MINUTES FOR THE ASHLAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION
1. Call to Order
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Chair Marni Koopman called the meeting to order at 5:41p.m.
Commissioners Risa Buck, Roxane Beigel-Coryell, David Sommer, and James McGinnis were present. Staff member Adam Hanks and Council Liaison Traci Darrow were present. Commissioner Cara Cruikshank arrived late. Commissioners Mark Weir and Jamie Rosenthal were absent.
2. Consent Agenda
Buck/Beigel-Coryell m/s to approve the minutes of October 25, 2017, and the subcommittee minutes of November 7, November 15, and December 4, 2017, as submitted. Discussion:
None. Voice Vote: all ayes. Motion Passes.
The next commission meeting will be January 24, 2018. There are no subcommittee meetings scheduled at this time.
4. Public Forum
Ray Mollett – stated he is representing SOCAN and their request for support of the Clean Energy Jobs Bill. He gave details of the bill as presented in the last state legislative session and explained that they aren’t sure what form the bill will take when the next legislative session starts but hope that the commission are interested in forwarding a recommendation to Council for support of the bill.
5. Old Business
Sneak Preview Column:
Buck/McGinnis m/s to approve Beigel-Coryell’s article on sustainable winter tips. Discussion:
McGinnis suggested adding clarification to the icy window defrosting tip. Beigel-Coryell agree to add clarification. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passes.
6. New Business
: Hanks gave an update on recent Council actions and what concerns were raised by the Legal Department. He also gave information on the potential of including incentives for electric vehicles in the ordinance.
Clean Energy Jobs Bill
: Group discussed whether there was interest in asking Council to support the bill.
Commissioner Cara Cruickshank arrived 5:52 p.m.
Beigel-Coryell/McGinnis m/s to ask for Council to express support for the Clean Energy Jobs Bill, preferably in the form of a resolution. Discussion
: Beigel-Coryell stated that we have to start supporting clean jobs, and this is a good way to start. McGinnis stated that he is also supportive of this and would like to encourage the connection between the commission, council, and the CEAP.
Councilor Darrow stated that having council endorse legislation that’s going to session and not in final-draft yet is premature. Aligning state actions with city goals makes sense, but there are still lots of questions in the bill and this causes her to be concerned. Additionally, there are lots of issues with the bill in rural counties, which are mostly represented by Republicans and in order for any bill to pass Republican support is needed. She agrees that action should be taken, but this request might not be the way to start.
Buck wondered if there was a way to support the spirit of the bill, with the understanding that the actual bill will likely change? McGinnis wondered what value to the legislature there is in Council offering support?
Darrow stated that there are too many concerns as it’s in draft form.
Hanks stated that another option is to have a letter from the Mayor and Council with conceptual support, rather than specific resolution language supporting a specific bill.
Beigel-Coryell/McGinnis agreed to alter the motion to encourage the Mayor to sign a letter encouraging the state legislature to bring forward a bill supporting clean energy jobs creation, in line with the City of Ashland’s Climate and Energy Action Plan goals. Further Discussion: None. Voice Vote: all ayes. Motion Passes.
Bag Ban Discussion
: Hanks gave information on the current code compliance process for all code violations (including the bag ban). He stated that staff is working on general outreach regarding the ban including; ads in the OSF playbill, the Chamber of Commerce’s Out and About publication, tent cards at business registers, etc. Anyone is free to submit concerns regarding the ban via the city’s website.
Group discussed some of the issues they have encountered at businesses regarding the ban. McGinnis reminded the group that the ban is more about education than enforcement. Beigel-Coryell agreed and stated that the goal is to change the single-use culture, and that the bag ban is only one little piece of that change.
Commission Meeting Protocol: Koopman reviewed the agreements from the September commission meeting and group agreed the following were acceptable:
- Participation on subcommittees
- Active Listening (checking in that everyone understands/is understood)
- Raise hand to speak/ one voice at a time
- It’s okay to disagree
- Be respectful of meeting time
- Stay on topic
- Move certain topics outside of the meeting, as necessary
- Create topic “bin” for later discussions
- Be prepared (do your homework)
- Take responsibility for creating the commission you want to have
- Encourage group engagement in an informal way? (get to know each other)
- Support relationship to and with the City
- Keep an open mind
McGinnis wondered if they could be printed on a large sheet at posted at each meeting. Staff stated they would look into the feasibility of this.
10 by 20 Update – Hanks gave details of the upcoming Council study session on this topic and encouraged the group to read the packet for specifics.
Waste Prevention Subcommittee: Beigel-Coryell stated that the subcommittee would like to work on a small pilot project regarding a plastic straw ban. They would work with local restaurants to see if they can require customers to ask for a straw (rather than automatically give one) and to additionally only offer paper straws. The subcommittee has four restaurants interested in the pilot program.
Cruickshank/Sommer m/s to approve the Waste Prevention Subcommittee moving forward with a pilot plastic straw ban program. Discussion:
Koopman stated that a one-page information sheet on the program and the harmfulness of plastic straws might be useful. Beigel-Coryell agreed and stated that they will work on an informational program after the test pilot. Voice Vote: all ayes. Motion Passes.
7. Wrap Up
Meeting adjourned at 6:44 p.m.