Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Special Meeting

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

April 16, 2002 4:30 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Councilor Laws, Reid, Hanson, Morrison and Hearn were in attendance. Councilor Hartzell was absent.

I. Council Discussion/Questions for Interview Process

Council clarified that the process for interviewing candidates and how questions should be phrased. Council proceeded to discuss and agree on the candidate questions:

  1. How long have you lived in the community and what community activities have you been involved in? And what is your primary motivation for seeking the vacant council seat?

  2. What do you think is the biggest issue facing the city at this time, and how do you see yourself contributing to resolve the issues?

  3. What personal skills and time availability do you offer the council?

  4. When moving ahead on a particular project, that is the best for the community at large, but would impact an existing neighborhood, how would you handle this?

  5. Do you see yourself representing a particular constituency or group?

  6. Do you have any questions of the council?

II. Candidate Interviews

Kate Jackson

1) Moved to the community in 1993 and became involved with the city during the 1997 flood. She has increased her involvement over the past few years through the Community Development Department and was appointed to the Ad Hoc Transit/Transportation Parking Committee and the Citizen Design Committee for Siskiyou Boulevard/Ashland Street Project. She sees herself becoming even more involved and sees this appointment as stepping up to a larger table.

2) Multi component issue: maintaining livability during growth, increased traffic and traffic needs, and the need for additional affordable housing. She felt that by being on the council, it would offer a larger perspective on these issues.

3) Cited her personal skills as being a good listener and work group experience in finding and developing common ground. Her work background has been in the public sector and providing information. She noted that she currently volunteers on a number of city committees and feels that the appointment to the council would be a consolidation of these committees.

4) Felt that this is a big issue and that some of these impacts happen in spite of the council and noted parking issues.

5) She felt that she would represent her age group and natural resources, but does not intend to bring in specific contingency.

6) Inquired of Council Hearn on the difference he found in regards to his previous position on the Planning Commission and then appointment as a Councilor.

Elizabeth Bretko

1) Has lived in the community 5 year and has worked at the Ashland YMCA, Community Works and the Ashland Teen Center. Has worked with at risk youth on the street and involving them in state and federal funding. She is a member of the Ashland Community Action committee and is involved in various other activities. She stated that she is an advocate for diversity and feels that this community has reputation for being magical and whimsical to the people who visit our community. She felt that there is no representation for this on the council or on commissions. She stated that the young people of the community are asking to be represented and are being supported by the elders of this community to be represented. She noted her high level of care for this community and its surrounding wild lands.

2) Biggest issue is all encompassing and includes development, growth, and affordable housing. She noted the high cost of rent in this community.

3) Excellent listener is approachable and makes herself available and pledged to do so, as a councilor. She is committed, well spoken, articulate, and has no personal agenda. She would like to be on the council because of the importance of diversity, women and alternative ideas represented on the council. She stated that her time availability is very flexible.

4) Stated that listening to the people that it impacts is important. She felt that she would bring to the council the ability to speak from a lot of places and that she listens to the truth and would bring this balance forward. She stated that she has no intention in stalling a process, and appreciates the council's energy and enthusiasm. She wants to be a partner with the council by being a representation as a young person.

5) Felt that she would represent renters and youth.

Gary Smith

1) Has lived in the community for five years. He previously sought the position of Mayor. He noted that you have to look back in order to determine where you can be utilized the most. He felt that he is a servant and that by getting involved in different committees was not his vehicle, but that his skills would be utilized best at the leadership level. He strongly believes that a good leader that serves echoes the majority of the community.

2) Livability and affordability is the biggest issue. He felt that he would bring tools that would be helpful in solving these issues. He noted that diversity on the council is important and the ability to speak for the silent majority.

3) His background is management for an advertising agency and could bring these skills with him. He is a people mover and people adjuster, is a good communicator and has strong leadership skills. Noted that the transition for the appointed councilor should be smooth. Stated that it is important to represent success, provide leadership and be a team player.

4) Need to look at the neighborhood the issues at hand. Need to communicate the city issues and no outside environment, other than the neighborhood itself, is spoken for. Need to listen to the individuals that are to impacted and determine the costs involved. He felt that it is not always necessary to spend city monies and that it is important to listen to all sides in order for the city to make the right decision.

5) Has no hidden agenda and would consider himself a representative for Councilor Hanson's constituents and the projects that Hanson has been involved in. He would be a servant to the community and to do the best he could.

6) What is the council's agenda for this position? Laws explained that it was the council's intention to find the best person that could the best job for the whole city.

Dave Williams

1) Explained that he had returned to the community in 1995 after being away since 1961. He attended Junior High and High school in Ashland and has lived here approximately 12 years. He has been active in the City of Ashland Volunteer Police Program, Ashland Watershed Patrol, Ashland Budget Committee and a number of various other organizations as listed on his resume. He is interested in government because it effects everyone and is interested in the community where he lives. His background and work experience has involved working and heading a lot of teams. Wishes to see consensus on the city council in terms of what they do.

2) Stated that growth is the major issue and is interested in the water intertie, which he feels is too distant in the future. He commented on the decision that needs to be made regarding the surrounding Forest Lands and the need for affordable housing. He shared his analytical mind and his ability to consume large amounts of data and information. He would base his decisions on the data and information received and is appropriate.

3) He is retired and has adequate time available that would be necessary to fill this position. His personal experience with working with teams has resulted in good relationships with governments and state agencies. He considers himself a consensus builder.

4) Stated that in the situation where there is impact on an existing neighborhood, that the city has to move forward, regardless of the impact on a neighborhood, if it is for the good of the whole community. Stated that it is important to the information out to the community and to provide a public forum where concerns and issues could be heard.

5) Does not represent a particular group or constituency and does not feel it is appropriate. Stated that all council members should do the best job to represent the city as a whole.

6) It was clarified that Councilor Hanson's last council meeting would be May 7 and that the appointee would take office after this time, unless Hanson is called to duty sooner.

Brent Thompson

1) Has lived in the community since 1983 and has served on the Citizen Advisory Planning Committee, Ashland Planning Commission, Open Space Program and City Council. He enjoys being involved in the community and things that are accomplished.

2) Biggest issue is coping with the growth that the community is forced to accept with the least amount of impact on the community and surrounding environment.

3) Explained that he has the necessary time availability and can be controlled. He would commit the time needed to fill this pro tem position. He noted his experience through deliberations, skills in planning, experienced through studies and has traveled extensively. He believes in public process, public forum and moving things forward.

4) He felt that listening as careful as possible and litigating with the neighborhoods is important when making decisions that affect these neighborhoods. Does not believe that decisions need to be made quickly and that making sure everyone has been heard and all taken into consideration is important.

5) Does not represent a particular group, but represents the whole community.

6) Commented on his interest on environmental issues and noted the council goal to protecting riparian. Laws commented that restrictions have been tightened up and the city does need to update the current ordinances to reflect these changes.

Al Wilstatter

Mayor DeBoer noted that Al Wilstatter had expressed his interest, but that he would be out of town and not available for an interview.

III. Council Discussion

Council agreed to hold a brief discussion on their impression of the candidates. Hearn commented on his interpretation of diversity and the council agreed that obtaining diversity is difficult. Laws commented that it is impossible for seven individuals, which consist of the Council and Mayor, to represent all the different interests that exist in the City of Ashland. He felt that it is important to have as much empathy as possible for a broad set of interest and to understand the different groups as best they can in order to reconcile different interests that exist. Councilors shared their diverse backgrounds and experience.

The council brought forward their comments regarding the candidates abilities and experience. Reid noted Brent Thompson's historical perspective and planning experience. Dave Williams for his "community at large" perspective and his experience on the Budget Committee. Gary Smith for his view on being a "leader" and representing taxpayers. Elizabeth Bretko as an "idealist" and her representation of renters and youth. Kate Jackson for her practical view of council and community work and her planning background.

Morrison noted that almost all of the candidates referred to themselves as good listeners. He noted Elizabeth Bretko's view on being approachable, listening to people but not stalling the process. Kate Jackson on being accustomed to working within groups and her experience with working with the public. Brent Thompson's experience on the Planning Commission and City Council and his understanding of the process in order to achieve accomplishment of a goal. Reid noted her concern that Thompson has not supported the public process in past actions that did not support his particular goals.

Hearn voiced his support for Kate Jackson and Brent Thompson. He noted Thompson as having the most experience and being an idealog, he personally agrees with a lot of Thompson's land use planning issues.

Morrison commented on the strength of Jackson's contribution on the Siskiyou Boulevard Design Committee. Laws voiced his support of Kate Jackson and commented on her strength and energy she brought forward to the Siskiyou Boulevard Design Committee. Laws viewed her as being an individual who could represent the community and would be the easiest to work with. Reid voiced her support for Kate Jackson and commented on the good job that Dave Williams does on the Budget Committee and his familiarity with budget issues and the Capital Improvement Plan. DeBoer commented that he found Jackson to be very articulate and easy to work with.

Hanson voiced his conflict of interest due to the fact that he plans on seeking this council position in the November election. He stated his concern on placing an individual in this position that may decide to also seek this council position. He felt confident that Gary Smith would represent his views. He also commented that there is not enough youth representation and noted Elizabeth Bretko would bring this to the council. Hanson noted that Dave Williams could easily do the job and that Brent Thompson may be the most experienced.

Council continued to discuss the various pros and cons on selecting the right applicant and commented on the outstanding group of applicants. DeBoer noted his support of Dave Williams and commented that he had viewed the appointment as nothing more than a pro tem position. He encouraged Elizabeth Bretko's involvement, but felt that it was up to the voters to make a change by placing youth on the council. He noted Kate Jackson's involvement in the Siskiyou Boulevard Project would be an asset to the council. Council discussed the proper process for choosing the applicant and again noted the strengths of each applicant.

Reid voiced her support for Kate Jackson. Morrison and Hearn stated that Brent Thompson and Kate Jackson was their choice as the two top applicants. Hanson stated that his two top choices were Elizabeth Bretko and Brent Thompson. DeBoer stated that his choices, in no particular order, would be Kate Jackson, Elizabeth Bretko and Dave Williams. Laws stated that his choices would be Kate Jackson, Elizabeth Bretko and Dave Williams.

Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to select Kate Jackson as pro tem council position #4. DISCUSSION: Hanson felt that this would be an opportunity to pay more than lip service to the involvement of youth in our community. He felt that by selecting Bretko would send a message that the council is serious about involving youth. Morrison commented that Jackson most probably has the broadest perspective and has voiced her desire to learn. He questioned if the council should wait until the regular meeting to do the actual voting on the pro tem position. Reid was not willing to withdraw the motion. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Morrison and Hearn, YES; Hanson NO. Motion passed 4-1.

Meeting was adjourned at 6:45 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

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