Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session

Monday, May 12, 2014

City of Ashland
May 12, 2014

Present:  Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Lewis, Seffinger, Shaw; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
Absent: City Council Liaison: Mayor John Stromberg

Seffinger called the study session to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

Robertson said he spoke with City Administrator Dave Kanner about the Budget Committee mid-biennial meeting scheduled for May 14 at 6:00 pm in Council Chambers. Kanner said the commission was not required to attend as the purpose of the meeting was to report to the Budget Committee, in a general way, on ad-hoc Committee recommendations. The commission’s proposal to use approximately $470,000 for additional sidewalks along Winburn Way in Lithia Park and a second dog park off lower Clay Street would be briefly discussed but approval for moving the projects forward would not be granted then. Per Robertson, no individual line items would be approved because the Budget Committee wished to address new budget expenses for the second biennial year.

With regard to Parks, the meeting was expected to include input from Councilor Pam Marsh on ad-hoc Committee discussions, the proposed use of $470,000 for two Parks projects, and the revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between City Administration and Ashland and Parks and Recreation. 

As part of the MOU, Kanner asked Parks to develop an employee communication guide with the aid of a graphic designer. Robertson said an employee communication guide had merit and he liked the idea of standardizing marketing materials for Ashland Parks and Recreation; however, specific parameters outlined in the MOU had not been agreed upon by City / Parks.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt suggested moving forward with the MOU, excluding the paragraph pertaining to the employee communication guide, and other commissioners agreed.

For the meeting, Landt and Shaw volunteered to present the rationales for using the $470,000 for construction of sidewalks in Lithia Park and the second dog park. Seffinger said she would talk about the MOU.

Lewis asked if there would be another opportunity to discuss the MOU. Robertson stated that once he and Kanner reached agreement, council and the commission would separately approve the document.

Robertson asked the commission to funnel all feedback or comments through Dyssegard with regard to any commission business, including the director recruitment process. Emailed summaries would then be provided to the commission.

Robertson distributed a revised Parks Director recruitment schedule with a proposed “short list” meeting proposed for either July 7 or July 11 and interviews tentatively set for later in July. Commissioners were asked to email staff their availability for July 7 or 11 and the week of July 21.

Robertson said he would officially retire on June 30, 2014, at which point he would become a contracted employee.  He spoke about his contract: 1) job title changed to Interim Parks Director; 2) salary effective July 1, 2014, increased by 1.4% (proposed cost-of-living adjustment for Parks staff); and 3) a termination clause added that provided two weeks’ notice before departure for either Robertson or the commission.

Seffinger said a final contract review would be added to the May 19 regular meeting agenda, with commission approval requested at that time.
Employee COLA Update
The May 19 regular meeting agenda would include a commission review / vote on employee salary modifications including a 1.4% COLA and a vacation cap increase of up to 300 hours annually over three years’ time.

Ashland Creek Park Update
Robertson said permits were filed for demolition of the barn on the Ashland Creek property. Due to a citizen’s appeal and on recommendation from the Historic Commission, staff posted the barn for sale with no minimum bid for a 30-day period. During that time, the public had the option to purchase the barn and remove it from the property. After the sale period ended, if no sale occurred, the barn would be demolished. Based on the required barn sale period, construction would now begin on June 23.

Seffinger asked if lumber from the barn could be used for other projects in the park. Robertson said barn parts with lead paint would not be safe for reuse; however; raw wood potentially could be used in the construction of garden sheds or other park amenities.

Butler-Perozzi Fountain Update
The commission asked staff to determine the cost of reconstruction versus restoration of the Butler-Perozzi Fountain. The “as builts” on the fountain had been completed by architect Kerry Ken Cairn and cost quotes would be available in a week’s time. Commissioners asked staff to make sure to include the Historic Commission during the process. Robertson said the Historic Commission would be informed once all information was gathered.

Renaissance Rose
Dials said Anne Wilton, owner of Renaissance Rose between the Plaza and the Calle, was concerned with the small space directly adjacent to her store that was now owned by Ashland Parks and Recreation. Previously it was owned by her landlord and she was able to display merchandise on the Calle. Wilton was upset because her landlord did not inform her about the change in ownership. Dials spoke with Wilton and suggested she could write a letter to the commission asking for a year’s lease along the Calle. Dials clarified that this would be an exception because the Calle was currently leased only to the Lithia Artisan’s Market and restaurateurs. Robertson cautioned the commission about allowing additional merchandising on the Calle, as the area was already congested.

Calle Guanajuato Rededication Ceremony
Dials said commissioners would receive an invitation to a Calle Guanajuato rededication ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, June 11, at 5:30 pm.

Special Events Policy: Additional Event Booths Requested
Dials said Gina DuQuenne, event coordinator for the Southern Oregon Pride Festival, requested at least twenty 10x10 booths near the Butler Bandshell for their annual event scheduled in October. The current policy allowed for ten 10x10 booths at a cost of $25 per booth. Dials said she and Special Events Coordinator Lori Ainsworth felt there was sufficient space for up to 25 booths if the booths were placed along one side of Winburn Way. If the commission approved, staff could work out the details with DuQuenne. The commission agreed to add the item to the May 19 regular meeting agenda.

Pesticide Use on City (Non-Park) Properties
For the May 19 regular meeting, per a City request, staff planned to provide a list of City properties maintained by Parks for which the City requested herbicide use. The commission did not think it made sense to introduce herbicide use for City-owned land at a Parks Commission meeting. 

Robertson said there were two other possible approaches: 1) the Downtown Beautification Committee planned to formally request from council the presence of fewer weeds in downtown parking lots. Parks could wait and see if council then asked Parks to use herbicides for those areas or wished to pay for additional staff to maintain those areas without the use of herbicides. 2) Include the topic during the next biennial budget cycle, at which point the department could request funds for additional staffing or learn whether herbicides were desired for those areas.
Landt said a long-term solution could be to rebuild those areas with an eye toward weed prevention, thereby reducing the need for herbicides.

After a thorough discussion, the commission decided to wait for the Downtown Beautification Committee’s recommendation to council regarding City areas maintained by Parks.

Daniel Meyer Pool Renovations
Dickens said recent Daniel Meyer Pool building renovations included interior painting, new flooring, and drywall repair. The wading pool would be filled in with concrete per commission direction and approval. 

Land Acquisition Subcommittee Report
Landt updated the commission on the work of the Land Acquisition Subcommittee. Three realtors were approached and the subcommittee received proposals from each. Realtor Eric Poole of Full Circle Real Estate was chosen to work with the commission on locating properties, with payment made in the form of an hourly rate rather than by commission. Landt said he looked forward to working with Poole on potential Parks property purchases. 

Shaw asked if Mt. Ashland programs had ever been included in a Parks Department winter Recreation Guide. Dials said winter snow programs had been offered in the past without much success but none had been offered through Mt. Ashland Ski Resort. She said she would explore the option with Recreation Coordinator Lonny Flora.

By consensus, with no further business, Seffinger adjourned the study session at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Amanda Glass
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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