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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Tree Commission Regular Meeting

Thursday, March 03, 2016

March 11, 2016
Acting Chair Mike Oxendine called the meeting to order at 2:04 pm in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development and Engineering Offices located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland OR 97520.
Commissioners Present: Council Liaison
Mike Oxendine, Acting Chair Carol Voisin (absent)
Casey Roland  
Christopher John, Vice Chair  
Russell Neff Parks Liaison
Maureen Battistella (late) Peter Baughman
Commissioners Absent: Staff Present
None Derek Severson, Associate Planner
Roland/John m/s to approval the February 4, 2016 regular meeting minutes as presented.  Voice vote:  All AYES.  Motion passed.
  • City Council Liaison – Council Voisin was absent.
  • Parks & Recreation Liaison Baughman suggested that the Commission might consider a tree planting at Southern Oregon University this year for Arbor Day.  He also briefly discussed the Parks Department’s efforts to clean up trees in the parks to prevent the spread of anthracnose.  There was a brief discussion of a tree pruning class that Commissioner Roland would be presenting in Glenwood Park on Saturday, March 12th.   
  • Community Development Liaison Severson noted that with Gregg Trunnell’s recent decision not to seek another term on the Commission, there were now two vacancies.  He encouraged members to refer anyone they know who might be interested in filling the current vacancy on the Commission to the on-line application form. 
Catherine Thalden noted that the trees in the Pioneer Street parking lot are in need of maintenance, noting that one tree is leaning, one is dead and one is in need of pruning, and the lot needs to be cleaned up.  Baughman noted that Parks is responsible for maintenance of this lot, and he would see that it is looked at.  It was noted that the Tree Commission’s letter to Council with regard to this lot had asked that the trees be maintained. 

Arbor Week 2016 Activities
Commissioners discussed the planned activities for James Urban’s visit in celebration of Arbor Week 2016. 
It was noted that Urban’s visit was sponsored by an anonymous donor who would cover the cost of his speaking fees, airfare and lodging and that it was hoped that his visit would gain the Commission recognition in bringing the highest quality, national level training with regard to trees and tree issues with development to key stakeholders with the City of Ashland, the Parks Department, Southern Oregon University, the development community and the general public.
There was brief discussion of the planned activities which include: 
Tuesday April 5th from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Commissioners discussed that seven key personnel including Oxendine as driver, James Urban and five key stakeholders would meet on the plaza downtown to begin a walking a van tour of trees in the city to review with Urban what is working and what needs work.  It was noted that the hoped for stakeholders for the van trip would include Public Works Director Mike Faught and/or some project managers from the Engineering Division; Peter Baughman or some Parks staff; Julie Smitherman from Conservation; and Community Development Director Bill Molnar, Derek Severson or other Planning staff.  It was noted that Commissioners Roland and Battistella were willing to follow in a second vehicle and that Commissioner Battistella was willing to take photos.  Roland suggested that he would work with Oxendine to develop a route for this van tour.  Oxendine explained that this tour would provide Urban with the basis for his two presentations.    
Wednesday April 6th in Pioneer Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
Commissioners discussed that this would be a presentation to stakeholders, and that there was seating for 50 and that about 260 invitations would be sent with an RSVP asking for responses to reserve seating.  It was discussed that those invited would include the Mayor and Council; chairs of Commissions including Conservation, Forest, Historic, Wildfire, and Planning; all Parks and Recreation Commissioners; key City, Parks and SOU staff; and members of the local development community with a particular focus on active local landscape architects. 
It was noted that this would be a presentation on what was observed on the trip, with Commissioner John acting as “Master of Ceremonies” and Urban presenting on what was observed, followed by a three- to five-member panel discussion with Urban, Paul Ries, a local arborist (Baughman, Roland or Tom Myers), a local landscape architect (Laurie Sager?) and possibly a member of another Commission such as the Historic Commission. 
Wednesday April 6th at 12 noon in the Meese Room of the SOU Library
It was noted that Tree Commissioners were invited to the Tree Campus USA awards ceremony in the Southern Oregon University Library. 
Wednesday April 6th in the Meese Room of the SOU Library from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
It was noted that there would be a public presentation in the evening in the SOU Library and that there was seating available for 106 people. 
Severson noted that there was a mid-managers training already scheduled during Urban’s visit which might mean that some key stakeholders on behalf of the city might be unable to attend, that there were several national conferences that some department heads like Faught and Molnar were likely to be attending, and that there would still need to be a formal endorsement by the Commission and acceptance of this endorsement by the Council.  
Commissioners noted that they had previously voted to endorse the event, and wished now to sponsor it by purchasing snacks, refreshments, pens, nametags and other supplies for Urban’s presentations out of Commission funds.  Severson explained that sponsorship required Council approval, and after discussion it was agreed that Commissioners would request Council approval for sponsorship at their March 15th appearance before the Council.  Severson also noted that the Commission does not have the authority to expend funds, but can make such a request to the Community Development Director.   
Commissioners noted that they had already voted months ago to sponsor the event, and that they supported the purchase of necessary refreshments and supplies for Urban’s presentations with Commission funds. 
Oxendine/Roland m/s to approve the announcements for Urban’s stakeholders’ workshop with one change from “invitation only” to “limited seating to the first 50 attendees, please RSVP to insure a seat,” subject to final approval by City Administration.  Voice vote:  All AYES.  Motion passed.
Roland/Neff m/s to approve the announcement for the general public presentation with the same wording change and noting that the seating was for 106 attendees rather than 50.  Voice Vote:  All AYES, motion passed.
Roland/Neff m/s to purchase t-shirts for Tree Commissioners to wear at events using Commission funds.  Discussion:  Severson noted that there were city policies regarding the purchase of clothing by the city, and that orders might not be able to be completed prior to the upcoming events.  Commissioners noted they would prefer a city logo and “Tree Commission” on shirts, but that alternatively they could get by with simply a t-shirt with a tree on it for each commissioner.  Voice vote:     All AYES.  Motion passed.
There was brief discussion that if Council approval of the sponsorship was not obtained Tuesday night, if previously scheduled trainings prevented too many stakeholders from attending, or if the invitations and other final details could not be resolved by Wednesday the 16th, Oxendine might be forced to reschedule the event until the fall.  It was also discussed that Rogue Valley Community Television might be asked to tape the events so that videos could be made available to key personnel who would be unable to attend. 
Annual Update to City Council
Commissioners discussed the Annual Council Update which is to occur at the next Council meeting on Tuesday, March 15th at 7:00 p.m.  Severson distributed a draft script that he had prepared as a brief outline that could be used for the presentation.  Vice Chair John and Commissioner Oxendine indicated that they would be at the Council meeting to make the presentation.     
Earth Day 2016
It was noted that Commissioners John, Oxendine and Roland would be tabling at the Earth Day Event on April 23rd from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  John indicated that he would pick up the educational materials from the city offices on Friday, April 22nd and bring them to the event.  Severson and Baughman indicated that they would try to attend for part of the event as liaisons.  Roland noted that he had a canopy that he could bring for the event. 

Acting Chair Oxendine adjourned the meeting at 3:56 p.m.  It was noted that the next regular meeting of the Commission would be on Thursday, April 7th at 6:00 p.m., and Commissioners were encouraged to attend the Council meetin

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