MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
September 3, 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 Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on Commissions and Committees.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Study Session of August 19, 2013 and Business Meeting of August 20, 2013 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS - None
1. Approval of commission minutes
2. Intergovernmental Agreement with Southern Oregon University Research Center for a Road Diet survey
3. Approval of an MOU with Ashland School District and the Ashland Police Department for a School Resource Officer
4. Adoption of a resolution titled, “A resolution setting a public hearing for assessments to be charged against lots within the Schofield and Monte Vista Local Improvement District No. 87”
5. Liquor License Application for Jason Penner dba Stop N Shop Market
Councilor Slattery pulled Consent Agenda item #2 and declared a potential conflict of interest regarding the Intergovernmental Agreement with Southern Oregon University Research Center since he worked for the university.
Councilor Rosenthal and Marsh pulled Consent Agenda Item #3 for further discussion. Police Chief Terry Holderness addressed funding for the School Resource Officer (SRO) and explained there was a 7-day notice to terminate the agreement in case funding issues or other problems occurred. The SRO would work differently depending on the school. It there was no history of violence in the school the SRO would focus on counseling, traffic problems, and education. The officer would work in partnership with the school district to define duties and interaction in the Middle School and High School. The school district would assign a liaison from each school to work with the officer on program improvements. They would base evaluation of the program on accomplishments and education the officer made with the students regarding civil obedience and rights. Currently Ashland School District was the only community without an SRO.
Councilor Rosenthal/Marsh m/s to amend the SRO MOU Section 2 to reflect an end date of June 30, 2015. DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal explained funding might not be available in two years and providing an end date would help in the budget process. Councilor Slattery thought retaining the four-year end date conveyed commitment and support for the program. Councilor Lemhouse voiced concern that it could be a problem if presented as a “add package” in the budget process and noted the importance of the program. Councilor Rosenthal reiterated the possibility that funding might not be available for the full four years. Councilor Slattery did not think having a four-year end date guaranteed funding. Councilor Marsh supported the two-year end date, it would prompt an evaluation of the program. Councilor Voisin expressed support for the date change. Councilor Slattery commented an evaluation would take place annually regardless of the end date. Mayor Stromberg noted the SRO was originally part of staff cut from the budget due to financial problems and the recession.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Voisin, Lemhouse, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Morris and Slattery, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda items as amended. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS -None
PUBLIC FORUM - None
UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. A report on the Mt. Ashland Association’s Summer Work Plan and expansion-related activities
Engineering Services Manager Scott Fleury explained Engineering Technician Rob Morris had monitored Mt. Ashland Association’s (MAA) ski run widening and tree removal. The US Forest Service approved MAA to begin work on the parking lot expansion but not re-contouring the Sonnet ski run. City hired consultants David Evans & Associates reviewed engineered plans from MAA and forwarded their review to the US Forest Service and MAA. The review focused on work regarding the ski slope and did not involve the parking lot because it did not drain into the watershed. The US Forest Service requested MAA incorporate David Evans & Associates’ comments into their construction activities to minimize potential of landslide activity, slope destabilization and erosion control issues. The City would have a representative onsite during construction to ensure best management practices were in place for erosion control activities.
Ongoing inspections for turbidity in the water due to run off would trigger calling the US Forest Service. Best management practices for erosion control measures adapted to meet the needs of the site. The Water Treatment Plant conducted visual inspections of the dam and forks daily. The engineer for the design plans was professionally liable for incidents.
2. Designation of voting delegate to LOC annual meeting
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to designate Mayor Stromberg as the voting delegate at the League of Oregon Cities Conference. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
3. Council discussion and direction regarding anonymity on Open City Hall
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the new Open City Hall had a default feature that allowed individuals to post anonymous comments. All information posted on Open City Hall was public record and archived. Community Development Bill Molnar added the Planning Department had not used Open City Hall for quasi-judicial action but in the case of a legislative action, comments would be included in the overall record. City Attorney David Lohman agreed it could be part of the record but the question of name and address being part of the record had come up as well. Oregon law did not have a precedent that addressed a public records request for an address from an anonymous comment.
City Recorder Barbara Christensen further explained Open City Hall comments were stored differently than emails from the comments to the Council. Mr. Kanner added all comments were public record. Open City Hall was a tool for citizens to provide input to Council regarding specific topics and not a poll. Peak Democracy had some safeguards in place but individuals could use multiple pseudonyms.
Councilor Slattery/Morris m/s to direct staff to disable the anonymity feature of Open City Hall on the City of Ashland website. DISCUSSION: Councilor Slattery did not support anonymous comments and thought individuals should identify themselves. Councilor Morris and Marsh supported identifying individuals. Councilor Lemhouse thought people uncomfortable disclosing their names on Open City Hall could email Council individually. Councilor Voisin supported allowing anonymous comments and suggested waiting and removing the anonymous message feature if abuse occurred. The system retained information on anonymous comments. Councilor Rosenthal thought anonymous comments could encourage candid feedback although requiring identification did build credibility.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal and Marsh, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Mr. Kanner noted when a topic closed on Open City Hall staff would summarize and collate the input for Council review.
Mayor Stromberg explained the genesis for Open City Hall came from comments he received on the difficulty citizens had turning onto North Main due to one lane of traffic. The feedback did not match actual statistics the Traffic Engineer collected and the Mayor wanted to determine whether the problem was perceptual or related to actual traffic engineering.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution authorizing the City of Ashland to provide a city building for a winter shelter one night per week through April, 2014, and repealing Resolution No. 2013-28”
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the proposed resolution would allow dogs in the shelter. The language was similar to the dog provision used in the Emergency Shelter Resolution 2013-04 with one change shown in Section 4. (C) Service dogs are not required to remain in crates but must be leashed while in the shelter. Staff talked to volunteer representatives from Temple Emek Shalom who would provide crates. Mr. Kanner added staff had reserved Pioneer Hall every Thursday night from November 2013 through April 2014 for the shelter. Councilor Voisin clarified the United Presbyterian Church typically hosted the emergency shelter.
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained there was potential liability allowing dogs in the shelter as well as liability not allowing service animals per 2010 ADA regulations. Insurance would cover a lawsuit over the deductible. Only two questions were allowed to determine if a dog was a service animal or not. One was whether the individual required an animal due to a disability. The second was what work or task was the animal trained to perform. The federal definition of a service animal was a dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Nothing in the definition required a certification card and per regulations, a person could not ask for certification if the dog had specific training. If a guest stated their dog was a service animal, the volunteer could ask the two questions and nothing more. Oregon law referenced an assistant animal as a dog.
Councilor Voisin/Marsh m/s to approve Resolution #2013-30. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin explained the other shelters in Ashland allowed dogs and had experienced no problems. Volunteers and guests at the City sponsored shelter signed a non-responsibility and non-liability statement. The Grove allowed dog training weekly without identification and many were troubled dogs. Insurance would cover the City if an incident occurred.
Councilor Marsh noted the City now had four months of experience with the shelter and the volunteers had hosted the shelter without incident.
Councilor Marsh/Voisin to amend the Resolution and delete Section 4(b) and amend Section 4(c) to read as the following: “Dogs in general must be leashed and under the control of the owner at all times while in the shelter.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh noted the volunteers running the shelter had proved themselves, were responsible, and provided adequate supervision. Council had heard the other shelters testify repeatedly they allowed dogs without incident. She did not want to create a quagmire for volunteers by delineating service dogs and imposing other requirements on the dog population. Volunteers would have to make an assessment whether a dog was a service animal, bring crates to the shelter, and take them away afterwards. If the rules in place were adequate for service dogs, they should be strong enough for the population as a whole. Councilor Voisin agreed and supported the amendment.
Councilor Lemhouse would not support the amendment. He agreed the City needed to allow service animals but did not believe it was prudent to put the City intentionally in a position of liability by allowing all dogs. The City shelter was a public entity. He was comfortable prioritizing risk in an emergency weather situation, but not for the weekly shelter. He strongly supported the shelter but was fearful one bad incident would stop the program and did not want to take that risk. Councilor Slattery was not in favor of eliminating dog crates. Volunteers could sign statements claiming they would not sue but that would not prevent them from suing. As a public entity, the City had different standards than the churches and allowing dogs put the program at risk. Roll Call Vote on amendment: Councilor Voisin, Rosenthal, Marsh, and Morris, YES; Councilor Slattery and Lemhouse, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to amend the main motion by removing Section 4 pertaining to dogs and consider it separately so Council could vote on the remaining Resolution.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse clarified he wanted to pass the winter shelter and have the opportunity to oppose allowing dogs. Councilor Marsh thought it was important to move forward together. Mr. Kanner noted Council had adopted Resolution 2013-28 that contained everything in the resolution before Council except the verbiage allowing dogs.
Roll Call Vote on amendment: Councilor Rosenthal, Marsh, Morris, Slattery, and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Council and staff discussed the how procedurally passing the proposed resolution and repealing Resolution 2013-28 replaced one version with the same since the section on allowing dogs was removed.
Councilor Marsh/Slattery m/s to call for the question. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Marsh, Morris, Slattery, and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Roll Call Vote to approve Resolution 2013-30 as amended: Councilor Rosenthal, Marsh, Morris, Slattery and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Voisin/Rosenthal m/s to add to the above approved Resolution the “Section 4 Dogs” as proposed by staff and delete Section 4(b) and change Section 4(c) to read as follows: “Dogs must be leashed and under control of the owner at all times while in the shelter.”
DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin thought since Council already voted on the amendment they should vote on it now and finish the process. Councilor Rosenthal agreed. Councilor Marsh clarified the motion was a separate vote adding Section 4 of the original resolution with caveat she had made earlier regarding leashes. Councilor Slattery did not support the motion but agreed Council should vote on it.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Rosenthal, Marsh, YES; Councilor Morris, Slattery, and Lemhouse, NO. Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote. Motion passed 4-3.
2. Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt the Housing Needs Analysis as a supporting document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan”
Councilor Morris/Voisin m/s to approve Ordinance #3085. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Marsh, Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Voisin, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
3. First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Section 2.19 of the Ashland Municipal Code dissolving the Housing Commission and creating the Housing and Human Services Commission”
Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid noted Resolution 2013-08 created a new Housing and Human Services Commission by merging the Housing and ad hoc Homelessness Steering Committee (HSC). The Committee and Commission met and reviewed mission statements, powers, and duties. They formed a sub-committee with two members from both the Housing Commission and HSC to create a mission statement, recommend powers, duties, and membership composition for the draft ordinance. The proposed ordinance incorporated the recommendations from the Housing Commission and HSC. Both groups recommended nine members. However, staff was proposing seven.
Housing Commission Chair and HSC member Regina Ayars supported combining the groups and thought the new commission should have nine members. HSC Co-Chair Rich Rhode also supported the new commission having nine members.
Councilor Rosenthal/Voisin m/s to approve First Reading by title only of an Ordinance titled “An Ordinance Amending Section 2.19 of the Ashland Municipal Code Dissolving the Housing Commission and creating the Housing and Human Services Commission consisting of nine appointed members and place on agenda for Second Reading.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal explained after reviewing what similar commissions did he supported nine members. Councilor Voisin thought staff wrote the proposed ordinance well and supported the motion. Councilor Lemhouse supported the concept but did not think the ordinance covered human services issues enough.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to remove Section 2.19.030(C). DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse explained reviewing and making recommendations regarding social service grant allocations was a function of the Budget Committee and sub-committee. Because it went into the main budget, he thought it should remain with that group. Councilor Slattery agreed and was interested in the Commission making recommendations to the Council and Budget Committee. City Attorney Dave Lohman clarified the proposed ordinance would allow the Housing and Human Services Commission to make recommendations only to Council.
Ms. Reid further clarified Section 2.19.030(C) did not intend to take the process from the Budget Committee only make recommendations similar to the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) and social services grants process. Councilor Slattery wanted the Housing and Human Services Commission to make recommendations for social services grants at the right time to the Social Service Grant Budget Sub-committee. Ms. Reid confirmed grantees could not apply for social service grants outside of Housing and Human Services.
Councilor Marsh thought Council needed to change the human service funding process. These were big decisions allocated to whoever volunteered from the Budget Committee and thought the Housing and Human Services Commission was better equipped for the task. She did not want to create a situation where the Housing and Human Services Commission was making recommendations while still going through the budget process. The question was too big to resolve in context of the resolution and suggested discussing it with the Budget Committee during the interim budget to determine the best process for allocating that money.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to amend the amendment by adding that the Council will address this particular duty within the year 2013. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin wanted to ensure the topic came back to Council for discussion. Councilor Lemhouse supported the amendment and possibly involving the Housing and Human Services Commission. Councilor Morris would not support the amendment citing there was not enough time. Councilor Voisin clarified her intention was allocating a Study Session or adding it to a regular meeting to discuss the parameters before going to the Budget Committee. Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Morris. Councilor Marsh noted the September 30, 2013 Budget Committee Budget Debrief and thought they could add the item to that agenda.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Voisin, Rosenthal, Morris, Marsh, and Slattery, YES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on amended amendment: Councilor Lemhouse, Voisin, Rosenthal, Morris, Marsh, and Slattery, YES.
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to amend the Ordinance under 2.19.010 Purpose and Mission as the follows: “The Housing and Human Services Commission is charged with assessing and addressing the continuum of housing and human service needs in the community for the purpose of enhancing community health and well being.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh did not think the words “poverty-driven” gave full range to the concerns Council expressed in the past. Using “enhancing community health and well being,” provided context on why the City had this community. Councilor Lemhouse agreed with Councilor Marsh and added the original purpose did not highlight the human services element as much he liked. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Morris, Marsh, and Slattery, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to add to Section 2.19.030 Powers and Duties the following: “To promote programs that assist seniors, children and children/families in need in regards to utility, medical, transportation, and food assistance.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse wanted to ensure the Commission took on these issues. Councilor Marsh supported the amendment. Councilor Lemhouse deferred to staff if they thought the amendment should replace 2.19.030(G) To foster public knowledge and support of official city housing and human service programs.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Morris, Voisin, Marsh, and Slattery, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to add to Section 2.19.030 Powers and Duties the following: “To monitor issues and report to Council regarding complaints or compliance of equal housing laws.”
DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse noted an incident of racial discrimination against renters that occurred in the past. Council did not receive notification of the situation and he wanted to ensure staff notified Council in the future and included incidents in an annual report. Councilor Marsh agreed it fell in the purview of the Housing Commission and now the new commission.
Councilor Voisin wanted to use the words “fair housing” instead of “equal housing.” Fair Housing included race and 7-8 other protected populations. Councilor Lemhouse responded the verbiage came from the federal equal housing laws under HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development). He was open to changing it if staff determined it was necessary.
Councilor Rosenthal thought the wording suggested a watchdog mentality and might imply investigative powers that could take on a life of its own. Councilor Lemhouse did not intend the Commission to have investigative powers but provide contact information for people that experienced discrimination or issues relating to equal housing. City Administrator Dave Kanner commented monitoring and reporting was significantly different from investigate and enforce. Staff would direct inquiries to the appropriate authorities and report back to Council on the complaints received and action taken. Councilor Rosenthal thought the amendment was too vague and with the absence of procedure and methodology would not support the amendment.
Ms. Reid explained the City received CDBG funds and was required to further affirm fair housing and have a fair housing piece. The City had a fair housing ordinance that did not require compliance regarding discriminatory issues but staff recommended and referred people to agencies for complaints like HUD, BOLI (Bureau of Labor and Industries), and the Fair Housing Council of Oregon. The Housing Commission helped craft the fair housing ordinance and reviewed all reports staff submitted to HUD regarding fair housing activities the City conducted that included fair housing trainings, outreach, education, and any activities where staff engaged the Fair Housing Council of Oregon. Ms. Reid received complaints and forwarded them to the proper agencies. In general, staff and the Housing Commission did not report complaints to Council. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Morris, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Rosenthal, Voisin, and Slattery, NO. Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote. Motion passed 4-3.
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to amend the motion and move Section 2.19.030 Powers and Duties (I) to position (A) under this section. DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh explained the Commission’s first responsibility was update and inform Council, make recommendations, and provide feedback regarding their work. Councilor Lemhouse agreed. Roll Call Vote on amendment: Councilor Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Voisin, Slattery, Morris, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on amended main motion: Councilor Lemhouse, Morris, Marsh, Rosenthal, Voisin, and Slattery, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Councilor Voisin announced the AIR (Ashland is Ready) event sponsored by the Fire Department Saturday September 7, 2013, the Women’s Self Defense Seminar September 20-21 at the Ashland Karate Academy and a presentation September 26 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. by Police Chief Terry Holderness on The Police and Homeless in Ashland at the United Methodist Church.
Meeting adjourned at 9:42 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor