Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council Regular Meeting

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

December 5, 2017
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
Note: Items on the Agenda not considered due to time constraints are automatically continued to the next regularly scheduled Council meeting [AMC 2.04.030.E.]

Council President Seffinger called the Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.


Councilor Darrow, Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Slattery and Councilor Rosenthal were present.  Mayor Stromberg and Councilor Morris were absent.
  • Councilor Seffinger announced
    On December 18th there would be a Senior Center Open House. 
  • Commission openings.
  • International Day for Violence Against Woman is from November 25th-December 10th.
Councilor Slattery suggested for Council to approve having a Study Session at 6 PM on December 19th regarding the Ad-Hoc Committee Budget Process. Council gave consensus to add this Study Session.

1.   Study Session of November 20, 2017
2.   Business Meeting of November 21, 2017

Councilor Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes.  Councilor Slattery seconded.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously. 

1.   Annual Presentation by the Planning Commission
Roger Pearce, Chair of the Planning Commission and Bill Molnar, Community Development Director gave a presentation on the Planning Commission (see attached).

Councilor Slattery, Planning Commission Liaison thanked the Planning Commission for their work.   
Councilor Lemhouse questioned the progress on the Ashland Transit Triangle.  Mr. Molnar spoke that there will be a Study Session on this soon.

2.   Presentation by the Rogue Valley Community Organizations Active in Disasters
Interim City Administrator introduced Vice Chair of the Rogue Valley Community Organizations Active in Disasters (RVCOAD), Dave Dotterrer.

Mr. Dotterrer gave a presentation on RVCOAD. He spoke that this is a work in progress.  He spoke to the importance of the Rogue Valley working on this together.  He spoke in concerns of Cascadia and the need for a detailed plan. 

Councilor Lemhouse questioned if RVCOAD will be presenting to the County and other jurisdictions.  Mr. Dotterrer answered yes. 

PUBLIC FORUM Business from the audience not included on the agenda.  (Total time allowed for Public Forum is 15 minutes. The Mayor will set time limits to enable all people wishing to speak to complete their testimony.)  [15 minutes maximum]

Bryan Sohl –283 Scenic Dr., Ashland- Recommended including 2 youth members in the CEAP Ad-Hoc Committee.  He suggested one be the age of 25 and the other under the age of 35.  He also spoke to the importance of diversity.   

Mary Bertrand –2301 Siskiyou BLVD., Ashland-  Read a statement into the record regarding the Senior Center (see attached).

Claudia Ballard – 120 Reiten Dr., Ashland – Read a statement into the record regarding the Senior Center (see attached). 

Ed Green- 390 Patrick Ln., Ashland – Read a statement into the record regarding the Senior Center (see attached).   

Huelz Gutcheon –2253 HWY 99 Ashland – Spoke that there are 14,000 electric buses in China.  He spoke to the cost for solar panels in regards to solving climate change. He spoke that we are in a climate disaster and the City needs protecting.  He explained that the Council is considered the complaint department for the City. 

Airport Conservation Forest Lands
Historic Housing and Human Srvs. Parks & Recreation
Planning Public Arts Transportation
Tree Wildfire Mitigation  
Council Representative: Stef Seffinger (also acting as non-voting Chair of the committee)
Forest Lands Com. Rep.: Shannon Downey
Conservation Com. Rep.: James McGinnis
Planning Com. Rep.*: TBD
Ashland School Dist. Rep.: Jordan Ely
Chamber of Com. Rep.: Cindy Bernard
Citizen Member Chris Brown
Citizen Member Ben Scott
Citizen Member Pat Acklin
Citizen Member TBD
Councilor Rosenthal questioned the differences to the first CEAP Ad- Hoc Committee to this Ad-Hoc Committee.  He also questioned the role of the new CEAP Staff Member.

Administrative Assistant to the Interim Administrator, Adam Hanks spoke that the new Ad-Hoc Committee will focus on the long-term.  He explained that the new CEAP Staff Member-Energy Analyst, Stewart Green is also a member of the new Ad-Hoc Committee.  He explained there were 55+ candidates from 16 different States. He will be a great addition. Mr. Hanks explained that Mr. Green is at a technical level of the City not a Department Head.  He will be focusing on technical work, outreach, communications and also facilitating one or more Commissions.

Councilor Rosenthal pulled Item 4.

Mr. Hanks introduced General Manager from Recology, Gary Blake.  Mr. Hanks went over the Draft Resolution. He explained the cost will be evaluated every 3 months and if costs go up from the cap of $3.50 then it would come back to Council to discuss.

Mr. Blake spoke regarding the process.

Councilor Rosenthal thanked Recology.  He explained the importance of adopting this Resolution.  He spoke to the importance of Recycling.

Councilor Slattery spoke that he is not comfortable having this type of Resolution on the Consent Agenda.  
Staff spoke that they would make sure that Resolutions that involve rates would not be on the Consent Agenda.   

Councilor Darrow thanked Staff and Recology for their work. 

Councilor Slattery moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Councilor Rosenthal seconded. Discussion:   None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARINGS (Persons wishing to speak are to submit a “speaker request form” prior to the commencement of the public hearing.  Public hearings shall conclude at 9:00 p.m. and be continued to a future date to be set by the Council, unless the Council, by a two-thirds vote of those present, extends the hearing(s) until up to 10:30 p.m. at which time the Council shall set a date for continuance and shall proceed with the balance of the agenda.)

1.   Public hearing and approval of purchase of real property – 345 Clinton Street
Parks Director, Michael Black gave a PowerPoint Presentation (see attached).  He spoke that Staff recommends approval. 

Councilor Seffinger opened the Public Hearing opened at 8:01 PM

Public Input

Councilor Seffinger closed the Public Hearing at 8:01 PM

Councilor Darrow moved that the City Council approves the recommendation of the Park Commission to purchase 11.01 acres of land at 345 Clinton Street consistent with the attached contract and supporting 2017 appraisal.  Councilor Rosenthal seconded.  Discussion: Councilor Darrow spoke in support of this purchase and that the acquisition and potential of extension of the green way has been a long time goal.  She spoke in appreciation of the work done. Councilor Rosenthal congratulated Mr. Black and the Commission. Councilor Seffinger spoke that this has been a desired by the Community for a long time and thanked Staff.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Darrow, Councilor Slattery, Councilor Seffinger and Councilor Rosenthal: YES.  Motion passed unanimously. 

1.   City Administrator Appointment and Recruitment Process
Regina Ayers –199 Hillcrest Ashland- Spoke to the importance of gender equity when making this decision.

Tina Gray, Human Resources Director gave Council a Staff report.  She spoke that the timeline for this process would be 6-month process.

Mr. Lohman explained changes in the draft contract: 
Section 2 -Term (C)- Employee agrees to remain in the employ of City until July 1, 2019, and neither to accept other employment nor to become employed by any other employer until this termination date, unless the termination date is affected as otherwise provided in this agreement. The employees term would end December 31, 2018 or until a successor is hired.  
Section 9 –Severance Pay - In the event of the involuntary termination of the City Administrator during the term of this agreement, or a successor agreement, she shall be entitled to receive a lump sum payment equal to four (4) months three (3) months aggregate salary and benefits.  
Councilor Rosenthal questioned the need for a recruitment firm or if Staff could do the core functions of the recruitment process.   Ms. Gray spoke that outreach is really important for this position and would be best with an outside firm.  Mr. Lohman spoke that Human Resources has done a great job in the past but agreed for this high level of a position it is best for a firm. 
Councilor Lemhouse suggested for Staff to create an outline of the recruitment process and have a Study Session.  Staff spoke that a Study Session can be scheduled in February.

Councilor Lemhouse moved approval of the appointment of John Karns as City Administrator (removing Interim from his title) until a successor City Administrator is hired in 2018. Councilor Slattery seconded.  Councilor Lemhouse complimented Mr. Karns on how he has handled this situation.  He spoke to the importance of this process starting soon.  Councilor Slattery spoke in appreciation of the work being done on this and all the work Mr. Karns has done.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Darrow, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Slattery, Councilor Lemhouse and Councilor Rosenthal: YES.  Motion passed unanimously. 


1.   1st Quarter Financial Report of the 2017/19 Biennium

Finance Director, Mark Welch gave a Staff report.
Councilor Slattery moved to accept 1st Quarter Financial Report of the 2017/19 Biennium.  Councilor Lemhouse seconded.  Councilor Slattery spoke that this will continue to evolve as we go into the biennium. Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Slattery, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Rosenthal and Councilor Darrow:  YES. All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.

2.   Acceptance of FY 2016/17 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Component Unit Financial Report

Mr. Welch gave a Staff report.

Councilor Slattery spoke that he was the Liaison for the Audit Committee.  He spoke that the meeting went well and Mr. Welch did a great job and thanked for service. 

Councilor Slattery moved to accept the Audit Committee Report and the FY 2016/17 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Component Unit Financial Report.  Councilor Lemhouse seconded.  Discussion: None.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Darrow, Councilor Rosenthal, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Lemhouse and Councilor Slattery: YES. Motion passed unanimously.

1.   First reading, by title only, of two ordinances titled, “An ordinance amending AMC 2.08.020 to remove some responsibilities from Recorder’s function,” and, “An ordinance amending AMC 2.28.130 to add responsibilities to Finance Department functions” and advance both on to second reading

Mr. Welch gave a Staff report.

He explained that some of the Finance duties were moved in May of 2016. Discussed how the City currently sends out and approves checks.  Checks are in compliance.  City Administrator and Mayor sign the checks.  City Recorder has delegated check signing to the City Administrator.  City Recorder has taken on more work with decreased Staff in office.  Finance Department has well trained Staff and a larger staff are able to take on these duties.  Duel custody in the department.  One item if approved investment policy will bring back to ensure in compliance.

Councilor Slattery asked if these changes keep in compliance to the City Charter.  Mr. Lohman answered yes. 
Councilor Seffinger asked if this will change will continue to provide transparency for the public.  Mr. Welch answered yes, he explained that the City Recorder sees all checks and authorization of fund distribution.

Councilor Lemhouse asked the City Recorder for comments on the subject.  City Recorder, Melissa Huhtala explained that the changes had been made before her initial start date and has been in compliance with the Charter.

Councilor Lemhouse moved to approve first reading of two ordinances titled, “An Ordinance Amending AMC 2.08.020 to Remove Some Responsibilities from Recorder’s Function,” and, “An Ordinance Amending AMC 2.28.130 to Add Responsibilities to Finance Department Functions,” and advance both to second reading for enactment.  Councilor Darrow seconded.  Discussion: Darrow clarified that the Ordinance changes are really just codifying what has been current practice since May of 2016.  Yes. Ad-Hoc   Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Slattery, Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Darrow and Councilor Rosenthal: YES.  Motion passed unanimously. 

2.   First reading, by title only, of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC 4.38 to conform with the Oregon Department of Revenue assessing and collecting marijuana tax, interest and penalties” and advance on to second reading

Mr. Welch gave a Staff report.

Councilor Rosenthal moved to approve first reading, and placement on a future Council meeting agenda for second reading, of the proposed ordinance titled, An Ordinance Amending AMC 4.38 to Conform with the Oregon Department of Revenue Assessing and Collecting Marijuana Tax, Interest and Penalties. Councilor Lemhouse seconded.  Discussion:  Councilor Darrow questioned if any modifications need to be clarified.  Mr. Welch answered no.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Slattery, Councilor Darrow and Councilor Rosenthal: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.

Councilor Lemhouse explained that the Council has no control over the Parks personnel decisions.

Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Lemhouse and spoke that there are processes that Council has to abide by and the importance of doing it positively.

Councilor Seffinger spoke that she attended the Open House for the High School Wellness Center.  She spoke that it was great!

The Business Meeting was adjourned at 8:46 PM
Respectfully submitted by

City Recorder, Melissa Huhtala

Mayor Stromberg

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