Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


August 16, 2016
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, and Marsh were present. Councilor Rosenthal arrived at 7:07 p.m.
Councilor Marsh announced the City Volunteer event Sunday, August 28, 2016.
Mayor Stromberg moved agenda item #7. A Resolution of the City of Ashland, Oregon, declaring support for the provisions of the convention of the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW), under Ordinances, Resolutions, and Contracts to item #1 under New and Miscellaneous Business.
The minutes of the Study Session of August 1, 2016 and Business Meeting of August 2, 2016 were approved as presented.
1.   Annual presentation from the Conservation Commission
Conservation Commission Chair Bryan Sohl noted the Commission’s accomplishments that included a pilot project for collecting redeemables, and recyclables in the downtown area.  The Commission also updated and expanded the scope of commission-sponsored classes to the public, published monthly articles in the Sneak Peak Preview, and was working with staff on the Climate and Energy Action Plan.  He thanked City staff Adam Hanks and Diana Shiplet for their efforts, Council Rosenthal as the Commission’s council liaison, and the citizenry for their participation and input.
Councilor Rosenthal arrived at 7:07 p.m.
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Hwy 99/Criticized City staff on the content of a topic discussed at the Study Session the night before regarding the future of the electric utility.
Nancy Parker/456 Euclid/Read from a document submitted into the record responding to an article published in the Ashland Tidings in the Council Corner and shared her concern regarding citizen input on the Normal Neighborhood Project.
Kristina Lefever/2359 Blue Sky Lane/Provided an update on the Bee City USA Subcommittee and its programs. 
Councilor Marsh noted Ms. Lefever’s efforts developing a pollinator garden at the Food Bank and invited the public to stop by to learn more about bee friendly plants.
Ann Barton/361 Patterson Street/Represented the Unity of Ashland Climate Action, Rogue Climate, and the Climate Action Team group and supported an ordinance adopting the Climate Energy and Action Plan prior to the plan’s completion.
1.   Minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2.   Annual renewal of liquor licenses
3.   Special Procurement for the purchase of Polymer for the WWTP
4.   Siskiyou Boulevard and Tolman Creek Road four-way stop controlled improvements
5.   Intergovernmental Agreement with Jackson County to perform crack seal at Ashland Municipal Airport
Councilor Rosenthal/Seffinger m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Public Hearing and Resolution Adopting a Supplemental Budget Establishing Appropriations within the Biennium 2015-17 Budget
Administrative Services and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained there were two adjustments to the Biennium 2015-17 Budget.  One was a set of changes that increased the budget due to grants for the Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) program totaling $229,580.  The other one separated two system development charges (SDC) erroneously combined at $3,600,000 moving from one category to create new one.  This correction would not increase the overall appropriations.  Forestry Division Chief Chris Chambers provided further information on the grants proposed in the supplemental budget.
Public Hearing Open: 7:34 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:34 p.m.
Councilor Rosenthal/Seffinger m/s to approve Resolution #2016-22.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Rosenthal thanked staff for their efforts.  Councilor Seffinger thanked Mayor Stromberg for his role acquiring funds for the AFR project.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
  1. A Resolution of the City of Ashland, Oregon, declaring support for the provisions of the convention of the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW).
Regina Ayars represented the Ashland Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) who wanted Council to pass a resolution in support of the convention of the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW).   She introduced Sara Brown, the former president of Soroptimist International and member of AAUW, and Patricia Garner, the chair of the state/national AAUW public policy committee.
Discrimination based on gender was an unconscious, bias that both women and men brought to daily conversations and decisions.  Women still did not have equal protection under the law.  CEDAW came from the Women’s International Treaty adopted by the United Nations in 1979 and ratified by 187 countries.  The United States was one of the few countries who had not ratified the treaty.  The CEDAW coalition of Oregon consisted of seventeen organizations and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.  It was a grass roots effort actively engaged with local municipalities to adopt resolutions across the state.  After a majority of the states passed CEDAW legislation, the hope was Congress would finally ratify CEDAW.  Ms. Brown and Ms. Garner added their support for CEDAW and thanked the Council for considering the resolution.
Councilor Marsh/Seffinger m/s to approve Resolution #2016-21.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Marsh commented this was an obvious step and if Council could provide support and energy for the resolution as it went to the legislature it should.  Councilor Seffinger added women were not paid as much as men.  Women needed more representation in government and she hoped more women applied to City commissions as a start to a political career.  Councilor Lemhouse noted his grandmother was a captain in the army during World War II and his mother who attended college late in life was the smartest and most accomplished person he knew.  Both went through a lot to achieve what they did and he hoped his daughter never experienced that struggle herself.  Councilor Voisin was proud of the women in the community for bringing forward CEDAW.  It was an important piece of legislation.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Seffinger, Marsh, Morris, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
  1. Certification of City Measure by City Governing Body
City Recorder Barbara Christensen provided the background on the citizen initiative that would have the City produce 10% of electricity using new, clean, and local sources by 2020.  Council had three options.  One, they could adopt the initiative and bypass the election process.  In the second option, Council could reject the initiative by taking no action and it would go before city voters in the November 2016 election.  For the third option, Council could reject the initiative and refer a competing measure.  Once Council chose an option, they had thirty days to complete the action due to the deadlines for putting a measure on the ballot. 
City Attorney Dave Lohman clarified there was not enough time to put a competing measure on the ballot.  Adopting the initiative may require a special meeting for first reading with second reading at the September 6, 2016 Council meeting. This would also require an emergency clause in order for the ordinance to take effect within the 30-day timeframe.  An emergency clause required a vote of at least five members.  Another alternative would have first and second reading occur at the September 6, 2016 meeting without a special meeting.  That would require a unanimous vote or the initiative would automatically go on the ballot.
Dave Helmich/468 Williamson Way/Explained he was one of the chief petitioners and urged Council to adopt the initiative without an election.  Circulators gathered over 1,700 signatures over two months.  He surveyed people’s attitudes about the City’s level of proactive steps with regard to the great transition.  The most frequent comments received questioned why only 10% and displeasure at the perceived lack of true action on the City’s part.  He went on to explain why they decided on 10%.
Barbara Comnes/444 Park Ridge Place/Explained why she wanted Council to adopt the initiative.
Andrew Kubik/1251 Munson Drive/Quoted Margaret Thatcher in a 1989 speech on climate issues. He was confident in the Electric Department’s ability of working with the provisions in the ballot measure.
Brian Comnes/444 Park Ridge Place/Explained he was a net zero customer and supported Council adopting the initiative.  He commented on the Study Session the night before regarding the future of the electric utility and the lack of a sense of urgency he perceived.
Tom Marvin/245 Timberlake Drive/Shared his background, credentials, and that he had used solar power since 1980.  He commented on the Study Session discussion on the future of the electric utility from the night before.
Councilor Rosenthal/Voisin m/s to adopt the initiative titled “An ordinance requiring the City of Ashland to produce 10% of the electricity used in the City from new, local, and clean resources by the year 2020,” and direct staff to bring the ordinance to a special meeting for first reading by emergency.”  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Rosenthal was impressed with the efforts of the petitioners.  He did not share Mr. Helmich’s cynicism regarding the Climate and Energy Action Plan and doubted the committee members would appreciate their hard work as “kicking the can down the road.”  There was a January 2017 due date for a perspective plan.  The initiative was best incorporated into a proposal to the Council within the Climate and Energy Action Plan process.  City staff has not had the chance to prepare a fiscal impact statement.  He agreed the sooner staff could start working on the issue the better considering the deadline.  Councilor Voisin was impressed the circulators were able to attain over 1,700 signatures within two months. 
Councilor Lemhouse agreed the initiative would pass in November.  Adopting it now provided staff time to analyze how it would fit into the plan going forward.  He appreciated the citizen effort.  Councilor Marsh commented on all the lost years due to the country taking a different turn after a promising start in the 1970s.  She would support the motion.  Councilor Morris supported the motion but kept going back to the Imperatrice property numbers of $30,000,000 for 5%.  If the City did 10%, it would most likely cost $50,000,000.  The citizenry needed to understand what this would cost.  It was good to take it back to the Climate Energy and Action Plan ad Hoc Committee to get logistics.  Councilor Seffinger looked at it from the standpoint of the future generation.  There was an obligation to the planet and to the youth.  She would support the motion.
Councilor Marsh/Voisin m/s to amend the motion to bring the ordinance for first and second reading on an emergency basis with emergency adoption clause to the September 6, 2016 Council Meeting.
DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse raised a point of clarification and asked if a unanimous vote meant unanimous of the members present that day.  City Attorney Dave Lohman confirmed that was correct.  Councilor Seffinger would not be present at the September 6, 2016 meeting but was comfortable knowing a unanimous vote would occur.  Ms. Christensen explained due to election law, Council could not amend the ordinance at the September 6, 2016.  Roll Call Vote on amendment: Councilor Voisin, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, Morris, Marsh, and Seffinger, YES. Motion approved.
Roll Call Vote on amended main motion: Councilor Voisin, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, Morris, Marsh, and Seffinger, YES. Motion approved.
  1. Approval of the 2016 Water Supply Strategy
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained staff was asking Council to reconsider their June 26, 2015 direction to use Talent Irrigation District (TID) water before using Talent Ashland Phoenix (TAP) water.  After three years of severe drought staff was able to “fine tune” the drought response.  During last year, there was an increase in taste and odor issues using TID.  The bigger issue was the small City crew frequently adjusting plant operations to meet temperature fluctuations and the overtime incurred.   TAP was already treated and it was a matter of turning on the pumps.  It would cost the City an additional $16,800 for fees.  Staff thought the benefit outweighed the cost.  Due to lead pigtail issues in the City of Medford’s water, staff would not do the annual month long TAP run this year.  Otherwise, Mr. Faught strongly recommended running TAP annually in preparation for an emergency.  Staff would revise the current water agreement with the Medford Water Commission changing the word “emergency use” to “any use the Council determined.”  They could take the agreement to the Ashland Water Advisory ad hoc Committee (AWAC) as well if Council directed.
Councilor Voisin raised a point of clarification to confirm the motion was a long-term change to the policy. 
Councilor Voisin motioned to approve the use of TAP water as the first option to supplement Ashland’s water supply, if needed in 2016 and send the policy to AWAC for feedback. Motion died for lack of second.
Councilor Morris/Lemhouse m/s to approve the use of TAP water as the first option to supplement Ashland’s water supply as needed.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Morris thought it was a good move and could be altered if necessary.  Councilor Lemhouse thought it was the right move for now and could be adjusted.  Councilor Marsh would oppose the motion.  Given the current turmoil in Medford and the potential for rate increases, she thought Council should review the change in spring.  Councilor Voisin agreed with Councilor Marsh, wanted input from AWAC, and would not support the motion.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Morris, and Rosenthal, YES; Councilor Marsh, Seffinger, and Voisin, NO.  Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a NO vote.  Motion failed 3-4.
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained staff would the matter back in the spring.  Currently, the reservoir was 93% full.  Ashland citizens had done a remarkable job changing their water use habits over the last three summers to reduce water use.  It was highly unlikely the City would have to go to a supplemental water supply this year.
1.   Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the citizen participation and involvement chapter of the Ashland Comprehensive Plan to establish the Ashland Planning Commission as the committee for citizen involvement”
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained there were no changes from the first reading that passed at the last meeting.  It did include the provision that Council could establish additional advisory committees.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve Ordinance #3132.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Morris, Marsh, Voisin, Lemhouse, Rosenthal, and Seffinger, YES. Motion approved.
2.   Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 4.34, Food and Beverage Tax, and referring the ordinance to the voters of Ashland in the November 8, 2016 General Election”
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the ordinance would redirect a portion of the food and beverage (F&B) Tax revenue to a pavement management program.  There were no changes from first reading.  Mr. Kanner requested an amendment to Section 4.34.020(C)(3)(a) changing the amount of F&B tax revenue going into the wastewater fund in fiscal year 2017 from $2,037,150 to $1,868,290 and explained why.
Brian Comnes/Supported anything that would repair Ashland streets.  He looked forward to having Hersey Street reconstructed.
Councilor Marsh/Seffinger m/s to approve Ordinance #3133 with an amendment to Section 4.34.020(C)(3)(a) deleting $2,037,150 and replacing it with $1,868,290.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Marsh commented the good news was F&B proceeds increasing to the extent that it allowed the City to invest more money into the street program and quickly.  Councilor Seffinger added Council had heard enough from the citizens to understand this was an important issue.  Mr. Kanner read the amendment in its entirety.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Morris, Rosenthal, Seffinger, Marsh, and Voisin, YES. Motion approved.
3.   Approval of a resolution titled, “Resolution to the City of Ashland to submit to the voters at the November 8, 2016, General Election an ordinance amending AMC 4.34, Food and Beverage Tax”
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal m/s to approve Resolution #2016-23.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Marsh, Rosenthal, Voisin, Lemhouse, Morris, and Seffinger, YES. Motion approved.
4.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution accepting changes to the financial management policies and accounting methodologies and repealing Resolution No. 2014-01”
Administrative Services and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg addressed agenda items #4, 5, and 6.  All three items related.  The proposed changes were not substantial and mostly “housekeeping” updates.  In the financial policies, the insurance service fund introduced language that explained how staff calculated the Ending Fund Balance (EFB) for the insurance fund based on a study conducted in 1993.  The resolution relating to proposed EFB showed a goal of attaining $1,000,000 in the insurance fund.  This goal would take several biennia to achieve.  He made a change to the Financial Management Policies document to the Component Unit, striking “Discrete.”  He replaced Parks (Blended Component Unit) with “Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission.”
At June 30, 2016, the City was at $1,170,000 in the EFB.  Councilor Marsh suggested growing a minimum balance in the health benefits fund.  Mr. Tuneberg cautioned in the insurance fund or any of the internal service funds that the growth of the Ending Fund Balance had many variables.  City Administrator Dave Kanner supported growing the EFB in the health benefits fund.
Councilor Marsh/Seffinger m/s to approve Resolution #2016-24 with amendment under the Insurance Services Fund: increased annually by CPI and under Component Unit: change “Parks” (Blended Component Unit) to “Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission.”  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Marsh thought they were good guidelines and it was important to review them.  Councilor Seffinger added the proposed policy made it clearer.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Rosenthal, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Morris, Voisin, and Marsh, YES. Motion approved.
5.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution updating the City of Ashland’s implementation of Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 54 – Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions and repealing Resolution No. 2011-17”
Administrative Services and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained the auditors suggested some changes to the airport fund.  Staff identified more items to be committed to the General Fund.  The Airport was moved from committed to restricted.
Councilor Rosenthal/Voisin m/s to approve Resolution #2016-25.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Seffinger, Marsh, Voisin, Rosenthal, Morris, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.
6.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution establishing Target Ending Fund Balances and Repealing Resolution No. 2010-05”
Administrative Services and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained the targets were minimums.  Both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s stated the City had a strong financial management program.  They also identified that the Ending Fund Balances were slightly low.  There was not a policy on amounts in the Parks and Recreation Commission under the Component Unit because funds were restricted or reimbursed by the General Fund.  The City needed to maintain 12% in the General Fund to ensure adequate funds.
If Council wanted to incorporate the CPI into the health benefits, staff could add an asterisk next to the word “new” and under default add, “Adjusted annually for CPIU.”
Councilor Lemhouse/Voisin m/s to approve Resolution #2016-26 as amended by staff.  DISCUSSION:
Councilor Voisin/Rosenthal m/s to amend the motion under the insurance fund, “to increase the 1993 minimum amount of $668,000 to $1,000,000 to be accomplished within the next two biennium’s.”
DISCUSSION:  Councilor Voisin thought the City should consider a minimum higher than $668,000 in the insurance fund.  Councilor Marsh raised a point of clarification and noted the proposed Ending Fund Balances specified $1,000,000 for insurance services.  Council Voisin wanted a minimum of $1,000,000 achieved within the next two biennium’s.  City Administrator Dave Kanner clarified the change Councilor Voisin was proposing was actually in the Financial Management Policies Council just adopted and not in the Ending Fund Balance policy.  Mr. Tuneberg thought they could remove the 1993 reference in the policies just adopted, put in $1,000,000, and not do the calculation based on that study.  Councilor Voisin agreed and wanted the reference removed.  City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained the amendment for a different resolution already passed and did not pertain to the current resolution under discussion.  Councilor Voisin could made an amendment to that resolution once this resolution passed or failed.  Her amendment to that resolution would have come back to a future Council meeting. 
Councilor Voisin withdrew her motion.
Roll Call Vote on Main Motion: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES. Motion approved.
City Attorney Dave Lohman clarified that no further action could occur on the resolution regarding the Financial Management Policies at this meeting.  The item would have to come back to a future meeting.
Councilor Marsh invited everyone to attend the annual Pie Social at Ashland Emergency Food Bank Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.  On Wednesday, August 24, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. also at the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, the Ashland Community Resource Center, the Maslow Project, and Rogue Community Health would host the third annual Family Fest.  The Volunteer Celebration would occur August 28, 2016.
Councilor Voisin announced August 20, 2016, a Housing and Homeless Forum Action Groups and Fundraiser would occur from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Southern Oregon University Meese Auditorium. 
Councilor Lemhouse encouraged the public to attend Public Arts Commissioner Richard Newman’s exhibit  Thursday, August 18, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Southern Oregon University Thorndike Gallery.
Councilor Seffinger announced the Oregon Honey and Mead Festival Saturday August 20, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Elks Lodge.
Councilor Rosenthal announced the Climate and Energy Action Plan ad hoc Committee would meet August 17, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.  The next public open house was scheduled Sunday, September 25, 2016 in the Rogue River Room at Southern Oregon University.
Meeting adjourned at 9:29 p.m.
_____________________________                        _______________________           
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                         John Stromberg, Mayor

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