MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
October 16, 2001 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison and Hearn were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 2, 2001 were approved with the following amendments: Mike Bianca should be identified as Police Lieutenant rather than Captain; page 4 of 5 under motion regarding Perozzi property should reflect Councilor Hartzell being kept up-to-date rather than the Parks Director.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Proclamations for November 2 through 4, 2001 as "Wings of Hope" Brain Restoration Weekend, October 23 through October 31, 2001 as National Red Ribbon Celebration Week, and October 21 through 27, 2001 as World Population Awareness Week were presented.
Herman Edel spoke promoting the "Wings of Hope" Brain Restoration Resolution, and Stephanie Pump, Director of Southern Oregon Drug Awareness, promoted the National Red Ribbon Celebration Week by presenting the Council with ribbons and pins.
Mayor DeBoer recognized Larry Johnson for his 22 years of service with the City of Ashland, in the Public Works Department, as a Water Treatment Operator.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Liquor License application from Patrick Smith, Lithia Restaurants, Inc. dba/Tabu.
3. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Dick Wanderscheid as Electric and Telecommunications Director.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to pull item #3 from Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 & #2. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Russ Silbiger/562 Ray Lane/Spoke regarding the appointment of Dick Wanderscheid to the position of Electric and Telecommunications Director. He suggested that the AFN Advisory Committee was not consulted about what qualities the Director should possess. He cited various concerns about Wanderscheid's experience and recent performance, and stated his opinion that the Council's appointment of Wanderscheid is a mistake.
Reid commented that the Selection Committee, which included Steve Belsky, a member of the AFN Committee, came to unanimous agreement on the appointment of Wanderscheid, and expressed her pleasure in confirming his appointment. Mayor DeBoer noted his support of Wanderscheid's appointment, and expressed confidence in his abilities.
Councilors Reid/Hanson m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #3. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
Noah Dussell/Homeless/Spoke regarding his love for Oregon and voiced his concern for the sustainable environment of Oregon. He noted water needs, protecting the integrity of the Ashland Watershed, efficient use of lighting, need for fertile soil, parking structures and various other environmental issues.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Update on water use.
City Administrator Greg Scoles noted that Public Works Director Paula Brown is on military leave and submitted a memo regarding water usage.
Scoles noted that water use remains low (3.3 million gallons per day per day or so) and recommends releasing Water Curtailment Stage 1allocations, but retaining the No Water Waste Provisions until the reservoir climbs from its present 63% to about 73% of storage capacity. Inflow is currently approximately 3.5 million gallons per day. He noted that with the last billing cycle for water use, all users showed below the chart for water usage.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to rescind Stage 1 Water Curtailment and hold in place the No Waste Provisions the reservoir is at 73% capacity. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Designation of voting delegate for Annual Business Meeting at League of Oregon Cities conference.
Councilors Reid/Hanson m/s to designate Hartzell as the voting delegate for the Annual Business Meeting at the LOC conference.
Councilors Reid/Morrison m/s to designate Cameron to serve as alternate. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
3. Appointment of Citizens' Budget Committee Member for a term to expire December 31, 2003.
Applications from Ron Hulteen, 87 Granite Street, Raymond Olson, 735 Glenwood Drive, and Craig Gorson, 1000 Clay Street, were received for consideration of appointment.
Laws requested the appointment be postponed due to lack of sufficient applicants with both experience and residency of longer than one year in the City, noting he would like a larger pool of applicants to choose from. Reid noted the impressive resumes of the applicants, and said she supported moving forward but would defer to Laws' request for postponement. Hartzell expressed her pleasure with Ray Olson's background in terms of nonprofit experience, but noted her desire for a more diversified and balanced committee in terms of gender. Hanson commented on how reopening the application process would affect the fairness of the process. Hearn suggested that when a position is advertised and people don't submit an application that perhaps it is for a reason.
Reid/Hanson m/s to nominate Ray Olson to the Citizen's Budget Committee for a term to expire December 31, 2003. DISCUSSION: Laws stated that it is the responsibility of Council to make sure we get the best, and that the Council needs to be more proactive in seeking applications. Hartzell noted it is the Council's responsibility to make sure the Citizen Budget Committee reflects the diversity of the community and that she supports reopening application process. Hanson stated that if the Council should become more proactive it would be more appropriate to do so on the next appointments. Reid noted that diversity is more than gender and that she would like to move forward with Ray Olsen for the Budget Committee. Voice Vote: Reid, Hanson, Morrison, Hearn AYES. Hartzell, Laws NO. Motion passed 4 to 2.
Mayor DeBoer commented that Citizen Budget Committee meetings are open to the public and that anyone can attend and be a part of the process.
4. Report on the status of Electric Rates for Fiscal Year 2001-2002 and Update on the City's Increased Conservation Efforts.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg briefly reported on electric rates and budgeting, including the effect of the July 1, 2001, base charge and surcharge increases, and energy conservation efforts. He stated that the staff recommendation, based on the balance of anticipated current year revenues and operational needs within the adopted FY 2001-02 budget, is for no additional electric rate increases during fiscal year 2001-20012.
Electric and Telecommunication Director Dick Wanderscheid reported on current energy conservation, funding issues, and energy assistance. He noted proposed efforts for increasing conservation by increasing staffing and program offerings.
Councilors Laws/Morrison m/s to accept staff recommendation for no additional electric rate increase for the fiscal year 2001-2002. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
5. First Addendum to Oregon Shakespeare Festival Lease.
Councilors Hanson/Hartzell m/s to postpone the item until first Council meeting in November. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Philip Lang/758 B Street/Stated his opinion that the proposed amendment doesn't correct three problems with the lease: 1) No determination that the public interest will be served has been done. 2) Lack of consideration of land or money for use. 3) Lack of public access. He concluded that the lease serves a narrow, short-term interest of OSF and is against the best interest of the majority of tax paying citizens of Ashland.
Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/Spoke about various problems with the lease and addendum in regard to the planning application, including property line issues, utility line easements, and the Big Box Ordinance. He concluded that the lease addendum still needs a lot of work.
City Attorney Paul Nolte noted that he would not be present for the first meeting in November.
Councilors Hanson/Hartzell m/s to postpone the item until second Council meeting in November. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First Reading by title only of "An Ordinance Adding Chapter 6.42 to the Ashland Municipal Code to Regulate Vendors of Tobacco Products and Chapter 10.114 to Prohibit Smoking in Specific Outdoor Public Places."
Councilor Hanson motion to table the Ordinance indefinitely. Motion died due to lack of second.
Sally Jones/323 Maple Street/A health educator, spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance and noted the highly addictive qualities of tobacco products.
Meghan Thivierge/360 Morton Street/A student from Ashland High School, spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance, noting that smoking is a problem at the school.
Michael Welch/1104 Reddy, Medford/Owner of Puff's in Ashland, spoke in opposition of proposed ordinance and questioned the accuracy of various statistics and statements in the Ordinance. He noted that present State and Federal law already deals with most issues in the ordinance. He stated that his store exclusively serves adults, does not permit access to minors unaccompanied by adults, and that the vendor assisted sale portion of the proposed ordinance is not relevant to his store and would put him in violation of contracts with his vendors. He suggested licensing fees should be set before the passing of ordinances.
Amanda Thiel-Setteberg/251 Village Park Drive/A student from Ashland High School, spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance, noting the high percentage of teen smokers.
Rebeckan Gomez/390 Hemlock Lane/Spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance and commented that underage smokers do have access to tobacco.
Russ Silbiger/562 Ray Lane/Spoke regarding his support of the ordinance and enforcing law in not allowing access to tobacco products by minors. He noted that the owner of Puff's has valid concerns and that the ordinance needs some tweaking. He suggested that state revenue received from state tobacco sales be used to counteract the use of tobacco products.
Pat Kirkpatrick/495 Carmen Rd, Talent/Co-Owner of Minute Market businesses in the valley, noted his continued education of employees on the sale of tobacco products to minors. He noted that there are current state and federal laws in effect and that passing this ordinance addresses only half of the problem. He believes that the kids must be held accountable by enforcing laws we already have. He stated his pride in his company, his employees, and the actions they have taken on their own to deal with the problem.
Ben Benjamin/323 Maple/Read statistical information on the effects of tobacco smoking and personal health. He supported taking measures to inhibit access to tobacco products and voiced his support for proposed ordinance.
Graham Lewis/1284 Orchid/Voiced support for proposed ordinance and commented on how it was up to the adult community to be responsible for setting boundaries and helping our youth live within those boundaries.
Kaaren Borsting/602 Glenwood Drive/Spoke in support of the ordinance and submitted charts to the Council summarizing the results of a survey on tobacco issues conducted by a SOU sociology class. She suggested that adult-only tobacco stores be granted waivers, and commented on her recent visits to local tobacco retailers and their concerns about police enforcement and fee levels.
Phyllis Simpler/610 E Main/Spoke in opposition of the proposed ordinance. She explained a program, Cops N Shops, used by the City of Roseburg, which resulted in an 80% reduction in violations. The program, a collaboration of Roseburg's retailers and City police, put undercover officers in stores as clerks to make on the spot citations to minors attempting to purchase illegal products. She requested that a similar program be put in place rather than passing of additional laws penalizing retailers.
Judy Blickenstaff/426 Euclid Avenue/A nurse practitioner at Ashland High School, commented that although there are retailers who are stringent about selling to minors, there are some who are not.
Marcus Welch/900 Murphy/Spoke in opposition to the proposed ordinance, noting personal accountability issues, unnecessary costs to local businesses, and enforcement problems. He urged the Council to oppose the ordinance.
Michael Welch/1104 Reddy/Commented positively on Minute Market's proactive actions and noted that as long as there is a demand for products, there will always be individuals who will break the law for the product.
Hartzell and City Attorney Nolte asked clarification on Puff's various policies concerning minors. Welch reiterated his policy on admittance of minors to his store and explained his carding, tobacco product sales, and signage policies. He noted his willingness to provide additional signage stating access limits to his establishment. Blickenstaff clarified for Hartzell the method used for gathering the statistics contained in the handouts provided to the Council, explaining that 200 people were polled via the phone with 140 of those responding.
DeBoer commented on the responsibilities of local, state and federal entities in passing and enforcing laws. He did not favor an ordinance that deals only with Ashland minors rather than all minor children, and thought all cities should address the issue at the state level rather than locally. He requested the Council drop the ordinance from first reading, noting his willingness to take on the task to try and enforce the rules and protect children from tobacco.
Hanson read from ORS 431.853, a law regulating the retail sale of tobacco, including licensing, and grounds for license revocation. He noted that enforcement is the key, not more regulation. Reid questioned if the ordinance penalizes the majority of businesses in order to punish a few, and if there are regulations in place already that could take care of the problem. Police Chief Scott Fleuter noted his perception that the difference between what exists and what is in the proposed ordinance, is that currently only the clerk selling and the minor buying, are penalized. The proposed ordinance would also penalize the store owner. City Attorney Paul Nolte noted that he didn't think that a license is required from the State or OLCC for retailers to sell tobacco. Pat Kirkpatrick clarified that he pays a licensing fee to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, that the OLCC has the authority to pull licenses and to ticket, and that he also pays a licensing fee of $250 per year to the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire Arms. He noted that the OLCC is in charge of enforcement, and that businesses can be fined.
Laws requested that further clarification is needed, due to the conflicting information being presented, before proceeding.
Councilors Laws/Morrison m/s to approve first reading of ordinance and place on agenda for second reading.
DISCUSSION: Hearn suggested, for consistency, that since "chewing tobacco" was taken out of the proposed ordinance, "smokeless tobacco" should also be removed. Reid wondered if some outdoor smoking prohibitions might be too restrictive, and expressed a desire for further clarification on various issues. Hartzell noted that she is not in favor of the ordinance in its present form and suggested various changes, including clarification of the second section, eliminating 10.114.040, and changing some of the language. Laws questioned the consensus regarding various outdoor venues. DeBoer noted that the School District rules prohibit smoking on all School District property. Morrison spoke regarding areas where "captive" individuals might be affected and noted that definitions need additional work. He suggested focusing on the first section and dropping the second.
Councilors Laws/Hearn m/s to amend the motion by removing Section 2 from the ordinance. Roll Call Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Council vote on amended motion. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Morrison and Hearn AYES, Hanson NO Motion passed 5 to 1.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution of intention to provide for improvements to Strawberry Lane, Nutley Street, Alnut Street, Scenic Avenue, and Westwood Street consisting of curbs, gutters, storm drains, paving and sidewalks; and setting a Public Hearing."
Reid disclosed that she is a property owner in the proposed LID district.
Councilors Hanson/Morrison m/s to approve Resolution #2001-29. Roll Call Vote: Hanson, Hartzell, Hearn, Laws, Morrison and Reid. All AYES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
DeBoer noted a letter concerning rescheduling the Big Box study session on the 7th of November. City Administrator Greg Scoles commented that December 5th is a possibility.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to extend the meeting past 10:00 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Council briefly discussed time frame and sidewalk consistency issues with the Strawberry Lane LID.
Morrison noted that he had talked with the ODOT District 8 Manager concerning the State's current policy on Zebra crosswalks, and the possibility obtaining a deviation.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:07 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer