MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
Monday, January 5, 2015
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.
Councilor Morris, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, Marsh, and Voisin were present. Councilor Seffinger was absent.
Jason Houk/137 5th Street/
- Public Input
Addressed the Police Chief recruitment. Ashland was a diverse community and dealt with big city issues that included capital crimes, murders, and disappearances and needed a candidate that could deal with these issues. In addition, a social justice community would be pushing the limits in the near future. The candidate needed to be tolerant, able to deal with issues of homelessness and mental health illnesses. The current police chief focused on community policing and he hoped that continued with the new chief.
2. Look Ahead review
City Administrator Dave Kanner reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
3. Update of the status of the Iron Mike statue
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained when the statue came down to repair the recent vandalism, staff discovered additional unrelated damage. Since the statue was part of the historic district, the City may have to repair it regardless of cost.
Public Works Superintendent Mike Morrison further explained there were several repair options. To help navigate the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the City hired George Kramer from Kramer & Company. Mr. Kanner added the statue was made of a zinc-lead alloy and no one worked with these elements presently. Water Quality Supervisor Steve Walker noted Salem OR had a duplicate statue that fell and shattered during a wind storm. Mr. Kramer found another duplicate in the nation. Repair costs could range from $50,000 to $100,000. Funds would most likely come from a General Fund transfer. Staff was looking into moving the statue inside a public building for protection with an epoxy or recast put in the original site.
4. Plans for police chief recruitment
Mayor Stromberg explained Police Chief Terry Holderness started in April 2007 replacing an interim Police Chief after the previous chief resigned under pressure. Chief Holderness further explained he brought a community policing model to the department based on being open with internal and external collaboration. This collaborative leadership style was different from the prior models used by the Ashland Police Department and proved successful. The relationship with the community had improved over the past eight years, the department now experienced low turnover, with crime and disorder on the decline. The culture of the organization was consistent with the values of the community.
Chief Holderness implemented most of the changes recommended by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) when he was hired. He initially talked to his employees on why the department needed to change and went from there. The department trained on problem solving, provided leadership training for supervisors and senior officers, and crisis intervention training for the entire department. He advertised on the International Association of Chiefs of Police website and noted most of the department hires were lateral positions.
His favorite definition of community policing was by Dr. James Q. Wilson that referred to working with the good people not just against the bad people. There were two models of policing, one was a public safety model that focuses on decreasing crime, and then other was a civil rights model based on community policing. It was the job of the chief to understand and meet the expectations of the community. It was important for an officer to find the community that fit them the best.
City Administrator Dave Kanner added that Chief Holderness had built a trusting collaborative and the new chief would have to be willing to maintain that culture. Council would forward their input to Mr. Kanner. Council thought the first paragraph of the ideal candidate description from 2006 was still pertinent. Other qualities suggested were problem solving, model, maintain culture consistent with community values, and strive for innovation.
Chief Holderness explained the best predictor of future performance was past performance. Council should look for people who had exposure to different aspects of the organization and used his personal experience working administration, the detective unit, personnel and training, internal affairs, and community policing as an example. He had his department train in various areas of the department so everyone was ready for the next step. He offered his help with application screening although he had an internal candidate he supported he would remain objective. Council supported involving Chief Holderness in the process.
5. Council discussion of potential updates to the Ashland Municipal Code
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the list included items that required further clarification and could take years to accomplish. City Attorney Dave Lohman clarified the Legal Department was adequately staffed to handle the additional work involved and commented the limitation was the Council’s time. Some of the items were easy and staff already had draft ordinances prepared while others were controversial and would require public input.
Council suggested staff list the items according to urgency then importance. Council wanted a discussion regarding quorum requirements prior to staff investing time updating that ordinance.
Mr. Lohman clarified #11. Variance to Decibel Noise Standards
would remove the requirement for a public hearing if the City did not receive any objections from the public for a noise variance prior to Council deciding on the matter. The public could comment during the decision.
Mr. Kanner explained #3. Clarify the role and function of the City Attorney
would address requests from individual commissions to hire their own legal counsel. Mr. Lohman added Council had the option to hire outside legal expertise. He thought it would apply to the Parks Commission even though they were elected to office. Anyone who took an action that put the City at potential risk needed Council agreement that a separate attorney was warranted. Council wanted further discussion regarding the Parks Commission. Other Council comment did not think this item was a high priority.
Staff would schedule the quorum discussion for a future Study Session.
6. Video from CIS (City/County Insurance Services) regarding liability insurance
City/County Insurance Services (CIS) Representative Debby Hande distributed a hand out on CIS services. Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg explained the video was educational and geared towards elected officials. Council watched the video.
Meeting adjourned at 7:04 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder