Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
Minutes June 25, 2015
CALL TO ORDER
Chair Boettiger called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development and Engineering Offices located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland OR 97520.
Approval of Minutes
||Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
||Carolyn Schwendener, Admin Assistant
Rohde/Parker m/s approval of minutes of the May 28, 2015 Housing and Human Services Commission meeting with one adjustment. Voice Vote: motion passed unanimously; minutes were approved as presented.
Huelz Gutchen,who lives at Ashland Wellsprings, introduced himself. He handed out his prospectus to the Commissioners. See Exhibit A at the end of the minutes. Huelz shared he would like to have Bill Molnar the Community Development Director’s job. Huelz read to the Commissioners a portion of his prospectus explaining the importance of understanding the transportation safety index.
Evan Peck introduced himself and is interested in the vacancy on the Housing & Human Services Commission. He was present to observe the meeting.
July 20th Housing Trust Fund Study Session Discussion
Reid included in the packet a memo with information the subcommittee had put together regarding the Housing Trust Fund. The Commissioners made a few changes to the document and Reid will forward it on to the City Administrator who is putting together the Study Session Communication. The City Council meeting is scheduled for July 20, 2015 and Boettiger confirmed he is available to speak to the Council at that meeting. Some of the other Commissioners will also be able to attend. Reid will make the changes and email it out to the Commissioners along with the original Housing Trust Fund Ordinance.
Rental Registry Discussion
Ayars explained that after receiving the solicitation from the City to register her rental units she went into the City Business office to do so. It appeared to her that the staff was not familiar with the form and the form itself did not speak to people that have Single Family homes as rentals. The form seems designed more for property owners with apartments, stated Ayars. Consequently she had trouble filling it out.
Ayars proposed a few questions to the Commissioners; “Where is the information we are collecting? Where is it going and what are we going to do with the information?” Reid explained that the regular business license stays with the utility billing department. The supplemental piece gets scanned along with the business license and is given to Reid. Reid enters the information into the spreadsheet she included in the Commissioners packet. The information provided gives us an idea of how many units, how many bedrooms and contact information, said Reid. This gives the City the ability to do a mail merge with any educational information we might have to offer. Reid made the observation that most of the forms she received were renewals very few were new people with two to four units.
Ayars asked “How do we raise visibility of this process being it’s new to the City? It’s not touching the new people“. Reid commented that the Finance Department is working with the City’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) department to do a targeted mailing to those property owners who have more than one unit. This is a little challenging since this does not guarantee their units are rentals. It was suggested to get a mailing out to the rental property mangers informing them of the change with the registry to include two to four units.
Election of New Officers
The Commissioners expressed their desire to keep the current leadership of the Commission for the coming year. Rohde/Crader m/s to nominate our current officers for another one year term. Voice Vote: All ayes motion passed.
Social Services Grant Debrief and Next Steps
Reid thanked Marsh for her kind words about the Commission and their grant evaluation process at the City Council meeting. Marsh reviewed the Council’s decision for the disbursement of funds for the Social Service Grant Money. The Council made a motion to take $3,000 from the Resource Center and put it towards the Rose Circle. This motion passed. Another motion was made to take $12,000 from the Resource Center and St. Vincent DePaul and put towards the Health Center. This motion failed.
Marsh thought the Commission did a great job focusing on the priority areas in which they had designated. Marsh recognized the Commissions accomplishments over the last year commenting they have laid a great foundation for the coming year.
The Commissioners briefly discussed the Social Service Grant process and expressed their satisfaction in how it all turned out. They did acknowledge that changes could take place in the coming years and would like to put this topic on their retreat or at the August meeting. It was suggested to have sub committees to work on four key elements and bring a report back to the full Commission. Those key elements are; timeline, application, questions, and reporting requirements.
One of the concerns surrounding the process was the possibility that some of the Commissioners would have to recues themselves due to a conflict of interest and there wouldn’t be enough voting members. Reid offered to speak with City Recorder Barbara Christensen and invite her to the next meeting. Ms. Christensen would be able to explain the City’s Municipal Code of Ethics. This would help the Commission be clear on when and who must recues themselves when a motion is being made.
Student Fair Housing Issue Next Steps
This agenda item was moved to the August meeting. Reid will be meeting with Megan, the potential student liaison, and invite her to attend a future meeting.
Marsh reported on the property located at 321 Clay Street. The application was for the removal of a Cottonwood Tree in order for an affordable housing complex to be built by the Housing Authority of Jackson County. Both the Tree Commission and the Planning Commission recommended denial to the Council. This application will be on the August Council Agenda. The Commissioners expressed their concern that with all the publicity surrounding the tree no one approached the Housing Commission inquiring about their thoughts on the need for affordable housing within our City. The Commissioners recognized this shows what little visibility they have in the Community. Put this topic on next month’s meeting to discuss drafting a potential statement in support of affordable housing that highlight the communities housing needs. Also discuss ways on how to educate and offer outreach to the Community.
July 23, 2015 Meeting Agenda Items
Boettiger received a call from Lee Madsen, Director of the Ashland Community Resource Center, he is concerned about the police issuing citations around overnight car camping. Parker remarked that the Homeless Steering Committee has discussed the need for an area for car camping as many people sleep in their car. Put on next month’s agenda and Reid will invite someone from the Police Department to attend next month’s meeting to discuss this issue.
Next Housing Commission Meeting – 4:30-6:30 PM; July 23, 2015
The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener