Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council Business Meeting

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Held Electronically; View on Channel 9 or Channels 180 and 181 (for Charter Communications customers) or live stream via select RVTV Prime.
Note: As the May 5 Council meeting will be held electronically, written testimony will be accepted via email to both general public forum items and agenda items as long as they are submitted with the subject line: May 5 Council Meeting Testimony before Monday, May 4 at 10 a.m. Written testimonies submitted by the deadline will be available to the City Council before the meeting and will be included in the meetings minutes.
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.]
6:00 p.m.  Regular Meeting
Mayor Stromberg called the Meeting to order at 6:03 PM.
Councilors’ Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen were present.
Mayor Stromberg introduced recently retired Public Works Director Paula Brown.  He read a statement into the record thanking her for all of her hard work for the City (see attached). 
Brown spoke in appreciation to serve both the Country and the City of Ashland.    
Rosenthal thanked Paula for her organization and professionalism. Council spoke in agreement with Rosenthal and thanked Brown for her work. City Attorney David Lohman spoke in appreciation of Browns contribution to the Oregon Transportation Commission. 
Interim City Administrator Adam Hanks spoke that there will be attachments from now on to go in the minutes for the Administrator report. He spoke that Staff is working on a more comprehensive Look Ahead document.    
Items discussed were:
  • Fire season began May 1st
  • Weed Abatement Season. 
  • Green Debris Drop off Day which is on Sunday, May 31st. For more information you can go to the City website:
  • Virtual open house for the Water Master Plan. For more information you can go to the City website:
  • Phase 2 of Snowberry affordable housing project is going well and they are getting ready to issue their building permits. 
  • Building and Planning has remained strong during this time. 
    1. Study Session of April 20, 2020
    2. Business Meeting of April 21, 2020
Rosenthal/Akins moved to approve the Minutes.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Wildfire Safety Commission Annual Report
Wildfire Safety Commission Chair Stephen Gagne gave the annual report (see attached). 
  1. Proclamation for National Historic Preservation Month
Jensen read the National Historic Preservation Proclamation into the record (see attached).
  1. Extension of COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency
Hanks gave a brief Staff report (see attached).
Council discussed the re-opening phases.  
Rosenthal suggested that Items 5 & 6 should be eliminated.  City Attorney David Lohman explained that those items are discretionary and can be left in at this time. 
Council discussed the work being done by Commissions. Hanks spoke that this item will be brought back to Council.   
Rosenthal/Graham moved to extend the declaration of emergency through May 19th. Discussion: Slattery questioned why the City isn’t just keeping in conjunction with the County and the State instead of bringing this item back every 2 weeks.  Stromberg spoke that the City is just adapting to ongoing business of the city to the conditions of which we are living.  Slattery suggested to discuss this at the next meeting.  Akins agreed with Slattery and also spoke that it is important to let the Citizen’s know why there is an extension. Roll Call Vote:  Slattery, Akins, Graham, Rosenthal, Jensen and Seffinger:  YES.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
  1. COVID-19 Update & Discussion
Hanks gave a Staff report. 
He spoke that information regarding COVID-19 is available on the homepage of the City website.

Hanks spoke regarding an extension of the Utility Program until June 30th, 2020 and extending TOT and Meals Tax payments to August 1st. He explained that a letter will go out and that this is for both Businesses and Residents. He explained that if citizens are able to pay to please do so; if not he advised citizens to contact the City.

Council discussed COVID-19 and how to move forward.

Council discussed how to deal with each Phase of this pandemic.

Hanks introduced Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid.

Reid gave an update on homeless services and funding. She discussed the current programs to help the homeless. 

Akins explained her volunteer work she has been doing with Options for Helping Residents of Ashland (ORHA).

Reid spoke regarding food access and meals for the homeless.  She spoke that Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice, Peace House and ORHA came together to provide a program to deliver meals 5 days a week to 5 different locations.  She spoke that this program will end on May 15, 2020. Council discussed options of what to do when this end date comes.

Reid spoke regarding providing a shower truck which will be available next week.

Graham gave a brief Staff report regarding 2 letters to be approved by Council.
Letter #1 is a relief letter to Commercial Landlords (see attached).

Rosenthal/Graham moved that the Mayor and Council endorse the letter drafted that was submitted to Council. Discussion:  Rosenthal spoke in appreciation of Graham. Jensen questioned who the letter goes to. Graham explained it goes to any commercial property owners.  Akins thanked Graham for drafting the letter. Seffinger agreed with previous comments.
Letter #2 is a relief letter to the Senators (see attached).
Graham/Slattery moved that the Mayor and Council endorse the letter drafted that was submitted to Council.  Discussion: None.  Roll Call Vote:  Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
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] See Note above for how to submit written testimony for Public Forum.
    1. Continuation of 2020 Annual Reappointments to Commissions, Committees, and Boards
    2. Approval of Liquor License for Masala Bistro and Bar
    3. Approval of Liquor License for Northwest Pizza
Graham announced a conflict of interest for Item #3 due to her son working at Northwest Pizza.
Rosenthal/Seffinger moved to recuse Council Graham from voting on Item #3. Discussion: None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
Akins/Slattery moved to approve Item 3. Discussion:  None. All ayes. Motion passed unanimously.  
  1. Approval of Liquor License for Cravingcave
Akins/Rosenthal moved to approve Items 1,2 & 4.  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. Economic, Cultural, Tourism, and Sustainability Grants Discussion
Hanks gave a Staff report.  
Council discussed options regarding postponing the grant process.
Rosenthal/Slattery moved to postpone the Economic, Cultural, Tourism, and Sustainability Grants discussion and directed Staff to bring back a process regarding distribution of Tourism Funds to a future Council Meeting. Discussion: Jensen spoke that he would like to set a date for this item to come back to Council.
Jensen/Slattery moved to amend this item to be at the next council meeting which is May 19th.  Discussion: Graham spoke that she is willing to help Staff on this item.  Roll Call Vote:  Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
Roll Call Vote to the main motion:  Akins, Graham, Jensen, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Slattery: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Recommendation from the Cost Review Ad-Hoc Committee
Hanks gave a brief Staff report.
Hanks introduced the Interim Finance Director Bryn Morrison.  Morrison gave a Staff report.  She spoke that the main focus for this Committee was the General Fund, PERS, Health Care and Ambulance Service.
Fire Chief Shephard was introduced and available for questions.
Cost Ad-Hoc Committee Chair Slattery gave a Staff report. 
He spoke regarding the Ad-Hoc Commissions recommendations.
Council discussed the Ambulance Service and suggested to have a Study Session regarding this topic.  Council discussed timelines for this issue.
Slattery suggested having the numbers regarding the Ambulance Service checked from an outside agency to warrant that all is correct.
Council discussed the importance of Public Input on the Ambulance Service issue. 
Council discussed the timeline for this issue. Chief Shepherd explained that a letter of intent is due September 2nd, the formal application is due November 2nd and then presented to the Board of Commissioners in December.  He explained if all is approved the Ambulance Service will be set for another 5 years. He explained that if items are not approved the City can withdrawal the application. 
Council discussed what would happen to the structure of the Department if the City decided to let go of the Ambulance service.  Chief Shepherd explained that there would be restructuring and negotiations would have to be made with the union.
Graham/Slattery moved to postpone this Item to the next Council Meeting and to add this Item to a Study Session. Discussion: None.   Roll Call Vote:  Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
  1. Summary of 2019 Aerial Drone Fire Patrol and Request for Extension of the Intergovernmental Agreement with Rogue Valley Council of Governments for Fire Season Drone Detection.
Due to time constraints this item was postponed to the next Council Meeting.
  1. Consideration of Small Business Grants offered by the City of Ashland
Akins gave a Staff report. 
Council discussed possible funding sources.
Rosenthal/Akins moved to direct Staff to look into the necessary steps and ways to unrestrict the Future Parking Supply Fund. Discussion:
Rosenthal/Slattery moved to extend the Council Meeting to 9:45. Discussion:  None. All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
Discussion on main motion:  Rosenthal spoke that this is an opportunity to continue the discussion and look into ways to find funding sources for a particular purpose. Akins agreed with Rosenthal. Graham requested clarification that if the City Unrestricted the Parking Supply Fund would it still be restricted by the State on what the funds could be spent on.  City Attorney David Lohman answered yes.  Akins asked for clarification that some of the fund is restricted in State and some is not that can be unrestricted at the Council level.  Hanks clarified that it is double restricted and the City will have to follow the ORS. Graham asked for clarification that by unrestricting the fund the City can potentially have general business support. Hanks answered yes.  Slattery spoke that there are really good groups and ideas on this topic.  He spoke to the importance in looking into future steps. Jensen questioned specific items this money could be used for.  Hanks spoke that within the ORS it can be used for tourist promotion.  Akins questioned if this money can only be used for promotion.  Hanks answered yes and he spoke that he would send Council the ORS regarding this topic for more clarification.  Rosenthal clarified that this motion was not to unristrict the funds now; it is just to take the steps at the next meeting to do so. Roll Call Vote:  Akins, Graham, Seffinger, Jensen, Slattery and Rosenthal: YES.  All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Second Reading of an Ordinance Amending Procedures in AMC 2.04.030 for Placing Items on Agendas for Business Meetings
Due to time constraints this item was postponed to the next Council Meeting.
The Council Meeting was Adjourned at 9:42 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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