Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING

ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL

April 20, 2010

Council Chambers

1175 E. Main Street

 

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

 

ROLL CALL

Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.

 

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Stromberg announced the Demobilization Ceremony for the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard (1/186) would occur April 24, 2010 at the Spiegelberg Stadium in Medford.  The troops were currently in Washington State reuniting with their families, managing their finances and making education arrangements as they return to society.  Approximately 60% of the 1/186 returning will be unemployed.

 

Annual Appointments to various Commissions were completed this meeting and vacancies on the Historic, Housing, Planning and Tree Commission were announced.

 

Mayor Stromberg noted that agenda item number 3. Should Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance amending AMC Chapter 14.06 relating to water curtailment? under ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS would move to the end of the ordinances to accommodate the ordinances regarding classification of offenses.

 

SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?

The minutes of the Study Session of April 5, 2010 and Regular Meeting of April 6, 2010 were approved as presented.

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS

Mayor Stromberg presented the Ragland Ward to the “Ashland Food Project,” and introduced Paul Giancarlo and John Javna who shared the Ashland Food Project’s mission and described the program.

 

Division Chief Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman introduced the new Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordinator Richard Randelman.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

1.   Will Council approve the minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?

2.   Does Council wish to approve the Mayor's recommendations for the Annual Appointments to the various Commissions, Committees, and Boards?

3.   Should Council approve a resolution authorizing the City Administrator, Finance Director, or designee to enter into a Full Faith & Credit financing agreement to refinance the DEQ loan that was used to construct the Wastewater Treatment Plant and to dedicate ongoing Food & Beverage Tax proceeds allocated to the Wastewater Fund to pay annual debt service?

4.   Does Council wish to appoint Donna Rhee, Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, to the Ashland Water Advisory Committee (AWAC) for the Water Master Plan update?

5.   Will Council approve a contract with StreamFix in an amount not to exceed $75,000 to design and facilitate the development of the Ashland Creek Bank Restoration Project near Water Street?

6.   Should the Council accept the 2010-2011 Certified Local Government grant of $15,360 from the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office for historic preservation activities?

7.   Should Council re-allocate $16,500 in unused Community Development Block Grant - Recovery Act Funds, previously awarded to the Public Works Department for ADA accessibility improvements along Iowa Street, to the Conservation Division for Weatherization and Energy Efficiency upgrades to homes occupied by low-income homeowners?

 

City Recorder Barbara Christensen and Councilor Chapman requested that Consent Agenda items #2 and #7 be pulled for discussion. 

 

Councilor Navickas/Jackson m/s to approve Consent agenda items 1 and 3-6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

Ms. Christensen explained the Audit Committee appointment was included in the annual appointment in error and Council would receive a separate communication regarding appointment to that Committee at a future meeting.

 

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #2 minus the Audit Committee appointment. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

Councilor Chapman suggested moving the $16,500 unused CDBG-R funds to the Adult Disability Act (ADA) improvements throughout the City by placing the funds in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).  Staff explained the $16,500 was stimulus funds and a timeline was involved.

 

Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #7. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1.   Should Council adopt the Draft 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan for the use of the City's allocation of Community Development Block Grant Funds? [30 Minutes]

Senior Planner Brandon Goldman provided the staff report and explained the plan would set spending priorities for future years. Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid further explained the five-year plan would prioritize the spending of the CDBG funds through goals.  Each objective had to benefit low to moderate-income people, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight and meet a need having a particular urgency.  Council could allocate funds to Adult Disability Act (ADA) projects in the 5-year plan as well.

 

Public Hearing open: 7:25 p.m.

Public Hearing closed: 7:25 p.m.

 

Councilor Jackson/Lemhouse m/s to approve revised Consolidated Plan for CDBG Funds.

DISCUSSION:  Councilor Jackson and Voisin expressed appreciation to staff for their efforts in creating the plan.  Councilor Chapman opposed the plan, thought the overhead was too high, and did not have enough public participation.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Jackson, Silbiger, Navickas and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

 

2.   Will Council award $168,484 in Community Development Block Grant funds as recommended by the Housing Commission and Staff?

Senior Planner Brandon Goldman explained staff received uncontested applications from Ashland Supportive Housing and St. Vincent de Paul with a combined total less then the full award.  Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid explained St. Vincent de Paul Home Visitation Program applied for the grant to fund emergency rental and utility assistance and counseling to .households to prevent homelessness.  Ashland Supportive Housing applied to receive funds to repair an existing unit to be used as a respite home to serve 416 special needs developmentally disabled individuals annually. 

 

Public Hearing open: 7:32 p.m.

 

Rich Hansen/585 Pierce Road, Medford/St. Vincent de Paul/Applied for the $30,000 Services Grant to help expand the St. Vincent de Paul Visitation Program.  The goal is to help low-income families in crisis with rent, utilities and other essentials to avoid homelessness.  The Outreach Program assisted 590 families last year and they anticipate helping 620 this year.  Of the groups helped, 60% live within Ashland City limits.  He went on to describe how the program works.

 

Sue Crader/79 Nutley Street/Ashland Supportive Housing (ASH)/Explained ASH has provided services to adults with developmental disabilities since 1982.  She shared history on the property, the need for respite care and described what would be rehabilitated in order to open for services.  Additionally, the project would create nine jobs. 

 

Public Hearing closed: 7:39 p.m.

 

Councilor Chapman supported both proposals but wanted to divert the remaining $27,623 to ADA improvements instead of weatherization.   Staff could provide a project list and determine low and moderate-income areas where the improvements would apply. 

 

Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to approve award of $30,000 to the St. Vincent de Paul Home Visitation Program for emergency rental and utility assistance and $110,861 to Ashland Supportive Housing for rehabilitation of an existing dwelling to be used as a respite home for people with disabilities.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas thanked both organizations for submitting applications and commented on the valuable services they provide.  Councilor Voisin noted the Society of St. Vincent De Paul was a Ragland award recipient.

Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Chapman, Voisin, Silbiger, Lemhouse and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

 

Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to direct Public Works staff to work with Housing staff on an immediate need list for ADA requirements that have not been addressed in the City and spend the remaining $27,623 for that list. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas was sympathetic to providing ADA accessibility but weatherization would address the Council goal of Tier Two Power needs as well as the regressive and excessive nature of the Electric Users Tax.  Councilor Jackson acknowledged the need for ADA improvements but supported using the funds for weatherization.  Councilor Voisin would not support the motion because it was important to provide some of the citizens with the ability to weatherize houses to keep energy bills low and there were few sources to assist those in need of various forms of weatherization. Councilor Lemhouse supported using the funds for ADA accessibility improvements.  Staff explained the total allocation for weatherization was $50,000 and would affect 17 households on the Ashland Low Income Energy Assistance Program and save approximately $400 per house annually in energy costs.  The additional $27,623 would add another 9 or 10 houses for weatherization.  Councilor Chapman provided an example of an immediate need for an ADA improvement that entailed of adding tree grates to enable easier access.  Councilor Navickas commented on administrative efficiency.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Silbiger and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Navickas, Voisin and Jackson, NO; Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote.  Motion passed 4-3. 

 

3    What direction does Council have on the proposed 2010-2020 SOU Campus Master Plan and implementing ordinances?

Councilor Voisin declared a conflict of interest and requested Council to recuse her from the discussion.

 

Councilor Chapman/Navickas m/s to recuse Councilor Voisin from participating due to a conflict of interest.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson questioned Planning Actions and Comprehensive Planning Activities meant to exclude employees of an organization doing a Master Plan.  City Administrator Martha Bennett explained under Oregon Ethics Law SOU as Councilor Voisin’s employer created a conflict of interest.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

Councilor Voisin left the meeting at 8:05 p.m.

 

Mayor Stromberg called the Public Hearing to order at 8:06 p.m. for Planning Action No. 2009-00817 – A request for adoption of the Southern Oregon University Campus Master Plan 2010-2020 as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.  (This plan replaces the previously adopted 2000-2010 Campus Master Plan.) COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Southern Oregon University; ZONING: S-O.

 

ABSTENTIONS, CONFLICTS, EX PARTE CONTACTS 

Councilor Jackson and Chapman noted familiarity with the campus. Mayor Stromberg disclosed conversations with Rivers Brown who had voiced concern with encroachment on his property and potential issues with the community garden that did not bias him or his ability to make an impartial decision.

 

Mayor Stromberg announced all participants have the right to rebut and can challenge or discuss the issues revealed in the Ex Parte contacts during Public Testimony.  He went on to state the applicable substantive criteria as Ashland Municipal Code 18.108.170 Legislative amendments and noted the guide handout.

 

CHALLENGES - None

 

STAFF REPORT

Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the State Planning Program requires universities within urban growth boundaries to coordinate their planning with the City Planning Department to ensure their Master Plans are consistent with the local Comprehensive Plan and City ordinances.  He provided a presentation on the SOU Master Plan 2010-2020 Update that included:

·         Prior Planning Efforts

·         Procedure

·         Faculty Housing

·         Faculty Housing - Ashland/Mountain & Henry Street – Commission Recommendations:

·         Detail Site Review Zone – SOU Amendment

 

Mr. Molnar explained the Detail Site Review Zone was a narrow band of 150 feet depth along the commercial corridors.  The transition between zones would still require site review approval, be subject to SOU Guidelines, documents as well as City landscaping and orientation standards. 

 

·         Housing & Student Life – Ashland Street – Commission Recommendations:

·         SOU Campus – Parking Standards – Commission Recommendations

·         SOU Master Plan Update: Transportation Demand Management (TDM) – Commission Recommendations

 

Mr. Molnar clarified there was no specific housing density requirement on the SOU campus; it would depend on parking and transportation issues.  However, SOU was anticipating three story buildings for high-density housing along Ashland Street.

 

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to extend public hearing until 9:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

APPLICANT’S PRESENTATION

Liz Shelby/SOU Chief of Staff/Explained the outreach process used to inform the community and adjacent property owners during the Master Plan process.

 

Eric Ridenour/SERA Architects/Represented the applicant and addressed the Council.  Mr. Ridenour stated the Master Plan elements and major goals were driven by retention, recruitment, and fiscal responsibility.  He indicated the Campus/SO Zoning area and that the University had no plans for acquiring additional land to implement the Master Plan.  He listed the key elements of the plan as follows:

     ·         Academic Buildings: Renovation and expansion

·         Athletics: Field use changes, increased access and visibility projects

·         Contemporary Student Housing: North side of Siskiyou Boulevard

·         Student Housing: Location, access and unit types

 

Mr. Ridenour clarified the height for student housing would not exceed four stories.

·         Faculty Housing: Campus-Community Edges with intent to help recruit, reduce commute, integrate community

·         Improved Gateway: West and East area

·         Enhanced Pedestrian Gateway

·         Sustainability Leadership

 

He noted the process involved in preparing the Master Plan and briefly addressed the following questions and concerns: the Ecos Garden would remain intact under the plan, State Funds would not be used to develop the proposed student and faculty housing and property would be subject to property taxes.  Additional questions were answered in the Planning Action packet.

 

THOSE WISHING TO PROVIDE TESTIMONY

Steve Vincent/580 Business Park Drive, Medford/Oregon Business Regional Manager-Avista Utilities/Supported the SOU Master Plan and noted other campuses he has visited and explained how SOU blends well with the community and the neighborhoods adjacent to the campus and highlighted SOU’s collaborative nature.

 

Rick Bleiwess/1131 Highwood Drive/Explained SOU adds an educational and cultural dimension and bring young people and diversity to the community.  The Master Plan implements sustainability, adds jobs and better housing that will bring more students and faculty.  The SOU Theater Program is the best theater program west of the Rockies.  The Master Plan will enable the Theater Program to retain its high level of respect and education while creating proper rooms and theater spaces through renovation.  He encouraged everyone to support the university, doing so supported the town, the youth and the future.

 

Mary Margaret Modesitti/540 South Mountain Avenue/Owns property adjacent to SOU and the Master Plan incorrectly shows SOU as the owner of her property.  Until similar issues like that are worked out, the plan should not be approved.  There are problems with parking and multiple housing.  The theatre buildings were renovated within the last 8 years yet dorm maintenance has been deferred for 12 years.  Some students have used her personal showers because only one was working in their dorm.  SOU needed to perform due diligence.  She has had to request the university remove her property from the Master Plan three times.

 

Sandra Slattery/110 E Main Street/Introduced herself as a current member of the SOU Presidents Advisory Board, a former member of the SOU Foundation Board and past President of the SOU Regional Advisory Board.  SOU is the largest employer in Ashland with student enrollment reaching 5,670 winter term 2010. SOU is committed to recruiting, developing and retaining outstanding faculty and staff but housing costs and current wages have made housing challenging.  The proposed SOU Master Campus Plan will not only be the guideline for campus development for the next 10 years but will provide the flexibility necessary to meet the changing needs of the campus.  Master Plan improvements will enrich and expand the existing educational and recreational opportunities as well as provide student and faculty enhancements and jobs.  She urged Council to endorse SOU’s continued success through the support of the Master Plan.

 

Carl Marsak/458 Beach Street/Owns the Beach Street Condominiums next to the Ecos garden. He noted the Master Plan has had three options for that space and wanted confirmation that retaining the garden included the open space and circular driveway.  There was concern from the Home Owners Association because one of the options had included high density faculty housing in that area. 

 

REBUTTAL BY THE APPLICANT

Larry Blake representing SOU answered Mr. Marsak’s question regarding the Ecos garden that there were no plans to develop any of the land surrounding the garden.  Mr. Ridenour added any development in that area would require a separate use process.

 

Mr. Ridenour addressed the ownership of properties issue, explaining the distinction between actual SOU land and the SO-Zone, the information came from the City GIS department and the current data in the Master Plan is accurate.  He went on to contradict earlier information regarding multiple housing on Henry Street, indicating a sector immediately to the west of that area indentified for potential university land.  Faculty village housing was included in the Master Plan out of recognition of the fact SOU needs to track and retain faculty housing.

   

Mr. Blake clarified that in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) the provision for “approved campus boundaries” it is common for campuses to indicate a zone for possible expansion in the future and noted an area west of campus that extends to the south and east where historically boundaries have been expanded.  Currently there was no intention of purchasing any additional property over the next 10 years.  It was unclear why portions of the approved campus boundary were rolled into the City’s SO-Zoning map because they are not owned by the university.

 

CLOSE PUBLIC HEARING and RECORD – 9:08 p.m.

 

ADVICE FROM LEGAL COUNSEL AND STAFF

Mr. Molnar explained how the zoning affects property owners who want to develop their land.  Seven parcels under private ownership were identified that appear within the boundaries of the SO-Zone.  The purpose of the SO-Zoning district essentially applies to properties owned by the Board of State Higher Education.  The Master Plan does not show any change to land use so the properties remain as is and can be developed like any other residential property until the SOU approaches them to purchase their property.  Staff will review the ordinance to ensure the private property has a zoning designation that allows them to do what they need to do.  The east and west gateways are in the conceptual stage and may have design changes to Siskiyou Boulevard but would require work through the City and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and could be addressed during the Transportation System Plan.

 

Council supported the Plan and noted concerns regarding parking, private property showing in the SO-Zone and housing density.  Staff will ascertain density in transition zones, look at options like staggering masses and determine if faculty housing in the proposal includes families with children.

 

Councilor Navickas/Lemhouse m/s to tentatively approve the 2010-2020 Campus Master Plan Update with the modifications suggested by the Planning Commission and direct staff to prepare an ordinance for first reading  for adoption of the Plan and continue the hearing to May 18, 2010.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas appreciated the focus not being on parking but expressed concern using green space for development instead of existing parking lots.  Looking at the Plan without demanding the retention of parking lots could have opened up creative opportunities for faculty housing.

Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Silbiger, Chapman, Lemhouse and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

 

Councilor Voisin returned to meeting at 9:36 p.m.

 

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS

1.   Should Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 9 concerning weed abatement?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.

 

Bill Heimann/647 Siskiyou Boulevard/Requested reinstating certified mailing for weed abatement violation in the ordinance.

 

Councilor Jackson/Voisin m/s to approve Ordinance #3009. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Navickas, Chapman, Jackson, Voisin and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.

 

2.   Should Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance amending adding a uniform violation abatement procedure to the Ashland Municipal Code?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.  He explained that notices under 2.31.010 are required certified mail return receipt requested in accordance to 1.08.005 (E).

 

Councilor Jackson/Lemhouse m/s to approve Ordinance #3010.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Chapman, Jackson, Lemhouse, Silbiger and Navickas, YES. Motion passed.

 

3.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 1.08 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses, and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

a.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 4 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses, and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

b.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 6 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

c.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 9 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

d.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 10 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

e.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 11 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses, and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

f.    Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 13 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses, and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

g.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 14 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses, and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

City Attorney Richard Appicello provided a presentation on Classification of Offenses that included the following:

All City ordinance offenses have $500 maximum fine and $362 base fine (amount on front of ticket) ($317 plus $45 surcharge)

·         Dog loose in park - $362.00

·         Illegal Cross Connection - $362.00

·         Unnecessary Noise - $362.00

·         Failure to pay food 7 Beverage taxes - $362.00

Oregon Uniform Citation and Complaint

·         Smith, John - AMC 10.68.200 A. Dogs not permitted in City Park - Base Fine:  $362.00

·         4/20/10 9:00 AM Ashland Municipal Court (2009 surcharges add $45 without surcharge, base fine is $317)

Proposal:  4 Classes of Offenses

·         Class A $720.00 maximum

·         Class B $360.00 maximum

·         Class C $180.00 maximum

·         Class D $90.00 maximum

·         Consistent with State Law – ORS 153.018, replaces one size fits all maximum of $500 and the base fine of $362.

Legislative decision

·         City Council assigns class of offense based on community values about the seriousness of a particular offense

Example:  Oregon Legislature – ORS 815.280

·         No bicycle light – Class D - $90.00 max fine/base fine $97.00

Example:  Oregon Legislature – ORS 471.430(1)

·         Minor in possession of alcohol – Class B - $360.00 max fine/base fine $242.00

Why Class B for MIP & Class D for Bicycle Light?

·         Legislative determination that Minors Possessing Alcohol is a more serious offense than not having a bicycle light

Apply same legislative choice to City ordinance offenses

·         Dog in Park – Class D – ($97.00 ticket)

·         Noise Violation – Class A – ($427.00 ticket)

·         Why:  Because a loud party at 2 AM disturbing your entire neighborhood is more serious than letting your dog run in the park

Decision belongs to City Council

·         Recommendations for Chapters 9, 10 and 11 are based on input from Police and Parks Department

·         Recommendations from Finance and Public Works for Chapters 4, 6, 13 and 14

·         Council may disagree with staff proposal to classify “Offensive Noise” as Class A and classify it as Class B, C or D

Oregon Uniform Citation and Complaint

·         Smith, John - ORS 815.280 (State Law) -Bicycle Equipment Violation – Light – Class D Base Fine $97.00

·         (2009 surcharges not used in examples.  With surcharge, base fine is $142)

Appearance Options ORS 153.061

·         Appear personally on or before Court date

·         Submit written request for trial

·         Enter guilty or no contest plea by mail with base fine and optional written statement (unless personal appearance is required)

Base Fine: Class D

·         $45.00 foundation amount (1/2 $90 max)

·         $37.00 State assessment – ORS 137.290

·         $15.00 County Assessment – ORS 137.309

·         $97.00 Base Fine – amount written on front of ticket (with no City assessment)

·         County and State get $52.00 – City gets $45.00

Efficiency, Predictability and Fairness

Court options

·         Can summon defendant to increase fine or impose other remedy (e.g. drug and alcohol assessment for MIP)

·         Can reduce fine consistent with State Law violations ORS 153.093(1)(a)

Already in Use

·         13.03.110 Class A – sidewalk regulations

·         10.44.020 Class C – nudity ordinance

·         11.22.030 Class C – Failure to carry chains

·         18.112.090 Class A – Development Code

Minimum Fine Statute - State Law for all Class A, B, C and D violations:

·         “notwithstanding any other provision of law, may not defer, waive, suspend or otherwise reduce the fine for a violation to an amount that is less than 75% of the base fine amount”  [ORS 153.093(1)(a)]

Application of Minimum Fine Class D $97 base fine

·         $37 to State

·         $15 to County ($52 County & State)

·         $45 Remainder to City

·         If Court reduces base fine to $72.75 per minimum fine statute City gets $20.75

Minimum Fine statute applies to all State Law Violations

·         The minimum Fine Statute currently applies to all State Law violations [ORS} prosecuted in Ashland Municipal Court

·         Reduction of all State Law violations designated A, B, C and D limited to 25% of base fine

Minimum fine would apply same way to City ordinance violations

·         Smith, John Jr. - AMC 10.68.300 A. Dogs not permitted in City Park

·         Base Fine:  $97.00   Minimum Fine $72.75 ($52 County & State / City $20.75) – surcharge not included in this example

 

Mayor Stromberg suggested separating the issue of a classification system from reducing the Ashland Municipal Court Judge’s discretion and directing the City Attorney to create a classification scheme similar to the State and include the minimum fine standard.

 

Mr. Appicello clarified if a Judge reduced the fine to zero the City would still pay the State and County assessment.  Council could direct staff to adopt a four-class violation with different titles that would not follow the minimum fine statute and allow the Judge a 50% fine reduction.  Surcharges will not be in effect until 2011 and will apply along with the State and County assessment.  Language could also be added stating the City is not complying with 1.50.93 Minimum Fine Statute and apply something else instead.  The Court is required to follow general law when not otherwise provided in City ordinances.

 

Ashland Municipal Court Judge Pam Burkholder-Turner thought the proposed ordinances would affect the integrity of the Ashland Municipal Court and its ability to administer justice.  She did not object to the classification standard but opposed mandatory minimums because she felt it removed the Courts discretion and interfered with combining education with enforcement.  She shared examples of cases showing the need for discretion instead of minimum fines.  She suggested the following language for $500 fines:  “This is the maximum fine that can be imposed.  It is up to the Judge what of that fine, if any, will be imposed or what other penalty might be imposed.”  She expressed further concern the proposed ordinances focused on generating revenue and would interfere with fairly administering justice.

 

Justin Rosas/604 West Main/Introduced himself as a Public Defender in Medford and explained he was there to partially speak for the Southern Oregon American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Municipal Court.  The proposed amendments were alarming because it removed a lot of due process and crippled the Judge’s ability to evaluate the situation of every violation.  Legislature gives the Judge discretion. He noted a potential error to raise ORS 161.615 Sub 3 from 30 days maximum punishment for a Class C misdemeanor to a maximum of 60 days that went against State Law.  He stressed the importance of open communication and that policy should not replace the process.

 

Cate Hartzell/892 Garden Way/Questioned whether the ordinance would have the desired affect of keeping people from contesting sentences on violations or increase the number of people to take violations to trial because fines were higher and noted the increase in administrative costs to the City.  The process of having an elected evaluator review violations rather than having a blind policy determine the penalties was invaluable.  The proposed ordinances could motivate people to be more reckless or irresponsible because the price is fixed.  She commented that other cities have offered amnesty programs that allow people to pay lessened fines once they have accumulated a large volume of fines and violations.  Economic situation and mental health states should be considered before fines are imposed.  In this recession, it was not appropriate to lesson government costs by increasing fines on the people.  Discretion should be left to the judge and the process returned to the people and the courts. 

 

Councilor Lemhouse expressed support and appreciation on how Judge Turner-Burkholder ran her courtroom and explained that Municipal Court is different from other courts.  It was appropriate to allow an elected Judge discretion to respond to the community as he or she saw fit.  He thought the classification system was prudent but the process should allow the Judge discretion.

 

Councilor Lemhouse/Jackson m/s direct staff to change the ordinance from A, B, C and D to 1, 2, 3 4, make necessary changes and not adopting minimum state fines. DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas expressed concerns on having a classification system and repeat offenders paying only the minimum fine.  He thought the current system was adequate and worked well.  Councilor Jackson clarified her intention was not to establish minimum fines.  Councilor Chapman would not support the motion because he did not have enough information to make a decision on the matter.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Silbiger, Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Navickas, Voisin and Chapman, NO; Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote.  Motion passed 4-3. 

 

Councilor Jackson/Lemhouse m/s to move readings of ordinances to June 15, 2010.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Voisin explained she would not be attending the June 15, 2010 meeting and wanted to be present for the discussion.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Navickas, Voisin, Chapman and Silbiger, NO. Motion failed 4-2.

 

4.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Establishing Fees and Charges for Municipal Court Administration" and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

Staff directed to bring item back for further discussion.

 

5.   Should Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance amending AMC Chapter 14.06 relating to water curtailment?

Item delayed due to time constraints.

     

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting was adjourned at 10:29 p.m.

 

  

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

John Stromberg, Mayor

                      

 

 

Ashland 24/7

Pay Your
Utility Bill
Connect
to AFN
Request Conservation
Evaluation
Proposals, Bids
& Notifications
Request Building
Inspection
Apply for
Building Permits
Apply for Other
Permits & Licenses
Register for
Recreation Programs

©2017 City of Ashland, OR | Site by Project A

Quicklinks

Connect

Share

twittertwitter facebookfacebook Emailemail Share
Back to top