MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
April 2, 2002 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, and Morrison were present. Councilor Hearn was absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 19, 2002 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Colin Swales/461 Allison/Spoke in support of the Tree Commission and the amount of information that was made available to the public on recent issues. He commented on the trees that were being saved at the Fire Station site and that he looks forward to the upcoming Tree Ordinance.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith/Commented that the city is not deserving of the Tree City USA Award in light of past actions and the mistreatment of trees in our community. He noted the need to protect trees in the watershed.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Spoke regarding how grateful he was that he had been able to build his house from recycled lumber from the Hillah Temple. He noted the demolition of the Fire Station project and encouraged the city to recycle the materials from these buildings.
Phil Selby/1762 Ashland Street/Spoke regarding pedestrian safety and the enforcement of pedestrian laws. He felt that there needs to be further enforcement for jaywalkers. He requested that our volunteers from the police department be allowed to issue tickets for various infractions. He noted those park laws seem to be lightly enforced and that all should be treated equal regardless of function that is taking place.
Howard Heiner/784 Garden Way/Spoke regarding a proposed Ecosystem Management Program which would initiate a multi-organizational strategy for fire reduction in the watershed and surrounding areas, and the creation of a Natural Resource Supervisor position within the City of Ashland. He recommended increasing the responsibility of the Forest Lands Commission beyond the management of our city forest lands to cover the watershed and surrounding areas. He explained that funding is available through the Federal National Fire Plan and Title II of the Resource Advisory Committee of the Forest Service. He emphasized that time is of the essence -- that application deadline for these funds occurs within the next couple of months. He requested that the council consider the proposals.
JoAnne Eggers/221 Granite Street/Spoke in favor of the proposal outlined by Mr. Heiner and noted her involvement in various organizations with interests in the proposed Ecosystem Management Program. She expressed her hope that the proposed Natural Resources Supervisor could coordinate between the organizations and facilitate efficient use of volunteer and staff time. She noted that the position would be the point person and center of information exchange with the community, the staff, and other organizations. She suggested looking at our natural resources and acknowledging their value.
Jim Moore/1217 Park Street/Noted his involvement in the Ashland Watershed Stewardship Alliance and pointed out that a coordinated effort is needed to maintain the forest backdrop that makes Ashland what it is. Commented on the council goals which include natural resource management and praised the City's progress in developing a plan for watershed activities. He noted, however, that the City lacks a single person with the responsibility for coordinating natural resource management activities between City departments and various organizations and agencies. He supported creating a Natural Resources Supervisor position, noting that such a person would help us reach our goals as outlined by Council and guarantee our natural resources for future generations.
Hartzell/Morrison m/s to place discussion of the proposal on the agenda. DISCUSSION: It was noted that the April 3rd study session concerned the development of the Urban Wildland Interface Wildfire Management Plan and how this proposal might overlap. It was suggested that the proposal be discussed at the study session, and it was determined that there would be time available for discussion. Hartzell/Morrison m/s to amend the Motion to place the item on study session agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Report from Traffic Safety Commission regarding pedestrian safety issues.
Public Works Director Paula Brown clarified that discussion regarding Siskiyou Boulevard would be brought to Council at the April 16th meeting. She introduced Jim Olson, City Engineer and liaison for the Traffic Safety Commission, and Bill Snell, Chairperson of the Traffic Safety Commission. Olson spoke on the "Three E's," which are Enforcement, Education and Engineering.
Council discussed several traffic safety issues, including, 1) The study of the I-5 interchange at Mountain Avenue, 2) Evaluation of pedestrian countdown timers at signaled intersections, 3) Imbedded lights in uncontrolled crosswalks, 4) Enforcement, 5) The process involved in a citizen initiated traffic citation, 6) Pedestrian safety zones, and 7) Time line of the Downtown Plan Phase II study.
Joanie McGowan/302 W Nevada Street/Voiced her concerns on the speed limit in the downtown area, noting pedestrian safety issues. She suggested reducing the downtown area speed limit area to 20 miles per hour, posting fines and raising fines, increasing the visibility of stop signs, and increasing visibility of oncoming traffic. She asked that the radar board not be used in congested areas.
Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/Shared concerns regarding pedestrian crosswalk safety. He suggested that there be reduction of lanes, from three to two, in the downtown area by making the center lane a non through lane. He felt that there is opportunity to do this with the upcoming resurfacing of this street and suggested use of cones as a trial.
Phil Selby/1762 Ashland Street/Commented on the cutting of the Driver Education Program by the Ashland School District and suggested that the City consider taking over the Driver Education Program.
Laws/Reid m/s to accept the report by the Traffic Safety Commission and that it is carried out as rapidly as possible with the understanding that certain parts of it need further study. DISCUSSION: Council expressed pleasure with the report, and asked staff to create a list to be brought back to Council highlighting a hierarchy of what could be immediately implemented, what is not doable, and what is less desirable in the short term. Both reservations and support were expressed concerning the Mountain Avenue interchange study, and it was noted that at one time the interchange was a part of the City's Comprehensive Plan. A question was raised about the implementing of speed reductions. Olsen explained that the Highway Commission and the State Highway Engineer set all speeds within the City, and that application has already been made to ODOT for reductions in speed throughout the city, including 20 miles per hour speed limit in the downtown area. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Determination of process for replacing Councilor Cameron Hanson during period of military leave.
City Administrator Greg Scoles briefly explained that Councilor Hanson would be called to active military duty as of April 29, 2002 and that his last official meeting would be May 6, 2002. He stated, according to State Statute and City Charter, that Councilor Hanson would be absent on leave, and that his position would not become vacant, but rather be filled, by council appointment, with a pro tem Councilor. He explained that the council needs to decide on a process to fill the pro tem position.
Council discussed processes and expressed a desire to fill the position with the best person possible. City Attorney, Paul Nolte, commented that State Statute requires that a pro tem Councilor be appointed. It was suggested that 1) Councilor Hanson is given the opportunity to recommend an individual to sit in his place, and 2) open up the pro tem position for the normal application and interview process of a regular appointment.
Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/Commented on the number of qualified applicants who applied for appointment for the last council opening. He urged the council to look at this appointment as an opportunity to get a fresh voice on the council.
Laws/Reid m/s to advertise for the position of Councilor Pro Tem to fill in during Councilor Hanson's absence, schedule an interview session for all candidates, and make a decision. DISCUSSION: Morrison wanted to make it clear, that the council is not filling a vacancy but rather dealing with a special circumstance, and that he supports Councilor Hanson being given the opportunity to participate fully in the selection process. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed.
Council discussed the required time line for the process and possible dates. Council directed that advertising is done immediately and that interviews are held on April 16th prior to the City Council Meeting. Councilor Hanson stated that his constituents elected him to his position for certain world views that he holds and that he believes it is incumbent upon the council to put someone in his place that thinks along similar lines.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Adoption of Strategic Planning Goals.
City Administrator, Greg Scoles, gave a brief review of Council Goals, noted the new Summary table for the Goals, and recommended adoption of Strategic Planning Goals. Laws noted his pleasure with the report format.
Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to approve adoption of 2001-02 Strategic Planning Goals. DISCUSSION: Council discussed various items on the Summary. Reid requested, in "Other Issues, b)," that with wording be changed to remove the word, "vacant." Motion was amended to take into account the wording change. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Council Authorization to dispose of surplus property valued in excess of $10,000 in aggregate.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained that the surplus property would be disposed of by public auction with sealed bids.
Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to approve authorization to dispose of surplus property valued in excess of $10,000 in aggregate. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Second Reading by title only of "An Ordinance Adding Chapter 6.44 to the Ashland Municipal Code Regulating Sidewalk Cafes."
Council discussed the noticing of businesses that are in the area of an applicant, but not abutting the applicant. It was noted that signage is placed in an applicant's window for 15 days. It was also noted that in order for a business to spread sidewalk dining area into surrounding business areas, each affected business would have to go through licensing procedures, including noticing and payment of fees. Minimum walkway clearances were discussed and Community Development Director, John McLaughlin noted that flexibility would serve the City will in the long run.
Councilors Morrison/Hanson m/s to approve Ordinance # 2881. Changes from the first reading of the Ordinance were read aloud. DISCUSSION: Reid expressed disappointment that administration of this Ordinance was not centralized and streamlined. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Morrison, Laws, Hanson and Reid. All Ayes. Motion passed.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Establishing Fees for Sidewalk Cafes."
Council discussed minimum fees and how they related to staff time and expenses, and estimates of application processing times.
Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to approve Resolution # 2002-06. Roll Call Vote: Reid, Hanson, Hartzell, Morrison, and Laws. All ayes. Motion passed.
3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution dedicating Property for Open Space Park Purposes pursuant to Article XIXA, Section 2, of the City Charter (Bryant Family Trust Property Located at 667 North Main Street).
Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to approve Resolution # 2002-05. DISCUSSION: Hartzell expressed her disappointment with the negotiations and the failure to merge open space goals with affordable housing goals. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Morrison, Hanson, and Reid: Ayes. Hartzell: No. Motion passed 4 to 1.
Laws/Reid m/s to authorize the Mayor to sign the partition plat. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
Reid asked the Council to support adding an agenda item in the future which addressed the issue of resumption of production by the LTM Asphalt Plant at the former Croman Mill site. It was noted that Council already directed this is added to the agenda. Reid presented to the council, a petition with 24 signatures, which opposed the resumption of this production.
Scoles explained, that after analysis of this issue by the City Attorney, the recommendation was that it would be difficult for the City to deal with this particular issue and that maybe it was an issue the neighbors might want to take up.
Reid disagreed, noting it would be problematic for the neighbors as well, and because it involves more than one neighborhood, it is incumbent upon the city to look into this issue. Council directed that the issue is put on the next agenda as a discussion item.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm.