Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council Business Meeting

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
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.]
7:00 p.m.  Regular Meeting
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
Councilors’ Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger and Rosenthal were present. Councilor Jensen was absent.
Mayor Stromberg announced the current Council and Community vacancies.
Division Chief Forestry Division Chris Chambers presented Fire Adapted Community Coordinator Alison Lerch with a Sparky Award.  He explained this is an award that recognizes a member of the fire service for outstanding achievement in fire preventionor public safety education.  He spoke to all of Lerch’s great work.  He announced that Lerch has recently accepted a job as the Wildfire Mitigation Program Manager for nonprofit Coalitions and Collaboratives in Salida, Colorado.  Her last day will be May 31st.  He thanked Lerch for all of her hard work and spoke that she will be missed.  Lerch thanked Council and Staff her opportunity here.
City Administrator Kelly Madding spoke that Jensen asked that Item XIV. 1 - First Reading of Ordinance No. 3176 Relating to Public Safety, Adding New Ashland Municipal Code Chapter 10.58 be continued to the next meeting in June. 
Seffinger/Rosenthal moved to move first reading of Ordinance 3176 to the June 18th Council Business Meeting.  Discussion: Seffinger explained that in general if a Councilor is absent Council brings back the item if requested.  Rosenthal explained that as a Councilor you can to postpone an item due to absence, and the request is typically accepted as a courtesty. Akins spoke that she had concerns that all the people who are here tonight would not be able to come back to a future meeting. Graham explained that there are several different ways for people to get thoughts and input to Council between now and the future meeting. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Graham, Seffinger and Rosenthal: YES.  Akins: NO. Motion passed 4-1.
Madding explained that there is a Q & A fact sheet that will be put online and for citizens to view regarding this topic.

Akins/Rosenthal moved to allow those that those who are here want to speak to Ordinance 3176 can tonight.  Discussion: Akins spoke to the importance of allowing citizens who came to speak tonight to be able to. Mayor Stromberg reminded the Citizens that signs are not allowed in the Meeting.   Rosenthal explained that we may not need a motion if we accept the public to speak in Public Forum.  Madding spoke that if Council does allow public testimony that Staff be allowed to give a Staff report so people can hear that. Slattery suggested to add 15 minutes to Public Forum. 

Akins withdrew her motion.

Council gave consensus to allow each speaker 3 minutes each during Public Forum.
Police Chief Tighe O’Meara spoke that he is always available to talk face to face, by email and phone for anyone who has questions on this topic.   
    1. Study Session of May 6, 2019
    2. Business Meeting of May 7, 2019
Graham/Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Annual Presentation by the Wildfire Safety Commission
Wildfire Safety Commission Chair Stephen Gange and Fire Adapted Community Coordinator Alison Lerch gave Council the annual presentation regarding the Wildfire Safety Commission.
Gange read a statement into the record (see attached). 
Rosenthal questioned if the Commission knew what he was going to present tonight.  Gange answered yes.
  1. Annual Use of Force Presentation
Chief O’Meara gave the Annual Use of Force Presentation.  He spoke that there has been a reduction of Use of Force in the last year from 359 to 215.  He spoke that the goal is to keep the numbers going down.    
Airport Conservation Forest Lands
Historic Housing and Human Srvs. Parks & Recreation
Planning Public Arts Transportation
Tree Wildfire Mitigation  
  1. 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]
Madding suggested a Staff report be provided by the Police Chief before Public Forum.

Seffinger/Slattery moved that the Police Chief to be allowed to speak before Public Forum. Discussion:  Seffinger spoke that it is a good idea to hear the facts. Slattery agreed. Akins spoke that she doesn’t think people showed up uneducated.  Graham spoke that it will be helpful for public process to hear from the Chief first.  Rosenthal agreed.  Voice Vote: All Ayes.

Chief O’Meara explained that this Ordinance would allow no additional authority.  He explained the Chief and Officers already have the duty to enforce and investigate per the City Charter.  He spoke that the only thing that this Ordinance does is gets us back to the place that the City was 2 years ago with the State.  He explained that if caught breaking the rules you are obligated to say who you are otherwise there wouldn’t be a way to write a ticket.   He explained that this Ordinance does not elevate evidence to a crime.  He explained if someone is doing something illegal they do not have to give anything except name and date of birth.  He addressed concerns regarding minority communities.  He explained that he and his Staff have taken aggressive training for this issue.  

Connie Sue McGonagle - Ashland - Asking for a reconsideration of F&B tax forms being emailed out instead of mailed. She spoke that she has over 300 signatures from local business owners that feel the same way.

Jason Houk – Ashland – Spoke that he is from Southern Oregon Jobs of Justice.  He spoke that he helps organize the Ashland Community Peace Meal and the Winter Shelter Program.  He thanked the City Council for their support.  He explained that they have been giving the meals out at Pioneer Hall for 4 years with a large turnout. He spoke that he is proud that the City is able to provide a hot meal to those in need. He spoke that there will need to be continued help to keep this going.

Jordan Marshall – Rogue Valley – Spoke opposed to Ordinance 3176. He spoke that the way we enforce is disproportionate. He spoke that he would like to think of Ashland as a great and wonderful Community.   He spoke to not add addition crime.  He spoke in concern of those who can’t afford the ticket.

Alma Rosa Alvarez – Ashland – Spoke asking Council to not pass this Ordinance.  Only need reasonable.  She suggested to re-write section 1A of the Ordinance. She commended Chief for his diversity training. She spoke in concern of racial discrimination if this Ordinance was passed. 

Amiko-Gabriel Blue – Ashland – Spoke against the Ordinance. Spoke to personal disabilities. Supports the right to remain silent. Spoke to all of those that may be affected by this Ordinance.

Rich Rohde – Ashland – Thanked Council for allowing Citizens to be able to speak tonight. He spoke in opposition of the Ordinance after a lot of research.  He spoke that he is a father with children who have mental illnesses.  He suggested to find a better way to address the issue.

CR Moreno - Ashland – legal of authority of this ordinance – sites ORS 153.008 as legal authority to create this.  Incomplete citation.  5 Separate criteria. No statutory authority. 

Pauline Black – Ashland – Spoke she has lived here for 20 years. She spoke that this has always been a welcoming town but now considering an Ordinance like this seems racist much like Texas and New Mexico. She spoke that the group of people who will be affected most and feel further criminalized is minorities.  She urged Council to vote no.   
    1. EMS Billing Services Contract
    2. Approval of Special Procurement for Ecoservices
    3. Approval of Special Procurement for Neilson Research
    4. Invitation to Bid for Chemicals for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants
    5. Award of Public Improvement Contract to VSS International, Inc. for Project No. 2018-37 Street Slurry Seal
Rosenthal/Seffinger moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
  1. 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 on the 2019-2020 Social Service Grant Award
Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid and Housing and Human Services Commission Chair Rich Rhode presented a Staff report.

Rhode went over the process and spoke that the recommendations presented will best serve all people of Ashland.

Rosenthal thanked Staff and questioned the criteria that was applied.  Reid explained that in 2014 a Strategic Plan was adopted by Council.   Rosenthal questioned why some people didn’t get any funding.  Reid explained that they looked at how many people each applicant served and administrative cost.  Some of the applicants would not be able to function without this funding while others could. 

Mayor Stromberg opened the Public Hearing at 8:39 PM.
Mayor Stromberg closed the Public Hearing at 8:39 PM.

Slattery/Graham moved to approve the 2019-2020 social service grant funding allocations recommended by the Housing and Human Service Commission at its regular meeting on April 25, 2019. Discussion:  Slattery spoke that he watched this group during their preparation and felt confident it was a good process.  He spoke to the quality of people on the Commission and thanked them for their work. Graham spoke that by working for a non-profit she understands the difficulties on the funding side of the process.  She spoke in appreciation of their work.  Seffinger spoke to the importance of this funding and acknowledging the age friendly goal.  Roll Call Vote: Seffinger, Akins, Graham, Slattery and Rosenthal: YES.  All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.  
    1. Use of Aerial Drones Using Infrared Cameras to Monitor Public Lands for Illegal Camping and Use of Fire During Summer Fire Season.
Chris Chambers presented Council with a PowerPoint Presentation (see attached).
Items discussed were:
  • Reasons for a drone detection program:
    • Resource damage caused by camping
    • Wildfire
    • Actual fires resulting from illegal camping.
    • Sanitation issues.
  • Illegal Camping Dangers
  • Proposed areas to cover with a Drone.  
  • Privacy concerns.  
  • Estimated costs.  
Council discussed funding.
Public Input:
Eric Navickas – Ashland – Spoke that he doesn’t think the cost analysis is correct.  He spoke that there are much better solutions to these problems. He spoke that if the City continues the course of these polices they are criminalizing the poor and this is militaristic policies.   Psychology of being homeless and now we are bringing this to a new level to haunt the poor.  He suggested real solutions such as a homeless shelter instead of criminalization. 
Rosenthal questioned Chief O’Meara if there would be constraints with budget and asked his opinion on this technology. Chief O’Meara agreed that Staff would be stretched thin but he stated the importance of this technology and the partnership between Fire and Police.
Graham/Seffinger moved to approve the use of aerial drone detection via infrared camera for the purpose of fire detection and enforcement of the City’s camping ordinance and pertinent fire prevention codes and regulations on City-owned lands and adjacent public lands as agreed for a pilot program of one fire season. Discussion: Graham spoke that this is a difficult discussion to have and is not a fan of drones. She spoke that in extreme fire situations things can quickly get out of hand with devastating consequences.  She spoke that she doesn’t think we can properly deal with this issue with foot patrol.  She spoke that it would be worth a pilot program.  Seffinger spoke that this was a recommendation from the Forest Land and Wildfire Commission and spoke in support.  She spoke regarding clean-up of camps. Slattery spoke that he will vote no on this motion due to funding. He spoke that he would like more of a comprehensive plan presented.
Akins spoke in appreciation of Staff. She spoke in agreement with Slattery.  She spoke that the most important thing is to stop the fire wildfire from spreading and joining with the Police Department. Rosenthal spoke that he would be in support of a pilot program. Mayor Stromberg spoke in support of the program.  Roll Call Vote:  Graham, Seffinger and Rosenthal: YES.  Slattery and Akins: NO.  Motion passed 3-2.
 1. First Reading of Ordinance No. 3176 Relating to Public Safety, Adding New Ashland
Municipal Code Chapter 10.58

This item was moved to June 18th.

2. First Reading of Ordinance No. 3177 Amending AMC CH 2.18 Conservation
Commission to the Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission

3. First Reading of Ordinance No. 3178 Creating the Climate Policy Commission; Adding
New AMC CH 2.27

Assistant to the City Administrator Adam Hanks gave a Staff report.

Slattery/Graham moved to amend the purpose, membership, powers and duties of the Conservation Commission and re-name the Commission as the Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission with the approval of first reading of Ordinance 3177. Discussion:  None. Roll Call Vote:  Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal, Slattery and Graham:  YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
Slattery/Akins moved to create the Climate Policy Advisory Commission with the approval of first reading of Ordinance 3178. Discussion: None. Roll Call Vote:  Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger and Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously. 
The Council Business Meeting was adjourned at 10:01 PM.
Respectfully submitted by:
City Recorder Melissa Huhtala


Mayor Stromberg

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 

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