Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, May 18, 2009

City of Ashland






May 18, 2009



Present:    Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Gies

Absent:     City Council Liaison Silbiger

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.


Study Session – April 20, 2009

MOTION Noraas moved to approve the minutes as written. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – April 27, 2009

Under “New Business” item Ashland Schools Foundation Run Requests in Lithia Park, Eggers said the motion did not include the run location of Winburn Way.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Open Forum






Robertson said the Budget Committee recommended approval to City Council of the FY 2009-2010 City of Ashland budget with some revisions. He said the Parks portion of the budget was approved as presented. He indicated that the Budget Committee recommended raising property taxes by 11 cents per $1,000.



Robertson said Andy Cochrane of the Ashland Tennis and Fitness Club requested the use of two Lithia Park tennis courts beginning June 1. He welcomed Cochrane and invited him to speak to the commission.

Andy Cochrane requested the use of two Lithia Park tennis courts for approximately 1-1/2 hours each Thursday from June 1 through October 1 for the purpose of training a group of junior advanced tennis players ages 13-15 years. He reported choosing a weekday afternoon because use of the courts was typically light on weekdays at that time. He expressed willingness to pay a user fee for the courts.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed charging Cochrane a rental fee and staff suggested $10 per hour or a total of $15 per week. Eggers expressed unwillingness to reserve the courts, as that would limit access for other park patrons. Other commissioners discussed allowing Cochrane to reserve the courts on a one-year trial basis, with the commission reviewing the matter in a year and deciding then whether or not to approve future court reservations.

MOTION Noraas moved to grant approval, on a one-year trial basis, for the rental of two Lithia Park tennis courts on Thursdays from 4:30-6:00 PM from June 1 through October 1, 2009. Lewis seconded the motion.

                                         The vote was:   Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal – yes

                                                                 Eggers – no


Robertson said the Parks Commission developed a retiree benefit program for its management team in the year 2000 in lieu of cost-of-living adjustments. He said the plan provided limited compensation for health care expenses during a portion of the employees’ retirement years. He said the City Attorney’s office had raised concerns about the cutoff date for coverage of benefits. He indicated that staff believed the benefits were intended for termination when the original recipients reached the age of 65; however, that detail had not been adequately outlined in the 2000 commission memo. He said the City Attorney’s office requested that the commission clarify its intended action on the matter.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed and clarified that the original intention was to provide the benefit to age 65.

MOTION Noraas moved to approve clarifying the retiree benefits package—previously approved by the commission in the year 2000—to designate that all benefits would end upon the recipient’s 65th birthday and that the benefits would terminate at the conclusion of the Park Superintendent’s benefits package at age 65. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Robertson said the Living Wage ordinance section 3.12.020 A(2) did not adequately clarify the definition of a “twelve-month period.” He suggested recommending to council that the ordinance be revised to replace “twelve-month period” with “calendar year.” He said staff also requested clarification that would allow employment to continue after 1,040 hours during the calendar year (at the Living Wage and without a retroactive clause) as outlined in the ordinance.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed paying the Living Wage of $12.96 per hour for longer term temporary employees. Robertson stated that salaries were restricted by budgetary constraints. Dials reported that most of the lower wage employees were hired for seasonal recreation facilities like the ice rink and the swimming pool, with returning employees receiving higher wages each successive year. Robertson said City Council would review the matter if the commission chose to request the clarification, as the Living Wage was implemented by city ordinance.

MOTION Noraas moved to approve requesting that City Council clarify the Living Wage ordinance so that the phrase “any twelve-month period” would be changed to “calendar year” and, once an employee exceeded 1,040 hours during the calendar year, they would become eligible for the Living Wage from that point forward for the remainder of the calendar year. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Announcement of FY 2009-2010 Study Session Calendar

Robertson said the commission set goals each year during the budget planning process and last year published a schedule of study session topics associated with each goal. He announced the goals / study session topics for FY 2009-2010:

§         June 15 – Food and Beverage Tax renewal

§         July 20 – Environmental evaluations and audits / Golf course issues (at golf course)

§         August 17 – Non-native vegetation removals / Pesticide policy review

§         September 21 – Fees and charges for all Parks facilities and fields

§         October 19 – Preliminary steps for Lithia Park master plan / Upper and lower Clay Street properties

§         November 16 – Financial and business plan / community communications

§         December 14 – Begin goal setting process

§         January 11 (date to be confirmed) – Goal setting / Nature Center issues

§         February 15 (date to be confirmed) – Nature Center issues

§         March 15 – Goal setting and budget planning

§         April 19 – Goal setting and budget planning

§         May 10 (date to be confirmed) – Goal setting and budget planning

§         June 21 (date to be confirmed) – Topic to be determined

Report on Food and Beverage Tax Open House Sessions

Robertson said the city scheduled three open house sessions on Monday, May 1, at the Ashland Community Center, allowing citizens to provide input on the potential renewal of the Food and Beverage Tax. He reported attending all or a portion of each of the sessions and summarized each session. He suggested that the commission discuss, at their June 15 study session, whether to broaden usage of the funds allocated to Parks. He said a regular council meeting was scheduled for June 16 and he mentioned the possible need for a special meeting on June 15, following the study session, to allow the commission to vote on a clear direction for council regarding the Parks portion of the Food and Beverage Tax funds.


Commissioners questioned the outdoor seating status for Sesame Restaurant and staff said they were working with Sesame while also trying to accommodate access issues for neighboring Websters.

Robertson distributed a chart showing golf revenues for FY 2007-2008 versus FY 2008-2009. He said Rosenthal requested that the information be compiled and distributed as a reminder that the golf course is a business enterprise.


  • Study session set for June 15 at 7:00 p.m., Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street
  • Regular meeting set for June 22 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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