Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, June 03, 2014


June 3, 2014
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Slattery, Rosenthal and Marsh were present. Councilor Lemhouse was absent.
Mayor noted that the City of Ashland has several Commissions that are in need of volunteers. These vacancies are the on the Airport, Conservation, Firewise, Forest Lands, Historic, Public Arts and Tree Commissions.
Councilor Rosenthal/Marsh m/s to remove item 2 under Ordinances, Resolutions and Contracts from tonight’s agenda and place on the August 5 Council meeting agenda for continuation of First Readings by title only of two separate ordinances amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan, Comprehensive Plan Maps, Transportation System Plan, and Street Standards to adopt the Normal Neighborhood Plan. At which time, the Normal Neighborhood Working Group will report to the Council. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Mayor placed additional item under the Consent Agenda for approval of appointments to Normal Neighborhood Project Working Group.
The minutes of the Study Session of May 19, 2014, Executive Session of May 19, 2014 and Business Meeting of May 20, 2014 were approved as presented.
Annual Presentation of the Band Board was presented by Band Board Director Don Bieghler. Mr. Bieghler shared history of the Band Board and his involvement in the Band over the many past years. He submitted for the record written history.
Proclamation of June 14, 2014 as Flag Day in Ashland was read aloud.
1.   Approval of commission, committee, and board minutes
2.   Liquor License Application for Kevin Broadie dba Saltworks, LLC
3.   Ambulance operator’s license renewal
4.   Award of contract to apparent low bidder for the Lori Lane Alley Connection project
5.   A resolution establishing rates for the Ashland Municipal Airport and repealing Resolution 2013 - 16
6.   Ratification of five-year labor contract with the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local No. 121
7.   A resolution exercising the Power of Eminent Domain for the Walker Avenue Safe Routes to School project
8.   Mayor’s appointment of Normal Neighborhood Project Working Group.
Council pulled items #5, #7 and #8 from the Consent Agenda for further discussion.
City Engineer Scott Fleury clarified that Skinner Aviation is the base operator for the City Airport and the City has a joint operation contract with Skinner Aviation.  Skinner Aviation provides the management and fixed/general base operation and the City provides maintenance.  There is a Service Contract between Skinner Aviation and the City to provide these services.  Mr. Fleury explained that the maintenance and service has been paid out of revenues and this last year a positive ending fund balance has been established.  He stated that bigger projects would be paid by the Ending Fund Balance.
In regards to the “Eminent Domain for the Walker Avenue Safe Routes to School Project,” Mr. Fleury explained that this is a “pass through” grant. Which means that Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAC) are under contract with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City pays ODOT directly for our part of the project is “matching funds.” The City’s portion of the cost is approximately $68,000 and could be higher, based on the negotiations of ODOT for costs associated with a permanent easement.
In regards to the mayor’s appointment of the Normal Neighborhood Project Working Group, comment was made that this is a positive approach and support was voiced for those that were appointed.  The importance on notification to all parties that have been involved and the ability for those that attend these meetings the opportunity for public input was noted.  It was understood that that there would be consistency in days and times for these meetings.
Councilor Slattery/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Public Hearing and approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution adopting a Miscellaneous Fees and Charges document and repealing prior fee resolution 2013-17”
Finance Director Administrative Services Lee Tuneberg presented the staff report.  He explained that the intent was to provide one document where all these fees could be found and that the fees have been adjusted accordingly and have been incorporated in to the appropriate department budgets.
Request that old and new fees are differentiated and that staff provide rationale on fees, increase of cost and using CPI as basis for increasing fees. Mr. Tuneberg addressed concerns voiced and determination by departments on the necessity of increasing fees. He explained the cost of fees varies by department and that staff does their best job of identifying and explaining these increases on an annual basis.  All increases are based on the originating ordinance, which set the various fees per department.  He suggested that if council had any specific questions, then that department could provide the explanation on the increase of fees.
In the future, it was suggested that staff provide additional information on the rationale used when increasing or adding fees.  Current examples of how information was provided by some departments was pointed out and found helpful.
Corrections under Business License Fees: Rental Property fees is incorrect and Vacation Rental Fees should be noted; on page 28 Special Events Permits should indicate”60% of city staff O/T” and replacement page for Electric-Line Extension Charges should be included in the new fee version.  Concern was voiced that the Renewable Energy Systems fees were high and should be consistent with other communities.  Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the formula for these fees were developed by a former Building.  Staff will review further. Electric Distribution System Manager Warren DiNapoli clarified that the Denergize Service Fee was new and that costs were estimates based on different types of services that were being provided.
Public Hearing Open: 7:53 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:53 p.m.
Councilor Marsh/Morris m/s to approve Resolution #2014-07. DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh commended staff for keeping fees low when possible. Roll Call Vote: Morris, Marsh, Voisin, Slattery and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
Lisa Rand/343 W Nevada Street/Shared with the council her serious allergy to bee.  Her allergy gets worse as time goes by and she has to carry medication with her at all times.  She stated that a neighbor had previously had beehives, but removed them.  Recently, this same neighbor installed another beehive without her knowledge.  She voiced her concern regarding the seriousness of her allergy and the fear she now has when accessing any area within her yard.  She stated that she has lived in a state of panic since the beehive was installed and asked why the council had removed the section from the recently passed ordinance that required notification to neighbors when a beehive has been installed.  She is seeking legal remedy to the situation.
1.   Adoption of the City’s self-insurance health plan for the plan year July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015
City Administrator Dave Kanner presented staff report and explained that the requested changes to the plan are all administrative changes and must adopt a plan document annually. There is no legal requirement but it is important that employees have ability to see their plan. There is periodic review by the Employee Health Benefits Advisory Committee (EHBAC) and the have reviewed the suggested administrative changes.  These changes include a rewrite in the appeal process, which gives the City a role in the appeal process and an administrative change in order to comply with Affordable Care Act.  There is no anticipated cost increase to the employees.
Councilor Voisin stated that the City provides a very good policy and that the City is the trustee of the policy.  She requested information on when any future discussions by the EHBAC and if it were possible if a councilor could be part of the committee.  Councilor Voisin had submitted some questions by email to Mr. Kanner and he stated that some answers to questions had been provided which he sent out to all the council.  He had not been able to spend much time on the questions as he was working on it at the end of the day prior to this council meeting.
Mr. Kanner provided information on the amount of claims paid to-date of approximately $3million and there are transfer showing reserve funds in the health benefit fund.  He explained that it is required to have a reserve fund to health benefits, which would provide for any insured claims at the end of a budget cycle.  All departments are billed for their portion of the health insurance in the same manner as previously. He clarified that the council was being asked to approve a plan document and provided assurance that the plan was being managed in a responsible financial way.
It was suggested that this discussion item be scheduled for a Study Session, as there are many portions of this plan, which the council may want to review/question.  These include demographic age, cost of coverage, equivalency of coverage, ability of council member to sit on committee, cost of appeals, amount paid in claims, revenue received, etc.
Mr. Kanner stated that it would not be appropriate for a councilor to be on the committee as it is an “Employee” Health Benefits Advisory Committee, which was established by Administrative Policy. Staff was requested to provide a definition for “employees” and how it relates to definition of councilors as "employees".
Mr. Kanner clarified that the City Administrator would participate in the appeal process and, as the employer would be entitled to have knowledge of employee medical conditions as it affects their employment.  He stated that the plan is consistent with other self-insured plans and that the committed has reviewed and recommended the proposed changes to the plan.
Support was voiced to schedule a Study Session for further discussion and additional information…
Councilor Slattery/Marsh m/s to approve 2014-2015 City of Ashland self-insured health benefit plan with the two modifications recommended by the Employee Health Benefits Advisory Committee.  Roll Call Vote: Rosenthal, Marsh, Voisin, Slattery and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
2.   Update from the Housing and Human Services Commission regarding the development of the Strategic Social Services Grant review
Housing Specialist Linda Reid and Housing and Human Resources Commission Chair Regina Ayars presented an update from the Commission and request that the Council approve their drafting of a strategic plan for the use of social service grant funds. Ms. Ayars explained that at the request of the Council for their Commission to provide an analysis of the current social service grant programs, it was determined by the Commission that a Strategic Plan would help to address several criteria as well as recommended broad goals and outcomes for future grant funded projects.
Ms. Reid explained that part of the process is to gather demographic data, “point and time” count along with general demographics.  She explained that they do have a large amount of data at this point.  It was noted the importance of identifying the needs in our communities along with feedback regarding what needs are not being met.
The plan will provide the following:
  • What is the history and background of Ashland’s social service program?
  • What is the application process?
  • How is the Ashland community benefitting from the grant awards?
  • Should the criteria for award target particular community needs?

The Commission is requesting direction from Council and approval for taking the steps necessary to providing a Strategic Plan prior to the social service grant process begin.
Council liaison Marsh stated that this is a good plan that will be very valuable and noted that the last plan was done in the year 2000.  Councilors voiced their appreciation for the work done by the Commission and that a Strategic Plan is a good direction.  It was suggested that the Commission might want to contact former Councilor Cate Hartzell who would be a good resource for this plan.
Discussion was held on how to handle agencies that handle multiple funding and the difficulty in measuring the results on how the funds were spent.  Ms. Reid stated that statistics could be provided by the various agencies as they all track funding.  She used the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding as an example of how funds are tracked.  It was requested that when data is being collected, that specific targets include individuals not usually identified. These targets could include high schools, those that work with “at risk” individuals, and to be as broad as possible when gathering data outside the known agencies.
Councilor Voisin/Marsh m/s to direct the Housing and Human Services Commission to undertake the development of a strategic plan for the use of social service grant funds to bring back to the council for consideration. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 2.26, Firewise Commission to Ashland Wildfire Mitigation Commission”
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve Ordinance #3095. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Rosenthal, Morris, Voisin and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
2.   First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to add a Normal Neighborhood Plan designation to Chapter II [Introduction and Definitions], change the Comprehensive Plan map designation for approximately 94 acres of land within the City of Ashland Urban Growth Boundary from Single Family Residential and Suburban Residential to the Normal Neighborhood Plan designations, and adopt the Normal Neighborhood Plan framework as a support document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan”

First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the Street Dedication Map, Planned Intersection and Roadway Improvement Map, and Planned Bikeway Network Map of the Ashland Transportation System Plan for the Normal Neighborhood Plan area, and amending Street Design Standards within the Street Standards Handbook to add a new Shared Street classification”
Item removed from agenda.
Councilor Rosenthal extended an invitation from the Conservation Commission to meet the two winners of the All School sustainability Competition on June 7 5 p.m. at Mix’s on the plaza.
Councilor Marsh reminded all of the celebration of the Calle on June 11 at 5:30 p.m.
City Recorder Barbara Christensen announced the first day of filing for City of Ashland elected offices that begin on June 4.
Mayor Stromberg reported that he had participated in a call-in regarding a proposed wildfire bill that would allow access to FEMA funds rather than the budget of the State Forest Service for total cost of wildfires.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:46 p.m.
_________________________________                  ________________________________
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor

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