MINUTES FOR THE ASHLAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION
1. Call to Order
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Chair Marni Koopman called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.
Commissioners Bryan Sohl, Shel Silberberg, Jim McGinnis, Mark Weir, Thomas Beam, Risa Buck, Jim Hartman, and Roxanne Beigel-Coryell were present. Councilor Rich Rosenthal and staff member Adam Hanks were present.
2. Consent Agenda
Beigel-Coryell/McGinnis m/s to approve the minutes of August 27, 2014 and October 23, 2014. Voice vote: All ayes. Motion passes.
The next meeting will be held one week early, on December 17, 2014, due to the Christmas holiday.
4. Public Forum
5. Reports/ Presentations/ Updates
– Rosenthal informed the group that currently the Council will be discussing Recology rate design options on December 2nd. At the December 16 Council meeting there will be a presentation by Senator Bates and Representative Buckley to discuss the upcoming legislative session. If there are any specific questions the group would like Councilor Rosenthal to bring up, please sent them to him via e-mail. On February 3rd there will be a presentation regarding the SOU co-gen project, though SOU will take comments at any time regarding the project. He reminded the group that the budget process will be starting soon.
Group discussed meeting with budget committee members to discuss the ad package related to conservation staff/consultant time.
McGinnis/Beigel-Coryell m/s to have commissioners meeting with Budget Committee member Runkel to inform him of the Commission’s request.
Discussion: Group discussed whether it would be more appropriate to talk to all committee members.
McGinnis/Beigel-Coryell agreed to amend their motion to meeting with as many members of the Budget Committee as is possible, within the Commission’s discretion.
Discussion continued: Group discussed creating an information sheet to aid in these discussions.
Voice Vote: all ayes. Motion passes.
City Conservation & Operations
- Hanks gave the group an overview of what will be going to Council regarding the Recology rate resolution update as well as the rate design possibilities. He informed the group that staff is starting on the fleet audit (going out for an RFP) and gave the group some details of what a typical audit does and does not include.
SOU Quarterly Report
- Beigel-Coryell informed the group that SOU Center for Sustainability is a runner-up on an award. They are also working with ODOT’s Drive Less, Connect program and launched a Raider Ride Share to help students make connections for carpooling. They are working with Chevrolet for carbon credits to sell. The sustainability council is working on a climate action fund for air travel offsets.
Downtown Cigarette Butt Container Project –
Hanks showed the group a sample of the containers. Currently there are six businesses sponsoring containers and they should go up before Thanksgiving. The group thanked Hanks and Beam for their persistence in this project. Beam stated that the goal is to continue to have good outreach with businesses so that new locations and sponsors can be identified.
– Koopman informed the group that they are currently working on the next steps for creating the plan. They are modeling the plan on Eugene and Corvallis. They would like to involve community and staff resources.
Group discussed how Council’s previous direction will work with or connect to the plan as it’s being created. The subcommittee hopes to have a draft for the full group to review at the next meeting.
6. Old Business
Sneak Preview Column
– Group gave Tom and Risa minor edits to their articles and thanked them both for writing columns.
Weir/Hartman m/s to approve the December and January columns with the minor edits presented. Voice Vote: all ayes. Motion passes.
Group determined that the calendar for the next few months will be:
- February (due to group in December): Climate & Energy - written by Hanks and Beam.
- March (due to group in January): Water conservation – written by Weir
- April (due to group in February): Preview of the Climate Action plan – written by Koopman an McGinnis
- May (due to group in March): Recycle center and schedule of composting classes – written by Buck
- June (due to the group in April): Litter and our streams – writer to be determined.
- Group discussed the BYOB program and how it’s going so far. Hanks stated that so far businesses like the program but some have complained about charging 10 cents for paper bags. He is working with them and the Chamber to come up with solutions and options for the businesses having struggles with the charge.
Carbon Fee/Dividend Discussion
– Group discussed what they would like to have as a result of this discussion. Group was concerned that this topic might be inappropriate as it doesn’t match with current commission goals or with Council direction. The group decided that this discussion is probably premature as the legislative request hasn’t been formally written yet. There was consensus, however, that no one wants to entirely leave or forget this topic.
Weir/Hartman m/s to have this topic on the December meeting agenda. Voice Vote: all ayes. Motion passes.
Hanks reminded the group that any articles, reports, etc. used for discussion purposes should be in the packet and so need to be submitted to him in time for inclusion. Group discussed whether this would put too much of a time-crunch on information gathering.
Hartman/Beigel-Coryell m/s to move this topic to the January meeting for easier agenda creation and inclusion of appropriate packet materials. Voice Vote: all ayes. Motion passes.
7. New Business
Calendar Discussion for 2015
- Hanks proposed do a “look ahead” similar to the City Council to aid the group in timing decision making. The group agreed that this would be useful. Hanks requested the group submit dates, events, topics, projects, etc. for inclusion.
– Hartman informed the group that at the last subcommittee meeting regarding this project they discussed how to build on some of last year’s successes as well as over-come some of the challenges. They propose doing an “Environmental Bee” similar in structure to a spelling bee. Give students concepts to learn, have teams of 4 compete in a quiz on those concepts. This should probably be limited to middle-school kids. The award would be recognition and some sort of nature award (gift certificate to something outdoor/active). The group would like to try and get the final round on public television. The subcommittee will meet again on December 2 at 4:00 pm in the upstairs City Hall conference room.
8. Wrap Up
Group discussed having the next meeting be a short meeting followed by a holiday party.
Group requested that a possible ban on gas-powered leaf blowers be on an upcoming agenda.
Meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.