MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
June 18, 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.
Councilor Laws, Reid, Hartzell, and Hearn were present. Councilor Jackson arrived at 7:15 p.m. Councilor Morrison was absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Regular Council Meeting Minutes of June 4, 2002 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor presented retirement plaque to Jim Smith for 35 years with the City of Ashland Electric Department.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Ambulance License Renewal.
3. Confirmation of Mayor's re-appointment of Mavis Cloutier and Mary Jane Tilson to the Hospital Board for terms to expire June 30, 2006.
Councilors Hearn/Reid m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing and decision on the Action Plan for One-Year use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds for Fiscal Year 2002-2003.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin introduced Brandon Goldman, Assistant Planner, who briefly explained the CDBG funds Action Plan for fiscal year 2002-2003. He noted that there is only one public hearing for the adoption phase of the plan, that the Living Wage Ordinance had been incorporated in the Plan, and that the Housing Commission will be reviewing the next Action Plan later this year.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:10 p.m.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:10 p.m.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to adopt the Action Plan for One-Year use of CDBG funds for Fiscal Year 2002-2003. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Public Hearing on a proposed supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2001-2002.
Finance Director, Lee Tuneberg, gave a brief synopsis of adjustments to the 2001-2002 Budget for unforeseen events including unanticipated revenues, expenses for fire fuel reduction, and construction loan proceeds.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:14 p.m.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:14 p.m.
Steve Traisman/1001 N Main/Announced a Town Meeting at Wellspring on Friday, June 21 at 5:00 p.m. for World Peace & Prayer Day. He encouraged attendance and presented a schedule of events.
Councilor Jackson arrived at 7:15 p.m.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Appeal of Food & Beverage Tax Penalty to City Council.
City Administrator Greg Scoles briefly summarized Ron Roth's, General Manager of Geppetto's, appeal of penalty assessed for failure to pay the Food & Beverage Tax for the quarter ending March 31, 2002. The total penalty assessed was 10% of the outstanding balance, for a total of $200. Scoles explained how the penalty was assessed and that city ordinances provide for a process of appeal to the City Council.
Councilor Hearn announced a conflict of interest, noting his relationship with Ron Roth as a client with his firm.
Councilors Reid/Jackson m/s to allow Councilor Hearn to abstain from participating or voting on this matter due to conflict of interest. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Ron Roth presented his appeal to the Council, explaining that in his opinion, their taxes are paid except for the most recent billing. He acknowledged being late on that one billing, noting that their return had been mailed to the city, but the city claims that they did not file. He stated that he has the right to information that has not been provided to him and questioned the formula staff used to determine taxes due. He suggested forming an ad hoc committee to review the Ordinance.
Kathleen MacMichael shared the challenge that this has created in her life and stated that it was not their intent to be late on their taxes. She supported revisiting the Food & Beverage Tax ordinance to make the ordinance fair to businesses and business owners.
Carlotta Woolcock/of NW Seasonal Workers Association 203 N Oakdale Medford/Encouraged the Council to drop all penalties and fees filed against Ron Roth and Kathleen MacMichael. She shared the support given to the association by Ron Roth and MacMichael has given to this association and hoped that this same support could now be given back. She noted the financial burden placed on this business and how it would affect the local community.
Joanie McGowan/138 N 2nd/Shared her personal relationship with, and appreciation of, Roth and MacMichael, praising their high level of community involvement and generosity. She noted grammar problems with the current ordinance and requested that the Council forgive the penalties and fees.
Roth read an email into the record supporting his position and asking the City for flexibility in deciding this issue.
DeBoer gave background information on the Food & Beverage Tax including how and why it is collected, reporting procedures, and where the money goes. He explained that interest on overdue balances accrues at 1% per month. When the overdue balance becomes 30 days late, a penalty of 10% is assessed on that outstanding balance. After another 30 days another penalty of 10% is assessed on the outstanding balance. He noted that what is before the Council is only the determination of, if errors were made in calculating third quarter interest and penalties.
Council discussed the issue. It was questioned how estimates are done when an operator fails to make the required report. Tuneberg clarified that in making estimates they to look at history, trends, and prior filings, however, in this instance an estimate was not done because they used the report turned into them. Nolte noted that Council does not have the authority to waive penalties, and that while the ordinance speaks in mandatory terms there is flexibility in considering debtor repayment plans. It was suggested that the ordinance be reviewed. DeBoer noted that the ordinance is scheduled for review at the July 16th Council meeting.
Roth again spoke, noting correspondence with City Recorder, Barbara Christensen, regarding availability of city records, and asking the Council for moral justice. MacMichael commented that the Meals Tax should be revisited due to negative effects of the tax on local businesses.
Laws addressed the word, "justice," noting that justice is not only treating persons in accordance with what they deserve but treating them the same as everyone else in the same circumstance. Justice requires that we have rules that are followed as written -- this prevents the "good 'ole boy" system where some are treated one way because you like them, and others are treated another way because you don't like them.
Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to deny appeal and for staff to negotiate with Geppetto's a payment plan for penalties and interest. DISCUSSION: Laws commented that staff reported that payment schedules have been agreed upon but they have not been met. Hartzell clarified that the payment plan would be for the current $200 owed. Voice Vote: Reid, Hartzell and Jackson, YES; Laws, NO. Motion passed 3-1.
2. Petition of Appeal regarding Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission Rule.
City Attorney Paul Nolte briefly explained Park Rules and the process for appeal.
Michael Johnson/1530 Oak Street/Read aloud his appeal letter submitted to the Council. He requested that the Council delete or amend APRC Rule 94-72-2: Playing of musical instruments prohibited. He commented on the restraints the Park Rule places on artists, noting that in his opinion the Rule is detrimental to Ashland's "art scene." He felt that the rule was enacted as reaction to a 1994 convergence of homeless, angry street kids who drummed en masse. Johnson acknowledged that there may be alternative places to drum but felt that regardless of the place when drumming, drumming is not encouraged or permitted.
Park & Recreation Director, Ken Mickelson, briefly gave an overview on how the Rule came into effect and was enacted by the Park Commission. He noted that complaints were received from all over the community, as well as from tourists, complaining of constant noise from drumming. He noted that after much discussion and public testimony over the course of several months, a compromise was reached regulating the time, place, and manner drumming would be allowed, and that since enactment, there have been few complaints. Police Chief Scott Flueter noted that very few citations for drumming are issued and that when violations happen most comply with the rule.
Council discussed the issue, noting that the Council has the authority to amend or appeal the Park Rule. Hartzell felt it important to note that regulating drumming in parks diverts drumming into the neighborhoods, and felt the Rule was discriminatory against drumming. It was noted that there are decibel and time limits on all performances in the park and that the main problem with drumming is the bass noise that is generated.
Councilors Hearn/Reid m/s to deny appeal. Voice Vote: Laws, Reid, Jackson, Hearn, YES; Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 4-1.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance levying taxes for period July 1, 2002 to and including June 30, 2003, such taxes in the sum of $7,762,000 upon all the real and personal property subject to assessment and levy within the corporate limits of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon."
Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to approve Ordinance #2882. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Jackson, and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting new Storm Water and Drainage Systems Development Charges pursuant to sections 4.20.040 and 4.20.050 of the Ashland Municipal Code."
Public Works Director Paula Brown gave brief synopsis on the proposed Storm Water System Development Charges. She explained that there is a need for better water quality protection and this plan generates a long term storm drain and water quality capital improvement program. She noted that the plan was written on the premise that the city would choose to enhance water quality and be ready for the anticipated requirements of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits for Phase II cities that could impact Ashland.
Council discussed the issue. It was noted that there are ways to mitigate the use of storm drains and that incentives for water quality improvements are suggested. Brown explained that the consultant who prepared the Storm Water and Drainage Master Plan worked with staff to include project lists.
Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2002-15. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Laws, Hearn, Jackson and Reid, YES. Motion passed.
3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution adopting a Supplemental Budget establishing appropriations within the 2001-2002 Budget."
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve Resolution #2002-16. Roll Call Vote: Reid, Hearn, Jackson, Hartzell and Laws, YES. Motion passed.
4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution adopting the Oregon Department of Aviation minimum standards as the new minimum standards for the Ashland Municipal Airport."
Mayor DeBoer explained that the Airport Commission had reviewed the current Minimum Standards for commercial activities at the Ashland Municipal Code and agreed to adopt the Oregon Department of Aviation Minimum Standards. Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that adoption would provide a basis of consistency and increase revenue in the long run. .
Councilors Reid/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #2002-17. Roll Call Vote: Reid, Jackson, Hartzell, Hearn, and Laws, YES. Motion passed.
5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Ashland, Oregon, authorizing the Financing of Capital Costs associated with the Ashland Fiber Network."
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained that by adopting this resolution Council authorizes the Finance Director to sign contracts with Key Bank, borrowing 2.52 million dollars for financing continued capital construction beyond the original loan and which will in part supplant some of the current internal borrowing. City Administrator Greg Scoles noted that it will eliminate a number of accounting issues and be easier for staff to manage.
Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2002-18. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Jackson, Reid, Hartzell and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.
6. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Establishing Cable Television Rates for the Ashland Fiber Network, re-adopting all other rates without change and repealing Resolution No. 2001-32."
Wanderschied explained that the original business plan envisioned a 3.5% rate increase every year to cover higher programming costs beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2000-01. The revised plan recommends a 7% rate increase in FY 2002-03. This increase attempts to balance competitive pressures, compliance with the revised business plan, and the continued AFN profitability. He noted that even with the proposed rate increases AFN is still lower priced than the competition.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve Resolution #2002-19. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Jackson, Hartzell, Reid and Laws, YES. Motion passed.
7. Reading by title only of "A Resolution of the City of Ashland Authorizing an Interim Bond Financing Loan from the Special Public Works Fund by entering into a Loan Contract with the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department for the Community Development/Public Works Administration Building (Hillah)."
Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2002-20. DISCUSSION: Finance Director Lee Tuneberg gave a brief explanation on the process for financing for the Community Development/Public Works Administration Building. Projected completion is estimated for September or October. DeBoer noted that the project is on time and on budget. Roll Call Vote: Jackson, Laws, Hearn, Hartzell and Reid, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
Council discussed the study session scheduled for the Mt Ashland Ski expansion. Hartzell requested that the Sierra Club be allowed to be a participant in the process rather than a part of the audience. Council discussed the process of who participates in study sessions. Scoles noted that participants are up to the discretion of the Council and requested direction from the Council on who they wanted to invite. Laws favored inviting the Sierra Club and noted that if Ski Ashland fails, the City of Ashland is responsible for putting the land back into a natural state, the cost of which would increase substantially if improvements are adopted.
Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to extend meeting past 10:00 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Council requested that staff bring back information on the role of the City and the Council in this issue.
Hartzell requested that the issue of local authority for establishing Systems Development Charges (SDC) to support schools, police, fire, and libraries be put on a future agenda. Council agreed.
Scoles updated Council on the Fire Station, noting that bids are at least $400,000 over budget. Staff is investigating value engineering and potential design modifications in order to get the bid amount to meet the budgeted amount. He noted that if this effort was unsuccessful the project may have to modified and re-bid.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:10 p.m.