MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
CALL TO ORDER
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
October 3, 2001 - 12:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 12:20p.m.
Councilors present: Laws, Reid, Morrison, Hearn and Hartzell. Hanson was absent. Staff present: City Administrator Greg Scoles, Community Development Director John McLaughlin, and Director of Administrative Services Dick Wanderscheid.
Legislative Update - State Representative Alan Bates
Introduced himself to the council and legislative aid Catherine Shaw who was prior Mayor of the City of Ashland. Bates commented on the positive aspects of the Ashland Fiber Network.
Items of Legislature discussed:
1) Single payer system for the State of Oregon in regards to the high cost of medical care and pharmaceuticals. Note an example on how medical insurance is handled by the country of Germany. Various issues and current concerns regarding regulation of physicians, etc. were noted.
2) Tobacco Ordinance. Preemption that no new city laws could be passed. It was noted that the best way to help people to quit smoking, was to ban smoking in the work place. The proposal was passed as a State wide ban of smoking in the work place, with several exemptions.
3) Cigar Tax. Result of internet usage. Argument was that by purchasing through the internet affected State businesses because these buyers were able to purchase without the paying state tax, unfair playing field. Issue was no revenue being generated and more individuals were smoking. Support was to lower tax in order to raise revenue and lower the use of cigar smoking. Comment that there is current federal legislature being worked on in regards to internet commerce.
4) Establishing a floor for local communities on above and beyond issues. This would be when a city passes local ordinances that are state regulated.
Suggestion was made to track state bills by utilizing the League of Oregon Cities, when trying to keep informed on issues. Noted that phone calls and letters from local officials on local concerns are given top priority. Process on how communications are handled through the State Representative’s Office was explained. Lobbyist Tom O’Connor was noted as excellent in regards to AFN business.
5) Use of Farm Land. An issue that was not brought up often by legislature. Working with administrative agencies may be helpful depending on the purpose of your direction. Commented on the need to buildup infrastructure of an inner city rather than expanding out.
6) The recognition of Bates by the Oregon Business Association was noted.
7) Deregulation. Bates stated that he did not support power deregulation and noted his concerns regarding deregulation. Noted that there is six month delay on this bill. Bates is not convinced that the deregulation law has not affected Oregon consumers.
8) Administrative Hot Line. Effective way to connect with Bates and he intends to continue this if he is re-elected.
9) Redistricting. Concerns and issues were raised on the possibility of redistricting in our area.
10) Partisanship. Comments and past history on how the parties have worked well or not worked well together was explained. Current direction is to work in bi-partisan mode rather than partisan mode in order to accomplish what is best for the state.
12) Comment that the reason we have a televised network on legislative sessions, was through the efforts of Pete Belcastro from the Southern Oregon University, Rogue Valley Television.
13) Comment that the community of Ashland should feel a real sense of pride due to the level of respect that the is received from state legislators.
Meeting was adjourned at 1:40 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder