MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
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.]
- CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the Business Meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
- PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
- ROLL CALL
Councilors’ Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen were present.
- MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mayor Stromberg announced the current Commission and Committee vacancies.
- CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT
City Administrator spoke regarding the Coronavirus and what the City is doing. She advised anyone with concerns to go to the Oregon Health Authorities website and subscribe for updates. She explained that Fire Chief Shephard has been going to meetings with a variety of stakeholders regarding this issue to talk about efforts that need to be taken. She explained that Chief Shephard advised for all concerned to continue what you do to normally not get the flu. Wash your hands & don’t touch your eyes. She explained that the City is coordinating and getting information from the County. She discussed that if this spreads further and if need be this is a good opportunity to open the Emergency Operation Center. Citizens can find the City Operations Plan on the City Website. She explained that the City is doing everything appropriately and taking appropriate action.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
- Business Meeting of February 18, 2020
Slattery/Akins moved to approve the minutes. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
- Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
Madding gave a brief Staff report. She thanked Administrative Services for all of their hard work on the budget.
- 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]
Larry Cooper – Ashland – Spoke regarding the Water Treatment Plant planning process. He spoke in appreciation that Council and Staff have not rushed the process. He discussed that water climate warming is diminishing the water supply. He spoke that Ashland must prioritize water conservation. He spoke that Ashland has had a vigorous water conservation program for many years and it has been successful. He showed a graphic demonstrating the savings of gallons per day. He spoke regarding ways to save and use less water.
Huelz Gutcheon – Ashland – Spoke that he noticed there is a lack of communication in City Government. Lack of communication is inefficient. Maybe some improvements possible. Where is the bit about Council getting salary and get Teslas. How to report how many carbons are added to the planets atmosphere for each project.
- CONSENT AGENDA
- Appointment of Paul Behrhorst to the Wildfire Safety Commission
Graham/Rosenthal moved to approve the Consent Agenda. 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 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.)
- UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Slattery/Graham moved to switch the items 1 and 2. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- Mayor Recommendation: City Hall Construction
Madding gave a Staff report. She explained that based on information Staff has collected the Mayor suggested to bring this back in terms of moving this process forward and prepare a potential motion for preserving the building, the 3 walls, gut the inside and build a new building within the building.
Dale Shostrom – Ashland –Chair of the Historic Commission thanked the Mayor, Council and City for reconsideration of this issue. He spoke to the importance of restoration. He urged City Council to vote in favor of the Resolution in front of Council tonight.
Cathy Shaw – Ashland – Spoke regarding the Helman Deed of City Hall property. She spoke to the importance of keeping the City Hall where it is and to not abandon the building.
Council discussed the construction process and minimization of impact to the community. Shostrom spoke regarding the construction site and spoke regarding the sidewalk and parking spaces. He spoke circulation around the plaza would be fine but would lose parking spaces.
He spoke regarding the timeline and the importance of restoration.
Shaw questioned removing the stucco to get back to the original brick. Shostrom explained it has been remodeled a couple of times and is difficult to do.
Shostrom discussed the architectural consultant recommended by ORW. He spoke that they would be a great partner in this project.
Rosenthal thanked Shostrom and questioned the cost escalation with preservation projects if the project is delayed. Shostrom explained that there will always be a cost escalation if delayed regardless if a restoration or building new.
Akins questioned if there are parking spaces that the City can rent during this time. Shaw explained that there was a study done on 6 parking lots and a momentary inconvenience of shouldn’t bother people. She spoke that creating a foot traffic is good for the downtown.
Council discussed how many employees use parking in the downtown. Madding spoke that it is likely that some will be moved and some will continue to be in the downtown. She spoke approximately 8-10 employees will still park in the downtown.
Council discussed possible movements of Staff and parking.
Madding discussed having historic signs put up around the downtown. She spoke that the Arts and Historic Commission have been working on some signage so people can read about the history of City Hall and the new structure.
Graham/Seffinger moved that the Council’s previous decision to demolish the existing City Hall and replace it with a new building on the former one’s footprint be changed to reconstruct the existing City Hall in such a manner as to preserve its historical character and substance. Discussion: Graham spoke that the community has expressed a strong desire to keep the historic nature of the building. She spoke that the Council needs to align the process clearly before the bond process. Seffinger agreed with Graham. Jensen questioned if there should be more motions relative to this decision. He spoke in concern of the charge to ORW. He spoke to make sure ORW doesn’t spend a lot of energy exploring the option of a new building and be directed for preservation option only. Stromberg spoke that Council can vote on this motion and council can express direction to staff and consultants after the vote. Slattery clarified when voting on this it is not for whether this goes on the May or November election it is clearly about keeping the building historic. Akins spoke that she would like to have Pioneer Hall and the Community separate in a bond package. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Jensen spoke to the importance of publicizing this information.
Council discussed the process with ORW Principal Architect Dana Crawford.
Council discussed timeline and parking plan to minimize disturbance in the downtown.
Madding spoke that citizens have expressed their concerns on the exact cost of this project and she explained that the exact cost cannot be determined at this point. She spoke that the general cost is $450 dollars per sq./ft. which is a moderate cost for a municipal building. She spoke that the estimated costs are appropriate.
Jensen/Rosenthal moved to direct staff to fine tune the charge to ORW to come back to Council with the most accurate cost estimate for the preservation of City Hall and the most accurate timeline. Discussion: Rosenthal spoke that it is appropriate to have a motion. Seffinger questioned the dollar figure. Madding explained that the charge is clear to get a cost estimate and get a timeline and the best way to speed up the process and minimize disruption to the downtown. Roll Call Vote. Graham, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES. Slattery and Akins: NO. Motion passed 4-2.
- Council Practices and Protocols
City Attorney David Lohman gave a Staff report.
Lohman went over the 7 items:
Item 1- How to make a recommendation on the Council Agenda Item.
Council discussed this item.
Rosenthal/Slattery moved to modify Section 1 4 B to state that outside of a meeting 2 Councilors can get a matter added to a future Council Meeting Agenda. Discussion: None. Roll Call Vote: Jensen, Rosenthal, Seffinger, Akins, Graham and Slattery: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Item 2 – Roundtable Study Session Setting.
Council decided to remove this from the rules.
Item 3 – The preferred time for any Executive Sessions is just before the start of regular business meetings
Council agreed to have Executive Sessions before regular Council Meetings.
Item 4 – Public Forum presentations at a Study Session be limited to topics on the agenda for that Study Session.
Council discussed this item.
Jensen/Seffinger moved to limit Study Session Public Forum to people who come to address the topic of the Study Session. Discussion – Seffinger spoke that there is not a lot of time at study sessions to discuss an item and it is most is most important to discuss the item on the Agenda . Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Akins and Rosenthal: NO. Seffinger, Graham and Jensen: YES. Mayor broke the tie: YES. Motion passed 4-3.
Item 5 - At Study Sessions, suspension of the rules is not necessary for the chair to grant a Councilmember’s request for additional “reasonable time” instead of unlimited time.
Council gave consensus to this chnge.
Item 6 - "unless a majority of Councilors vote to extend that time” to "unless a majority of Councilors vote to revise or eliminate that time”.
Council gave consensus to this change.
Item 7 - Rebutting negative personal comments
Council discussed this item.
Council gave consensus to this change.
Councilor Seffinger suggested changing - Agenda Order Page 1 Line 22 - Remove “except in rare circumstances” after approval of majority of Council.
Rosenthal/Slattery moved to approve Resolution No. 2020-03 concerning Council Rules and Protocols as shown in attachment 1 and as agreed to tonight. Discussion: Rosenthal thanked all. All Ayes Roll Call vote.
- NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
- Councilor Reimbursement Request for LOC Energy and Environmental Policy Committee Travel Expenses
Graham gave a Staff report.
Council discussed City representation verses personal representation.
Akins/Slattery moved to approve the expense reimbursement request for Councilor Graham to attend the Energy and Environmental Policy Committee in Salem. Discussion: Seffinger Roll Call – All Ayes.
- ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
- First Reading of an Ordinance Relating to Checkout Bags; Repealing and Replacing AMC Chapter 9.21
Assistant City Attorney Katrina Brown gave a Staff report.
Rosenthal thanked Staff and questioned the potential funding of a bag collection fee. Brown explained that it would be expensive and that the City would probably not generate any income. She explained that the income goes to the retailer. Assistant City Administrator Adam Hanks explained that there was a study done years ago and that there was a substantial reduction in bag usage.
Jensen/Graham moved to approve First Reading of Ordinance No. 3182 and send it to Second Reading for enactment. Discussion: Jensen spoke in support of the motion. Graham agreed with Jensen. Roll Call Vote: Jensen, Rosenthal, Seffinger, Akins, Graham and Slattery: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Jensen requested to add an agenda item to Council to discuss the support of the City Manager Measure to be on the next Council Meeting.
Graham asked for Staff to prepare an analysis of PERS payments from 2008.
- ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 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).