the question. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Marsh, Voisin, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES. Motion Passed.
Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Councilor Slattery, Marsh, Voisin, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES. Motion Passed.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to confirm Stefani Seffinger, Rick Landt, Rich Rosenthal, Pam Marsh, and Carol Voisin to the ad hoc Committee. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Marsh, Voisin, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, Morris, YES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Resolution titled, “A resolution of the City Council of the City of Ashland approving the formation of the Rogue Valley Heritage District”
Item pulled from agenda for a future meeting.
2. Ordinance Amending AMC Chapter 15.28 AF&R Cost Recovery Fees
Agenda item delayed due to time constraints.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Meeting was adjourned at 10:29 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor