Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council Business Meeting

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Tuesday, December 3, 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.]
Mayor Stromberg called the Business Meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
Councilors’ Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced the current Commission/Committee vacancies.
City Administrator Kelly Madding spoke that due to large topics on the agenda it was suggested to move the below items to a future Council Meeting:
    • Annual Presentation by the Planning Commission
    • Statistical Transparency of Policing (STOP)
    • First Quarter Review of Ordinance 3176
    • Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission Revenue Bond Approval and Capital
Council gave consensus to move the suggested items to a future date.
Council discussed having a special meeting on the 11th instead of the 17th.  It was decided to keep the Regular Business Meeting on the 17th.
    1. Study Session of November 18, 2019
    2. Business Meeting of November 19, 2019
Rosenthal/Seffinger moved to approve the minutes.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Annual Presentation by the Planning Commission
    2. Statistical Transparency of Policing (STOP)
    3. First Quarter Review of Ordinance 3176
Due to time constraints these items were moved to a future Council Meeting.
Airport Budget Conservation
Historic Housing and Human Srvs. Parks & Recreation
Forest Lands Climate Policy Cost Review
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]
Louise Shawkat – Ashland – Read a statement into the record regarding climate change (see attached). 
Alan Rathsam – Ashland – Read a statement into the record regarding the cell tower (see attached).
Gretchen Vos – Ashland – Spoke regarding the AT&T cell tower.  She spoke against it and hopes the City will work together with the Community to fix this issue (see attached).
Dr. Carol Voisin – Ashland – Read a letter into the record regarding AT&T (see attached).    
    1. Liquor License Approval for Press for Oil, LLC
    2. Resolution Supporting a Strengthened 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
    3. Award of a Professional Services Contract for Final Engineering to Rehabilitate the East and West Forks Raw Water Transmission Line
    4. Intergovernmental Agreement with Southern Oregon University for Public Access Television Services
Rosenthal/Graham 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 8:00 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 9:30 p.m. at which time the Council shall set a date for continuance and shall proceed with the balance of the agenda.)
    1. City Hall Design
Public Works Director Paula Brown introduced ORW Architect Dana Crawford.
Brown gave a Staff report discussing the two options.
Council discussed the LEED certifications.
Brown explained that ORW has done an analysis and recommends new construction for City Hall.  Brown explained this is due because of safety, faster to construct, provides more usable space and greater efficiencies. 
Council discussed the options.
Graham/Jensen moved approval of staff’s recommendation to approve a contract for professional engineering/ architectural services with ORW to provide City Hall Phase 2 Design and Construction Documents for a base cost of $404,431 plus the additional cost of $81,400 in this phase to include LEED certification and acceptance process for a total Phase 2 cost of $485,831. Discussion: Graham spoke that this is designed to be a 100 year building and it is clear that whenever we are building something to last that long we need to build to the highest and safest standards.  Jensen spoke that this is an exciting moment and is looking forward to continue. Seffinger spoke in agreement with Graham and Jensen.  Rosenthal spoke regarding the additional $81,400 for LEED certification. He spoke that many in the Community have spoken to importance of the climate and energy plan. He spoke that this investment could yield a huge dividend down the line in terms of increased energy efficiency.  He spoke that this would be a wise investment.  Akins spoke that she is pleased this option appears to be the least expensive.  She spoke to the importance of keeping a close eye on the project. Slattery spoke in agreement with the Councilors.  Roll Call Vote:  Slattery, Graham, Jensen, Akins, Rosenthal and Seffinger: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission Revenue Bond Approval and Capital Improvement Projects Amendment
Due to time constraints this item was moved to the next Council Business Meeting.
  1. Amendment to the Ashland City Charter to Create City Manager Position Ballot Language
Lohman gave Staff report (see attached).

Public Input:
Bill Heimann –Ashland – Spoke regarding the Charter change.  He explained that there has been extensive research on this topic.  He spoke that this will correct the split leadership in the City.  He explained that this will separate politics from administration.  He spoke that this change will not diminish the power of the Mayor.  He spoke that only one other City in Oregon has Ashland’s current form of government.

Eric Navickas – Ashland – Spoke to the importance of having a democratic system. He spoke that there are problems with manager system.  He spoke that a manager system can cause a high turnover rate because the Mayor still has the authority to hire and fire the Manager. He spoke that this could be fiscally irresponsible.  He suggested that if Mr. Heimann wants to do this he needs to follow through with the process and get the signatures from the Citizens.  He spoke that this isn’t a decision that should be made by the Council. 

Slattery/Jensen to direct the City Recorder to file the necessary documents with Jackson County to have the question whether to amend the Ashland City Charter to establish a City Manager position for administration of city government as proposed by petitioners placed on the May 19, 2020 primary election for Jackson County.  Discussion:  Slattery spoke in support of putting this item on the ballot to let the Citizens of Ashland decide. Jensen agreed with Slattery and spoke in support of the motion.   Roll Call Vote: Jensen, Rosenthal, Seffinger, Akins, Slattery and Graham: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Resolution 2019-31 and 2019-32 to join the Jail Service District
Madding introduced Stacy Brubaker Jackson County Mental Health Division Manager.  
Brubaker gave Council handouts (see attached) and presented Council with a PowerPoint presentation (see attached).
Items discussed were:
  • History of mental health in Jackson County.
  • Roles and Responsibilities of the CMHP/LMHA.
  • County and State responsibilities.
  • Coordinated Care Organizations (CCO’s).
  • Long-term planning.
  • Identifying a community health improvement plan. 
  • Top 3 priorities.  Behavior Health, Housing for all & Families Matters. 
  • 24 Hour Crisis Response System – Core Functions.
  • Assertive Community Treatment (ATC).
  • Adult Foster Homes.
  • Jail Diversion Services.
  • Prevention and Promotion. 
  • Crisis intervention training.
Jennifer Lind CEO of Jackson County Care Connect presented information to Council regarding what Coordinated Care Organizations (CCO’s) are responsible for.   
Lind explained that they serve to cover all Medicaid benefits for member and they are paid based on how many members there are.  She spoke that there are roughly 60,000 Medicaid members in Jackson County. She spoke regarding jail diversion programs and working with the County. She explained the importance of treating people rather than incarcerating.
Judge Lorenzo Mejia - Medford – Spoke regarding his background. He explained that no member of the bench thinks mental illness or homelessness is a crime.  He spoke to the importance of helping each person. He explained that the criminal justice system in Jackson County is currently in crisis.  He spoke that a major problem is fail to appear.  He spoke that he is not an advocate of putting people in jail.

Public Input:
Lucy Durst – Ashland –She spoke that she is a district attorney and sees people cycle in and out of jail.  She spoke to the importance of services and programs. She spoke that a bigger jail is needed but urged Council to vote no at this time.

Christine Lachner – Medford – Read a statement into the record regarding the importance of mental health and the safety of the Community (see attached).

Gina DuQuenne – Ashland – Spoke urging Council to vote no at this time and bring it back to the County Commissioners.

Meesha Blair – Talent – Spoke to the dangers of having a larger jail.

Rich Rohde – Ashland – He spoke in opposition of the jail and concerns regarding behavioral health. 

William Zentner –Ashland -  Spoke in appreciation of all the speakers.  He spoke that a larger jail would negatively affect Ashland.

David Wick – Ashland – Spoke to the importance of diversion options and urged Council to vote no.

Betsy Shanafelt – Ashland – Spoke in opposition of the jail and the importance of treatment programs.

Chris Luz – Phoenix – Encouraged the Council to vote to send this to the voters.

Marian Spadone – Ashland – Spoke against the Resolutions and that this needs to be looked at more.  She spoke to the importance of dealing with mental health problems. 

Peter Philbrick – Ashland – Spoke that Jackson County is high in crime. He spoke that he is not sure a larger jail will help the crime rate. He spoke that his house was burglarized by a repeat offender.

Barbara Knox– Ashland – She spoke in concern of money being spent on a jail instead of other services.

Paula Sohl– Ashland –  Urged Council to vote no.  She spoke that taxes have already increased and there needs to be a better plan.

Jesse Sharpe – Medford – Spoke in appreciation of all the work the Sheriff has put into this proposal.  He urged Council to Vote no.  He spoke regarding the Housing crisis. 

Ed Masler– Ashland – Spoke opposed to the jail. He spoke to the importance of getting more programs for people and breaking the cycle of poverty.

Jamie Powell – Ashland – She spoke regarding racial equality.  She suggested to vote no and work on a new proposal. 

Tony Foster– Ashland – Spoke in concern of a new jail and to look at other ways to help the Community.

Kevin Brewer - Ashland – Thanked Sheriff.  He spoke in concerns with proposal and the importance of mental health needs.

Charlotte Nuessle – Ashland – Spoke regarding her personal background.  She spoke regarding the difficulties it is to fix the mental health issues.

Eric Navickas – Ashland – Spoke regarding the cost of the project and the impacts it places on the tax payer.  He spoke regarding fixing mental health issues.  He spoke regarding jail beds and releasing homeless people. 

DeeAnne Everson-  Ashland – Spoke to the importance of her right to vote.  She urged Council to let the voters decide on this issue.

Derek Pyle – Ashland –Spoke that the mental health system is broken in this Country. 

County Administrator Danny Jordan clarified incorrect information going around in the media. 
Jordan discussed the current mental health structure in the County.  He explained that the County does not fund mental health services.  He explained that that is something the State funds.
The Council discussed County and CCO’s responsibilities.
Jordan discussed County funding and services.

Slattery/Jensen moved to approve Resolution No. 2019-31 entitled “A Resolution Approving a Jackson County Order to Initiate Formation of a Jackson County Law Enforcement Service District and Consenting to the Inclusion of City Territory Within the Boundaries of the District”. Discussion: Slattery thanked Ms. Brubaker for her presentation.  He spoke that the current jail is not a good situation for people in it and for people who work in it. He spoke that this isn’t a decision that should be made by 6 people and the importance of allowing the citizens to vote.  Jensen spoke in support of the motion and read a statement into the record (see attached). Akins spoke against the motion and explained this is too much money and too big of a jail.  She suggested to go back and try for a better plan. Seffinger spoke to the importance of mental health services being provided.  She spoke that it is undemocratic to not allow the people to vote and spoke in support of the motion. Rosenthal spoke in appreciation of all emails and citizen testimony.  He explained that the citizens come and speak and ask to be heard.  He spoke to the importance of listening to the citizens of all view points and is in agreement that this should go on the ballot for the citizens to decide. Graham spoke that when this topic first came in she voted no and asked for a delay on the vote.  She explained she needed more context and more research.  She explained that since that time she has done lot of research.  After getting all the facts and understanding how the system works she spoke in support of the motion.  She spoke in confidence in the people who put this proposal together and that it was well thought through.  She spoke that she wants to give the Sheriff and the County the opportunity to make their case in front of the people of Ashland. Mayor Stromberg spoke in support that this decision needs to go to the voters. Roll Call Vote:  Slattery, Graham, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES.  Akins: NO.  Motion passed 5-1.
Slattery/Jensen moved to approve Resolution No. 2019-32 entitled “A Resolution Approving a Jackson County Order to Initiate Formation of a Jackson County Law Enforcement Service District and Consenting to the Inclusion of City Territory Within the Boundaries of the District”. (without Talent).  Discussion: Slattery thanked all for their work on this topic. Roll Call Vote:  Slattery, Graham, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES.  Akins: NO.  Motion passed 5-1.  
Rosenthal announced that the RVMPO approved the Jackson County proposal to improve Clay Street. Public Works will be coming back with a proposal.  
Seffinger announced that the Conservation Commission will be bringing a discussion to Council on declaring a climate energy emergency in Ashland.
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 9:30 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 I).

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