Minutes of the Ashland City Council Meeting
November 19, 2002 at 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main
ROLL CALL: Councilors Morrison, Hartzell, Laws, Jackson, and Reid were present. Mayor DeBoer was absent. Councilor Hearn arrived at 7:03 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The Council Meeting minutes of November 5, 2002 were approved as presented with typographical errors noted on page 2.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Environmental Assessment of old Nevada Street Substation Property.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve the consent agenda. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed.
1. Opportunity for public comments on the adoption of the proposed standards, criteria and policy directives to be used in the hiring of a City Administrator.
Interim City Administrator Brian Almquist noted that this past September the Mayor & Council, with the assistance of an executive search consultant, developed a draft of the standards, criteria and policy directives to be used in the hiring of a new City Administrator. The vacancy in this position has been broadly advertised and 140 applications were received by the November 1st deadline. Since the interview panel will consist of the entire City Council it will constitute a public meeting, though interviews will be conducted in an executive session under the provisions of State Law. He requested Council to adopt the draft of the standards, criteria and policy directives for the position in order for the final screening of the most qualified candidates and the preparation of the questions to be used during the interviews to be completed within the next ten days.
It was noted that the standards, criteria and policy directives are in narrative form rather than in a list.
Hartzell suggested that in the sentence, " community input is welcomed and received," to change the word "received," to "utilized," saying that this would better reflect that the Council will try to use and integrate public input. Almquist noted that such a change could be made.
Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to adopt the standards, criteria and policy directives for the position of City Administrator. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Almquist gave an overview of the expected timeline for the process explaining that on the 28th of November the consultant will meet with the mayor to narrow the candidates down from the current list of the top 13 to a list of approximately 7 or 8. The consultant will bring along the other applications in the event the mayor would like to consider some of those candidates as well. The interviews will be conducted on Saturday, December 14 with the entire City Council acting as the interview panel. Following that the City Council will present the three top candidates, who in their view, any one of which would be good for the City of Ashland. The mayor would then be free to make a choice from those three candidates. It is expected to take anywhere from six to eight weeks to get that person on board.
It was noted that the newly elected Council Member, Alex Amarotico, would be invited to attend.
PUBLIC FORUM: None.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: None.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:
1. Presentation of the Long Term Parks, Trails and Open Space Plan from the Parks Commission.
Parks Commission Chair Rick Landt presented an overview of the Long Term Parks, Trails and Open Space Plan, noting a greater emphasis on trails. He explained that the Council had already approved the Short Term Plan and requested that the Council now approve the Long Term Plan. He noted that the Summary is a document summarizing the process and giving guidance to future Councils and Commissions to help show why things were done the way that they were. The summary would be attached to a map of the properties.
Reid expressed concern that the development of parks and community resources might be used to try to short circuit development, noting that such an effort would burden the community. She advocated controlling development through zoning rather than by trying to buy control. She favored concentrating on maintaining school district properties already in use as parks.
Parks Director Ken Mickelsen clarified that school parks are a part of the plan and that they would work with school districts to keep park use open to the public. He said that Parks is in competition with developers to secure the lands identified. Landt noted that perceptions and intentions can be very different and that the Commission looks at property for inclusion in the Plan because it will make our town more livable. He clarified that if lands were not identified on the Plan then there would be no opportunity or option for acquisition. It was noted that the Plan was comprehensive, integrating extensive input from both Staff and the public.
Jackson expressed disappointment with how the Plan was presented, noting a lack of a statement of needs, criteria, and uses. She suggested including criteria and documentation giving information, justification, and specifics.
Laws commented that as development occurs there is a need for more open space to mitigate the effects of growth in the community. In his view there is a need for more active parks in the city.
Hearn commended the Commission for their effort on the Plan noting their facilitation of extensive public input at meetings. He commented that the City feels the pressure of growth and a sense of loss of open space, noting that we need to remember that parks are an important aspect of our community.
Lew Nash/88 Baum St./Advocated the importance of trails and open space and urged the Council to keep trails high on the list of priorities.
Rebecca Ostrom/777 Palmer Rd./Emphasized the importance of trails and open space, noting that with the loss of trail and access to trails, the city is losing the atmosphere that first drew her to the area.
Patti Sanders/1037 Pinecrest Terrace/Spoke in favor of trails, trail access, and open space. She advocated walking more and using cars less.
Michael Dawkins/955 B St/Spoke in favor the lands identified on the Plan but advocated obtaining open space just to have open space. He thinks of open space as wild lands and animal habitats, and commented that open vistas and drainages need to be protected.
Fred Caruso/102 Garfield/Spoke on the need to have a network of paths and places to walk that are not exposed to traffic area. He commented that there is too much bike traffic in pedestrian areas on Siskiyou.
Morrison noted that there is a project on the boards right now with bike paths incorporated into the plan.
It was suggested that the Commission work with Staff to flesh out the summary. Landt clarified that there is a map attached to the summary that speaks to the fact that there are criteria and that the criteria are available in the office. It was commented that the Long Term Plan is visionary, looking out to the future. It was noted that identified properties that are now outside of the City limits may not be outside the city limits in the future.
Reid expressed concern with the inclusion of Grizzly Peak, saying that she relies on State Land Use planning to provide agricultural and forest lands around the City. It was commented that it might be a mistake to trust County government to protect the view shed. It was noted that at this time conservation easements could be obtained a very low cost and that inclusion of the property gives opportunity to protect the most important viewscape and natural feature in Ashland.
It was noted that not all of the money that could be gained to implement this plan has to come from the meals tax or the rate payers, and that having it on the list means that we watch for it, keep it in mind, and look for opportunities.
Councilors Hearn/Jackson m/s to approve the Long Term Parks, Trails and Open Space Plan as presented. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
It was noted that Mickelsen would be leading a hike on Saturday December 7th at 9 a.m. on the portion of the Beagle property that will be part of the greenway. The public is invited to attend.
2. Acceptance of Audit Committee Report dated November 1, 2002, and the June 30, 2002 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg presented an overview of the Audit Committee Report and the CAFR, noting that the City is in a good financial condition and state. He noted that the relationship with the new auditors, Pauly, Rogers and Co., went well, with the auditors reporting a good audit, open books, and a knowledgeable and helpful City Staff. He explained that in this year the City saw a change in fund balances as well as seeing assets go up ten million dollars and some debt go down. He complemented the Finance department staff for a marvelous job.
Tuneberg was asked to comment on fund balances. He clarified that Fund Balances represent not only funds, but also other assets maintained in each of our types of funds to guarantee or carry us through on our commitments. One of those is capital projects. As we borrow monies, or receive monies, or save monies, such as SDC monies, for projects, those fund balances grow. And when we get to those projects, if they are not delayed, then those funds are dispersed and the fund balances themselves either drop or maintain at a lower level. However if a project is held over, if we have a delay - say on a library or a fire station, or road project, or maybe even a community building - our fund balances grow. As we complete those it is normal and natural for the fund balances to drop.
Councilors Reid/Jackson m/s to accept the Audit Committee Report as presented. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
3. Approval of Amendment No. 1 to Fund Exchange Agreement No. 18615-01 for the Water Street Bridge Project between the City of Ashland and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
Public Works Director, Paula Brown, presented an overview of the Amendment No. 1, and recommended Council approval. She noted that of the four different ODOT agreements this is the second and concerns the Water Street Bridge. It is about $100,000 over because of the skewed bridge, curvature of the creek, and having to move some utilities. This project can be in construction by June and competed by December. .
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve Amendment No. 1 to Fund Exchange Agreement No. 18615-01. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS:
1. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Adding Chapter 2.17, Public Arts Commission, to the Ashland Municipal Code."
Interim City Administrator Brian Almquist read aloud the amendments made to the ordinance at the first reading on November 5, 2002.
Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance # 2890. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Reid, Laws, Jackson, Hartzell, Morrison: YES. Motion passed.
2. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Modifying Chapter 15.04 of the Ashland Municipal Code Regarding Building Demolition and Relocation, Requiring Demolition Debris Diversion Plans in accord with Adopted Standards."
It was asked if wording changes suggested at the last meeting would be included in the attachment. City Attorney Paul Nolte clarified that that is something that gets adopted by the Demolition Review Committee and comments would be relayed back to them concerning this.
Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance # 2891. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Hartzell, Jackson, Laws, Reid, Hearn: YES. Motion passed.
3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing Jurisdictional Transfer Agreement No. 707 - Rogue Valley Highway 63 to UPRR Overcrossing Section Green Springs Highway No. 21 (State Highway No. 21, or Route 66) City of Ashland."
Public Works Director Paula Brown presented a brief overview of the agreement, noting that ODOT negotiated with the City and approved the $200,000 for this fiscal year. This will help pay for paving.
Councilors Reid/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution # 2002-32. Discussion: Brown clarified that we are staging the funding approvals rather than getting the money all at once. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Reid, Laws, Jackson, Hartzell, Morrison: YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS:
Reid noted her recent attendance at the Northwest Energy Coalition Meeting in Portland and explained that from what she learned there rates appear to be very unstable and she expects rates to increase. She expressed concern over Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA's) commitment to pay their bills to the Federal Government and that rates in Ashland could be affected and take a dramatic jump. She noted that conservation is the best buy in trying to control rates.
Jackson noted her recent attendance at the League of Oregon Cities Meeting and discussed her various experiences there. She noted that both State Senators spoke at the meeting.
Morrison brought forward the issue of how the City deals with abandoned vehicles, noting an email received about abandoned vehicles on Faith Avenue. Police Chief Scott Flueter explained that the police department handles vehicles abandoned on public roadways and that the City's Code Enforcement Officer, Adam Hanks, handles the ones abandoned on private property. It was noted that there are steps the City must go through and sometimes the process might not seem fast enough for some people.
Almquist noted that a study session concerning affordable housing is scheduled for January, and reminded the Council to set aside all day Saturday, December 14th for interviews, and 7 p. m. December 12th for the Budget Committee meeting. Council Goal setting is scheduled for February 8th.
Morrison acknowledged Bruce Bayard's work on the public arts issue.
Laws spoke about the traditional way to phrase a motion when passing to second reading and adopting an ordinance. He noted that according to the City Charter, the Ashland City Council has a "Council Chairman," and not a "Council President."
The meeting adjourned at 9:06 p.m.
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