MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
Monday, May 16, 2016
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Council Chair Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.
Councilor Morris, Voisin, and Marsh were present. Mayor Stromberg and Councilor Lemhouse were absent. Councilor Seffinger arrived at 5:33 p.m.
1. Public Input
Paul Rostykus/436 Grandview Drive/Addressed safety issues regarding the guardrail at 340 Grandview and questioned the exemptions and justification.
Perii Owen/500 Grandview Drive/Also addressed safety concerns with the guardrail at 340 Grandview Drive, and referred to Traffic Safety Commission minutes from March 18, 2010 regarding the area. She suggested using safe route to school grant funds to correct safety issues.
John Owen/500 Grandview Drive/Shared mitigation efforts discussed by the Traffic Safety Commission during the March 18, 2010 meeting regarding Grandview Drive. He suggested using lignin sulfonate instead of a chip sealer on the road. It might make speed bumps possible.
Debbie Fitzpatrick/450 Orchard Street/Further explained pedestrian safety issues that occurred on Grandview and how the guardrail imperiled pedestrians and drivers.
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the Public Works Department was working on a variety of solutions and planned to meet with the neighbors soon. Council suggested having the item brought to a future Council meeting after staff met with the neighbors.
2. Look Ahead review
City Administrator Dave Kanner reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
3. Discussion of Jail Bed Rental Agreement with Jackson County
Assistant City Attorney Doug McGeary explained law enforcement would forward a written report and a computerized criminal history (CCH) to the Legal Department. The person in question was either lodged in jail or arrested and in lieu of jail, given a citation and released. A violation was a non-criminal offense. There was no jail sanction associated with violations unless it was contempt of court. Criminal offense consisted of misdemeanors or felonies. A felony could involve state prison. Often felonies received a jail sentence instead of a prison term. Mr. McGeary would use the report and CCH to determine whether to endorse the citation. The Police Department forwarded a probable cause statement instead of a written report if the individual was in jail. If the Legal Department endorsed the citation or ticket, Mr. McGeary would forward a recommendation to the Municipal Court Judge for consideration. If there was not enough evidence to prove the case, he returned the report to the Police Department. Often people found guilty went to the Talent Work Center instead of jail. Serious crimes went through the circuit court. They would use the jail beds for post-conviction only and most likely consider using them 3 to 4 times a year.
Municipal Court Judge Pamela Turner distributed copies of the Legal recommendations submitted by the Legal Department. She reviewed this information with the defendant. It was a fluid situation and the Judge did not always act on the recommendations. If the decision resulted in sending the defendant to Talent Work Center, the Court called the Center to ensure capacity. The Court also confirmed if the defendant was eligible for the work center and had not previously walked away. Judge Turner shared a recent incident with a defendant regarding the jail bed rentals. Just the threat alone of going to jail was a strong deterrent. Ordering jail time came after many considerations and depended on the severity of the offense, input from the victims, the defendant’s criminal history, as well as drug and alcohol abuse. If someone failed to appear for sentencing, the Judge issued a bench warrant.
4. Presentation regarding Ashland’s historic districts (request of Historic Commission)
George Kramer, M.S., HP provided background on how the Historic Commission started. The population of Ashland grew 64% between 1940 and 1950. It was during that time Ashland began converting from a mill town to tourism. From 1950 to 1960, the town grew only 17%. He noted several historic buildings demolished between 1940 and in the 1960s. The demolitions in the 1960s prompted the recall of one City Councilor and the firing of the City Administrator. The City created a historic advisory committee in the early 1970s that established historic districts. In 1976, the City formed the Historic Commission officially. In 1984, the Cultural Inventory for Downtown began and was finalized in 1990. It consisted of six volumes.
The four historic districts included Siskiyou-Hargadine, Skidmore Academy, the Rail Road addition, and the downtown. The City converted all four districts to the national register district between 1999 and 2001.
In 1972, the City began a process to set aside the core area because it valued what those areas represented. Mr. Kramer felt that was the charge of the Historic Commission to protect the character of the historic areas and enhance them.
There were conflicts having successful historic districts that often required negotiation between the Historic Commission, the planning and building code, and the need to manage changes. Other complications were infill versus refusing to expand the urban growth area. Good historic preservation understood the traces made from decisions to change. In a historic district, the newest building should not be the first thing someone noticed. Design inside a historic district should reflect the qualities of those areas that caused the City to set them aside originally and not overwhelm them.
The scale of the sculpture “Gather” for the Gateway Art Project Marsh Gateway Art Project was an example of having something new overshadow a historic area. Public art in a historic district needed to fit in at a pedestrian scale.
5. Discussion of the volunteer thank you event (request of Councilor Marsh)
Council supported having the volunteer event at Oak Knoll Golf Course Sunday August 28, 2016.
Meeting adjourned at 6:56 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder