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March 16, 2021 City Manager's Report
Posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2021

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March 16, 2021
The City Manager’s Report showcases current events facing the City externally and internally since the last Council meeting, while highlighting City accomplishments. 

Wildfire Forum Recap
On March 10 at 6 p.m., the Ashland City Council held a Wildfire Forum on the Almeda Fire and moving forward. The forum included staff presentations on the community survey conducted after the fire, top takeaways on what the City is doing to improve our emergency response and how residents can prepare for the next fire season. A Q&A period allowed residents to ask questions and most questions were about communication during the event and future events, fire prevention measures, the evacuation plan, fire fighting, emergency preparedness, traffic issues, partnering with regional cities and the County, the investigation into starting the fire, and moving forward.

The video of the forum is available at ashland.or.us/wildfireforum. Frequently asked questions taken from the Q&A period will be available later in the week and posted to the same webpage. 

Public Input Needed For Budget Related Topics
As part of the City’s focus on informing and engaging the community in the budget, a series of polling questions will be published at ashland.or.us/engage throughout the budget process. These questions ask about residents’ views on community and budget issues, funding priorities, and City services.

Each week, two questions will be posted and results forwarded to the City Council and Budget Committee as well as reported online. Questions were crafted from similar surveys used in other communities. The intent is to complement an overall information campaign designed to promote understanding and involvement in the City’s 2021-2023 Biennial Budget. Staff looks forward to continuing to evolve the budget process including the related communication strategy over the next few biennium. 
Senior Services Vaccination Clinic Success
On March 10, APRC's Senior Services Division held a drive thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic which vaccinated 166 seniors with the first dose. The clinic was put on by Mercy Flights providing and giving the vaccine, SOU for hosting the location, Ashland Fire and Rescue along with CERT and Rotary volunteers who handled the logistics of the clinic and made sure participants were safe. Many participants were grateful to access the vaccine in Ashland and were appreciative of how smoothly the clinic ran. 

The Senior Services Division is still helping seniors find ways they can access the vaccine. Ashland seniors 65 and older can be placed on a list through an online form at ashland.or.us/senior or call (541) 488-5342. For those seniors and people living with disabilities living outside of Ashland city limits, call the Aging and Disability Resource Connection at (541) 618-7572. 

New Mobile Application for Hargadine Parking Structure
The City has instituted a new mobile application-based parking payment options for the Hargadine Parking Structure. The new options include the “Call to Park” and “Pay By Phone” smart phone based applications. All signage in the parking structure has been updated to reflect this including instructions on how to use the new system.
 
A new cashless pay station has been installed on the ground floor for users that prefer not to use this new phone app system. Cash payment will no longer be accepted for parking options at the Hargadine Parking Structure.  
National Community Survey
The City of Ashland conducts a citizen survey approximately every two years using the using the National Citizen Survey developed by the National Research Center, Inc. and ICMA (International City Manager Association). If Council wishes to continue this survey, staff can start the planning process to hold a survey in Fall 2021 or 2022. 
  
The statistically valid survey provides residents' opinions about Ashland characteristics and services provided by City government. 
 
In addition to the base survey, Ashland requested the results be compared to demographic subgroups, and compared to the national database of survey results of other jurisdictions. The results were also compared to a subset database of university communities with populations between 10,000 and 40,000.
 
Go to ashland.or.us/citizensurvey to learn Ashland residents opinions about the characteristics and services provided by local government.

Looking Ahead
This is a draft of the next Council meetings agenda and is subject to change.
 
April 5 - Study Session
  • Review of Ordinance 3176
April 6 - Business Meeting
  • Tentative Executive Session to conduct deliberations with persons you have designated to carry on labor negotiations, pursuant ORS 192.660(2)(d).
  • Proclamation for Independent Media Week
  • Climate and Energy Action Plan Update
  • Approval of a Reimbursement Resolution for Capital Improvement Projects for the 2021-23 Budget Biennium
  • Acceptance of a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Plan for the Ashland Municipal Airport
  • Acceptance of a Federal Aviation Administration Grant for the Taxiway Rehabilitation Project
  • Approval of a Professional Services Contract for Improvements to the Community Center and Pioneer Hall
  • Surplus Properties
  • First Reading of Wildfire Mitigation Construction Standards Code (R-327)
For the full look ahead and descriptions of each item, go to ashland.or.us/lookahead.

This month's edition of the City Source includes an article on City services and financial funds, information on the COVID-19 pandemic, how to reduce your wildfire risk, the Adapt Your Home campaign focusing on consumption, the 4th of July run logo design contest, how to become CERT trained, events, and the City Calendar for April.

Go to ashland.or.us/citysource for the latest and past editions. 

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