Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


December 4, 2012
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
City Recorder Barbara Christensen provided the Oath of Office to Pam Marsh appointed to City Council Position #6.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, and Marsh were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Planning Commission, Forest Lands Commission, Public Arts Commission, Transportation Commission, Housing Commission, Tree Commission, and Firewise Commission.
Public Works Director Mike Faught reported on the current water conditions, the potential for flooding, and the staff action plan.
The minutes of the Study Session of November 19, 2012 and Business Meeting of November 20, 2012 were approved as presented.
1.   Approval of commission, committee, and board minutes
2.   A resolution declaring the canvass of the vote of the election held in and for the City of Ashland, Oregon on November 6, 2012, and Mayoral proclamation
3.   Resolution instructing the US Congress to approve a constitutional amendment granting Congress and the States authority to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures and to determine the nature and extent of privileges to entities other than natural persons
4.   Approval of an amendment to the cable television franchise agreement with Charter Communications, Inc.
5.   Letter of intent for Washington Street extension to Tolman Creek Road
6.   Approval of a public art element for the downtown Plaza
7.   Resolution amending City grant application policy and process
Keith Swink/1655 Peachey Road/Explained he was a member on the Historic Commission and expressed concern regarding Consent Agenda item #6, the approval of public art for the Plaza.  The Historic Commission was not included in the final decision and should have been.
Joseph Kauth/1 Corral Lane/Spoke regarding Consent Agenda item #5, the letter of intent for the Washington Street extension to Tolman Creek Road.  He opposed the extension due to traffic and building issues.  He noted the Lincoln Elementary school was unused and suggested an exchange with residential units along with a moratorium on the extension.
Councilor Voisin pulled Consent Agenda item #6 and Councilor Morris pulled item #5 for further discussion.
Public Works Director Mike Faught clarified with the exception of the park row, the City maintaining the streets and sidewalk for the Washington Street extension to Tolman Creek Road was typical.  Staff recommended maintaining the park row as part of the negotiation process with Mr. Brombacher who opposed the road going through his property.  This was only a letter of intent, the plan still needed to go through the Planning Commission approval process that could result in low impact development options.  As part of the Transportation System Plan Update, staff looked at connections that were important to the transportation system as a whole.  Initially, the State recommended a median from the traffic signal to Tolman Creek Road due to traffic flow.  They delayed implementation but would proceed if traffic incidents occurred.  Staff considered Washington Street an alternative route.
Councilor Morris declared a potential conflict of interest regarding the Washington Street extension.  He had family that owned property above the area in question.
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #5.  Voice Vote:  Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Silbiger, NO.  Motion passed.
Councilor Voisin received several comments from the Historic Commission that they wanted to provide input regarding the public art element for the Plaza.  She suggested delaying the decision until the December 18, 2012 Council meeting so the Historic and Public Arts Commissions could meet.
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the Public Arts Commission held a special meeting in September, invited the Historic Commission to discuss artwork on the Plaza but only one member attended.  Management Analyst Ann Seltzer further explained Victoria Law from the Historic Commission attended the meeting and suggested incorporating historic photos on the plaza as a component of the public art element.  The Public Arts Commission did not have a quorum for that meeting, but discussed Ms. Law’s suggestion and came to the conclusion placing photographs on the seat wall was not an appropriate location.  They responded with three options for the photographs that included placing them on the exterior of the Information Booth, creating a temporary display during National Historic Month or a permanent display on the exterior wall of the library.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to delay Consent Agenda item #6 until December 18, 2012 and in the interim have a meeting between the Public Arts Commission and the Historic Commission.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin thought the Historic Commission needed the opportunity to comment on the final decision.  Councilor Lemhouse noted the process the Public Arts Commission used had included the Historic Commission as well as public input.  Councilor Slattery added the Public Arts Commission was in charge of public art implementation and was unclear where the Historic Commission came into the process.  Councilor Voisin responded the Historic Commission did not have the opportunity to comment on the final decision as a commission.  Councilor Silbiger confirmed the Historic Commission had not voted as a commission to delay the final decision either.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, Slattery, Marsh, Silbiger, and Morris, NO. Motion failed 1-5.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #6.  
DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse thought the Public Arts Commission did their due diligence regarding their decision.  Councilor Marsh explained the City needed to create a vital gathering place for everyone.   Historical elements helped establish a sense of place but in order to get people using the area it needed to feel like a place designed for the current population.  Councilor Voisin would not support the motion and reiterated the importance of the Historic Commission providing input regarding the decision.  Councilor Silbiger noted the Historic Commission had provided input in the past regarding the design process and could always suggest additional items for the Plaza.  The motion was a vote regarding one specific piece of art for the Plaza.  Councilor Morris was interested in the Historic Commission’s suggestions for the Plaza.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Lemhouse requested Council add a discussion to the agenda regarding the process and direct the Historic Commission to bring a plan that incorporated historical weigh points for the downtown to a future Council meeting for review. 
Councilor Slattery/Marsh m/s to place the item on the Agenda for discussion. 
DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh thought it was an appropriate time to discuss the item since the Historic Commission was present.  Councilor Voisin wanted to wait until the Historic Commission met the following day.  Councilor Lemhouse clarified the Historic Commission was not meeting the next day.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Lemhouse explained the Historic Commission would come back with a plan to install historical weigh points or markers in the downtown area that helped citizens and visitors interpret and connect with the past.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s that staff direct the Historic Commission to create a plan that incorporates a historic presence with an educational component in the downtown area. DISCUSSION: Councilor Silbiger preferred the direction to be more of a suggestion rather than a task and wondered if the Historic Commission thought it was a good idea.  Councilor Lemhouse noted Council often delegated projects to commissions.  A directive would provide timelines or the impetus to complete the task.  With Councilor Lemhouse and Slattery’s consent, Councilor Marsh offered a friendly amendment that would not limit the direction to having markers. Instead, it would allow flexibility to create a historic presence and an educational component.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Silbiger, Marsh, Slattery, and Voisin, YES.
Councilor Silbiger/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 through #4 and #7. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   A resolution authorizing a rate increase for solid waste collection and hauling services provided by Recology Ashland Sanitary
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained Recology Ashland Sanitary came to Council the year before and requested a 23% rate increase in order to bring their profit margin up to a usual and customary level for garbage collection service.  At that time, Council awarded Recology an 11% increase that brought them to a break-even point and directed staff to hire a consultant to study the rate structure and Recology’s revenues to determine if it merited an additional rate increase.  Chris Bell, a certified public accountant who specialized in this field of work brought back a report that indicated Recology was entitled to an 8% rate increase across the board.  At the time of the report, Council directed staff to form a committee with Recology to study the services offered in Ashland and work on a new franchise agreement.  Staff recommended Council approve the rate increase.
Mr. Kanner reviewed current franchise agreements from other jurisdictions, planned to provide samples to the committee then have the committee meet with Recology.  The City needed to examine the possibility of automating garage collection.  People interested in participating in the committee were encouraged to contact Mr. Kanner at City Hall.
Public Hearing Open: 7:58 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:58 p.m.
Councilor Slattery/Voisin m/s to approve Resolution #2012-39.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin thought the City had done their due diligence and supported the increase.  Councilor Silbiger would not support the motion citing Recology’s manual residential collection services was responsible for their profit losses.  Recology chose where they put their capital improvements.  Additionally, the Recycling Depot losses equated to $1.77 per month for every residential customer in Ashland and duplicated recycling efforts while taking in a small volume of recyclables.  The 8% rate increase would raise residential bills $1.43.  Closing the Recycling Depot could prevent a rate increase.  Councilor Lemhouse understood Councilor Silbiger concerns but thought not approving the increase and making a major change without reviewing services or soliciting public input might prove detrimental.  He supported the committee and their review.
Councilor Morris would vote in favor of the increase but wanted to participate in the committee to review the entire operation.  Councilor Slattery agreed the Recycling Center needed consideration along with the City conducting business in a more efficient way.  The increase would allow the service to continue with a reasonable profit for Recology.  The committee would help the City begin strategic planning to keep rates lower over the next 10-20 years.  Councilor Voisin added the committee was critical to the process, would resolve Councilor Silbiger’s concerns, and mitigate some of the issues raised by Mr. Bell.
Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Voisin, Slattery, Lemhouse, Marsh, and Morris, YES; Councilor Silbiger, No. Motion passed 5-1.
1.   Annual appointments to the Citizen Budget Committee
City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained the City received three new applications along with requests for reappointment from Denise Daehler and David Runkel.  Park Commissioner Stefani Seffinger applied but withdrew her application because Oregon Budget Law allowed a specific number of elected officials to serve on the Budget Committee.
Ms. Christensen provided Council with ballots.  Council majority reappointed Denise Daehler and David Runkel.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s the reappointment of David Runkel and Denise Daehler to the Citizen Budget Committee with terms ending December 31, 2016. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2.   Appointment to Audit Committee at-large citizen and Council/Mayor liaison
City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained the Audit Committee included a voting Council/Mayor liaison that Council selected yearly.  Additionally, Thomas Hepford submitted an application for the citizen vacancy on the committee.  Ms. Christensen recommended appointing Mr. Hepford with a term ending April 30, 2015. 
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to appoint Thomas Hepford as the citizen applicant to the Audit Committee with a term ending April 30, 2015. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse/Silbiger m/s to appoint Councilor Slattery as Council/Mayor Liaison to the Audit Committee. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Ms. Christensen suggested Council appoint a Citizen Budget Committee liaison to the Audit Committee at this time.
Councilor Silbiger/Slattery m/s to reappoint Roberta Stebbins as Citizen Budget Committee Liaison to the Audit Committee. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Voisin suggested adding an agenda item to a future Study Session to discuss the need for an alternate Council liaison in case the liaison was unable to attend an Audit Committee meeting.  Ms. Christensen and the City Attorney were attending the December 17, 2012 Study Session regarding commissions and would add an alternate liaison for the Audit Committee to the discussion.  Council agreed.
3.   Portable toilet adjacent to Calle Guanajuato recycling area
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the portable toilet received moderate use over the past year with some vandalism in the past two months that resulted in an extra charge to the City.  Currently the City paid approximately $150 a month for the portable toilet.  Council needed to make a decision whether to continue the service for another year.
Community Development Director Bill Molnar added the portable toilet was a temporary use of land usually covered in a Conditional Use Permit (CUP).  He would need input from the City Attorney to confirm whether a CUP would be required.
Parks and Recreation Director Don Robertson explained keeping the permanent restroom facilities open 24 hours created  unsafe situations, additional vandalism, and people would mostly likely sleep there at night.  He confirmed there were two additional portable toilets located by the Ice Skating Rink that would remain until the end of February.
Keith Haxton/110 7th Street/Used the restroom facility often and knew several others that did as well and hoped Council would approve it for another year.  Vandalism occurred in all the public restrooms in the city and the cost to the portable toilet was far less than the permanent facilities.  He believed the cost for leaving the permanent restrooms open was over $10,000 because of the vandalism.  Vandalism costs for the portable toilet was approximately $20 a month.  The facility was very useful for homeless people and patrons coming from the bars as well.  He urged Council to approve it for one more year.
Councilor Voisin/Marsh m/s to direct staff to leave the portable toilet in the Calle Guanajuato recycling area. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin noted this was a public health issue and the portable toilet received slightly more than moderate use.  Council should continue the service for another year then work on the CUP.  Councilor Marsh thought the City should secure the two portable toilets at the skating rink at night and reserve them for people using the ice rink.  The cost for the portable toilet was negligible and removing it created a perception of taking something away that was there to serve people.
Councilor Lemhouse agreed with Councilor Marsh on securing the portable toilets at the ice rink at night.
He was concerned the portable toilet would become an annual Council decision and wanted staff to work through the zoning issues and give the City Administrator the authority to decide when to remove it in the event of long-term vandalism. Councilor Slattery thought the City should deal with the resource on a permanent basis instead of using a portable toilet. The abuse of the portable toilet would determine whether the City continued that service. He suggested a permanent structure with a camera.  Councilor Morris agreed the City needed a facility whether it was a permanent structure or modifying the other bathrooms to make them safer at night.
Councilor Silbiger agreed with Councilor Morris and Slattery.  The portable toilet had been there for a year and that made it more than a temporary structure.  The City needed to meet planning codes soon. Councilor Voisin thought the issue of the CUP was complaint driven and restated it was a public health issue.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Morris, Silbiger, Marsh, and Slattery, YES. Motion passed.
Council directed staff to research replacing the portable toilet with a permanent restroom facility.  
4.   Procedure on selection of Park Commissioner position #3
City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained Parks Commissioner Rich Rosenthal won the election for City Council Position #5 during the November 6, 2012 election.  He would resign from the Parks Commission December 31, 2012.  The City Charter stated Council needed to fill the vacant office within 60 days but did not provide a separate process for the Parks Commission.  Ms. Christensen provided two options.  The Parks Commission could work with Ms. Christensen as the City Elections Officer to determine a process for vetting applications, and selecting an applicant for Council approval no later than March 1, 2013. The second option was Council conducting the selection process themselves in conjunction with the City Elections Officer.
Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s the City Council use the same procedure previously used in accepting applications for the Parks Commission and let City Council make that decision.  DISCUSSION:  Council Silbiger noted the City Charter gave Council the responsibility and Council should make the decision.  Councilor Lemhouse was uncomfortable selecting a commissioner for another elected body and wanted input from the Parks Commission regarding the process.  Councilor Voisin agreed with Councilor Lemhouse and thought the Parks Commission could provide Council with names or be involved in the process some way.  Councilor Slattery supported having either the Parks Commission or staff advertise for applications, the Parks Commission could vet applicants and make a recommendation to Council.  Councilor Marsh noted the options Ms. Christensen had provided, and agreed with option one that had the Parks Commission working with the City Elections Officer on process and making a recommendation to Council.
Councilor Morris thought it was odd having the Parks Commission choose the next Commissioner and then have Council approve the recommendation.  Mayor Stromberg thought the Parks Commission should do the vetting, choose a candidate, and have Council validate that choice unless there were strong reasons not to accept their recommendation.  Councilor Lemhouse agreed Parks should do the vetting.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Slattery, and Marsh, NO.  Motion failed 2-4.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s the Park Commission work with the City Elections Officer to determine a process for reviewing applications and vetting applicants.   
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, and Marsh, YES.  Motion passed.
Ms. Christensen noted she was attending the Parks Commission meeting December 10, 2012 and would keep Council apprised of the progress.
1    Second reading, by title only, of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt the Housing Needs Analysis as a supporting document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan”
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled “An Ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt the Housing Needs Analysis as a Supporting Document to the city of Ashland Comprehensive Plan.”  
DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse would not support the motion.  Some of the conclusions lacked thorough analysis to make it a supporting document.  Mayor Stromberg agreed with Councilor Lemhouse.  Councilor Silbiger read the document again and had enough concerns that he would not support the motion either.  Councilor Marsh questioned why Council had not requested staff revise the document given the number of concerns raised.  It was a bad message to send a technical document out with a split vote.  Councilor Morris had shared his concerns with staff.  It was better than the consultant’s document but he still had issues with it.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, YES; Councilor Morris, Marsh, Lemhouse, Silbiger, and Slattery, NO. Motion failed 1-5.
City Administrator Dave Kanner would add the Housing Needs Analysis to a future Study Session for discussion.
2.   First reading, by title only, of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance authorizing full faith and credit bonds for multiple purposes”
Administrative Director Lee Tuneberg explained the Full Faith & Credit Bonds would fund new projects identified in the Capital Improvement Plan in the 2012-2013 Budget.  Repairs to the Perozzi Fountain in Lithia Park served as a placeholder that the Parks Commission could decline up to the issuance of the Bond.
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to approve First Reading by title only of an Ordinance titled “An Ordinance authorizing Full Faith and Credit Bonds for multiple purposes.” Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Lemhouse, Voisin, Morris, Silbiger, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:51 p.m.
________________________________                    ______________________________
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor


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