Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Committee (View All)

Conservation Commission Meeting

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
1. Call to Order
Chair Marni Koopman called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room. 
Commissioners Mark Weir, Thomas Beam, Risa Buck, Jim McGinnis, Jim Hartman, Roxane Beigel-Coryell, Bryan Sohl and Shel Silberberg were present. Councilor Rich Rosenthal and staff member Adam Hanks were present.
2. Announcements
The next meeting will be a week early, on November 19th due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The sustainability subcommittee will be on November 19th as well.
The Center for Sustainability’s Fall Fair is Friday, October 24th, from 4 -7 p.m.
SOU is holding a forum on November 12th at 6:00 p.m. in the Rogue River room regarding their potential co-gen plant project.
The anti-idling program is moving forward. They are hoping Public Works could fund the new (or revised) signs. Wier/Hartman m/s to request that the City work with Cat to support signage for an anti-idling program at Helman School, within reason. Discussion: Group discussed why this isn’t at all schools, were reminded that the School Board requested that they try this as a pilot program, and that if it’s successful, they will move on to the other schools. Voice Vote: 8 ayes, 1 no (Beam). Motion carries.
3. Public Forum
4. Reports/ Presentations/ Updates
Council Update – Rosenthal reviewed the Recycle Center recommendations, approved by the City Council on October 21st.  The Council also approved the divestments resolution. The Council recommended that the people requesting Ashland become a Bee City USA pursue this with the Parks Commission, as they have control over most of the things the group is concerned with.
Rosenthal let the group know that the Council will be approving their strategic planning goals at the November 4th Council meeting. He recommended that the commission keep an eye on those goals.
Recology – Buck gave information regarding the Leaf Drop-Off days, the pre-paid leaf bag program, and the option of short-term green bin service. She showed the group a series of videos she’s working to be shown on SOPT broadcasts. As those broadcasts go to more than just Ashland residents, they needed to be fairly broad.
Buck informed the group that Recology will be changing its name to “Recology Ashland”. She and Hanks discussed some of the changes DEQ will be making regarding diversion rates. She would like to have this topic on a future agenda, once things are settled.
Buck thanked Beam for contribution of cloth napkins to the Salmon Festival. Said it went well and that his car wash demo was requested for next year’s event.
Climate/Energy Sub-committee – McGinnis informed the group that the sub-committee is starting to morph into the new subcommittee, based on Council’s STARR framework request. The group will use the framework as they proceed. They are hoping to talk to Council individually, in November or December to move ahead with the ½ FTE employee (or consultant) addition in the upcoming budget process.
5. Old Business
Commission Goals – Group worked on assignments and timelines for each of the proposed goals. Group decided to pull in people from the community to assist on the events when they can.
Sneak Preview Column – Hartman showed the group the published version of the first column and let them know that a picture can be included. Hanks informed the group he column on BYOB just before the meeting. Hartman reminded the group to let him know what topic they would like to write and what month they would like it to be published.
6. New Business
Carbon Fee/Divided – Group discussed the information which was included in the packet. Sohl requested they hold off until the report due to the state legislature is published, which is expected at the end of November. In general, the group is supportive of a carbon tax but want a better understanding of  the proposals as well as the potential pit-falls. Group agreed to wait until the legislative report is published and to have a full discussion with folks from all sides.
Weir/Hartman m/s to add this to the December meeting with a minimum of 45 minutes of discussion. Discussion: Is it okay with the group for Sohl to send info from legislature before hand? Yes. Group discussed whether they needed to set up this discussion with a different format, more of an expert panel. Group decided this was unnecessary at this time. Weir/Hartman agreed to amend the original motion to include that equal amounts of time be allotted to each commissioner’s discussion time. New motion reads, “move to add this to the December meeting with a minimum of 45 minutes of discussion, with equal amounts of time to be allotted to each commissioner.” Voice Vote: 8 ayes, 1 no (Beam). Motion passes.
Bee City USA Proposal – group agreed to leave this decision up to the Parks Commission, particularly after Council’s discussion and decision.
Meeting adjourned at 7:59 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,                               
Diana Shiplet
Executive Secretary

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