MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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, Akins, Graham, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen were present.
- MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mayor Stromberg announced the current Commission and Committee vacancies.
Mayor Stromberg discussed the recent murder of Aiden Ellison (see attached).
Police Chief Tighe O’Meara discussed what the Police Department is doing at this time regarding the murder.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
- Study Session of November 16, 2020
- Business Meeting of November 17, 2020
Akins/Slattery moved to approve the minutes. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
- Annual Presentation by the Planning Commission
Community Development Director Bill Molnar introduced Planning Commission Chair Haywood Norton. Norton presented Council with the annual Planning Commission update (see attached).
- 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] See note above for how to submit testimony for Public Forum.
Submitted Public Testimony
Zoom Public Testimony:
Emily Simon – Ashland – Spoke regarding issues relating to racial equity. She spoke regarding the death of Aiden Ellison and the actions taken regarding racial equity. She spoke in support of the BIPOC Community. She spoke regarding homelessness. She requested that Council focus on resources to do a complete investigation into the matter of the murder of Ellison.
- CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT
Interim City Administrator Adam Hanks gave the Administrator Report (see attached).
Items discussed were:
- Pallet Shelter Pilot Project Proposal Overview
- Ashland Population Projection
- Rogue Valley Television Annual Report
- 2020 Water Supply
- CONSENT AGENDA
- Lord Property Donation to Parks and Recreation Department
- Approval of a Sewer Service Connection within the Urban Growth Boundary at 1104 Paradise Lane
- Approval of Riparian Land Lease Agreement for the Water Quality Temperature Trading Partnership
Rosenthal/Graham moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Discussion: Rosenthal and Graham thanked the Parks Commission for their work on the Lord Property Donation. 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
- Resolution No. 2020-15 Social Equity and Racial Justice Council Discussion and Action Identification
Hanks gave a staff report.
Graham gave an update on the progress of the Resolution and went over a PowerPoint Presentation (see attached).
Items discussed were:
- Section 1. B. - Proclamation Juneteenth as an annual day of municipal communication and partner with communities of color and other local organizations to celebrate African American/Black Culture on this day annually.
- Section 1. C. - Advocate at the state and federal levels for policy reform that includes: a searchable database of officers sanctioned for excessive use of force and other misconduct; a national data collection program to determine the number of people killed or injured by police officers tracked by race, gender, age, and other demographic characteristics; limiting the transfer of military equipment to local jurisdictions; providing more extensive training for police officers regarding de-escalation, intrinsic bias, and procedural justice; and assisting people with mental health or addiction issues who have interactions with law enforcement.
- Section 2.A. Support the Ashland Police Department in taking a more active role in on-campus conversations about racial justice at Southern Oregon University and in developing engagement events to help local residents understand APD’s policies regarding use of force and other relevant issues.
- Section 2.B. Strengthen our cultural competency and intrinsic bias training program for members of the City Council and City Staff.
- Section 2.C. Display Black Lives Matter signs at City-owned locations to offer visible and immediate support for racial justice advocates in our community.
- Section 2.D. Continue and enhance our support of the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
- Section 2.E. Connect with Southern Oregon University and its students to better understand the experience of all college students, but particularly students of color, in the City of Ashland as a first step toward improving that experience.
- Section 2.F. Work with community partners to develop training, incident response, and community acknowledgement programs that help residents and business owners address the long-term, systemic root causes of inequality and racial injustice and celebrate progress.
- Section 2.G. Work with Jackson County and neighboring communities to develop a program that will provide trained mental health professionals for instances where the Ashland Police Department is called upon to serve the needs of people who are suffering from mental health issues and/or addiction.
- Section 2.H. Determine the feasibility of a mural project to provide a mode of artistic expression of our community’s commitment to making meaningful, visible, and ongoing progress on issues of social equity and racial justice.
- Section 2.J. Review recruiting/hiring practices to address implicit bias with input from leaders of local diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
- Section 2.K. Renew the effort with Indigenous leaders in the community to find a solution to the renaming of Dead Indian Memorial Road.
- Section 2.I. Request a proactive review of the policies that pertain to the standard process of investigating incidents where deadly force is used in Jackson County.
- Section 1.D. Work in the near term as a “Committee of the Whole” to move these efforts forward by assigning tasks outlined in this resolution to individual staff and councilors and reporting back to Council on a regular basis while a more formal process and timeline is developed that includes regular progress reports to Council.
- Section 1.A. Designate Social Equity and Racial Justice as a Value Service in the City of Ashland’s strategic planning process, which will provide an opportunity for focused and sustained attention within the City’s planning, management, and policy structure.
- NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
- Ashland Community Smoke Response Plan Approval
Hanks introduced Wildfire Division Chief and Chris Chambers and Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator Katie Gibble.
Chief Chambers presented Council with a PowerPoint (see attached).
Items discussed were:
- Reasons needed for a Community Response Plan.
- City of Ashland’s Community Response Plan for Smoke.
- Partnerships for the Response Plan.
- Public Engagement.
- Benefits of the Plan to Ashland.
- Action Items.
- Next Steps.
Rosenthal/Akins moved to approve the Community Response Plan for Smoke for the City of Ashland and approve that the Plan be brought before Jackson County Commission and the State of Oregon for final approval. Discussion: Rosenthal thanked Staff for doing such a great job on AFR grant funding. Akins agreed with Rosenthal. Appreciation of the hard work over the years and collaboration. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- Update on Fire Chief Recruitment
Hanks gave an update on the Fire Chief Recruitment.
Akins spoke to the importance of diversity and process.
Jensen spoke to the positive conversations he had with Chief Brown and that it was unfortunate on how things ended up.
Jensen/Rosenthal moved to direct Staff draft an apology and explanation letter to Ashland Fire and Rescue Staff and Fire District #3 Board of Directors and Fire Fighter Union. And to include a statement from the Council affirming our commitment to abide by Council Rules that guide our interactions. Discussion: Jensen spoke to the importance for the City to not getting a bad reputation to be a difficult City to work in. Rosenthal spoke that what happened is really unfortunate. He spoke in support of a letter of apology. Seffinger spoke that she had little information on what transpired to lead to this letter. She spoke that she had a great conversation with Mr. Brown and liked his ideas.
Slattery spoke in support the motion. He explained that it is important to let people know in the valley when working with them they can trust what the Council has to say. He spoke in hopes for the next Council coming to have good collaboration.
Graham spoke to the importance of this issue and that Staff put a lot of time in this issue. She spoke that Staff time is crucial right now. She spoke in concern that we are in a double state of emergency and are leaving the Fire Department short staffed. She spoke that this applicant was exactly what we needed and now we are so far behind in terms of the capacity of what we need and assessment process.
Akins spoke regarding the importance of a transparent process. She spoke that it isn’t clear as to do the District 3 option.
Slattery spoke that the Council has been transparent and takes offense for any comments saying otherwise. He spoke that he hopes the future Council works collaboratively and build on trust.
Stromberg spoke in support of bringing this topic forward and that it was a great conversation and worthwhile. He spoke that if it was up to him or came to a tie vote he would seek other ways besides what the measure proposes. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Graham, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES. Akins and Seffinger: NO. Motion passed 4-2.
- ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
- Approval of Contract for City Manager Pro Tem
City Attorney David Lohman and Human Resource Director Tina Gray gave a Staff report.
Akins questioned if there needs to be a contract or could it be an extension? Lohman explained it does not need to be a contract but there could be downsides to both parties if you don’t have a contract. He explained the reasons why.
Seffinger spoke in support of a Contract for Hanks.
Slattery spoke regarding the changes of City Administrator verses City Manager.
Jensen/Seffinger moved to authorize the Mayor to sign the proposed employment agreement under which Adam Hanks could serve as City Manager Pro Tem until a permanent City Manager appointment is made, or until September 1, 2021, whichever occurs first. Discussion: Jensen complimented Hanks with all his hard work so far and spoke in support of the contract. Seffinger spoke in agreement with Jensen. Graham spoke in support of Hanks she spoke that he has had the double of emergencies and Hanks has done a fantastic job and spoke in support of the contract.
Akins clarified that just that she asked the question regarding the contract had nothing to do with a lack of faith in Hanks it was just a question.
Slattery spoke in support of Hanks. Rosenthal spoke in support of Hanks. He spoke that Hanks is well respected in the Region. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- Resolution No. 2020-25 Adopting a Supplemental Budget for Changes to the 2019/21 Biennial Budget
Finance Director Melanie Purcell gave a staff report.
Jensen/Graham moved to adopt Resolution No. 2020-25 authorizing a 2019/21 supplement budget. Discussion: Jensen spoke that Purcell has done a great job. Graham spoke to the importance to take this action. Roll Call Vote: Jensen, Seffinger, Akins, Slattery, Graham and Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- Financial Policies Update and Resolution No. 2020-26 Intended Sources and Uses of Funds Accumulated for and in the Reserve Fund
Finance Director Melanie Purcell gave a brief Staff report. Purcell thanked Staff for their work.
Slattery/Jensen move to adopt the City of Ashland Financial Policies and Resolution No. 2020-26 modifying the Reserve Fund. Discussion: Graham spoke that it will be great to see how healthy the different funds are and thanked Staff. Akins thanked Staff but spoke that she will vote no. Roll Call Vote: Jensen, Rosenthal, Seffinger, Graham, and Slattery: YES. Akins: NO. Motion passed 5-1.
- Second Reading of Ordinance No. 3195 Amending the Ashland Land Use Ordinance relating to Requirements for Affordable Housing and Affordable Housing Standards and Adoption of Resolution No. 2020-24, a Resolution Amending Resolution 2006-13
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman gave a Staff report.
Seffinger/Jensen moved to approve second reading of Ordinance #3195 titled, An Ordinance amending chapters 18.2.3, 18.2.5, 18.5.8 and 18.5.9 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance Regarding Conversion of Multi-Family Rental Units into For-purchase Housing, Affordable Housing Standards, and Approval Standards for Zone Changes and Annexations, and an adoption of the findings and orders for Planning Action 2020- 00009. Discussion: Seffinger spoke to the importance of the motion and that it is a positive move. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Seffinger/Graham moved to approve Resolution 2020-24 which amends Resolution 2006-13 to reflect the ordinance amendments as approved by Council at first reading on November 17, 2020. Discussion: None. Roll Call Vote: Seffinger, Graham, Slattery, Akins, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- Continued: First reading of Ordinance No. 3194 Annexing Property and Withdrawing an Annexed Area from Jackson County Fire District #5 (Public Hearing Closed)
Community Development Director Bill Molnar gave a brief Staff report and introduced Senior Planner Derek Severson who went over a PowerPoint Presentation (see attached).
Items discussed were:
- Grand Terrace Annexation.
- Aerial photo.
- Frontage Improvements.
- Transit Improvements.
- Annexation criteria.
- Primary Issues.
- Staff Recommendation.
Jensen/Slattery moved to approve first reading of the ordinance and scheduling of second reading of the ordinance for December 15, 2020”; and “I move to direct staff to prepare written findings for approval of the proposed Annexation, incorporating the Planning Commission’s decision and the staff recommendations, for Council adoption on December 15, 2020. Discussion: Jensen spoke in support of the motion. He spoke that this is great for the town moving forward. Slattery agreed with Jensen. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Graham, Akins, Rosenthal, Jensen and Seffinger: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
- ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
The Council Business Meeting was adjourned at 9:30 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).