MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
March 6, 2018
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.]
7:00 p.m. Regular Meeting
- CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM
- PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
- ROLL CALL
Councilor Slattery, Councilor Morris, Councilor Seffinger and Councilor Rosenthal were present.
- MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mayor Stromberg announced the death of Police Officer, Malcus Williams and led a moment of silence.
Chief O’Meara spoke regarding Mr. Williams’ incident. He explained that when a Police Officer passes they never are unguarded and explained the process.
He spoke that the Police Department has a partnership with an organization called Oregon Fallen Badge Association. They did all they could to honor and take the burden off Mr. Williams’ family and Ashland Police Department in organizing the Celebration of Life. Chief O’Meara spoke that he would like to create a Resolution authorizing a donation to Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation when they are in time of need.
Mayor Stromberg announced that Councilor Traci Darrow resigned at the March 5th Study Session Meeting effective immediately. He thanked Ms. Darrow for her time on the City Council.
Mayor Stromberg moved Item VII- Briscoe School to the March 20th Business Meeting.
Mayor Stromberg announced the current Commission vacancies.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1. Business Meeting of February 20, 2018
Councilor Slattery moved to approve the minutes. Councilor Rosenthal seconded. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
- MINUTES OF BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, AND COMMITTEES
- 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]
James Young-Ashland- He spoke that he is the Chair of Lithia Arts Guild. Spoke in support of the possibility of the City purchasing Briscoe property. Spoke that it would be a great place for City Hall especially because it is a historical building.
Alex Sol – Ashland - Spoke regarding gun violence in our Schools and what is being done to protect the children. He spoke that action needs to be taken now and not after the fact. Need to take measures to help in the event of a mass shooting. He spoke of examples of ways to protect the schools. He spoke that there are only fire drills and not shooting drills. He asked Council how this could be addressed. He spoke that he understands that this is a political topic due to gun control but something needs to be done for protecting the schools. He urged Council to do anything they can to work on this topic.
Mayor Stromberg explained that the City does strategy in conjunction with the school in case of a shooting.
Susan Russ – Ashland- Spoke regarding the Croman Mill Plan. She spoke that she was happy to see this topic show up at the Study Session and to start developing a plan. She urged Staff and Council to address the goals of the CEAP plan and implement them into the Croman Mill Plan. She spoke in excitement to watch the process go forward.
- CONSENT AGENDA
1. Liquor license application for RV Roasting Company, LLC
Councilor Morris pulled this item. He explained that he may have a conflict of interest on this item. City Attorney, David Lohman explained that due to the fact of the shortage of Council tonight we have a vote of necessity. He explained that Councilor Morris is eligible to vote but cannot participate in discussion.
2. Endorsement of SOU’s Women’s Resource Center’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign for the purpose of hanging a banner
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.)
- Public hearing and approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution declaring tax lot 39-1E-5DA, 2703, tax lot 39-1E-09BC, 201, and tax lot 39-1E-11C, 2505 surplus property in the City of Ashland”
Administrative Services Director, Mark Welch gave a staff report.
Councilor Slattery asked where the money goes once received. Mr. Welch explained that it would be a Council decision but Staff would give recommendations.
Council discussed parking options for one of the lots.
Councilor Rosenthal questioned if the City charges a fee for any parking spaces. Mr. Welch answered no.
Councilor Morris questioned if the City is maintaining these properties. Assistant to the City Administrator, Adam Hanks spoke that the City does not maintain these properties. He explained that there must be a standing verbal agreement because no written agreements have been found in City records.
Councilor Rosenthal moved to approve a Resolution titled, “A Resolution Declaring Tax Lot 39-1E-5DA, 2703, Tax Lot 39-1E-09BC, 201, and Tax Lot 39-1E-11C, 2505 Surplus Property in the City of Ashland” Councilor Slattery seconded.
Discussion: Mayor Stromberg opened the Public Hearing at 7:42 PM.
Public Input: None.
Mayor Stromberg closed the Public Hearing at 7:42 PM.
Councilor Rosenthal spoke that he had questions for the value of the very small property and spoke that after hearing Staff the potential of the sale and what the City might be able to do with the property would be better value the City instead of leasing 5 parking spaces. Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Rosenthal. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Morris and Councilor Slattery: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Council moved item 2 to item 1
2. Discussion of vehicles for hire services
City Attorney, David Lohman and Assistant City Attorney, Katrina Brown gave a staff report. Ms. Brown gave a brief history regarding vehicles for hire.
She explained that there have been some issues with the Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) such as background checks and insurance. She explained Ashland is unique due to its size and large amount of tourism which may cause congestion.
Currently Ashland is using Medford’s code as a model and will bring back a proposed Ordinance to Council for feedback.
Council discussed options and a timeline.
Council went over the 7 questions proposed from the Legal Department:
- What is the appropriate method (fingerprint-based/other) and level (how far back/types of violations) of background checks to utilize for individual vehicles for hire drivers who will be in close contact with the public? Medford and Salem have adopted ordinances which codify Uber’s and Lyft’s preferred method and level of backgrounds checks, while Portland has adopted more stringent standards.
Council discussed not deviating too far from what Medford has done so the City doesn’t lose the opportunity. Council discussed whether or not to do background checks like we do now for Taxi’s or do the fingerprinting.
Council directed Staff to bring back options in the Draft Ordinance.
2. What is the appropriate fee structure, if any, for charging vehicles for hire to use Ashland’s streets for commercial purposes? Some jurisdictions impose a flat application or registration fee while others charge a per ride fee. Portland and the Port of Portland are examples of jurisdictions in Oregon imposing a per ride fee.
Council directed Staff to bring back a Draft Ordinance showing fee options.
3. Should there be any regulation of the rates charged? Should TNCs be allowed to use “dynamic” or “surge” pricing during peak usage times, such as late evenings when OSF plays are ending? Such dynamic pricing is part of Uber’s current model.
Council directed Staff to bring back the Draft Ordinance with the surge capability in it.
4. What are the appropriate insurance levels for TNC? Should they be required to reflect the Oregon Tort Claims Act limits for local governments (currently $1,412,000.00)? Most jurisdictions have adopted one set limit of coverage for taxi companies and a tiered approach for TNCs. Page 3 of 3.
Council directed Staff to add options in the Draft Ordinance.
5. Should vehicles for hire be required to use designated drop-off and pick-up sites for certain kinds of activities, such as OSF plays, which are likely to result otherwise in significant spot congestion? OSF has indicated that it is interested in establishing such designated sites to ease congestion around its facilities.
Council directed Staff to bring back examples.
6. Should vehicles for hire agencies be required to provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles at all times? Medford has a general requirement addressing passengers with disabilities. Portland has specific requirements including a reasonable wait time for such vehicles.
Council discussed if there should be a different rate for a wheelchair-accessible service.
Ms. Brown explained that TNC’s will provide reasonable ADA vehicles.
7. Should there be regulatory equity among the various vehicle for hire agencies?
Council discussed making things as equitable as possible with the Taxi’s.
Staff will bring options back to Council regarding this question.
Council directed Staff to continue discussions with the full range of interested providers of vehicles for hire to craft amendments to the AMC that meet Ashland’s unique needs as a tourist destination; and bring a Draft Ordinance containing such amendments back to Council for first reading.
Ms. Brown spoke that a Draft Ordinance can be brought back at the April 17th Council Business Meeting.
1. Selection of Councilor Seat #3 finalists (please note: packet information for this item will be handed out at the March 5th Study Session).
Council was handed a ballot with all seven applicants listed and asked to pick their top three choices.
Councilor Seffinger moved to rank each applicant from 1-3. No second. Motion died.
Council decided to interview the top three and then appoint at the March 20th Council Business Meeting. It was also decided that whoever doesn’t get appointed this round are still eligible to apply for newly vacant Council Position #6.
The top three selected were:
Jackie Bachman with 4 votes.
George Kramer with 4 votes.
Tonya Graham with 2 votes.
(see attached tally sheet)
- NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
- Climate and Energy Action Plan progress report
Assistant to the City Administrator, Adam Hanks and Climate and Energy Analyst, Stu Green gave Council a 1-year progress report.
Mr. Green discussed the highlights of last year:
- Hired permanent full-time Staff.
- Developed a CEAP Committee.
- Creating an internal City climate team.
- Established CEAP progress indicators.
- Planning potential funding sources.
- Begin CEAP Actions 65 actions listen in the plan. Semi checked off 3 of these actions and 17 actions will have progress in the near future.
Councilor Rosenthal questioned how the recycling crisis that we have impact actions in the plan. Mr. Hanks that the surcharge allowed the same levels and maintain the same recycling standards.
Mr. Hanks spoke that new EV Chargers will be going in this week downtown. He explained that the EV Chargers are City owned and City property.
Mr. Green spoke that they will be giving annual progress reports and will be available as needed.
2. Finance Forecast Update
Mr. Welch gave a staff report. He explained that the biennium budget and corresponding appropriation limits are not in questions and the current biennium 2017-2019 budget does not have any errors in it. He explained that there were errors in the methodology that were updated.
Mr. Welch explained that the error that occurred was due to a misunderstanding with previous staff. He explained that the direction was to increase health care ten percent and PERS two percent. Instead of increasing those line items, the full 12 percent was increased on the overall Personal Services category.
Mr. Welch went over the Financial Forecast. He explained that Staff put the Financial Forecast information into a model so you can see impacts on current and future budgets. He spoke that
you can also find the model on the City website under Administrative Services.
Councilor Slattery spoke to the importance in improving transparency with the Community. He asked Mr. Welch if he witnessed any collusion and if he ever did what would he do. Mr. Welch responded there is no collusion going on and if he did witness any he would inform the Mayor and Council.
3. Potential approval of the purchase of Briscoe School property
This Item was moved to the March 20th Council Business Meeting
- ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
- OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Councilor Morris spoke in appreciation of Ashland Community Hospital. He also thanked Councilor Slattery for his work on keeping the hospital here.
Councilor Rosenthal reminded all that ballots are due on March 13th for the Parks Commissioners Recall. He explained you can mail them in or drop them off at the County.
Mayor Stromberg announced he is now a representative of Continuum of Care; which is dealing with homeless issues.
- ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 9:28 PM
Respectfully submitted by:
City Recorder, Melissa Huhtala
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the City Administrator's office at (541) 488-6002 (TTY phone number 1-800-735-2900). Notification 72 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title I).