Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19, 2013
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor called the order at 7:00 p.m. Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced the City was accepting applications for annual appointments to the various Commissions and Committees.  The deadline for applications was March 15, 2013.
He went on to move agenda item #3. Consideration of a letter of intent between Ashland Community Hospital, Asante Health Systems, the City of Ashland, and the Ashland Community Hospital foundation under NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS to number 1. with Council consent.
The minutes of the Special Meeting of February 2, 2013, Study Session of February 4, 2013, Executive Session of February 4, 2013 and Business Meeting of February 5, 2013 were approved as presented.
Police Chief Terry Holderness noted Frank D’Entremont’s career with the Ashland Police Department and thanked him for 57 years of service.
1.   Approval of minutes from Boards, Commissions, and Committees
2.   Liquor License application for Warren Anderson dba Ashland Texico
3.   Liquor License application for Rajan Kumaran dba Tudor Guild, Inc.
4.   Liquor License application for Brandon Overstreet dba Swing Tree Brewing Co.
5.   Liquor License application for Michael Ulizzi dba Club 66
6.   Approval of special procurement for boundary survey work on Calle Guanajuato
7.   Approval of a special procurement for phase #2 of the Calle Guanajuato resurfacing project
8.   Adoption of a funding agreement between the City of Ashland and the Oregon Department of Forestry
9.   Award of a public contract for a risk management advisor
10. Approval of a contract amendment with Liquivision Technology
11. Approval of the Mayor’s appointment of Krista Hepford to the Public Arts Commission
12. Consent to Legal Representation by David Lohman on Mt. Ashland Ski Area Matters
13. Approval of a special procurement for helicopter forest thinning for the City of Ashland’s Winburn property
14. Approval of a special procurement for helicopter forest thinning for the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project
Councilor Rosenthal and Slattery pulled Consent Agenda item #9 for discussion.  Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg clarified the Risk Management Advisor contract would help the City negotiate insurance packages not covered by city or county insurance services.  The contract was $18,000 per year for two years with a three-year renewal option.  The fee schedules addressed how much the company charged, complexity, and coverage.
Councilor Voisin pulled Consent Agenda item #12 for discussion.  City Attorney Dave Lohman confirmed he would represent the City regarding issues relating to Mt. Ashland Association (MAA) who was a former client of his previous law firm and clarified he was not involved in the lawsuit that occurred at the firm.
Councilor Rosenthal pulled Consent Agenda item #13 for discussion.  Forest Resource Specialist Chris Chambers clarified the grant covered 100% of the project cost including the value of the material removed up to $335,000.  They based the $335,000 on $500 per 1,000 board feet.  Since that estimate, the market improved and the price was now over $700 per 1,000 board feet.  The extra funds would extend the project to include fuels reduction treatments on private property bordering the Ashland Watershed, prescribed burning on City of Ashland forestlands, and fuels reduction in Siskiyou Mountain Park.  Staff did not anticipate needing a contingency.
Councilor Marsh/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Consideration of a letter of intent between Ashland Community Hospital, Asante Health Systems, the City of Ashland, and the Ashland Community Hospital foundation
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the Letter of Intent (LOI) was the groundwork for a final agreement that would come before Council the end of March 2013.  By signing the LOI, the City transferred its sole corporate membership to Asante, the title, and all real property it owned to Ashland Community Hospital Corporation.  Asante would agree to operate Ashland Community Hospital (ACH) as a general hospital defined in state law for a period of 3 years.  Failure to do so had the sole corporate membership revert to the City along with $8,000,000 to cover the outstanding balance on the construction debt.  Asante further agreed to make $10,000,000 in capital improvements in the first three years.  There were two outs for Asante, one was unknown liabilities at time of closing that exceeded $4,000,000, or if the known pension liability exceeded $16,000,000, Asante had the right to give the hospital back to the City in the first three years.  If Asante ceased to operate ACH as a general hospital years 4-15 they would pay the City $4,000,000 in liquidated damages.
Councilor Slattery explained the group focused on retaining the general hospital for as long as possible, protecting jobs and relieving the debt risk.  He specifically thanked Doug Gentry for his leadership and efforts on the board.
Asante President and CEO Roy Vinyard noted Asante and ACH’s mission and value statements were similar.  Locally owned, Asante provided care for over 600,000 residents in nine counties in Southern Oregon and Northern California.  In addition, Asante provided the following services:
·         Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - recently expanded to Gold LEED Certified 
·         Complex Heart Health Care
·         Inpatient Mental Health
·         Free Standing Pediatric Care
ACH was a key component in the area and Asante was interested in building on their current services and strengthening others.  Asante would also provide less expensive access to capital, recruit physicians, and try to maintain as many jobs currently at ACH as possible.
Asante intended to run ACH as a general hospital for the next 100 years.  They wanted to incorporate financial incentives and penalties if Asante was unable to operate ACH as a general hospital.  The $10,000,000 capital improvements were a start to the amount of investment Asante planned to make.   Asante was not looking to change any services currently provided, the needs of the community determined services. 
The Asante Board comprised of 11-15 board members representative of the communities served.  The ACH Chair would become a voting member and the ACH Chief of Medical Staff an ex-officio non- voting member on the Asante Board.  Ultimately, the ACH Board would become a quality committee. 
The initial $10,000,000 for capital improvements might include the electronic medical record system, new equipment, building improvements, but would not cover operational costs.  Mr. Vinyard was confident they would complete due diligence within the 90-day window.  Asante developed partnerships between the hospital and physicians for coordination of care and felt prepared for any changes that might occur in the medical field.
Ron Roth/6950 Old 99 South/Questioned selling the property, thought it was worth more than $3,900,000 and preferred the City negotiate a long-term lease to Asante for the property.  He also wanted Le Clinica brought into the conversation.  He noted a physician that performed surgery on him at Providence and wanted to know if that doctor would be able to operate at Asante or ACH.  He suggested the Mayor appoint an ad hoc committee to get a community wide perspective.
Mr. Vinyard confirmed prior physicians could request privileges at all three of the hospitals.
Councilor Slattery/Rosenthal m/s to approve letter of intent of affiliation between Asante and Ashland Community Hospital and authorize the Mayor and the City Administrator to sign the letter as presented. DISCUSSION: Councilor Slattery explained the Ashland Board of Directors, a large citizen based group met extensively regarding ACH.  Council and the Mayor appointed the group and they worked on both affiliations.  The Ashland Board of Directors and the Ashland Foundation participated in the meetings. It was imperative to move to a partnership quickly.  This was one way Ashland could have a successful general hospital in the future.  Councilor Rosenthal emphasized the Letter of Intent was non-binding and time was of the essence regarding the partnership.  Councilor Marsh thought the agreement met the three objectives in that it would protect financial investments, maintain the hospital facility, and provide some local control since Asante was local.
Mr. Kanner explained the real market value determined by the County Assessor was approximately $4,000,000.  The community gained value as long as the hospital remained open and Asante had built incentives to keep the hospital open.  They needed to amortize their investment over time and $4,000,000 was fair.  The hospital property had construction debt that the City would divest itself by transferring the corporate membership to Asante.  Additionally, an unfunded actuarial pension liability that could potentially come back to the City would divest if the agreement moved forward.
Councilor Voisin did not want taxpayers saddled with the $8,000,000 construction loan and Asante would assume responsibility for that debt.  Councilor Morris agreed it was the best option and Councilor Lemhouse supported the agreement. Mayor Stromberg acknowledged the agreement was a big step for the community and potentially a good one considering ACH’s current financial circumstances. 
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Voisin, Slattery, Marsh, Morris, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.

2.   Fiscal Year 2012 – 13 second quarter financial report: October – December 2012
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg explained the amount of cash decreased from December to December because of issuing bonds for construction on Fire Station No. 2.  Additionally, a portion of the unrestricted funds in the Capital Improvement Fund went towards remodeling the Police Department with the City paying 85% of the remodel.  Reserves paid down debt service and the Hargadine parking structure in full.  The City was in an improved position heading into the biennium with future costs to manage as the City went forward.  When the City issued bonds recently the rating agency noted the City had maintained its financial position with slight improvements.
3.   Update from the ad hoc Steering Committee on Homelessness
Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee (HSC) member Graham Lewis provided a status on the committee that included meetings with the faith community that resulted in a shelter night at Trinity Episcopal Church and two faith community agencies collaborating with the City to open a shelter night on Thursdays in Pioneer Hall.  HSC trained volunteers to work at all the shelters, and developed an online scheduling system for the 72 shelter hosts.  HSC also was planning a trip to Klamath Falls to research Veteran’s Court, heard a report regarding the Exclusionary Zone, researched shower trucks and facilities, produced an Ashland resource list of services with City staff, and visited Eugene OR for options on a day shelter, overnight parking and other services.
HSC’s main action item was the Veteran’s Court. HSC was having difficulties finding a space to provide shower facilities and had researched shower trucks leased by the US Forest Service and Cycle Oregon as a possible alternative.
John Wieczorek/165 Orange Avenue/Explained he was a member of the Social Justice and Action Committee for the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.  He thanked the Temple Emek Shalom, City staff, and the HSC for collaborating on the shelter night at Pioneer Hall.  They hosted an average of 12 people a night, 9 men, and 3 women who all expressed their gratitude to the hosts and the City for providing shelter.  He explained how difficult it was rejecting guests with dogs and thought the City should revaluate the policy.  Volunteers were looking into an online service to reduce costs associated with the background checks used by St Vincent de Paul in Eugene OR.
4.   Appointment to the Budget Committee
City Recorder Barbara Christensen submitted a revised Council Communication that included applications from the last two openings on the committee per Council request.  The Council Communication also provided options to replace Doug Gentry’s position.  The process for appointing members to the Budget Committee was different from other commissions and committees with the Council and Mayor making the decision.  Normal process included applications not appointed from the previous appointment vacancy.
Councilor Rosenthal questioned why this round of appointments included an application from 2005 where the applicant was appointed, served their term, and resigned.  Ms. Christensen responded Council could choose the process used for Budget Committee appointments.  Councilor Voisin asked for further clarification why Dee Anne Everson was on the ballot when she did not apply in 2012.  Mayor Stromberg explained the vacancy occurred close to budget and he and Councilor Slattery thought of Ms. Everson because her prior experience with the budget would eliminate the learning curve.  Ms. Everson resigned from the Budget Committee to perform a unique function for the City Administrator.  Mayor Stromberg and Councilor Slattery approached her to determine her interest in returning the Budget Committee.
Councilor Lemhouse acknowledged the concern and awkwardness regarding how Ms. Everson got on the ballot, but supported reappointing her based on her prior contributions to the Budget Committee.  Councilor Voisin spoke in favor of Joe Graf, shared his background regarding budget, thought he would provide a fresh perspective to the committee, and would easily catch up.  Councilor Slattery shared his support for Ms. Everson.  Councilor Rosenthal expressed exasperation with the selection process.  He appreciated Ms. Everson’s service on the Budget Committee but supported Joe Graf and his experience with budgets adding he would bring fresh eyes to the committee.  Councilor Marsh commented normally they would advertise but given the circumstance, they did not have time.  She would support Ms. Everson but considered this a short-term appointment and would not reappoint her December 2013.
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to appoint Dee Anne Everson to the Citizen Budget Committee for a term ending 12/31/2013. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Resolution titled, “A resolution authorizing the City of Ashland to provide a city building for a winter shelter one night per week through April, 2013, and repealing Resolution No. 2013-01”
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained Council approved Resolution 2013-01 that allowed use of a City building for a regular Thursday night shelter organized and operated by volunteers from the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (RVUUF) and Temple Emek Shalom.  Council decided against allowing dogs in the shelter.  During the last Council meeting, a citizen requested Council reconsider that decision, allow dogs in the shelter, and provided revised resolution language.  Council voted to discuss the topic.  Staff prepared the resolution amendment that allowed dogs into the facility, kept in crates at all times, with RVUUF and Emek Temple Shalom responsible for any animal related damages.
At this time, RVUUF and Emek Temple Shalom had not met to approve the amendment.  If approved, it would become effective once RVUUF and the Temple signed the revised agreement.
Joel Feiner, M.D. /593 Prim Street/Shared his experience as a physician, psychiatrist, and professor.  Instead of calling the animals pets, he suggested calling them family because they were that to many homeless people.   He shared a story of one young woman who always fed her dog before she ate and used the dog for protection.
Leigh Madsen/176 Orange Street/Expressed his thanks and the gratitude shared by the homeless accessing the shelters.  He agreed with Mr. Feiner the homeless considered their cats and dogs family.  There were five dogs at the free meal that night and all behaved.  In the 2.5 years he served free meals, he had never witnessed dogs fighting or attacking and threatening people.  He did not think the City should be concerned dogs would cause damage or hurt someone although that was a reasonable concern.
Carolyn Anderson/1295 Munson Drive/Explained she was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church and a volunteer at the Trinity Shelter program since inception this past November.  Prior to that, she volunteered at the Presbyterian Church shelter.  She provided insight on dealing with dogs coming into the shelter and there were no instances of threatening or violent behavior from any of the dogs.  Trinity Episcopal Church budgeted money for carpet cleaning and had very few accidents.  She understood liability issues, if dogs were crated it should address those concerns.  Having the faith agencies agree to cover any damage that might occur would ameliorate liability due to damages.  She encouraged Council to support the amendment.
Cate Hartzell/892 Garden Way/Referenced the document she submitted into the record and explained the new information came from the success Eugene OR experienced establishing warming centers.  There was grant money for vaccinations, wellness centers, and crates as well.   She noted federal law prohibited the City from keeping service dogs out of the shelter.  She thought the proposal addressed all the issues except liability.  The City was paying $400 a month for insurance if there was damage, once the City met the deductible, insurance would cover any claims.  By the time the Church and Temple paid, if they agreed to pay for damages, City insurance would have covered it already.  The exposure for personal injuries insurance said it would not raise the rates if the shelter included dogs.  The hold harmless clause was in place so the Temple and Church could defend the claim and cover costs.
Barbie Breneiser/1128 Old Hwy 99 South/Explained she volunteered at the Presbyterian Church shelter for the past five years.  The Presbyterian shelter welcomed dogs from day one, never had issues with dogs except for occasional accidents.  Because the shelter welcomed dogs, they had more guests.
Council noted concern regarding liability.  The liability to a city was considerably different from a faith agency.  Other concerns were feasibility, compatibility for people who do not do well with dogs, pets other than dogs, and volunteer burn out.  Finally, the proposal did not appear to have gone through RVUUF or Temple Emek Shalom for approval.
Councilor Voisin/Rosenthal m/s to approve a resolution titled, “A Resolution authorizing the City of Ashland to provide a city building for a winter shelter one night per week though April, 2013, and repealing Resolution No. 2013-01,” on the condition that Unitarian Universalists and Temple Emek Shalom agree to the conditions. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Voisin stated the volunteers’ testimony convinced her.  The proposal clearly covered any risk in regard of a pet attacking another pet or an individual and alleviated liability.  Councilor Rosenthal noted Council voted to provide a service to the community and prohibiting pets limited that service.  It did not appear to be that much more of a risk than other events sponsored by the City and thought the City should try it and gather hard data.
City Attorney Dave Lohman addressed issues in the proposal regarding insurance deductibles.  The City had a yearly $10,000 deductible for property damage and a $50,000 deductible for personal injury.  Another issue was the hold harmless clause that would cover defense costs in a lawsuit.  Both faith agencies’ insurance policies would cover the City although he had not seen those policies yet.
Councilor Marsh thought it unlikely they would hear from the faith agencies before March and the shelter ended in April.  She did not think there was enough to be gained by pushing the issue and would oppose the motion.  She suggested a compromise that when temperatures dropped to 20 degrees or below and threatened life on the streets, the City bend the rules and allow pets for the health and safety of citizens.
Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Marsh.  He thought eventually they could accommodate the request but it was unclear how at this time.   He wanted to know the process and documentation for vaccinating pets.  The Council was in charge of the fiduciary responsibilities of the City and allowing animals not vaccinated into a public building was a huge liability issue.  He was willing to listen, wanted the shelter to be successful, but was not convinced the City was where it should be to allow pets.
Councilor Lemhouse explained the City represented the entire community and could not put it in a position of liability.  He had issues with the proposal.  Section 3 Shelter Policies would modify language that deleted pets and weapons.  The proposal also cited information determined factually incorrect by City staff.  Under Risk, the proposal editorialized against the Council and was inappropriate.  Receiving new information the day of the meeting was not the way to conduct business.  He wanted hard data too but later when processes were set up better.  He was also concerned with over burdening volunteers.
Councilor Morris would not support the motion.  He appreciated Councilor Marsh’s idea and thought the shelter would eventually allow pets but the City was not there yet and the proposal was not complete along those lines. The resolution expired in April and that was a better time to review it for the following year and come up with a suitable compromise.
Mayor Stromberg observed the relationship some of the homeless had with their dogs was unusual and the odds were low dogs caused problems in shelters. However, the shelter was on city property and that made it difficult.  The City had deep pockets, was highly regulated with a lot of exposure.  It was interesting to know what went on in the private shelters but that did not necessarily transfer.  Council had identified remaining issues and other factors that needed attention before going forward.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin and Rosenthal, YES; Marsh, Slattery, Lemhouse, and Morris, NO.  Motion failed 2-4.
Councilor Marsh/Slattery m/s to amend the emergency shelter policy to allow pets to come into an emergency shelter when the temperature is 20 degrees or lower. 
DISCUSSION:  City Administrator Dave Kanner suggested staff bring back a draft resolution repealing the emergency shelter resolution.  Councilor Slattery wanted the resolution well thought out with documents to Council in time to answer questions regarding vaccination, crating, and clean up.  Councilor Marsh thought this was an alternative in terms of severe weather.  The emergency shelter only opened for extreme circumstances and thought Council was morally responsible for reaching beyond comfort levels.  Councilor Lemhouse would support the motion.  Since it was an emergency shelter, it loosened the rules and wanted to know how it would affect liability.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Marsh, Voisin, Rosenthal, Slattery, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES.  Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 9:41 p.m.
________________________________                    ________________________________
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor

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