Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


December 20, 2016
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present. Councilor Voisin was absent.
Mayor Stromberg noted this was Councilor Voisin and Councilor Marsh’s last meeting and expressed his appreciation to both.
Councilor Seffinger/Rosenthal m/s to place appointing the City Finance Director as the Budget Officer for the City of Ashland on the Consent Agenda.  Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Mayor Stromberg explained the City was currently working with Wendy Brown Consulting Partners (WBCP Recruiting) to conduct a national search for the Administrative Services/Finance Director.  Council would discuss the process at the January 17, 2017 Council Meeting.  He invited public input at that meeting on the selection criteria used in the screening process January 9 and 10, 2017.  Citizens could submit input on the City website as well. The cutoff day for input was January 5 in order to go into the Council’s final screening process.  Monday, January 9, 2017, the five finalists will participate in a two-day interview and selection process.  On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Council will meet in a closed Executive Session to interview the top 2-3 candidates.    
Interim City Administrator Chief John Karns announced the Transportation Commission would hold a public hearing regarding the effectiveness of the Road Diet January 26, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Airport, Housing & Human Services, and Tree Commissions.
The minutes of the Business Meeting of December 6, 2016 were approved as presented.
  1. Mayor’s statement to the community
Councilor Marsh read a proposed Mayor and Councilor statement to the community regarding the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States and pledged to uphold fundamental principles.
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal m/s to join the Mayor in supporting the Statement to the Community. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Maureen Basttistella/395 Hemlock Lane/Spoke on behalf of the Tree Commission who endorsed the nomination of the Southern Oregon University’s Spirit Tree as the Oregon Heritage Tree and as a City of Ashland Heritage Tree.  The Commission asked that Council endorse their nomination of the Spirit Tree as the Ashland Heritage Tree.
Annika Larson/795 Ellendale, Medford/Explained she was an Ashland High School student, addressed climate change efforts and supported Council adopting a climate change ordinance.
Mina DeVore/568 Liberty Street/Was an Ashland High School student and spoke on the need for a Climate and Energy Action Plan and climate change ordinance.
Claire Pryor/1221 Orchid Street/Was an Ashland High School student and member of the Climate and Energy Action Plan ad hoc Committee.  She spoke on the direct impact Council’s decisions had on her future and the need for a dedicated climate focused position in the City.
Kaiya John/157 Max Loop, Talent, OR/Was an Ashland High School student and spoke on her concerns regarding climate change.  The Climate and Energy Action Plan tied to the ordinance on climate change.  She urged Council to place the climate action ordinance on the January 17, 2017 Study Session.
Carson Barry/134 Church Street/Explained that 80% of citizens surveyed thought climate change was a real threat and wanted action now.  With newly elected government having different views on climate change, it was up to local institutions to take the most aggressive and progressive actions possible.  She urged council to put the climate change ordinance on the January 17, 2017 Study Session.
Ms. Barry considered having an ordinance on climate change as part of the most aggressive actions to take. 
City Attorney Dave Lohman clarified the January 16, 2017 Study Session was rescheduled to January 23, 2017 due to Martin Luther King Day.
1.   Minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2.   Assistance to firefighters grant application
3.   Appointment of Ashland School District representative to the Conservation Commission
4.   Request for sewer connection to a property located outside the City limits and within the Urban Growth Boundary
5.   Appointment of Tina Gray as the Director of Human Resources
6.   Resolution Designating the City’s Finance Director as the Budget Officer      
Councilor Rosenthal pulled Consent Agenda item #5 and shared how pleased he was to see this appointment go from manager to director.  He noted Tina Gray’s fourteen years as the City’s Human Resource manager and congratulated her on this promotion.
Councilor Seffinger/Morris m/s to approve Consent Agenda Items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Public hearing and approval of the release of interest in an easement for construction and maintenance of iron pipes and flumes
Engineering Services Manager Scott Fleury explained the City received an easement for construction and maintenance of iron pipes and flumes at a residence on Maple Way in 1890.  The deed restriction followed the property until the owner recently inquired about removing the deed.  The City was required to hold a public hearing whenever it released interest in a property or easement.   
Public Hearing Open: 7:40 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:40 p.m.
Councilor Marsh/Rosenthal m/s to approve the release of interest document for an easement dedicated in Jackson County official records in Volume 20, page 400, for parcel #2 of partition plat P-54-2000.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
2.   Public hearing and approval of three resolutions titled, “A resolution adopting new Transportation Systems Development Charges, pursuant to Section 4.20 of the Ashland Municipal Code, and repealing Resolution 1999-42”; “A resolution adopting new Wastewater Systems Development Charges, pursuant to Section 4.20 of the Ashland Municipal Code, and repealing Resolution 2006-27”; and “A resolution adopting new Water Systems Development Charges, pursuant to Section 4.20 of the Ashland Municipal Code, and repealing Resolution 2006-27”
Financial Analyst Ray Bartlett explained the Transportation Systems Development Charge (SDC) was the most difficult one to administer because the criteria for administrating it was based on statistical data as opposed to other SDCs that went by square feet, plumbing units, or meter size.  Transportation SDCs used PM peak hour traffic.  Transportation criteria identified what produced the most traffic during the PM peak hour.  The City based sewer and water rates on capital investments to meet peak demand.  The lumberyard was data driven and presently determined by PM peak hour traffic.  Traffic engineers carefully controlled the studies that formulated the method.  The data over time would improve and until then municipalities had to work with current calculations.  The City’s traffic plan reduced PM peak hour travel and designed roadways to make travel as efficient as possible during those peak times. 
Councilor Morris commented the SDC on the lumberyard appeared to be a 389% increase.  Councilor Marsh did not think the City used the Transportation SDC as aggressively as it could to encourage certain kinds of development.  SDCs went across the board to residential development regardless of location.  Mr. Bartlett explained there were several municipalities that attempted unsuccessfully to be more innovative. Demand Management had worked well in some situations when companies changed shift times and reduced PM peak hour travel.  Universities could reduce trips during PM peak hour by encouraging development of their campuses or changing class scheduling to reduce trips.  At the same time traffic needed to move.  It would be several years before the city would see a huge reduction of change in those travel patterns.
Public Works Director Mike Faught added the current Transportation SDC included multi modal and was more innovative than an SDC standpoint.  Mr. Bartlett explained there were many experiments currently underway regarding transportation to measure fringe development.  Some cities charged an SDC for their water systems based on elevation above that cities location or where the water source came into the system.  With transportation, it did not matter on location as much since cars trended to travel throughout the city.  He was not sure using an SDC to encourage specific types of change would necessarily happen. However, in the City of Portland when they build a multifamily development, the SDC for that development is less than if it had off street parking. 
Public Hearing Open: 7:55 p.m.
John Fields/845 Oak Street/Explained building permits and SDCs for new construction was at 10%-12% of construction costs, excluding lands.  The lumberyard increase created $280,000 worth of transportation fees and if it went out of business, people would drive to Talent and that created transportation issues.  He was not sure if it was a good method for social equity or if the City could socially engineer its way out of what he surmised was a collapse.   He went on to state concerns he had regarding the Transportation SDC.
Public Hearing Closed: 8:02 p.m.
Mr. Faught clarified staff updated all the master plans and there were new capital projects that drove the need to adjust the SDCs.  The bigger changes to the Transportation SDC were in the methodology, going from average daily trips to PM peak hour. 
Councilor Rosenthal/Morris m/s to approve Resolution #2016-35 adopting new Transportation Systems Development Charges.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal noted SDCs were very complex and difficult to explain.  These increases were for new development only and not an ongoing fee.  It was important to adjust SDCs appropriately and conduct the methodology studies every five years.  Not doing that prevented the City from having vibrant funding streams to help build infrastructure in the right way.  If the City did not adjust SDCs, it would have to use funds from other revenue streams to build the things they had to build anyway.  He supported what staff presented.
Councilor Morris explained the City was looking at required federal or national standards and there were parts that did not fit that the City needed to review and possibly deviate from at some point.  He thought the cost might be prohibitive to someone buying a business.  He also did not think a lot of it was due to PM peak hour traffic and was possibly bad data from the past.  He would support the motion but thought the City should look at how it charged for development. 
Councilor Lemhouse supported the motion, agreed with Councilor Morris, and wanted Mr. Bartlett to come back for a future review.  Councilor Marsh would not support the motion.  This was a tool the City had not yet exploited and needed to look at the transportation fee in a creative way in order to get the type of development the City wanted.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Lemhouse, Seffinger, and Morris, YES; Councilor Marsh, NO. Motion passed 4-1.
Councilor Rosenthal/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2016-037 adopting new Wastewater Systems Development Charges.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal thought the City should consider an annual tie in to an inflationary index.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Marsh, Seffinger, Morris, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Rosenthal/Seffinger m/s to approve Resolution #2016-36 adopting new Water Systems Development Charges.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Marsh, Rosenthal, and Seffinger, YES. Motion passed.
1. Agreement with OHRA for Emergency Shelter
Mayor John Stromberg explained even with the probability of five shelter nights a week, the emergency shelter needed dedicated staff.  Councilor Rosenthal had suggested paying a social service non-profit to staff the emergency shelter as needed.  Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland (OHRA) was prepared to provide that service.    
City Attorney Dave Lohman noted a correction on page 2 of the Council Communication, sub-bullet five under the third bullet indicating $2,950 should be $3,850.  He confirmed the City initiated a request for proposal (RFP), did not receive an adequate response that resulted in a sole source procurement with OHRA.  OHRA would be responsible to cover up to five emergency nights per the City’s criteria of 20 degrees.  Beyond that, they had the flexibility to manage the program how they saw fit.
Councilor Seffinger/Marsh m/s to authorize the Interim City Administrator to enter into an agreement with OHRA to provide for emergency shelter services fiscal year 2017.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Seffinger thought it was very important to have personnel for winter shelter.  Councilor Marsh added the City was lucky in the past to have a volunteer who managed the emergency shelter for years and was now ready to step down in those duties.  It was better to have an agency manage the entire program.  She stressed the need not to include budget details and allow OHRA to manage the money on their own.  Councilor Morris was concerned paying shelter employees might create a conflict between those volunteering and paid staff.  John Wieczorek explained he had worked in the shelter five of the past 10 nights.  He clarified the City was responsible for emergency shelter nights and the other nights were supported by the faith community and a faith-City partnership.  He acknowledged the volunteer efforts of Heidi Parker who managed the emergency shelter and coordinated volunteers for other shelters for years.  He went on to share some thoughts on using social services grant money to fund shelters and how that might jeopardize the funds the Ashland Community Resource Center received. 
Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Seffinger, Lemhouse, Morris, Marsh, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
1.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution authorizing the City of Ashland to provide a city building for a winter shelter three nights per week through April, 2017 and repealing Resolution No. 2016-28”
Interim City Administrator Chief John Karns explained the resolution would increase the City supplied shelter from two nights to three nights per week using Pioneer Hall.  The Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (RVUUF), Temple Emek Shalom, the First Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC), and the South Mountain Friends Meeting (SMFM) would provide volunteers to staff, manage, and clean the shelter.
City Attorney Dave Lohman clarified there will be separate contracts with each faith agency.  He noted an error in the Council Communication under Fiscal Implications that the City pays $200 per month and not $400.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve Resolution 2016-34.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Marsh, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
2.   First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC 2.50.070 and AMC 2.28.045 public contracting delegated officer authority for intergovernmental agreements” and move on to second reading
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the code currently stated any new intergovernmental agreement (IGA) had to come before the Council.  There were a number of IGAs each year for small amounts.  The ordinance would give the City Administrator authority to enter in an IGA as long as it was not creating a new entity, up to $25,000 per year.  This would apply to amendments with a stipulation if the amendment increased the annual cost to the City by more than 25%, it would go before Council.
City Recorder Barbara Christensen noted from a record’s management position sometimes it was difficult to find agreements that go through the City Administrator.  Over the years, she had developed a process to retain, track, and preserve the documents according to the State Archivist.  However, there were still times when a contract was misplaced and it was hard to locate. 
Councilor Morris/Lemhouse m/s to approve first reading of ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC 2.50.070 and AMC 2.28.045 public contracting delegated officer authority for intergovernmental agreements” and schedule the proposed ordinance for second reading.
DISCUSSION:  Councilor Morris thought it was efficient but wanted to see some system of addressing prior concerns at second reading.  Mayor Stromberg noted a concern of elected officials losing oversight.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Marsh, Morris, Lemhouse, and Seffinger, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse regretted Council did not have an official send off for Councilor Marsh.  The best thing he did as the executive director of the Ashland Emergency Food Bank was hire Pam Marsh as their executive director.  One of the best decisions he made as a city councilor was supporting Councilor Marsh’s appointment to Council.  He voiced his appreciation for all her hard work and effort she put into the community. 
Meeting adjourned at 8:41 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor

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