Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting

Monday, July 28, 2014

City of Ashland
July 28, 2014

Present:     Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Lewis, Seffinger, Shaw; Interim Director Robertson; Superintendent Dickens
Absent:      City Council Liaison: Mayor John Stromberg; Superintendent Dials

Seffinger called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

Study Session – June 16, 2014
MOTION Landt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Shaw seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes

Regular Meeting – June 23, 2014
MOTION Shaw moved to approve the minutes as presented. Landt seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes




Robertson provided a brief update on the Parks Director recruitment: 78 applications were received; eight candidates were interviewed the first day and three finalists the second day. The field was narrowed to one and an offer letter extended. Background checks were underway and reference checks would follow. If everything went well, the candidate could be announced soon.


Robertson said a Lithia Park filming request was received that included use of small supplemental lights. Since lights were beyond the scope of staff-level approval, the request was brought before the commission. Lesko hoped to shoot during the early mornings of August 13 and 14 in upper Lithia Park. Robertson said staff planned to schedule reviews of Parks filming and amplification policies in the fall timeframe. He recommended approval of the current filming request as proposed.
Ashland resident and filmmaker Joel Lesko of SunShower Productions, Inc. provided additional details about his filming request. He said the lights would be small and battery operated.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt said his goal was to support the local filming industry and Lesko’s project; however, a Parks policy stipulated that no light could shine directly off Parks property. He asked if Lesko could film in that manner. Lesko said the lights could be directed downward, thereby reducing shadows. Lewis said Lesko’s letter of request addressed the Parks Commission policy for filming and photography and was fairly benign. He suggested reviewing the policy to adjust it for current technologies. He spoke in favor of supporting the local film industry.

MOTION Shaw moved to approve the filming project as stated in the staff memo and as revised by Mr. Lesko, with staff working out the details with Lesko. Gardiner seconded the motion.

AMENDMENT TO MOTION Landt suggested an amendment in which lighting would be consistent with the Parks Commission’s lighting policy. Gardiner seconded the amendment to the motion.
The vote was: All yes

On behalf of Dials, Robertson welcomed Recreation Coordinator Lonny Flora.
Flora talked about the proposed purchase of ice rink scooters to serve as aids for less experienced skaters. The scooters would potentially feature front-view advertisements. Businesses could fill those spaces with ads and the ads could remain for the lifetime of each scooter. Staff proposed a $150 advertising fee to include development of a decal using approved logos. Staff solicited feedback from the Chamber of Commerce and learned that the price point sounded appropriate and businesses would probably be receptive. The deadline for applications would be October 3, 2014. Staff was requesting commission direction in terms of soliciting businesses to purchase the ads. The goal would be to recover more costs and expand ice rink programming.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt voiced his preference for broadening the discussion: either open Ashland parks to this type of commerce or not. Shaw said the commission already approved an advertising banner on the back infield at Hunter Park to support Ashland Little League’s programs and scholarships. He said the proposed scooters would be a smaller enterprise and the logo could be approved by staff. Gardiner said the commission opened the door for this type of enterprise when the baseball field banner was approved. He voiced support for entrepreneurial ventures such as the ice scooters with ads but asked how to best manage such requests: piecemeal or as a whole? He said another advertising trend for Parks included ads on golf course holes. Gardiner suggested allowing a one-year trial for the ice rink scooters featuring local ads. Lewis echoed Gardiner’s sentiments, adding that the ice rink sponsorship by Ashland Rotary was another precursor to the current request. For a future review of this topic, he suggested including everything allowed so far, including Little League fields and concessions and the Rotary ice rink sponsorship. The review could include every similar decision made and a discussion about restricting or liberalizing such practices. Seffinger said the Budget Committee talked about rewarding Parks for incentivizing parks. She asked whether the commission wished to vote on this tonight or talk about it at a future study session and develop a policy. Landt asked if the scooters could be purchased in the near future, with an overall policy developed at a later time.

Robertson said Parks owed it to the community and the Budget Committee to consider this option. He suggested purchasing the scooters soon and deciding on the policy later. Flora said staff was considering buying 20 scooters at $150 each. The price included shipping and handling, administrative fees and decals. Initial scooters would be for smaller people but adult-size scooters could also be purchased. Rental fees for the public would be minimal. Seffinger suggested providing scooters for disabled teens; Flora concurred.

Robertson said staff would be drafting a policy for commission review. Lewis suggested including advertisements in the seasonal recreation guides. Seffinger suggested posting advertisements at the Dog Park.

Dickens said the swans departed from Lithia Park ten years earlier but swans remained in the logo. Staff had been working with Promotions Coordinator Dorinda Cottle to develop a new logo. Natural elements were explored rather than trendy choices. Dickens referred the commission to logo samples presented in meeting packets. Proposed logos for Parks and the golf course included evergreen and oak tree boughs and a single or double pine cone or acorn with the name of each organization. Similar colors were used for both logos. Draft logos were mounted on sample shirts for the commission’s review at the July 21 study session. If approved, the logos would be used for the branding of Ashland Parks and Recreation: in publications, on vehicles and clothing, on stationery, and more. Dickens recommended commission approval of new logos for the department and the golf course.

Discussion Among Commissioners
For the Parks logo, commissioners debated whether to center the “Ashland” or to place it off-center across the top-right section. Gardiner said he preferred a centered “Ashland,” similar to the golf course logo. Other commissioners either preferred an off-center “Ashland” or had no strong preference. Commissioners debated the size of the foliage branches and pine cone (smaller or larger).

MOTION Shaw moved to approve a revised Parks logo (option #2) in color with an off-centered “Ashland,” a larger pinecone and the inclusion of “Est 1908.”

The vote was:
Landt, Lewis, Shaw, Seffinger – yes / Gardiner - no

Robertson said the new logo would also be used on park signs throughout the system. He reminded the commission that staff would also need to work with a professional consultant on the creation of a style guide for the department.

As of July 23, Robertson said Reeder Reservoir was at 98% capacity. He read through the staff report prepared by Irrigation Manager Bill Miller. Citizens had been responsive to the request for a reduction in water usage due to the drought. The TAP project (Talent / Ashland / Phoenix water pipeline construction) was going well.

Lewis said he found the drought update valuable; he asked for another one in August.

Landt said the information provided by staff could be found on two different websites: USGS and the City of Ashland. He reported visiting those sites daily. He asked when the TID water would be shut off for the season; Robertson said approximately September 15.

Dogs Subcommittee Report and Next Steps

Shaw said the Dogs Subcommittee (Seffinger and Shaw plus staff assistants Robertson and Dickens) met at the “Rocky Top” area of North Mountain Park on Thursday, July 17. The area, situated adjacent to a neighborhood, included a playground and grassy area within the park land. A Woof Waste station had been installed in that section at one time but then removed. The subcommittee looked at the Rocky Top area and felt it was similar to a neighborhood park. The subcommittee discussed recommending that the upper portion become a dog-friendly area, leaving the lower park off-limits to dogs. For the time being, the subcommittee was waiting for feedback from the homeowners’ association about their preferences for that area. Comments had been heard on both sides of the issue.

Dickens reported receiving feedback from the homeowners’ association president for the Village Green Drive neighborhood. Neighbors were largely in favor of having it become a dog friendly area, with a Woof Waste station installed and leash law and cleanup rules enforced. They also wished to abide by whatever process or rules the commission chose to implement.

Ashland Creek Park Groundbreaking Report
Dickens said the Ashland Creek Park project was moving along and contractors Roxy Ann Rock received a notice to proceed earlier that day. Lead contractor Wes Norton would need to present his bond before the project could begin. The state historic preservation office (SHPPO) was in favor of the project as long as an archaeologist was on hand to monitor progress. Robertson said the community gardens had been closed down the previous day. When asked about the soil, Robertson said it would be replaced with fresh soil.

Land Acquisition Subcommittee
Landt asked staff to schedule a Land Acquisition Subcommittee meeting with Landt and Shaw later in the week.

Budget Committee Meeting Report

Landt said he attended the Budget Committee meeting of July 24 along with Seffinger. Discussion points relating to Parks included incentivizing parks and completing the approval of the City / Parks Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Landt had hoped to include the MOU on the evening’s Parks Commission regular meeting agenda but it was too short a turnaround time for proper public noticing. He suggested converting the August 18 study session to a special meeting to allow for Parks Commission approval of the City / Parks MOU. Landt also suggested approving the Parks Director appointment at that time.
  • Special meeting set for August 18 at 7:00 p.m., Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topics:
    • Parks Director Appointment
    • City / Parks MOU Approval
  • Regular meeting set for August 25 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street. Topics:
    • Land Acquisition Subcommittee Report
    • Drought Update
By consensus, with no further business, Seffinger adjourned the meeting at 8:02 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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