Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, October 24, 2011

City of Ashland

October 24, 2011

Present: Commissioners Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
Absent: Commissioner Seffinger; City Council Liaison Slattery

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

Study Session – September 13, 2011
Under “Green Team Report,” in the section in which Conservation Analyst Pearce provided feedback on the department’s irrigation system, Rosenthal said the term “state-of-art” used in the same sentence as the word “outdated” created a non-sequitur. He suggested the following alternative wording: “Pearce said the department’s irrigation system, while effective, was already dated…” .

Under “CIP Projects Discussion,” in the section in which Robertson talked about the Parks fleet, Landt asked for the word “use” to be changed to “run” as follows: “[Robertson] said the traditional Parks strategy for fleet items was to run them into the ground but that was not the City’s system.”

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes

Regular Meeting – September 26, 2011
MOTION  Lewis moved to approve the minutes as presented. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes



Staff recommended removing from the agenda, under “Unfinished Business,” the items entitled “Ending Fund Balance Policy” and “Employee Benefits Review and Approval” and placing both on the November study session agenda for further discussion and refinement. The commission agreed and the items were removed.



Rosenthal said the Parks Commission subcommittee for signs, plaques, and memorials, comprised of Eggers and himself, met on Friday, September 30, to hear a request from Dana Bussell of the Public Arts Commission (PAC) for a memorial plaque on a sculpture in the Arnie Krigel Memorial Sculpture Garden near the Calle Guanajuato stairway. He said Bussell’s request for a plaque in memory of late city councilor Jack Hardesty on the sculpture entitled “The Gift” was denied at the subcommittee level because it did not meet the criteria outlined in the commission’s policy for signs, plaques, and memorials. He said most works of art featured plaques naming the artwork and the artist. He said Bussell asked to have her request forwarded to the Parks Commission for further consideration.

PAC commissioner Dana Bussell said works of art were usually identified with a plaque indicating the name of the artwork and the artist. She said the proposed memorial plaque would not change the character or appearance of the piece. She said her commission was not well funded and relied on donations and donors might not wish to fund a work of art without a memorial plaque if that was the purpose for the donation.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Eggers agreed that the request did not fit the commission’s policy for signs, plaques, and memorials. Lewis said the commission’s policy did not reference artwork in Ashland parks and it would be interesting to have that discussion in the future. Rosenthal spoke favorably about including a plaque naming the sculptor and the title of the piece but said his concern was that the memorial aspect of the request, if approved, would set a precedent. Robertson said the policy, enacted due to the sheer volume of requests for memorials in parks, provided a framework for approving memorial plaques at the staff level and stipulated a six-word maximum on plaques. Eggers said a “needs list” was developed that allowed staff to approve certain needed items with plaques in the parks system. Landt said memorial plaques could become a kind of albatross and the memorial plaque approval process was subjective in terms of approval based on perceived worth. He wondered if the subjective system currently in place, which required frequently returning to the commission for consideration or approval, could create ill will in the community if a plaque was deemed unworthy and denied for approval. He recommended eliminating memorial plaques in parks. Eggers said the commission could discuss that suggestion when they reviewed the policy. Rosenthal said the policy was not as subjective as Landt indicated and the current request was before the commission because it was not a standard request. Robertson said he understood that the Arnie Krigel memorial plaque in question was approved by the subcommittee in December 2005 as he found a communication by himself to the PAC chair at that time affirming the plaque’s approval. Landt and Lewis said the communication referenced by Robertson was not included in the meeting packet. Rosenthal said once the commission approved a request, that set a precedent for future similar approvals. Lewis suggested having a future discussion about art in parks separate from the review of the policy for signs, plaques, and memorials.

MOTION: Lewis moved to deny the memorial plaque request as proposed. Landt seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes

Discussion of Motion
Rosenthal said he could support a plaque listing the artwork’s title and artist. Landt suggested revising the policy for signs, plaques, and memorials, in a year or two, in partnership with the Public Arts Commission.

MOTION: Rosenthal moved to approve a plaque to be installed listing the name of the sculpture entitled “The Gift” [mounted in the Arnie Krigel Memorial Sculpture Garden] and the name of the sculptor, Wataru Sugiyama. Landt seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Eggers asked if the plaque would be a standard 1x4 plaque. She received affirmation from the commission and Bussell said the standard size was fine.

Robertson said the 2011 Lithia Park guided walks program sponsored by Ashland Parks and Recreation was concluded on September 30. He said this was the twenty-third successful year for the program, with 840 visitors and residents participating in 2011 walks. Eggers thanked the volunteer organizer and guide, Tom Foster, for his continuing efforts with the park walk program that benefited so many people.
Dickens said the Bluebird Park stairs were removed and the area barricaded but ODOT needed to secure the crib wall under the stairs. He expressed hope for the project’s completion by the end of January 2012.
Dickens said mutt mitt stations and signs were installed in the nine neighborhood parks approved by the commission for dogs on leash on paved walkways. He said the installations would be completed by Friday, October 28. Robertson said a press release would be issued to local media outlets and a news item posted on the City of Ashland website.



  • Study session set for November 21 at 7:00 p.m., Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Topics:

    • Annual Review of Fees and Charges

    • Ending Fund Balance Policy Discussion

    • Employee Benefits Review and Approval Discussion

  • Regular meeting set for November 28 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 7:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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