MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE OUTREACH COMMISSION
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
1. Call to Order
Chair James McGinnis called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. Commissioners Risa Buck, Larry Cooper, Drew Gilliland, Marion Moore, Jamie Rosenthal, and Bryan Sohl as well as Council Liaison Stef Seffinger and Staff Liaison Adam Hanks were present. Commissioners Marni Koopman and David Sommer and Staff Liaison Stu Green were absent for the beginning of the meeting.
Rebecca Walker, Sustainability and Recycling Manager for Southern Oregon University (SOU), was also in attendance as she will be eventually serving on the Commission as the SOU Representative. Introductions were made by the entire Commission to her.
2. Consent Agenda
2.1. October 23, 2019 Meeting Minutes
Buck/Rosenthal moved/seconded to approve the October 23, 2019 minutes as written. Further discussion: none. All ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
3.1. Next Regular Meeting: December 18, 2019 (one week earlier)
McGinnis announced that the next meeting will be held one week earlier on Wednesday, December 18.
• Spring 2020 Meetings Scheduling
Sohl was concerned about the March meeting interfering with Spring Break. With most of the Commission not having a conflict with Spring Break, they decided to keep the meeting as regularly scheduled.
• ASD Representative Update
McGinnis put in a request, but is still waiting on an update.
3.2. Upcoming Sub-committee meetings
The Marketing and Outreach Subcommittee will hold a meeting on November 14 at 3 p.m. and another on December 12.
Koopman arrived at 6:10 p.m.
3.3. Other Announcements from Commissioners
Cooper stated he had a good meeting with Kelly Madding, City Administrator, about his concerns for the Water Treatment Plant. Gilliland spoke to the popularity of electric landscaping tools as SOU had $10,000 worth of only electric tools stolen. Rosenthal announced the last free leaf drop off day would be on Sunday, December 8. Buck also announced that if any Commissioners have excess leaves she will be willing to take them.
4. Public Forum
Huelz Gutcheon, Ashland, OR – announced that Oregon State University, the Army, and 11,000 scientist have all come out with separate reports on the large impact Climate change will have. He also spoke to a lecture by George Schulz who created the environmental report under Nixon. His plan was not adopted right away by Congress until the 1970s oil crisis. Gutcheon emphasized a similar action is needed within Ashland.
5.1 Council and Administration Update
Seffinger updated the Commission on numerous items being dealt with by Council and other Commissions she is liaison for:
• The groups working on solutions to the deficit for next biennium;
• The Ashland Canal Project;
• Councilors not running for reelection;
• Senior needs and how they relate to climate action;
• Erosion and other effects on Lithia Park if bike trails are created; and
• The effects on the Pacific Fisher from fire suppression efforts.
Cooper suggested that looking into climate and carbon footprints could help the budget deficit by reducing the size and cost of projects. Hanks stated that a setting up a system similar to Eugene’s which includes these considerations for every project before they are started would help achieve this. Koopman was concerned that there was a disconnect with climate change and the City Council. She would like to see the City of Ashland declare a climate emergency as similar communities have done to fast track climate change mitigation and adaptation. Seffinger reminded the Commission of the budget deficit the City faces and would like to see more of what declaring a climate emergency would entail. Koopman said she would be willing to provide more information on declaring the climate emergency.
McGinnis mentioned planning to meet with Climate Policy Commission (CPC) Chair Tonya Graham to discuss how the Commission will interact with each other. He invited Koopman and Walker to join this discussion. McGinnis also stated that CPC could propose the declaration of a climate emergency to Council this and the Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (CCOC) could provide outreach.
Cooper/Koopman moved that the Conservation Commission recommend that the City Council look into the process of declaring a climate emergency in the City of Ashland that would accelerate climate action. Further discussion: Gilliland expressed interest in having this as an agenda item for next meeting to better understand what the declaration requires. Buck and Sohl wanted to have action on the motion at this meeting. Rosenthal also wanted to delay the motion to help craft the language better. McGinnis asked if the Commission would like to change the wording to recommend the City Council utilize CCOC and CPC to research what the declaration would involve. Koopman wanted to see the motion passed today and was okay with the wording as is. Gilliland stated that waiting a month would not delay it too much and could help craft it into something the Council could respond to. Walker stated she would be happy in terms of either outcome and is supportive in helping it move forward. Moore said the amendment McGinnis suggested could be another agenda item. She suggested changing the name to Conservation’s full title and take out the words “the process of” to be more direct. Cooper was fine with moving forward tonight with the motion or putting it on the agenda for next time. McGinnis was behind the motion, but was also in support of taking one more month to gather information to present to Council. Seffinger asked what declaring the emergency would entail. Koopman described her work with Louisville, Kentucky in declaring their climate emergency. Since their declaration, Louisville’s Mayor holds weekly meetings on climate change, climate action funding has come forward, and a new level of people have become involved. Buck asked Hanks for input on how the process of a motion after it is passed. Hanks said the motion could be presented to Council at their business meeting under the other business section by Seffinger. If Council is in agreement, they can direct staff to do more research. The Commission could also look into crafting a memo with details on the declaration for Council. Council would decide to direct staff to have a further review and possibly have it go both CCOC and CPC for review. The end result would likely be a resolution to Council.
Moore/Koopman moved to amend the original motion to remove “the process of”. Further discussion: none. Vote taken on amendment: Buck, Cooper, Koopman, McGinnis, Moore, and Rosenthal: Yes. Gilliland and Sohl: No. Motion passed six to two.
Vote taken on the main motion: Buck, Cooper, Koopman, McGinnis, Moore, and Sohl: Yes. Gilliland and Rosenthal: No. Motion passed six to two.
Hanks reported that City Administration efforts were:
• Electric vehicles (EV) charging downtown and for the City fleet is being expanded;
• Request for Qualifications for an Energy Service Company is being completed and should be released shortly;
• Virtual Net Metering projects are continuing as planned;
• Rogue to Go containers and tokens have arrived and the program is waiting on the businesses to get exemptions to begin the program; and
• More EV outreach is planned for the Spring.
5.2 CPC Staff Liaison Update
6. Old Business
6.1. Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview
• Approve Article
Rosenthal wrote an article on Senate Bill 90 banning single use straws. Buck had edits including adding impacts of plastics on the ocean and background of what inspired the change in Oregon. Discussion surrounded the language in the bill about single use versus plastic based straws being banned unless requested. Moore suggested taking out the line which specifies the bill language. Buck/Gilliland moved/seconded to approve the article with the suggestions discussed. Further discussion: none. All Ayes. Motion passes unanimously.
The new article schedule is as follows:
• February article – Climate Actions Card (Moore)
• March article – History of Conservation to CCOC (Buck and Hanks)
• April article – Joint CCOC and CPAC (McGinnis)
• May article – Addressing Consumption Emissions (Koopman and McGinnis)
The to be determined articles were assigned as follows:
• What happens to your recycling? – Moore and Rosenthal
• Juicebox Electric Charging – Green
• Climate Emergency – Koopman
6.2. Sub-committee updates
Buck received and update from the City about micro plastic debris from construction projects. Public Works stated they have ordered vacuuming equipment to vacuum these materials while the cutting is happening.
6.2.2 Waste Prevention
Rosenthal stated that they will be scheduling a meeting shortly and invited Walker to join.
6.2.3 Air Quality
6.2.4 Marketing and Outreach
6.3 Neighborhood Presentations
These items were combined due to time constraints. Moore announced that there are two current projects the Subcommittee is currently working on: video of climate heroes and outreach presentations. Moore has made three presentations: one for the Pachamama Alliance’s potluck and two at the library.
Moore handed out a list of Engagement items (see attached) that came from the Climate Policy Commission’s (CPC) task prioritization meeting. She requested that this be an item for the next meeting. The Neighborhood Presentation will be moved to the next meeting for approval and to discuss if this presentation is for Commission members to present or for the general public to use as well.
6.4 Outreach to Community Regarding Change in Name and Charter
Buck expressed interest in writing an article on the history of the Conservation Commission and its transition to the Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission with Hanks. This article is scheduled for publishing in March.
Moore asked if the Commission should consider having task groups instead of Subcommittees. Most Commissioners were in favor of either option. Rosenthal questioned how the tasks would be brought up if from the whole Commission or the task groups if the change was initiated. Hanks clarified that from a legal standpoint tasks need to be created and assigned at a publicly noticed meeting whether that is a regular Commission meeting or a Subcommittee. Once tasks are completed they must also be approved by the entire Commission before further action. There was also discussion about setting goals for the Commission and having an annual joint CCOC and CPC Commission meeting.
7. New Business
8. Wrap Up
8.1. Review of Action Items
• Background on what other cities will have done to declare a climate emergency (Koopman)
• CPC meeting (Koopman, McGinnis, Walker, and staff)
• Sneak Preview ad for the Rogue to Go pilot program and the Climate Action card (staff)
• Electric landscaping equipment outreach (McGinnis)
• Displaying outreach materials on City TVs (McGinnis)
• Updating the Commission webpage (staff with Commission input)
• Researching grants for Tool Library (Cooper and Koopman)
• Creating a spreadsheet for outreach activities (Green and Moore)
• Checking with Ashland School District about getting a new representative (McGinnis)
• Checking with local landscapers about using electric tools (McGinnis)
• Referencing the Drawdown book for importance of various actions for neighborhood meetings (Moore)
• Researching locations for presentations (Moore)
8.2. Items to be added to next agenda
• CPC engagement items (December)
• Neighborhood presentation approval and discussion of use (December)
• Bag ban status (December)
• Debrief on State Laws (December)
• 10 by 20 update (January)
• Public Meeting, Records, and Ethics Presentation
• Multifamily Recycling Ordinance Review (TBD)
• Senate Bill 90/Straws on Demand article (TBD)
McGinnis adjourned the meeting at 8:01 p.m.
Elizabeth Taylor, Executive Assistant