Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council-Parks Ad Hoc Meeting

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

July 23, 2012
Parks Office  
340 S. Pioneer Street

Chair Councilor Marsh called the meeting to order at 3:06 p.m. in the Parks Office.
Councilors Rosenthal and Voisin, Parks Commissioners Seffinger and Landt, and City Attorney Dave Lohman were present.  Staff included Parks & Recreation Director Don Robertson and City Administrator Dave Kanner.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the June 24, 2013 meeting were approved as presented.
Review of work assignments
  • P&R management responsibilities
City Administrator Dave Kanner and Parks Director Don Robertson reviewed the Management:  Planning; Organizing; Budgeting; Directing; Evaluating document (attached).  They clarified that funding for Capital Improvement Plans went done through City Council; and that the City establishes personnel rules, which the Parks Department incorporates into a personnel handbook for their employees.  It was noted that there is slight difference in the benefits City and Parks employees receive.
Councilor Marsh thought the document was a good basis for the Memo of Understanding (MOU).  Commissioner Landt expressed concern over who controlled Parks’ Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) and with the City allocating higher COLA percentages than Parks.  He thought these salary adjustments were inflationary instead of cost of living adjustments.  Councilor Rosenthal noted the question stated on the Document:  “Who should determine Parks’ COLAs, benefits and classifications?” and suggested that Mr. Robertson and Mr. Kanner, with assistance from City Attorney Dave Lohman, separate these into  three categories and list differences and issues with each one for the Parks Commission and Council to review.
  • Recommendations for budget process
  • Structure for City Council and Park commission communication
Councilor Marsh and Commissioner Seffinger presented their draft proposal for the proposed Joint Committee of the Council and Parks Commission (attached).  Marsh thought a smaller group would be more productive versus two full bodies.  Councilor Rosenthal questioned whether a Standing Joint Committee was necessary and suggested 2-3 joint meetings with Council and the Parks Commission, although having a committee short-term might work.  Councilor Voisin opposed establishing a committee, preferred joint meetings with the Parks Commission and Council and shared concern the committee had not found a solution for independent means of financing Parks. 
Commissioner Landt supported a committee that would provide reviews and recommendations.  He was apprehensive about developing a 10-year plan and thought the committee should address how the Comprehensive Plan pertained to Parks first.  Councilor Rosenthal noted that the key element would be the result of the budget process as recommended by Mr. Kanner and Mr. Robertson.
Commissioner Seffinger added that there is a need to include Parks in City decisions, especially ones that affect Parks directly or indirectly.
Changes to the draft proposal included:
  • Add to the Councilor Parks Committee, a Council liaison to the Concept paragraph, “Given the critical importance of communication between the City Council and the Parks Commission, the current Council Parks Liaison system will be replaced by a newly formed Joint Committee.”
  • Second bullet: “Review short and long-term Parks goals for inclusion in citywide planning.”
  • Third bullet: “Identify educational and cross training opportunities that will allow elected officials to understand the responsibilities and activities overseen by each body.”
  • Fourth bullet:  “Propose full Council/Commission meetings.  These should be scheduled at least annually, but as often as deemed necessary by the Joint Committee.”
  • Fifth bullet - removed:  “Review and confirm the proposed budget and spending priorities for Parks and Recreation.” 
The committee agreed to present options to City Council regarding forming a “standing” Joint Committee or to schedule annually a joint Council-Parks Commission meetings. 
Councilor Voisin left the meeting at 4:11 p.m.
Discussion of Ending Fund Balance
Commissioner Landt explained why he thought Parks should retain control of their Ending Fund Balance (EFB).  He did not think running the EFB to zero, not having a Parks EFB in the future, and incorporating Parks funding into the City was in the best interest of Parks.  This would result in revenue that has not been budgeted for.  The EFB would grow and he wanted to know what would happen to that money.  Councilor Marsh clarified that no additional funds would accumulate in Parks EFB because the City would transfer money from the General Fund for Parks’ expenses that have occurred.  Mr. Robertson expressed concern that not having an EFB could affect the benefits of being efficient.
Two questions were raised:  One regarded incentives, and the second was whether the committee wanted to make recommendations regarding the $600,000 EFB currently appropriated to Parks.  Mr. Robertson noted concerns from the Parks Commission that the funds would backfill the City’s budget.
Comment was made that this was part of the recommendations for the budget process that Mr. Kanner and Mr. Robertson would address.   Mr. Robertson was asked to include recommendations for EFB and accumulating revenues as well.  Commissioner Landt requested clarification on what was and what was not possible in their recommendation, along with the legal reasons why Parks cannot retain an EFB.
  • Potential funding sources in addition to property tax
Clarification was requested on the advantages and disadvantages to reducing the lodging, property, and Food & Beverage taxes.  Councilor Marsh felt that property taxes would not decrease and reducing other taxes would put Council in the position of creating a new tax.  Commissioner Landt stated that by reducing property tax, while increasing the tourist tax, would not be a hard sell to the community.  It was suggested that at the next meeting they go through the analysis from the last meeting and determine what items should go to Council for consideration.  Councilor Marsh and Commissioner Landt agreed to meet prior to the next Committee meeting regarding additional funding sources for recommendations to the group.
Joint Council/Commission meeting
It was announced that the Ad Hoc Committee would be ready for a joint meeting with Council and the Parks Commission mid to late September.
Public Input
Cindy Dion/Thought secure funding was the task the Committee was charged and the discussion regarding a future joint committee seemed off task to her.  In the current budget, the EFB would not experience growth.  The City removed any potential for Parks to receive revenue and wound move funds to Parks as needed for expenses.  It was important for the Committee to determine sustainable funding for Parks.
JoAnne Eggers/221 Granite Street/Expressed concern the budget for the biennium might set a precedent for future budgets.  Parks was not just another department of the City. It would require a review of the City Charter to make that change.
Future meeting schedule/time
The committee scheduled Wednesday August 7, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. for the next meeting with a back-up meeting August 19, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. if August 7, 2013 did not work.
Meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,                                
Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder
Management:  Planning; Organizing; Budgeting; Directing; Evaluating
Master plans
Comprehensive plan (parks input)
Functional plans
CIP funding, incl. debt financing
Capital improvement plans
Create rules for use of park land and facilities
Determine functional divisions
Local Contract Review Board
Allocation of appropriated resources
Contract for services within limits
Hire director
Recommend budget to Budget Officer
Appropriate funds and adopt budget
Set recreation fees and rental rates*
Refer tax measures, set tax rate
  * exc. Comm. Ctr., Pioneer Hall and The Grove
CIP funding, incl. debt financing
Establish other revenue streams
Establish SDCs
QUESTION:  Who should determine Parks' COLAs, benefits and classifications?
Assign duties and responsibilities to Parks staff
Establish citywide personnel rules and policies
Establish priorities for Parks staff
Establish city classifications and compensation rates
Procedural work policies
Policies re park land maintenance
Evaluate employee performance (supervisors)
Monitor budget compliance
Evaluate director (commission)
Analyze program performance
Monitor budget compliance
Analyze and categorize physical conditions
Draft Proposal
Joint Committee of the Council and Parks Commission
Council – Parks Proposed Communication Mechanism
Concept:  Given the critical importance of communication between the City Council and the Parks Commission, the current Council liaison system will be replaced by a newly formed Joint Committee. 
Membership:  The Joint Committee will be composed of two Council members and two Parks Commissioners.  Council members will be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council; Parks commissioners will be appointed by the Chair. 
Meeting schedule:  Quarterly or as determined by the members
The Joint Committee will:
  • Identify common interests and concerns. These might include, for example, sustainability, conservation or beautification of public areas.
  • Review short and long term goals for inclusion in citywide planning documents.
  • Facilitate educational efforts and cross training opportunities that will allow elected officials to understand the responsibilities and activities overseen by each body.
  • Convene and conduct full Council/Commission meetings.  These should be scheduled at least annually, but as often as deemed necessary by the Joint Committee.
  • Review and confirm the proposed budget and spending priorities for Parks and Recreation. 
  • Develop a 10-year planning document to guide parks development that respects comprehensive plan policies, incorporates broad public input and includes consideration of funding opportunities and constraints.
  • Take on other issues as assigned. 


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