Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Committee (View All)

Conservation Commission Meeting of August 28, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ashland Conservation Commission
Meeting Minutes
6:00-8:00pm – August 28, 2013
Community Development Building, Siskiyou Room
51 Winburn Way
  1. Call to Order
Meeting called to order at 6:00 by Commission Chair Weir.  In attendance: McGinnis, Hartman, Buck, Beigel-Coryell, Silverberg, Weir.  Staff – Hanks
  1. Consent Agenda / Reports
Commissioner Weir mentioned the consent items in the packet.  Buck motioned approval of the July 24, 2013 meeting minutes, second by Beigel-Coryell
  1. Announcements
Weir noted the next regular meeting date for the Commission was September 25th.  McGinnis stated that the Sustainability sub-committee will be meeting on the 4th and 18th of September at 2:00.  Buck mentioned that the BYOB sub-committee will meet on Sept 16th.  Weir also noted that he and Silverberg were scheduled as the guests on Mayor Stromberg’s Town Hall program on RVTV on Sept 11th.  Hanks mentioned that the Conservation Division’s new electric vehicle is in use and available to look over after the meeting.
  1. Public Forum
  1. Reports
Councilor Rosenthal reported to the Commission that the Council will be discussing how their goalsetting process connects with Commissions and how best to ensure the Commission work is understood, communicated and relatable to the overall goals of the Council.  McGinnis suggested and encouraged an annual review/report for the Commission to describe its goals and get feedback from Council about how it fits with overall Council goals.  Councilor Rosenthal thanked the Commission for its input and committed to keep the Commission informed as the issue moved forward.
Commissioner Beam, the Commission’s representative to the Council working group on the Recology Franchise Agreement was not in attendance so Weir asked Hanks to provide an update on the process.  Hanks stated that the Council will be reviewing the draft franchise and resolution, slightly modified from the version in the Commission’s July packet, in their September 16th study session and will be deliberating on the first reading of the ordinance at the September 17th business meeting.  Hanks noted that the working group will be meeting August 29th and with Beam not available, the Commission may want to designate someone to attend.  The Commission agreed to have Silverberg represent the Commission at that meeting.   Hanks also referred to the memo in the packet that resulted from Commission discussion at the June meeting that was provided to the working group for their consideration prior to the final draft document going to the Council.
  1. Old Business
BYOB – Plastic Bag Ban
Buck and Silverberg presented the preliminary direction the BYOB sub-committee is taking in regards to the Council request to research and provide recommendation on the recent request for the City of Ashland to institute a plastic bag ban.  Hanks referred the Commission to a memo from the sub-committee in the meeting packet that summarized the direction of  the sub-committee.  Buck mentioned that the sub-committee wants to ensure that regulations move in a positive direction and are encouraging good behavior, not just punishing the discouraged behavior.
The Commission discussed ways to education the community including the creation and distribution of free reusable bags as positive outreach.  Hanks noted Weir’s research indicating the importance of including a fee for the paper bags to further move towards the desired behavior change of reusable bags rather than either plastic or paper..
Hartman commented that he would like the recommendation to give a realistic purpose statement for the plastic ban, such as the litter issue and the problems plastic bags present to the recycling process, rather than the ocean issues stated by Environment Oregon.
Councilor Rosenthal mentioned that he feels it is important to include and emphasize the rationale for having the regulation and stated that he felt the work done to this point by the sub-committee was excellent.
McGinnis motioned for the Commission to accept the scope and direction of the memo provided by the sub-committee as presented.  Second was provided by Hartman with the motion passing unanimously.
Energy/Community Outreach
Silverberg stated that he became interested in researching possible project work for the Commission in this area from the TED talk presentation that was distributed via YouTube link to the Commission from OPower, a software firm that promotes active customer engagement in understanding and managing their electricity consumption.
Hanks noted that the Conservation Division has a very similar project identified and approved for funding in the current budget cycle  and will be developing and issuing a request for proposals (RFP) in the upcoming months.  Silverberg inquired about the marketing/rollout of the project and Hanks responded that the project timing and deliverables will be determined after the review and acceptance of the responses to the RFP.  Weir asked that the Commission be kept updated on the project, Hanks agreed.
  1. New Business
  1. Wrap Up
Meeting adjourned by Chair Weir at 8:05

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