Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


January 17, 2017
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 Slattery, Morris, Seffinger, and Rosenthal were present.  Councilor Lemhouse arrived at 7:26 p.m.
Councilor Rosenthal thanked Council and the Mayor for his year as Council Chair and went on to explain the Chair’s role.
Councilor Rosenthal/Slattery m/s to nominate Councilor Seffinger as Council Chair for 2017. 
Councilor Slattery/Morris m/s to close the nominations. Voice Vote:  All AYES.  Motion passed.
Voice Vote on main motion, All AYES.  Motion passed.
Councilor Seffinger explained one of the reasons she was taking on this position was to serve as a role model for young women in Ashland.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Airport, Conservation, Historic, Tree, and Wildfire Mitigation Commissions.
The minutes of the Study Session of December 19, 2016, Business Meeting of December 20, 2016,
Special Meeting of January 9, 2017, and Study Session of January 9, 2017 were approved as presented.
Councilor Slattery raised a point of order on approving minutes from December when his term started January 1, 2017 and thought he should abstain.  City Attorney Dave Lohman explained he was supposed to vote on everything and would have to vote based on his understanding.
Councilor Rosenthal/Morris m/s to approve the minutes.  Voice Vote:  Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, and Rosenthal, YES.  Councilor Slattery, NO.  Motion passed 4-1.
Mr. Lohman addressed the January 9, 2017 Study Session minutes regarding Council having an executive session to determine candidates for Council Position #6.  He clarified Council could not meet in an executive session to interview candidates for an elected position.
Interim City Administrator Chief John Karns read the announcement that City Recorder Barbara Christensen would retire effective April 30, 2017.  City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the Council had 60 days to fill the vacancy of an elected position once that official left office.  In the meantime, Council could appoint someone on an interim basis but after the 60 days, Council needed to appoint someone with the same requirements that the regular elected city recorder would have to fulfill.  At the next biennial election, there would be a vote.  He clarified there was no legal requirement for the interim to live within city limits for the 60 day period.  There was nothing in an ordinance or the Charter covering that period.  Council would appoint an interim and could do this prior to April 30, 2017 for training purposes. 
Councilor Lemhouse arrived at 7:26 p.m.
Louise Shawkat/870 Cambridge/Noted in August of 2016, Council passed 10x20 as a law.  The community had not heard anything since then and she wondered about the status and process.  It was important for voters to get updates from Council.  They strongly supported 10x20 and wanted to see it come to fruition. 
Mayor Stromberg explained the City was subbing out two major parts of a request for proposal (RFP).  One part would go to a consultant firm for the connection between the power facility and the City’s local grid.  The City subbed out the second part to the Bonneville Environmental Foundation who would work in cooperation with the others to handle the bulk of the project.
1.   Approval of minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2.   Ashland Water Advisory Committee Council liaison appointment
3.   Adoption of a resolution titled, “A resolution authorizing reimbursement of law enforcement training costs pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes 181A.620”
4.   Approval of a television head-end system lease agreement and contract
5.   Approval of a special procurement with AECOM for engineering services
6.   Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grant application  
Councilor Slattery pulled #4 and Councilor Rosenthal pulled #6 for further discussion.
Director of IT/Electric Utility Mark Holden explained the 18-month period for the Television Head-end System Lease under Consent Agenda #4 carried the contract to the new budget cycle.  Cable subscriptions had declined and by the time it went below critical mass, staff wanted customers converted from television to the pure internet play.  The goal was maintaining internet customers.  Mr. Holden did not anticipate an increase or decrease in pricing.
Interim Fire Chief Dave Shepherd addressed Consent Agenda #6 and explained the odds of the City receiving the grant were small and timing was not good regarding the budget.  The grant would provide funding for three full time positions over three years and most likely not be renewed.   At that time, it would cost the City $1,100,000 to $1,200,000 to retain the firefighters every year.  During the grant period, the Fire Department would provide the $400,000 by increasing the daily minimum staffing if approved during the budget process.  It would cost $100,000 per firefighter per year and phased in over a three-year period.  Receiving the grant took care of the department’s daily minimum staffing.  The City also had the option to turn the grant down.  He clarified the increase of the daily minimum staffing did not involve hiring additional firefighters.  Currently the minimum staffing level was eight.  The $100,000 cost per year for going from eight to nine was overtime pay. 
Councilor Seffinger/Slattery m/s to approve the Consent Agenda Items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Annual appointments to Citizen Budget Committee
Councilor Lemhouse/Seffinger m/s to reappoint per Council voting David Runkel and appoint Paula Hyatt to the Citizen Budget Committee with terms ending December 31, 2020. 
DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse noted Mr. Runkel’s experience on the Budget Committee.  He supported Mr. Amery and hoped he reapplied in the future.  Councilor Seffinger thought Mr. Amery would be an excellent candidate.  She honored Mr. Runkel’s services to the community and thought Ms. Hyatt would bring a new and innovative take on the budget that would be helpful for the public.
Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Slattery, Morris, Seffinger, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, YES.  Motion passed.
Interim City Administrator John Karns recognized and appreciated City Recorder Barbara Christensen’s near six terms of service.
2.   Further Action for the replacement of City Hall
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained the premise for replacing City Hall stemmed from seismic issues.  If a major event occurred, the building would come down.  The City Administrator, Human Resource Director, Finance, Legal, and the City Recorder were at City Hall and all played critical roles in the City in terms of daily operations as well as an emergency event.
Project Manager Kaylea Kathol further explained the seismic evaluation indicated in the event of an earthquake, people inside City Hall would not be able to exit safely.  Council approved hiring ORW Architects to perform an evaluation of the feasibility of replacing City Hall that resulted in nine alternatives.
The first two were i-1 and i-2.  Alternative i-1 involved a basic seismic upgrade on City Hall and moving employees to temporary office space for 10-11 months.  Staff had not identified the location of the temporary offices.  Alternative i-2 would rebuild City Hall on site, same dimensions and space built to current structural specialty code.  Costs for both alternatives were too high to consider.  That left the following alternatives:
  • Alt 1: Rebuild City Hall on site all new, build it four stories with a basement and consolidate Community Development staff with City Hall staff
  • Alt 2:  Same as Alt 1 only retain the historic façade of City Hall
Staff rejected both alternatives.  There was no way to meet space requirements on such a narrow footprint.
However, the remaining alternatives were all feasible:
  • Alt 3:  Expand the Community Development building adding two floors and consolidate City Hall staff into that space
  • Alt 4A:  Build a new City Hall on site with four floors and a basement and do minor remodeling to the Community Development building
  • Alt 4B:  Same as Alt 4A only retain the historic façade of City Hall
  • Alt 5A:  Build a new structure at the corner of Lithia Way and Pioneer Street, consolidate all departments at City Hall and Community Development, retain 20 surface parking spaces, and add one floor of underground parking adding an additional 50 stalls for employee parking
  • Alt 5B:  Same as Alt 5A adding 100 parking stalls underground instead of 50 to accommodate employee and public parking
Ms. Kathol went on to explain the estimated costs for each alternative was projected for 2021 and included engineering fees, architect fees, site work, permitting, contractor contingencies, photovoltaic systems, and temporary office expenditures.
If Council approved an ad hoc committee, Mr. Faught recommended using the same model used for the Public Safety Facilities ad hoc Committee to vet what was best for the community and make recommendations to Council.  The Mayor would appoint the committee.  Staff wanted to use ORW to guide the committee through the process.  Out of the $100,000 budgeted for the study there was a remaining $30,000 that could fund the strategy.  If Council did not support having an ad hoc committee, staff would work with Council to determine the best option.  The ad hoc committee would meet for a year.  He went on to provide further background on how staff identified the need for seismic retrofitting and how it grew into a replacement project.
City Attorney Dave Lohman added if the City stopped using City Hall for city purposes, it would revert to the Helman family who deeded the building on a contingency the City continued to use the building.  If the City was unable to locate Helman heirs, the revisionary clause may be void. 
Ms. Kathol clarified public input focused on educating the community early in the process to keep them informed from the beginning with more to come following Council’s recommendation.  Currently there were approximately 30 employees in City Hall.  The study projected staff levels to increase to 71 by 2021.  Both City Hall and Community Development tracked the number of people visiting each building daily. 
Staff had not conducted seismic evaluations on all city buildings.  Anything constructed in or after 1972 had seismic requirements.  Mr. Lohman explained there could be lawsuits filed if an earthquake occurred, the City had knowledge the building was unsafe prior to the event, and there were deaths.  He doubted it would be successful considering it would be an act of God. 
Staff had looked into using the Grove for City Hall.  The feedback they received at the time was Council wanted to stay in the downtown and limited location to the three options presented.  Staff could look at other properties as part of a “least cost option.”
Council comment did not think an ad hoc committee was necessary, preferred not spending the $30,000 on ORW guiding the committee, and wanted them to bid on the project later.  Mr. Lohman clarified ORW was not limited because although state law prohibited a firm from working on the design and the construction, the law did not apply at the municipal level.
Ms. Kathol further clarified the public input portion of the study as an informational meeting that gave citizens the opportunity to express their preferences.  The public prioritized their preferences and indicated how important cost was to them.   Mr. Lohman added the agenda packet also had the questions and answers from the city’s website page Open City Hall.  
Ms. Kathol explained they based the study on the three site alternatives Council provided.  Mr. Faught could provide detailed cost summaries for each alternative to Council or the ad hoc committee if approved.  The ad hoc committee would have a community perspective as well. 
Council supported a committee, wanted the alternatives presented included and have the committee consider other alternatives outside the downtown area.  They suggested having a councilor chair the committee.  Council would indicate what options they did not want the committee to pursue.  They discussed the possibility of expanding the scope to include the Senior Center, Pioneer Hall, and the Community Center.  Council concerns were underground parking and possibly selling a $10,000,000 bond issue for a city hall building.  One comment was not in favor of using the parking lot to build a new City Hall.  Mayor Stromberg wanted to know costs on selling the Community Development building and abandoning the current City Hall building.
The Mayor would work with Council Chair Seffinger, staff and possibly Councilor Morris or Slattery to develop a charge for the committee.  He would bring the charge to Council for review in four weeks.
1.   Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC 2.50.070 and AMC 2.28.045 public contracting delegated officer authority for intergovernmental agreements”
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the current ordinance required Council to approve any intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) no matter how small or insignificant.  The City Administrator had the authority to renew an IGA only if there were not changes.  The ordinance would allow the City Administrator to sign IGAs without going to Council.  Staff would maintain a list of those IGAs with a brief description and dollar amount for Council to review on a regular basis Council deemed appropriate.
There were a number of IGAs each year for small amounts.  The ordinance would give the City Administrator authority to enter in an IGA up to $25,000 per year.  For renewals, if the amount went above the original cost to the City, it would go before Council.
Council discussed potential loss of transparency and the amount of staff time spent preparing information on small routine IGAs and suggested adding a report to the Consent Agenda listing the IGAs approved by the City Administrator every few months.  Mr. Lohman noted all IGAs provided the option to cancel at any time.
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal m/s to approve the second reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending AMC 2.50.070 and AMC 2.28.045 Public Contracting Delegated Officer Authority for Intergovernmental Agreements” as presented.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse confirmed Council direction to staff to provide an IGA report on the Consent Agenda every few months.  Councilor Rosenthal agreed.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Seffinger, Rosenthal, Slattery, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES.  Motion passed.
2.   First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Ashland Municipal Code Chapters: 9.04.030; 9.08.020; 9.08.030; 9.08.040; 9.08.050; 9.08.060; 9.080.070; 9.08.080; 9.08.090; 9.08.110; 9.08.120; 9.08.130; 9.08.150; 9.08.160; 9.08.170; 9.08.180; 9.08.190; 9.08.250; 9.08.270; 9.08.280; 9.08.990; 9.12.060; 10.04.020; 10.04.030; 10.26.050; 10.30.050; 10.40.030; 10.40.040; 10.44.020; 10.46.020; 10.46.030; 10.56.020; 10.56.030; 10.60.020; 10.60.050; 10.60.060; 10.110.060; 10.60.060; 10.68.060; 10.68.080; 10.68.090; 10.68.100; 10.68.110; 10.68.120; 10.68.130; 10.68.140; 10.68.150; 10.68.170; 10.68.180; 10.68.190; 10.68.200; 10.68.210; 10.68.220; 10.68.230; 10.68.240; 10.68.250; 10.68.260; 10.68.270; 10.68.280; 10.68.290; 10.68.300; 10.68.310; 10.68.320; 10.68.330; 10.68.350; 10.68.370; 10.68.380; 11.22.020; 11.22.030; 11.40.010; 11.40.030; 11.40.040; 11.40.050; 11.44.005; 11.44.010; 11.44.020; 11.44.040; 11.44.030; 11.44.090; 11.52.030; 11.52.050; 11.52.060; 11.52.070; 11.52.080; 11.52.090; 13.02.040; 13.02.060; 13.02.080; 13.02.120; 13.02.900; 13.03.090; 13.03.110; 13.04.090; 13.12.130; 14.04.060; 14.04.090; 14.05.120; 14.06.080; 14.06.090; 14.08.050; 14.09.010; 14.12.095; 15.06.030; 15.08.100; 15.10.100; 15.16.340; 15.20.090; 16.28.050, to update and make uniform the language throughout the Ashland Municipal Code” and move onto second reading
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the ordinance revised archaic language and made grammatical corrections as needed.  A couple went beyond simple updates but still fell under clarification.  For instance, the current provisions in the section on nuisances did not define dangerous animal.  Staff would revise another section regarding public restrooms in parks and replacing exclusion with expulsion in parks to be consistent with the City’s Enhanced Law Enforcement Area (ELEA).  Mr. Lohman would bring revised language to second reading.
Council discussed repealing obsolete code like 9.08.270 Prohibiting the Sale of Coal, 10.60.050 Library property – Retention past due date prohibited, and 10.68.170 Park waters – Use.  Council agreed to send Mr. Lohman code they wanted repealed and he would bring those sections chapter by chapter to future meetings.
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal m/s to approve first reading by title only of an ordinance which updates and reconciles various penalty provisions in the Ashland Municipal Code and whose title was read into the record by the City Attorney, Council, the Mayor and Interim City Administrator, just before I made this motion and move the ordinance on to Second Reading.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Slattery, Seffinger, and Morris, YES.  Motion passed.
Councilor Seffinger commended the Public Works Department Street Division for the fantastic job they did keeping roads clear during the recent snowstorm.
Councilor Rosenthal announced the State of the City event January 31, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Community Center.  He would contact each councilor to discuss their respective roles.
Councilor Slattery noted the Martin Luther King (MLK) event held the day before at the Ashland Armory was exceptional and well done.
Interim City Administrator Chief John Karns explained the City had a plan in place to address potential flooding or any emergency event.  In preparation for possible flooding, staff met, discussed plans, staff availability, and notified outside contractors.  The City website had information on sand bag readiness.
Councilor Lemhouse welcomed Councilor Slattery back to Council.
Mayor Stromberg noted he would not attend the January 23, 2017 Study Session due to the Western Governors Association and his participation on the restoration forestry panel.  He went on explain there were discussions on restructuring commissions and ad hoc committees.  He asked Councilors to retain their 2016 Council Liaison appointments for the interim.  Staff would cover the commissions and committees former Councilor Voisin served on as Liaison.  Once Council filled Council position #6, they would discuss 2017 liaison positions. 
Councilor Slattery wanted to discuss study sessions in general at a future study session. 
Meeting adjourned at 9:29 p.m.

Dana Smith, Assistant to the City Recorder                 John Stromberg, Mayor

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