Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

November 21, 2006
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.
Mayor Morrison announced vacancies on the Tree, Bicycle & Pedestrian, and Housing Commissions. He noted there is also an opening for a SOU student liaison on the Forest Lands Commission.
The Executive Session minutes of November 7, 2006 and Regular Council minutes of November 7, 2006 were approved as presented.
1. Tree of the Year - 2006 Award.
Tree Commission Chair Bryan Holley introduced fellow commissioner Laurie Sager and staff liaison Amy Anderson. Mr. Holley provided an update of the Tree Commission's recent activities. He noted the removal of the "Tree of Heaven" and the selection process used to identify a Ginkgo Biloba to be planted as a replacement. He commented on the Committee's work to update Ashland Municipal Code Section 2.25 (Street Tree Commission) and stated the suggested amendments would be presented to the Council.

The five "Tree of the Year" finalists were noted and the Pacific Madrone located at the Mt. View Cemetery was announced as the 2006 "Tree of the Year".

2. Presentation by ODOT regarding Exits 14 and 19.
David Pyles and John McDonald with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) delivered a presentation on the Interchange Area Management Plan (IAMP) for the Green Springs and North Ashland Interchanges.

Mr. McDonald explained an Interchange Area Management Plan is a 20 year plan for managing interchanges to achieve a balanced land use and transportation relationship. He stated IAMPs are needed because without effective management, the network may become overly congested and clogged, leading to interchange and local street traffic problems, and an IAMP provides the management tools necessary for the long-term sustainability of the network.

Mr. Pyles presented diagrams of: 1) The Transportation-Land Use Development Cycle, 2) Basic Functional Classes, and 3) Balance Between Increments of Development and Improvements in Transportation Facilities. Mr. Pyles reviewed the IAMP content and displayed a process flowchart. Potential IAMP management tools, IAMP future effects, and Ashland's role were also reviewed.
[ODOT's presentation was submitted into the public record.]

It was clarified there will be a single technical advisory committee and a single citizens advisory committee covering both interchanges, and that the City and the County will work through this process together over the next several months. It was also clarified that representatives from the City and the County would be meeting to determine the make-up of the citizens advisory committee, but if they are unable to come to a decision this committee could be split.

Suggestion was made for the advisory committee to not be limited to property owners and business owners as many commuters will also be affected.

3. GFOA Award - 2006.
The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting was awarded to the City of Ashland by the Government Finance Officers Association for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Administrative Services Division Manager Cindy Hanks accepted the award on behalf of the City.

Mayor Morrison announced the following changes to the Council Agenda: 1) Under New & Miscellaneous Business, the Ratification of the Police Union Contract has been added, and 2) Item #5 under Ordinances, Resolutions, and Contracts has been removed.

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
2. Termination of Easement at 1200 Prospect Street.
3. Revised Contract for Interim Chief of Police.
4. Appointment of Alexander C. Krach to the Historic Commission.
Councilor Hartzell requested that Consent Agenda Item #2 be pulled for discussion.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda Items #1, #3 and #4. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Hartzell noted staff's recommendation included that the quitclaim deed not be signed until such time as the existing utility line is relocated at the owners expense and the old line removed and received verification from Public Works Director Paula Brown that this provision would be included in Council's approval of the termination of easement.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to approve Consent Agenda Item #2. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Mayor Morrison commented on the practice in which the Council allows public forum. He stated that the Council has a long-standing practice of accommodating public input at meetings and the Council has interest in what the public has to say, but voiced his disapproval with the small percentage of citizens who use this time to make personal attacks and false characterizations of others. He stated he would step in if citizens engage in disrespectful dialogue and encouraged citizens to contact him if they have any questions.

Marilee Jenkins/Commented on the trail of Lt. Ehren Watada and noted she had submitted information on this subject. Ms. Jenkins commented on the changes she has seen in Ashland, stated she would be leaving Ashland, and read a short poem aloud.

Ambuja Rosen/Stated the tethering ordinance is scheduled to come before Council on December 5, 2006 and commented on some of the questions that might come up during the hearing. Ms. Rosen noted that: 1) for almost two year, Topeka, Kansas has required that animals have a tip-proof water supply, 2) Big Springs, Texas has a requirement for a minimum living space for dogs, and 3) Tucson, Arizona has banned all tethering of animals except horses. She noted that she has researched tethering ordinances of several municipalities and submitted her findings to the Council.

1. Update on the Schedule to revise the Conservation Element of the City's Comprehensive Plan.
Electric Director Dick Wanderscheid and Interim Community Development Director Bill Molnar presented the staff report.

Mr. Wanderscheid noted that last spring, staff was directed to return to Council with a proposed schedule to revise the Conservation Element of the City's Comprehensive Plan. The proposed schedule outlines the following timeline:

• May to July 2008: Staff's revision of the Conservation Element,
• July to September 2008: Review and revision by the Conservation Commission,
• October 2008 to September 2009: Review and revision by the Planning Commission, and
• March 2009: Review, revision and adoption by the Council.

Mr. Wanderscheid explained this schedule is being proposed for the following reasons:

1) The conservation of electric energy could be treated differently after the new long-term power sales contract with Bonneville Power Administration takes effect,
2) The Planning Commission is committed to other high priority projects and they will not have adequate time to address this issue until those other projects are completed,
3) During the next legislative session, there are at least three bills which could impact the conservation element and the City's activities,
4) New Federal legislation could involve carbon tax credits, clean renewable bonds, and carbon offsets, and
5) The current element, which was adopted in 1991, is still very viable and provides a strong policy basis for the City's conservation activities.

Councilor Hartzell expressed concern with waiting for BPA's decision before moving forward and questioned if they could begin other activities, such as setting appropriate targets.

Mr. Wanderscheid noted there are water conservation targets in the Carollo Report and commented on the difficulty of separating the water and energy programs. He stated the City is on track to meeting the targets listed in the Carollo Report; however if the Council wishes to accelerate this it will require more budgetary and staffing facilities. Mr. Wanderscheid clarified there are a number of new programs staff is considering and stated the existing element provides them authority to do this. He advised that they focus on rolling out programs and revising the element right the first time.

Comment was made that the Council could decide to officially adopt the targets listed in the Carollo Report.

Mr. Molnar commented on the Carollo Report and stated it was very thorough and identifies a general goal and over 60 policies. He clarified there is ample policy within the City's Comprehensive Plan that would allow, from a land use perspective, staff to initiate any amendments related to resource conservation if they decided to do so in advance of the update to the Conservation Element.

Mr. Wanderscheid clarified he anticipates being involved with this update through its adoption.

Councilor Chapman/Amarotico m/s to agree with the proposed schedule. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell indicated her preference that they move forward faster. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

1. Establish Street Taskforce.
Public Works Director Paula Brown commented on the need to find a long-term and stable funding source for streets. She noted Council had previously obligated themselves to form this task force and to move forwarding with finding better funding sources. Ms. Brown requested Council review the proposed task force goals and composition.

It was questioned if the task force could look into funding sources for sidewalks as well as pavement. Ms. Brown clarified that this could be included in the goals. Councilor Jackson suggested they include an additional goal (Goal #7), which would address a funding source for sidewalks and parkrows.

Suggestion was made for Goal #6 to coordinate with the budget process. Ms. Brown stated the 3-4 month timeline does coincide with the tail-end of this year's budget process. City Administrator Martha Bennett commented that 3-4 months was optimistic and they may not have conclusions that everyone agrees with in time for this year's budget process.

Ms. Brown stated the way the streets are maintained now is good, and hopes they do not lower the standards. Councilor Silbiger questioned if Goal #3 should be removed. He stated if the Council does not want to reduce the standards this should not be included as an option. Ms. Brown clarified Goal #3 relates to the Council agreeing on a standard and directing staff to meet that standard.

Councilor Hartzell stated that sidewalks and parkrows are addressed in the CIP and questioned if this should be included as one of their goals. She also questioned if they should identify a tolerable cap for the cost on an annual basis. She suggested they could ask the task force to bring back a funding strategy that would identify investing 'x' amount a year over 'y' years in order to meet the needs identified in the assessment. Ms. Bennett stated it is important for the Council to first set the standard and determine the costs.

Councilor Jackson left the meeting at 9:00 p.m.

Ms. Brown noted that the City has a great master plan and transportation system plan, what they lack is a consistent and reliable funding source to accomplish the work.

Councilor Hardesty recommended two additional members be added to the task force composition: 1) a planning commissioner, and 2) a citizen at large member.

Councilor Chapman/Silbiger m/s that the Council give consent to Ms. Brown to move forward on the task force; in addition, add a Goal #7 that addresses sidewalks and parkrows. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell shared her concern with including parkrows with the sidewalks.

Councilor Hartzell/Chapman m/s amend motion to eliminate Goal #6 and add the following members to the Task Force composition: One representative from the Planning Commission, one representative from the community at-large, and one representative from the handicap community. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Voice Vote on Original Motion as Amended: all AYES. Motion passed.

1. Second Reading of an Ordinance Titled, "An Ordinance Adding a New Section to Tittle 14, Chapter 4, Restricting the Addition of Substances to the Drinking Water."

Amy Cuddy/194 Logan Drive/Asked Council to postpone adoption of the ordinance and to research this issue more fully before voting. Ms. Cuddy made the following four points: 1) We have a problem in our community, 2) There is a safe and effective solution to the problem, a solution which the ordinance before you pre-empts, 3) This is not a health issue it is, however it is a class issue, and 4) Experts on this subject are available and should be consulted before a significant policy decision is made.
[A copy of Ms. Cuddy's testimony and a list of organizations that support water fluoridation was submitted into the public record.]

Michael Riedeman/632 Iowa Street/Commented on why it is important to question authority when that authority's research is funded by industries with financial and political interests at stake. Mr. Riedeman noted the ties between researchers and the companies that support fluoridation and listed the results of a report released by the National Academy of Sciences which identified the harmful effects of fluoride in water. Mr. Riedeman requested the Council adopt an ordinance prior to the 2007 legislative session that clearly opposes the mandatory fluoridation of the City's drinking water.
[A copy of Mr. Riedeman's testimony was submitted into the public record.]

Art Bullock/Stated the proposed ordinance is poorly written and does not accomplish the Council's objective. He shared his concern that the ordinance fails to define the term "medication" and given the lack of definition the Supreme Court would base the definition on Webster's Dictionary which describes medication as a drug used to treat illness. Mr. Bullock suggested the following modifications be made to the ordinance: 1) Define the word "person", 2) Define the word "medication", 3) Specifically add terms like "minerals, vitamins, and health supplements" to prevent the argument that fluoride is not a medication, and 4) Include the term "fluoride" to insure the ordinance is upheld by the Oregon court or an Attorney General ruling.
[A copy of Mr. Bullock's testimony was submitted into the public record.]

Michael Framson/207 Bradford Way, Medford/Stated he provides educational services throughout Oregon on this issue and encouraged the Council to adopt the ordinance. Mr. Framson stated that people want safe, high quality drinking water, which is what the City of Ashland does, and this ordinance would acknowledge that this is the City's highest obligation to its consumers. He commented that Dr. Charles Gordon Hyde, who was a past president of the American Medical Association, had stated that he was appalled at the prospect of using water a vehicle for drugs, that fluoride is a corrosive poison that will produce serious effects on a long range basis, and attempts to use water this way is deplorable.

Nick Frost/224 N. Third Street/Voiced his support of the proposed ordinance and stated that Mr. Bullock's brought up some good points. Mr. Frost noted that the American Dental Association had recently suggested that fluoridated water not be mixed with baby formula and stated there are a lot of questions remaining from a scientific basis on how flouride affects children. He stated there are still too many questions about fluoridation and not enough research.

City Administrator Martha Bennett stated that staff reviewed whether this ordinance would effect the City's connection to TAP if Medford decides to fluoridate their water and noted the City Attorney had submitted draft language to the Council that would address this issue.

In regards to questions made by Mr. Bullock, City Attorney Mike Franell clarified the law has recognized the term "person" to include a corporation, partnership or business entity and does not feel this term is ambiguous as it would cover anyone putting a substance into the water. He added he would not object to the addition of "or entity".

Councilor Hartzell suggested alleviating the issue raised regarding the term "medication" by modifying Section A to read, "...or add any substance to the public water supply for the purpose of treating or preventing illness". Mr. Franell stated he is not sure that tooth decay would be considered an illness. He also disagreed with the claim that the Courts would turn to Webster's Dictionary to determine the definition of "medication". He added that Oregon courts have consistently held that when a local government passes an ordinance, that local government is principle in interpreting the ordinance where there may be ambiguity.

Councilor Hartzell suggested that it would strengthen the ordinance to state "medication or health supplement". She also questioned why there was no language on the penalties included in the ordinance. Mr. Franell stated the penalty for violations of the code that are otherwise unspecified makes it a misdemeanor, which is up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Councilor Silbiger shared his concern that there has been no community discussion on fluoridation and opposed passing this ordinance before this discussion has been had.

Councilor Silbiger motioned to table this ordinance until there is formal discussion with the public. Motion died due to lack of second.

Comment was made that it is appropriate for the Council to set policy that that protects citizens against being treated through something as essential as water.

Councilor Hardesty submitted an American Dental Association eGram into the public record.

Councilor Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to approve Ordinance #2935 with the following amendments: 1) add "or entity" after the word "person" in Section A, 2) add the words "or health supplement" after the word "medication" in Section A, and 3) add Section C as drafted by staff. DISCUSSION: Council and staff discussed whether the amendments were substantiative enough to require a new first reading. City Attorney Mike Franell clarified if the ordinance is read aloud in full it can be adopted with the amendments at second reading. Mr. Franell read the ordinance with proposed amendments aloud in full. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Chapman, Hardesty, and Hartzell, YES. Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

Councilor Hartzell/Chapman m/s to extend meeting until 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Hardesty, Amarotico, and Chapman, YES. Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

2. Delegate to Jackson County Committee to End Homelessness.

Councilor Hardesty/Amarotico m/s to appoint Councilor Hartzell. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hardesty commented on the number of families that are homeless. She stated the precursors to homelessness are often unaffordable housing and jobs that don't pay enough and stated that these are critical issues for Ashland. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

3. Council Discussion of Concepts for Proposed Agreement between Ashland Public Schools and Parks and Recreation Department for School Grounds Maintenance.
City Administrator Martha Bennett noted the previous discussions regarding the school grounds maintenance and noted the recent ruling from the Oregon Supreme Court relative to the Eugene equivalent of Ashland's youth activities levy. She explained that Ashland School District Superintendent Julie DiChiro had presented a concept to readjust the allocation of the youth activities levy. This readjustment would stay faithful to the intent of the voters by making sure money still goes to youth activities, but would send any of the dollars affected by the recent ruling to the City's Parks & Recreation Department.

Ms. Bennett stated that staff agrees with the proposed agreement between the Parks Department and the School District with the exception of the provision that the City will pay for the water at the two schools. She added that if all three boards (City Council, Parks & Recreation Commission, and Ashland School District) agree on this conceptual agreement, it will be sent to Legal for drafting of the actual agreement.

Parks & Recreation Director Don Robertson clarified that: 1) Overhead has not been charged in the past and was not included in this agreement, 2) The Parks Department would complete the maintenance at no charge for 18 months, with billing taking effect on July 1, 2008, and 3) The Parks Department would abide by the School District's current policies for vegetation control.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to direct staff to continue working on the intergovernmental agreement and to formulate it into a formal document with the elimination of Item #10. DISCUSSION: Mr. Robertson further clarified it has been the Department's practice to keep things as affordable as possible for the schools, and noted they also don't charge overhead for the City functions they maintain. He noted this document is still a work in progress, as they have not received approval from the School District or the Parks Commission. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Hartzell, Amarotico, and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

4. Ratification of Police Union contract.
City Administrator Martha Bennett stated the City has concluded negotiations with the Police Union over a new three-year contract and the draft contract has been ratified by the Union. She stated the major changes in the contract relates to wages and clarified the City is required set wages based on the averages of comparable city's in Oregon by population. The contract includes a wage increase of 6% in the first year, 5% in the second year, and 4% in the third year, for a total of %15; which is equivalent to the total wage increase given to the City's Fire Department. Ms. Bennett noted the change to increase certification pay for officers that hold advanced education and stated the remainder of the changes are housekeeping items to ensure consistent language. Staff recommends the Council approve the draft contract as presented.

Councilor Amarotico/Silbiger m/s to approve ratification of police union contract. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Amarotico, Hartzell and Hardesty, YES. Motion passed.

2. Second Reading of an Ordinance Titled, "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2.52 of the Ashland Municipal Code Relating to Rules of Procedure for Personal Service Contracts."
City Attorney Mike Franell stated this is the personal services contract ordinance that Council considered at their previous meeting. He noted staff has made the changes requested to reduce the amount that would be required for to go out to bid from $75,000 to $50,000.

Art Bullock/Stated this ordinance shifts power from Council to staff and makes it easier for consulting contracts to be initiated without coming to Council. He stated this prevents accountability, openness and transparency and reduces the public's opportunity to hold their public officials accountable. Mr. Bullock asked the Council to not approve the change, keep it at $25,000, and increase the accountability and the transparency of these consulting projects.
[A copy of Mr. Bullock's testimony was submitted into the public record.] 

Councilor Silbiger/Amarotico m/s to approve Ordinance #2933. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Silbiger, Hartzell, Chapman and Amarotico, YES. Motion passed.

3. Second Reading of an Ordinance Titled, "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2.50 of the Ashland Municipal Code relating to Rules of Procedure for Public Contracting."
City Attorney Mike Franell explained this ordinance was originally brought before Council for first reading in July and stated the second reading was postponed until the ordinance amending the personal services contracts was approved. He stated passing one ordinance and not the other would have created some holes in the code. Mr. Franell noted one clerical change that needed to be made: in Exhibit B, the first sentence should read, "Under the Ashland Municipal Code, Chapter 2.50 Public Contracts, Section 2.50.115, Disposal of Surplus and Abandoned Property...". It was clarified LCRB stands for Local Contract Review Board and staff recommended the Council adopt the ordinance with the noted correction.

Art Bullock/Stated if less people review these contracts it is more efficient in the sense that it gets done quicker, but this does not assist with accoutability and transparency. Mr. Bullock commented on the potential abuse of power by staff and suggested the approval to form be done by either the Mayor or the City Council as well as the City Administrator.
[A copy of Mr. Bullock's testimony was submitted into the public record.] 

City Adminsitrator Martha Bennett clarified there are two kinds of review that take place. One is a review on the contracts merits and the second is a review as to whether the document is in appropriate legal form. She stated it is appropriate for the Legal Department to perform the legal review and clarified herself and the Administrative Services & Finance Director are the two members of staff who review the merits of the contracts. She shared her opinion that the proposed ordinance strikes an appropriate balance between getting things done efficiently and doing it in a transparent and open manner.

It was questioned if the changes made at the first reading should be identified. Mr. Franell stated that typically only changes made by staff between first and second reading are highlighted in the ordinance. It was noted that the wrong version of the ordinance was accidentally included with the Council's packet materials, however the correct version was posted for the citizens to view on the City's website. The changes made at first reading were listed and are as follows: 1) Strike exemptions #4 and #9, 2) Remove the phrase "including bandwidth" from exemption #14, and 3) Insert a provision in exemption #10 to define used vehicles as being at least 12 months old.

Mr. Franell clarified that as long as the Council is clear on what they are adopting it is fine to approve the ordinance. He recommended Council approve the ordinance, with the changes made at first reading, as well as the correction made to Exhibit B.

Councilor Silbiger/Amarotico m/s to approve Ordinance #2934 with the noted correction to Exhibit B. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Amarotico, Chapman, Silbiger and Hardesty, YES. Motion passed.

Request was made for future drafts between first and second reading include the mark-ups.

4. First Reading by title only of an Ordinance Titled "An Ordinance Amending AMC 3.08.020 To Apply Ethics Provisions to Employees, Appointed Officials and Elected Officials."
Item delayed due to time constraints.
5. First Reading by title only of an Ordinance Titled, "An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Municipal Code Relating to Regulations for Parades and Public Assemblies; Repealing Chapter 11.40 of the Ashland Municipal Code."
Item removed from agenda.
1. Discussion of 2006 Council Goals.
Item delayed due to time constraints.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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