Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Special Meeting

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

June 8, 2005 - 12:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m.

Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson and Silbiger were present.

The Council discussed the method for how they would make their selection. Mayor Morrison suggested that the individual who is selected be chosen by a majority vote.

The questions are:

1) What do you believe you would contribute to the City Council based on your experience? What are you good at?
2) What do you want to accomplish while serving on the City Council?
3) What do you think are the biggest issues facing the city?
4) Relative to the key issues mentioned, what approach would you recommend the Council take?

Andrew Ainsworth

1) Stated that he has watched the Council and is aware of the issues. Felt that he would bring a younger voice to the Council and noted the need for diversity. Stated that he would bring a fair voice that listened to the citizens, and take into account the wellbeing of all citizens, not just the vocal ones. Stated that all citizens should have equal opportunity to preserve their quality of life. If appointed, stated that he would delay his attendance to college.
2) Stated that affordable housing was an issue, but noted that this was only one part of the greater problem of economic development. Stated that it is one thing to create housing, but where are they going to work? Stated that he would like to see the city become more proactive in encouraging more living wage jobs in Ashland and work on growing and diversifying our economy.
3) Stated that economic development, affordable housing, and increase in traffic were all issues facing the city. Commented that he did not see any major problems with the City at this time or any problems that could not be solved through local participation and well thought out ideas and actions by the Council and Mayor.
4) In regards to the economic development and affordable housing issues, he encouraged the Council to be more proactive and seek additional businesses to our community which would encourage a greater working class in Ashland. Commented that Ashland should not grow too large, but stated that growth is not a bad thing if it is done properly.
Commented on his experience with debate and how he had to familiarize himself with issues. Stated that he would bring diversity to the Council and hoped that they would consider choosing a moderate individual for this position.

Larry Medinger

1) Stated that his biggest concern was affordable housing and stated that this was an area that he knows a lot about technically. Noted his experience and participation in setting up the program for affordable housing. Stated that his experience would contribute to the Council and noted that there are many other issues before the Council that he finds intriguing.
2) Commented on the fear that citizens have in regards to change. Stated that the thing he fears the most is the potential loss of diverse income. He noted that affordable housing was the main issue facing Ashland and everything else seems to stem from that. Stated that he is hopeful that he can contribute to solving this problem.
3) Stated that another key issue aside from affordable housing was AFN and explained that AFN needed to be more competitive and ran like a business. He noted that open space preservation was a concern of his and gave examples of where additional open space could happen.
4) Noted the effort to access the ditch trail. Stated that practical solutions are normally the better way to go.
Provided an example of how to address city problems given the issue of budget constraints.

Michael Morris

1) Stated that he is good at working with people and coming to solutions and conclusions. Shared his experience as an engineer and how he worked with design and criteria.
2) Stated that he would like to see Ashland become more cohesive and would like to see a plan of what Ashland wants to be in the future. Suggested that the Council obtain more input on a vision for the community.
3) Stated that the biggest issue that encompasses all of them was a lack of positive vision for the future of Ashland. He noted that as a Planning Commissioner, most of what they have to confront is what the community does not want and stated that in order to progress you need to know where you want to go. He noted an additional concern was the Council's reliance on emails to get things done and noted the absence for the public to be able to access these emails and the openness of this process. He stated that this was not an open and upfront process when decisions are made in this manner.
4) Stated that he would like to have a balanced Council that has an open process. He felt that there are citizens who do not feel they are represented and stated that the balance of people should be looked at. Commented on his longevity in the community and stated that he has a connection to the community that is missing from the Council.
Commented that the biggest financial issue was AFN; however this was not the issue that the majority of citizens were worried about. Stated that it seems odd to him that the City would spend more on three trucks for the water department than they would for their downtown plan. Noted the need for direction from the Council. Also clarified that the older generation group and younger working group are not currently being represented by the Council.

Eric Navickas

1) Shared his background in architectural design and noted his experience with planning applications. He stated that he has been involved in city government for some time and has a good understanding of what the Council does. Feels that he represents a demographic that does not get much representation in the city government, which is the younger generation of more progressively minded individuals. Thinks that the Council should consider appointing someone the represents this group that if often excluded from politics.
2) Stated that the big issues facing the city revolve around growth. Commented on the large building standards and feels that the city should take a strong position in enforcing these standards. Also commented on the water issue and noted that there are a lot of pressures on the city to allow the TAP line to extend to Ashland. Stated that this would have severe repercussions with regard to growth. Would like to take a strong position against any further growth of the urban growth boundary and the potential for the TAP line to affect that. Also commented on the protection of the municipal watershed and the need to look for a lighter-handed fuels reduction project.
3) Spoke regarding the growing intolerance in Ashland and cited examples. Felt that the business community was against diversity and suggested that the city take a more aggressive position in promoting diversity. Noted the pressure from increased property values on affordability and suggested that the city take an aggressive role in lobbying the state to obtain progressive legislation on the state level. Stated that he believes in being responsible with our spending, but not to the point where it restricts the city's potential to support important programs like affordable housing and the arts.
4) Recommended that the city not move forward with the TAP project and look to aggressive conservation and a shift in the development patterns towards higher density development that don't require single family houses with individual lots and yards. With regard to the large scale development standards and the downtown plan, stated that he would like to see the city do an inventory of the size of buildings currently in the downtown area and look at a real size limitation that meets the current height restriction. Stated that the city should strengthen its Big Box Ordinance, especially in the downtown. With regard to the UGB, thinks that the city should be very strict in maintaining the boundary and not rapidly expanding it. Noted the opportunity of the railroad property for high density housing and noted the need for more housing in the downtown area.
Gave examples of buildings in the downtown area that are used for housing. Stated that the city needed to promote smaller square footages in the housing downtown.

Colin Swales

1) Noted his experience on the Planning Commission and how this would be a benefit to the Council. He also commented on his training in architectural design. Stated that he could bring to the Council his skills in land use and city planning.
2) Stated that he would like to make sure that this community remains the best place to live. He noted some of the benefits of the community that first brought him to Ashland.
3) Noted some of the Council goals and stated that one of the big problems facing the Council was their inability to get through their business. Stated that he would like to work with the Council and the Planning Department to make sure that the reasons for the planning appeals are lessened so that the Council can get on with its job of governing the city. Noted the downtown plan and the railroad property plan are two items that he would like to see brought forward. Noted his concern of not having a year round economy in Ashland and stated that he would like to work toward attracting businesses that could provide year-round, living wage employment for the citizens.
4) Noted the talent of the city department heads and the talent at the lower levels of staff. Hoped that the Council would reach out to the entire city staff and listen to them.
Stated that he was supportive of AFN when it started out, but thinks there have been some inefficiencies in the way it has been managed. Stated that he would look to the people who have the expertise and have studied the issue for a solution, but stated that this problem needed to be sorted out very quickly. Also commented on Measure 37 and would like for the city to look at creative ways to deal with this.

Laurel Sutherlin

1) Noted his role as a community organizer and stated that he would bring to the Council a re-energized civic involvement from many parts of the community that aren't as active. Noted his role as a media spokesperson for the forest protection campaign involving the Biscuit logging projects.
2) Stated that he was excited about the current composition of the Council and the opportunities to push forward a progressive agenda. Thinks this Council has moved into sync with the community and would like to see Ashland further some of the innovative programs currently underway. Would like to see the city focus on improving alternative transportation and public transportation. Stated the he is very interested in the city preserving other programs such as requiring open space and preserving the quality of life for this community.
3) Commented on growth and economic pressure that if facing Ashland with the influx of people who are moving in, and the pressure for the City to change its character and direction. Would like to finds ways to incorporate the inevitable growth, but do so in a way that maintains the character of the city. Thinks that AFN is an economic issue and solutions need to be found. Stated that the pressure for development and changing the nature of the city was the biggest threat facing the city.
4) Voiced his support for the current approach the city is taking with the Charter Review process. Sees himself in a support role for the positive direction the city is currently taking.
Noted that his work has been in the non-profit sector and noted his understanding of lack of funds when trying to promote programs. Felt that they could draw from the level of community support for certain projects. Stated that this community has an economic opportunity that is not available to most communities. He also noted that his experience in grant writing.

David Williams

1) Stated that he would contribute a view that reflects the mature members of the community. Noted that he also has a point of view as someone who grew up in Ashland. Noted his interest in preserving Ashland and would like to see the city not get carried away with growth. Stated that his strong financial background could be useful and noted his experience in management and team leadership. Stated that he is good at getting along with people and noted that he has had success in dealing with difficult people.
2) Noted his interest in government and stated that he would look forward to learning more about how city government works. Stated that he would represent those people who prefer a fiscally responsible type of government, one that is efficient and addresses the interests of a long term Ashland.
3) Stated that growth was a key issue in Ashland and noted that this was evident by what we are seeing downtown and the noticeable increase in traffic. Would like to see the city be careful with high density housing. Stated that the issue for Ashland was the preservation of the Ashland that many have know for years and to not become like the other communities that have allowed growth to become unchecked. Stated that the reality is that land is going to get more expensive because Ashland is a very desirable place to live. Stated that Ashland should not feel responsible for acquiring any further population than what is necessary and it is not Ashland's responsibility to grow. Stated that Ashland has become more of a community of retirees, and this is likely to continue. Stated that other communities will remain the centers of employment and Ashland should maintain itself as a desirable place to live.
4) Recommended continuation and even more emphasis on not allowing too much growth other than what is dictated by state statute. Stated that more than necessary growth was not desirable and stated that he would like to see things stay the way they are.

Mayor Morrison went over the process for selection and ballots were provided to the Council.

The following are the results of the three voting sessions:

Round 1


Andrew Ainsworth


Larry Medinger


David Chapman - Michael Morris
XXX Tom Dimitre - Eric Navickas
- John Gaffey


Michael Riedeman
- Steve Hauck - Laurel Sutherlin
- Don Laws XXX Colin Swales


Greg Lemhouse - David Williams

Round 2

Candidates: 000 Andrew Ainsworth, David Chapman, Tom Dimitre, Greg Lemhouse, Michael Riedeman and Colin Swales.

Councilor Amarotico David Chapman
Councilor Hartzell David Chapman
Councilor Silbiger David Chapman
Councilor Jackson Michael Riedeman
Councilor Hardesty Michael Riedeman

Round 3

Candidates: 000 Tom Dimitre, Colin Swales and David Chapman.

Councilor Amarotico- David Chapman

Councilor Hartzell

Colin Swales
Councilor Silbiger David Chapman
Councilor Jackson David Chapman
Councilor Hardesty Colin Swales

Councilor Amarotico/Jackson m/s to appoint David Chapman to Council Seat #6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 1:56 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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