Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING

ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL

May 18, 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 Council Chambers.

 

ROLL CALL

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

 

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Stromberg noted vacancies on the Historic, Planning, Housing and Tree Commissions.

 

SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?

The Regular Meeting minutes of May 4, 2010 were approved as presented.

 

The Mayor and Council discussed delaying two items on the agenda pertaining to the adoption of the Southern Oregon University (SOU) Campus Master Plan and the recommendation for the Compensation Class Study.  The decision retained the SOU Campus Master Plan and delayed the Compensation Class Study.

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS

1.      Mayor Stromberg's Proclamation of Craft Beer Brewers week was read aloud.

 

2.   Does Council accept the final report and recommendation of the Public Safety Bond Committee.

Management Analyst Ann Seltzer presented the staff report and introduced Chair Don Mackin and members of the committee.  Mr. Mackin noted how well the group worked together and thoroughly evaluated each proposed project.  He stated the Committee found there was a valid need to replace Fire Station #2 and that it had reached a critical level.  They unanimously agreed on the expansion and improvement efforts for the Police Station and that it should be a top priority.  The committee noted a more cost effective option was relocating the Police Department to The Grove.

 

The committee recommended the following:

·         Move forward with a General Obligation Bond election in May 2011 for Fire Station #2 in an amount not to exceed $3million

·         Move forward with a Bond in a future election for the Police Station

·         Consider using The Grove for the Police Station

·         Seek other resources for a ladder truck and training tower for Fire Department

 

Ms. Seltzer stated the architect had evaluated parking needs if the police station should move to The Grove.  Comment was made that the Finance Department was designated for The Grove in the Facility Master Plan.  Staff explained for the long-term Finance would remain at City Hall.  If the Police Station moved to The Grove, the Information Technology Department would use the space vacated by the Police Department. Additionally, concern was raised regarding the lack of funding for a Fire Inspector.

 

Mr. Mackin explained that the architect provided potential costs and options for savings to the Committee.  The proposal for Fire Station #2 was for a steel building rather than a wood building.  Ms. Seltzer further explained the architect scaled back the project using the existing footprint in order to apply for Stimulus Money the City did not receive.  City Administrator Martha Bennett clarified that the original project was significantly scaled back and designed for the long-term and would require less maintenance cost.  She also noted there has never been “sinking funds” for the ladder truck.

 

Councilor Jackson/Navickas m/s to accept the report and recommendations of the Pubic Safety Bond Committee and direct staff to prepare an implementation plan for Council review at a future meeting, targeting May 2011 for a ballot measure for Fire Station No. 2 as recommended.  DISCUSSION: Council thanked the Committee for their effort and work.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Voisin, Chapman and Navickas, YES. Motion passed.

 

Mr. Mackin stated that the Committee has offered to help in preparing the implementation of the General Obligation Bond for Fire Station #2.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

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

2.   Should Council approve continuance of First Reading of an ordinance creating a new Chapter 13.30, relating to the Advanced Financing of Public Improvements from May 18, 2010 to August 3, 2010?

3.   Does Council wish to confirm the Mayor's appointment of Jody Waters to the Housing Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2011?

4.   Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, consent to enter into a contract with Footprint Recycling for collecting and recycling used cooking oil for a term to begin May 19, 2010 and expire June 30, 2012, with the option to renew the contract for an additional 12 months?

5.   Should Council approve continuance of First Reading of ordinances adopting Chapter 18.53 Croman Mill and related ordinances from May 18, 2010 to May 26, 2010?

 

Councilor Voisin/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)

 

PUBLIC FORUM

Gary Miller/Access-3630 Aviation Way, Medford/Introduced himself as the Executive Director for Access and provided an update on the services Ashland residents received in 2009.  Family and Senior Services provide eviction prevention, housing the homeless, rental and energy assistance and had assisted 15 households in Ashland.  The Access Housing programs ranging from housing counseling to weatherization helped 29 families in Ashland during 2009.   Through Access Food Share, 236 household received food assistance.  Access also provides free use of medical equipment, crutches, wheel chairs, etc, to individuals.  Another program is Access Junior Achievement on financial literacy for children Kindergartin-12th grade that 55 students from Ashland participated in 2009.  Access receives 70% of their funding through Federal Funds and the remaining comes from property fees and fund raising.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1.   Will Council authorize staff to implement the recommendations for the non-represented employees found to be more than 5% below market in a recent study? [20 Minutes]

Item delayed due to the absence of Councilor Lemhouse and Silbiger.

 

2.   Will Council, acting as the Contract Review Board, approve a contract with Visar Construction Co. Inc., in the amount of $142,798.75 to construct the Liberty Street Local Improvement District (LID)?

Public Works Director Mike Faught presented background information regarding the bid process for the LID.  He stated the lower bid was a $37,121.25 reduction from the previous estimate.  Staff was confident the low bid would not generate future change orders.

 

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to approve, with cause, a contract with Visar Construction Co. Inc. in the amount of $142,798.75 for the improvement of Liberty Street under Assessment District No. 88. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Chapman noted that staff had reduced the amount over the cap the City was responsible for from $30,000 to $7,500.  Councilor Jackson commented on the process and staff’s involvement with the property owners.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Chapman, Navickas, Voisin and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

 

3.   Does Council wish to adopt the SOU Campus Master Plan update and approve First Reading of the three implementing ordinances?

 

Abstentions, Conflicts, Exparte Contact

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

 

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to recuse Councilor Voisin on this item. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

Councilor Voisin left the meeting at 8:01 p.m.

 

Community Development Director Bill Molnar presented the staff report and explained the three ordinances for the Southern Oregon University (SOU) Master Plan.  One incorporated the SOU Mater Plan into the Comprehensive Plan.  The second ordinance would update the Land Use Section Chapter 18.64 SOU Zoning District referencing the new SOU Master Plan as the guiding document for the next 10 years.  The third ordinance modified the actual zoning district boundary to ensure only properties under the ownership of SOU or controlled by SOU were within the boundary of the zoning district.  This ordinance removed seven properties privately owned from the SOU boundary and returned them to adjacent residential zoning. Staff requested an additional motion for an ordinance that would apply the detailed site review zone overlay to the area between Walker Avenue and Wightman Streets for the proposed multi-story mixed-use project.

 

Mr. Molnar clarified the normal process for a housing project included a site review approval that applied the City’s design standards for multi-family housing.  SOU is bond by the same process.  Because the projects are within 50 feet of privately owned property, it also triggers a Condition Use Permit (CUP) requiring additional review.  SOU proposed eleven additional standards for the housing projects as well. 

 

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title amending the Comprehensive Plan to adopt and incorporate the SOU Master Plan aloud.

 

Councilor Jackson/Navickas m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading the Ordinance amending Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt and incorporate the updated SOU Master Plan. DISCUSSION: Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Navickas and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.

 

Mr. Appicello read the ordinance title amending Chapter 18.64 to reference the SOU Master Plan aloud.

 

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to approve first reading the Ordinance amending 18.64 to reference current SOU Campus Master Plan and move to second reading.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Navickas and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.

 

Mr. Appicello read the ordinance title amending the Ashland Zoning Map aloud.

 

Mr. Molnar was not sure how the City Zoning Map included private properties in the SOU zoning area.  The maps were created in the early 1980’s and updated by hand.  The properties could have been mistakenly included in the boundary.  The GIS technology the City uses today reduces the margin for error substantially. 

 

Councilor Navickas/Jackson m/s to approve first reading of Ordinance amending Ashland Zoning Map to be consistent with the City of Ashland comprehensive plan designation for SOU properties in accordance with the 2010 campus master plan and move to second reading.

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

 

Councilor Voisin returned to the meeting at 8:21 p.m.

 

Mr. Appicello stated the fourth ordinance for SOU regarding the detailed site review zone would be available at the June 1, 2010 meeting.

 

 NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS

1.   Will Council accept the report of the Police Chief on crime in Ashland and the use of force by the Ashland Police Department?

Police Chief Terry Holderness presented the staff report that showed an overall decrease in crime during 2009. In 2009, there were 31 incidents of Use of Force, all considered low forms of physical force where Tasers and pepper spray were not used.  Part One Crimes, tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) include Homicide, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Auto Theft, Larceny and Arson.  There was a 20.3% reduction in 2009.

 

The Ashland Police Department (APD) experienced a 37% clearance rate and the national average is 23%-24%.  Chief Holderness explained Incidents Related to Disorder address how safe people feel in their neighborhood and that data is collected by tracking the number of calls the APD receives regarding fighting and drug activities.  Last year call volume decreased 24%.  Domestic violence was not included in this category because it is generally not a reportable crime.

 

Statistics for All Crime include crimes the APD would not have been aware had they not taken proactive action, like drunk driving, showed an overall 27% decrease.

 

During 2009, there were seven reported rapes, down from 11 in 2008.  The legal definition of rape is sexual penetration, anything less is sexual assault.  The APD worked 22 cases involving sexual assault in 2009.  US Department of Justice statistics show that only 1 out of  every 7-10 rapes are reported and for a college town the size of Ashland there is more likely 50 unreported rapes a year.  The Police Department currently provides annual programs to seventh graders at the Middle School on binge drinking and sexual assault. A future goal when resources permit is an internet victim program for High School students. 

 

Philip Lang/758 B Street/Submitted and read a statement on an alleged incident of excessive use of force he encountered with one Medford and two Ashland Police officers after his partner’s death that resulted from medical care she had received from Rogue Valley Medical Center.  Charges brought against him due to the incident were dropped prior to going to trial.  He noted there were many incidents where APD Officers were abusive and violent and was concerned that officers were not required to fill out incident reports for all their involvements with citizens.  He encouraged the Mayor and Council to request a detailed report regarding police activities that included how the civil rights of citizens were respected and protected.

 

Chief Holderness clarified the total for use of force encounters applied to any incident and officers are required to fill out a report anytime they use physical force.  However, reports are not required every time they contact someone.  He went on to describe the harassment training all officers receive during basic training at the academy.  In 2009, APD went through crisis intervention training.  Ongoing training includes monthly tests on appropriate use of force with hands on training occurring twice a year.

 

Chief Holderness was aware of the claim Mr. Lang filed with the City but had not met with Mr. Lang directly. 

When a formal complaint occurs, the Police Department assigns a Lieutenant or Deputy Chief to investigate the claim and interview all involved parties.  The Lieutenant or Deputy Chief presents the investigation to Chief Holderness who determines if a policy violation occurred.  If there was a violation of Oregon State Law, the Oregon State Police Department investigates the criminal aspect followed by an internal investigation by the APD.  In Mr. Lang’s case, the officer in question left the department shortly after the alleged incident.

 

City Attorney Richard Appicello further explained Certified City County Insurance Services (CCIS) investigated the case, denied Mr. Lang’s claim and closed the file.

 

Councilor Navickas stressed the need for strong training for officers not to respond to the person they are arresting and remain professional.  Chief Holderness responded that in his history as an officer the APD has shown more restraint than other agencies regarding arrest tactics.   

 

Councilor Voisin/Chapman m/s to accept the report as presented. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Jackson, Chapman and Navickas; YES.  Motion passed.

 

2.   Does Council have questions regarding staff's proposal to administratively approve a twelve month extension to the RVTD/City of Ashland Reduced Fare Program Agreement?

Public Works Director Mike Faught provided the history on the fare reduction and bringing Route 5 back.  The anticipation was an increase in ridership when actually a 13.82% decrease in ridership occurred.  There was not sufficient data to determine the reason for low ridership. Speculation attributed the decline to the decrease in fuel costs.  Feedback from riders indicated a dislike in the direction Route 5 travelled. Originally, Route 5 traveled in the opposite direction of Route 15.  Since its reinstatement, it travels in the same direction as Route 15.  Citizens have suggested reversing Route 5 and staff agreed.

 

Council expressed concern on continuing the contract due to the high cost to the City and discussed removing the fare reduction or the extra route and using those funds to subsidize the fare further. 

 

Councilor Jackson/Navickas m/s to direct staff to extend the RVTD/City of Ashland Reduced Fare Program Agreement as proposed by staff and reverse Route 5 direction.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson was frustrated with the transit service, recognized that riders need access to the rest of the valley and that the City cannot afford to subsidize it.  She would support it this year but the system needed to improve and be consistent.  Councilor Chapman was also frustrated and noted that two years ago the City spent $100,000 for a professional opinion on how to improve transit.  Last year RVTD guaranteed increased frequency would result in an increase in ridership but this report countered that information.  He would reluctantly support the motion and stressed the need for a solution by next year.  RVTD cannot provide the service the City requires.  Councilor Navickas supported the motion because of the consistency and thought there would be an eventual increase in ridership.  Councilor Voisin explained ridership would change when the Transportation Plan was complete and did not support the motion.  She suggested removing the loop service and using the $149,000 to support current riders. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Jackson and Navickas, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 3-1.

 

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS

1.   Should Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Public Contracting and Personal Service Contracts and Repealing Chapters 2.50 and 2.52"?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud and noted a typographical error.  He also read the following suggested language to Section 1. 2.50.020 Purpose:  “The City shall endeavor to utilize local suppliers of materials and services whenever practical and feasible while seeking to obtain the lowest and best responsible bid, quotation or proposal.”

 

Matt Small/385 Cherry Lane/Referred to a letter he submitted to the record supporting hiring local businesses. The ordinance would give the City an opportunity to ensure City contracts go to local businesses. He encouraged Council to support it and thought the additional language utilizing local business was reasonable.

 

Staff clarified for purchasing “stuff” and capital construction projects the City was required under State law to take the lowest responsible bid.  This ordinance applied to Personal Services Contracts only and would increase flexibility for those contracts.   The primary purpose for public contracting laws is to promote open and impartial competition. 

 

Staff explained the pre-qualified pool consisted of advertising annually for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the pre-qualified pool.  It would limit the RFP process and provide the City with several qualified vendors to initiate the biding process when needed.  It costs the City approximately $7,000 for each RFP in staff time and advertising.  The process can take anywhere from two to five months.  It was noted that currently half of the 14 contracts established with the City were local businesses.

 

Council and staff discussed the viability of having periodic reports on the number of Personal Service Contracts with the total dollar amounts and how many were within the Rogue Valley.  A suggestion was made to reduce the limitation amounts from $75,000 to $50,000 to increase transparency.  Council directed staff to delete 2.50.120 Personal Services Contracts (1) Class Exemptions. 

 

Mr. Appicello read changes to ordinance that would remove 2.50.120 Personal Services Contracts (1) Class Exemptions.

 

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance #3013 as amended.

 

Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to amend the motion to reduce the limitation on Personal Services Contracts from $75,000 to $50,000 through out the ordinance.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas explained the amendment would address issues with transparency and allow Council to track more contracts. Councilor Chapman supported retaining the amounts of $35,000 to $75,000 and thought transparency could be achieved through reports.  Councilor Jackson would not support the amendment because of the compression. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas and Voisin, YES; Councilor Chapman and Jackson, NO. Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a NO vote.  Motion denied 2-3.

 

Roll Call on original motion: Councilor Navickas, Voisin, Chapman and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

 

2.   Should Council approve the First Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Green Burials at City Cemeteries and Amending AMC 2.64.160"?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.  Maintenance Safety Supervisor Mike Morrison explained in the past vaults were required in an effort to eliminate potential issues of soil sinking and settling.  Soil settling now was a manageable concern that staff could handle without using vaults.

 

Councilor Jackson/Navickas m/s to approve first reading and place on agenda for second reading of Ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Navickas, Voisin and Chapman, YES.  Motion passed.

 

3.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Ratifying the Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon Intergovernmental Agreement and Declaring an Emergency"?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the full ordinance and the title for second reading aloud.  Clarification was made that the emergency clause was necessary in order to continue 911 services.  The new agreement would go into effect before the City could have two full readings and the 30-day wait for the ordinance to go into effect.

 

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to declare an emergency to enact the ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Jackson and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.

 

Councilor Chapman/Navickas m/s to approve first and second reading of Ordinance #3012.

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

 

4.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to the Disposal of Surplus Property"?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud and explained it was a companion to the Public Contracting ordinance.

 

Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve first reading and place on agenda for second reading. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Voisin, Navickas and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

           

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.

 

  

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                              

John Stromberg, Mayor

                      

 

 

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