City Council (View All)
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
December 7, 2010
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger, and Chapman were present.
Mayor Stromberg added Homeless Outreach Discussion to the end of the agenda and moved all the speaker requests related to that topic from Public Forum to that item.
Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to move Homeless Outreach Discussion to the second item under New and Miscellaneous. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman expressed concern that moving the item forward could postpone regular business on the agenda and preferred addressing the regular business first then devoting the rest of the meeting to the Homeless Outreach Discussion. ROLL CALL VOTE: Councilor Voisin, Navickas, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, NO. Motion failed 2-4.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Housing Commission, the Planning Commission, and the Tree Commission.
Mayor Stromberg moved NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS #2 “Does the Council have questions regarding the status of the telecommunications utility’s performance against its strategic goals and performance measures?” to item #9 on the CONSENT AGENDA with Council approval.
SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?
The minutes of the Study Session of November 15, 2010, Executive Session of November 16, 2010 and Regular Meeting of November 16, 2010 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1. Will Council accept the Minutes of the Boards, Commissions, and Committees?
2. Shall Council approve a Resolution declaring the Canvass of the Vote of the election held and for the City of Ashland, Oregon on November 2, 2010 and Mayoral Proclamation?
3. Does Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Daniel Flattley dba Coquina at 542 A Street?
4. Will Council approve a request to Business Oregon (formally Oregon Economic & Community Development Department) to modify the existing Jefferson Avenue road and bridge construction loan and grant contract documents to reflect the reduction of project cost and revised construction completion and repayment schedules?
5. Will Council acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve the award of a contract to Progressive Builders, Inc. in the amount of $228,461.51 to construct the 2010 Miscellaneous Concrete Project No. 2008-17?
6. Does Council wish to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of James Dills to the Housing Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2010?
7. Does Council wish to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of Corrine Vieville to the Transportation Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2013?
8. Does Council have questions or input regarding the direction and progress of the Water Conservation and Reuse Study and Comprehensive Water Master Plan?
9. Does the Council have questions regarding the status of the telecommunications utility’s performance against its strategic goals and performance measures?
Councilor Jackson requested that Consent Agenda items #6 & #7 be pulled for discussion.
Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1-5 and #8-9. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Jackson explained her concern that both the Housing and Transportation Commission’s were not as balanced as they should to provide Council with good advice. She was not opposing the appointment on the Transportation Commission but did oppose the appointment to the Housing Commission. This appointment would be the fourth homeless advocate and the Housing Commission purview was broader than homelessness and having 4 out of 7 members focusing on homelessness when homeless housing was not a Council goal concerned her. Council agreed on the imbalance in both Commissions but supported the appointments for each. Mayor Stromberg planned to have the new Council work with him on reviewing the all of the Commission’s charters.
Councilor Lemhouse/Chapman m/s to approve James Dills to the Housing Commission. ROLL CALL VOTE: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Navickas, Chapman and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Jackson, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Jackson/Voisin m/s to approve Corrine Vieville to the Transportation Commission. ROLL CALL VOTE: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Jackson, Navickas, Chapman and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed.
1. Will Council approve the FY12 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Project List, the overall FY12-17 CIP program in concept, and the FY12 Capital Equipment Plan after holding a public hearing?
Public Hearing Opened: 7:23 p.m.
Public Works Director Mike Faught gave a presentation on the FY12 Proposed and FY12-17 Planned Capital Improvement Program that included:
· Council Actions Requested
· CIP Planning – What is Involved
· FY11 Current Year Highlights
· FY12 Changes from Approved FY 11-16 CIP
· FY12 CIP - Proposed Transportation Project List
· Sidewalk Construction 2011-12 - Map
· Proposed Street Improvements & LID Project List
· FY 2011/12 Maintenance Projects Overlays & Slurry Seals – Map
· FY12 CIP - Proposed Water Fund Project List
Mr. Faught explained that two projects cut back due to revenues being down were the Talent Irrigation District (TID) Pump Station improvements that were moved to 2014 and the FERC Part 12 Hosler Dam Safety Analysis that was split $125,000 for Public Works and $125,000 by Electric. The Electric portion will start this year and Public Works funded part will be proposed in next year’s budget to help offset revenue shortfalls this year.
· FY12 CIP – Proposed Airport and Stormwater
· FY12 CIP – Proposed Electric Fund Project List
· FY12 CIP – Proposed AFN/Telecom/IT Project List
· FY12 CIP – Proposed Facilities
· FY12 CIP – Parks Project List
· FY12 Fiscal Impacts
o Streets 1-2% per year (plus HB 2001 $200,000 per year)
o Water Rate Impact (1-2% per year)
o Sewer Rate Impact (1-2% per year)
o Storm Water Rate impact (1-2% per year)
Mr. Faught confirmed that even with the House Bill 2001 there was still a rate impact.
· FY11 Capital Equipment Purchase Plan
· Electric Car Update
o Adam Hanks – Working will ODOT, Nissan, and Toyota researching availability
o The Nissan Leaf is not available this year - Toyota Prius loaner may be available for 3-4 months
Mr. Faught explained there were several different factors used to determine vehicle replacement that included a schedule. Staff crew evaluated whether they can get another year out of a vehicle as well. Vehicles were purchased new because of heavy daily use and sold when they require replacing.
· State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP)
· FY12-17 CIP Plan
· FY12-17 CIP Highlights – Storm Drain, Water
· FY12-17 CIP Highlights – Transportation, LIDs and Airport
· FY12-17 CIP Highlights – Wastewater
· FY12-17 CIP Highlights – Electric, AFN, Telecom, IT
· FY12-17 CIP Highlights – City Facilities and Parks
Joaquin Saloma/007 Reindeer Lane/Expressed frustration and incredulity that Council was discussing large amounts of money for various projects but putting none towards housing for the homeless. He went on to thank Councilor Navickas for bringing the homeless issue forward and the Councilors that had voted to move the item ahead on the agenda so the homeless attending the meeting would have time to find a place to sleep later that evening.
Councilor Jackson noted the water system plans and the TID pump station were critical in providing safe water and the budget process needed to find a way to fund those projects.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:43 p.m.
Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to approve the proposed FY12 projects, the FY12 Capital Equipment Plan and the long-term FY12-17 Overall CIP. DISCUSSION: Councilor Silbiger commented the number of unfunded projects would increase with many not completed and noted the amount of funds not being spent. Mayor Stromberg added that maintaining financial stability was part of maintaining infrastructure. Councilor Lemhouse appreciated the effort put into determining what projects should be done and researching remodels versus new construction for buildings. Councilor Voisin explained that after a recession municipalities recover the slowest and appreciated staff looking at what was essential but had difficulty with the equipment replacement schedule and wanted staff to look at electric cars and cut back on replacement. Councilor Navickas noted the maintenance was deferred consistently over the past four years in an effort to trim the budget and it will be tough challenge in the future to maintain infrastructure.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger, Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
2. Should Council approve the proposed new AFN Internet Rates and Charges after holding a public hearing?
Public Hearing Opened: 7:48 p.m.
IT Director Rob Lloyd explained the new rates and charges would allow Ashland Fiber Network (AFN) to expand to businesses in addition to residential products, establish speed preferences, bandwidth consumption, and have $10 steps between products.
He confirmed that upload speed will be cut under the new plan. Most of AFN customers used the download side and uploading was extremely under-utilized. AFN wanted to focus performance on the download side where most of the customers were utilizing it. The upload side was under-utilized with 98% coming from bit torrent and file sharing programs. The changes will allow users to get a faster package for a few dollars more or save money on their existing package. AFN will also implement caps to deal with bandwidth consumption increases. A community center package will provide $9 access for customers using telephone service. The price list will also make AFN more competitive. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) had concerns that AFN selling directly would make it harder for them to compete. To offset those concerns, AFN added a 165-customer cap. Another concern addressed was ownership of customers. AFN requested an agreement that neither side transfer nor sell a customer without the other side agreeing.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:55 p.m.
Councilor Silbiger/Jackson m/s approval of AFN Internet rates and charges. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Silbiger, Jackson, Lemhouse, Navickas, Voisin, YES. Motion passed.
1. Should the Council conduct and 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?
Interim City Attorney Megan Thornton explained the ordinance would cover the imposition of fees, allow the adoption of the resolution that will set the fees and the circumstances that warrant fee waivers. The resolution will cover surcharges adopted by State legislature that will continue past the sunset date if that occurs. The Bench Trial, Diversion by Municipal Court of Violations, Jury Trial, and the Installment Fee were fees that presented issues for the Court. The Instructions for Application of Municipal Court Fees and Charges was a comprehensive list of every local and State law fee proposed in the resolution. Ashland Municipal Court was not a court of record, there were no recordings, or transcripts of what happened in Court. The ordinance would require some form of written finding to track events.
Judge Pamela Turner explained the proposed ordinance would restrict and limit Court discretion. The fees for Bench and Jury Trials, Diversion and the Installment fee would create issues for the court as well. The cumulative impact would impede the criminal process with unreasonably high fees and interfere with a defendant’s access to justice. Judge Turner clarified Diversion cost the same as the ticket issued and depended on the type of charge. If an individual pleaded diversion for a ticket, they would still pay a fine. The Diversion Fee would be cost recovery on a process that took minimal time. The Installment Payment Fee would penalize those unable to pay their fees and fines in full the day their judgment was delivered. If Council imposed the fees for Jury or Bench trials, Judge Turner requested discretion to waive or lower fees based on the circumstances of the trial. Additionally, waiving Installment and Diversion fees would be cumbersome and complicate the court process further.
Council discussed the fees for Bench and Jury Trials, Diversion and the Installment Fee and set the fee amounts at zero.
Staff suggested adding: “…may be waived or reduced in whole or in part when the Municipal Court makes a written finding that indigents and the totality of circumstances warrants a reduction of the fee,” to 4.35.030 Waiver or Reduction of Fees and Charges by the Municipal Court A., and recommended removing: “…based on evidence in the record…” from 4.35.030 Waiver or Reduction of Fees and Charges by the Municipal Court C.
Ms. Thornton read the ordinance title aloud.
Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to approve First Reading and move to Second Reading an ordinance establishing fees and charges for Municipal Court administration with suggested changes staff put forward. DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas thanked Judge Turner and Council for ensuring that citizens maintained their access to justice. Councilor Lemhouse expressed similar appreciation as well. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Voisin, Chapman, Jackson, Lemhouse, Navickas, YES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve the award of a public contract to Ashland Home Net for AFN Television Services?
IT Director Rob Lloyd explained the Request for Proposal (RFP) went out October 2010 to 13 potential applicants with one response that met all the criteria. An evaluation committee that included two external members with expertise in Accounting, Law, Franchise Administration, and Rights of Way Usage awarded and recommended the award to Ashland Home Net. It will increase revenues from approximately $120,000 to $200,000 annually. Currently everything was negotiated except contract language that would allow Ashland Home Net to join a cooperative to reduce their costs.
Councilor Chapman/Silbiger m/s acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve the award of the AFN Television Services contract to Ashland Home Net. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman noted Ashland Home Net had been a great partner for the City and appreciated doing business with them. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Jackson, Navickas, Lemhouse, Chapman, Silbiger, YES. Motion passed.
2. Does the Council have questions regarding the status of the telecommunications utility’s performance against its strategic goals and performance measures?
Item moved to #9 on the Consent Agenda.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Will Council approve First Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Reimbursement Districts and Adding Chapter 13.30" and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained Special Council Pam Beery’s firm reviewed the ordinance and made substantial changes to the code that made the application easier to read and apply. Changes included initial whereas clauses giving Council and the City authority to move forward with Advanced Financing, definitions added and deleted and a purpose clause removed. The application process was clarified and the staff analysis was renamed the City Engineers Report. Other clarifications were the reimbursement amount, Council action, the reimbursement agreement, payment requirements and language was removed regarding property liens. The ordinance retained the Advanced Finance District being set for 10 years and provided a 10-year extension option. The developer would carry the debt and receive reimbursements as the City collected funds. If the City were the developer, it would carry the debt and reimburse itself.
Interim City Attorney Megan Thornton read the ordinance title aloud.
Councilor Voisin/Navickas m/s to approve first Reading of the ordinance and set second reading for December 21, 2010. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Voisin, Jackson, Silbiger, Chapman, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.
2. Will Council approve First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Relating to Adopting New Building And Structural Codes, Amending AMC Chapter 15 Building Codes, and Repealing AMC 15.04.180, 15.08.020, 15.08.040, 15.08.050, 15.08.060, 15.08.070, 15.16.020 Through 15.16.220, 15.16.250 Through 15.16.320, AND 15.16.360 Through 15.16.370 ” and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?
Interim City Attorney Megan Thornton explained the amendments to the code reflected current Oregon State law. Repealed items were duplicative of State law or any of the specialty codes. In addition, the moving building section would require a bond incase of damage to City property. Failure to pay an Administrative fine would be a Class 1 Violation. Ms. Thornton noted corrections would be made to remove a highlighted question and renumber paragraphs under 15.08.060 Permit Requirements for Moved Buildings accordingly.
Councilor Navickas/Jackson m/s to approve first reading of the ordinance and set the matter for second reading with the noted changes. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Lemhouse, Chapman, Navickas, Silbiger, Voisin, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Will Council approve the Mayor’s Signature on a letter to Senator Merkley regarding support for performance based planning?
Mayor Stromberg moved the item to the December 21, 2010 meeting with Council consent.
2. Homeless outreach discussion.
Councilor Navickas expressed concern the City was in violation of the Eighth Amendment by continuing to cite people violating the camping ban without providing adequate housing. He referenced a case in the City of Los Angeles where the Ninth Circuit Court ruled against arresting people sleeping without providing them with adequate shelter.
He requested the City grant a stay on further citations for people violating the Camping Ban. He also asked Council to direct the Housing Commission to move forward on addressing homeless issues and to give the City’s Housing Program Specialist discretion to work on homeless issues beyond the 10% limitation specified in the Housing Work Program.
Thomas Marr/955 North Mountain Avenue/Had lived in the Rogue Valley since 1977. He honored Pearl Harbor, current and past veterans, Elizabeth Edwards, and John Thierry. He was a forester and the idea of pushing people out deeper into the watershed was ridiculous. Ashland seemed to work under a sundown law where the police tell people to leave the City limits to camp and he found that not only offensive but thought it was illegal and held Council responsible. He also thought it was federally unconstitutional. State law mandated the City must address a homeless issue once it was identified. City law required 24-hour notice to campers and he had not heard of anyone getting a 24-hour notice to vacate. He shared his personal experience of the police busting up campers. He concluded by offering to take in one homeless individual for every 10 people the City sheltered.
Joshua ‘Zero’ Scott/Explained it was difficult getting a job if a person cannot sleep. Sleep was essential to being healthy as well as being dry. It was a disappointment when the Interfaith Care Community of Ashland (ICCA) closed. Since the ICCA closed, it was extremely difficult, the winters were hard and many people were sick. Homeless people needed a place to sleep that was safe, warm, and dry. This was not about “us versus them” it was about the ordinance. He recognized it was complicated but needed to be addressed.
Daniel Rueff/Shared he had lived in Ashland 20 years as a homeless advocate and commented that nothing had changed during that time. Prejudice against the homeless had gone on far too long and the homeless needed a strong advocate. People were freezing and starving to death all around Ashland. He wanted the homeless to be able to sleep legally without fear or anxiety.
Stephanie Joy/Spoke of witnessing and experiencing harassment against homeless people that she considered extreme. This was a human rights issue and bigger than homeless people needing shelter. She was currently sick from lack of sleep. She hoped Council would consider everything being said and recognize that ticketing people sleeping was anti-American and something that should be dealt with now not later.
Critter Satellite/Was honored to be before the Council and as a member of the community for almost 3 years. He had sowed seeds in Ashland, planted trees, harvested food that was delivered to many households and was a true “Ashlander.” He was only asking for a sleeping spot. Everyone has the same rights and he asked everyone to stand up for each other’s rights, to sleep and to just “be.”
William Hayes/517 South Grape Street #1/Stated that he volunteers in the park every Sunday to help feed people. His volunteer group also distributes sub-zero sleeping bags that people in the community donate in addition to food. Since there was no shelter in Ashland, homeless people should at least be able to sleep without being harassed. Often the sleeping bags given to the homeless are confiscated. He has sent people to the Police Department to claim their bags but these individuals come back and tell him the police were not holding the bags, could not find them, and did not know where they were. He stressed homeless people needed to be treated with respect. We as a community should want to tell the world around us that Ashland cares about their poor and homeless. He asked Council to let the homeless sleep. Stop harassing them and issuing tickets.
Michael Erickson/Quoted Thomas Jefferson, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation the banks and corporations that will grow up around will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.” Council must now address the fundamental absurdity of people being criminalized for the act of sleeping in public places. He urged Council to grant the people the right to sleep and be guided by the compassionate principles of freedom. The people were calling for a Town Hall to address the issues of homelessness and poverty.
Nancy Boyer/425 Normal/Explained she was empathetic with the homeless but not sympathetic and questioned as an older citizen what ‘home free’ meant. Was it a mindset the younger generation had that things were free? She shared her own experience of how she managed odd jobs when she did not have money and commented people were not interested in working. She suggested Councilor Navickas let the homeless sleep and work on his farm if he wanted to advocate for them. She concluded by wondering who was watching all the dogs during this discussion and how could they afford to feed the dogs.
Thomas Wells/Explained the homeless wanted to be seen as equals. They did not want to be demeaned but wanted to work on resolving the issue. There were many smart people, reading City law and looking for ways to work together. The homeless were not asking for shelter just a designated area to sleep between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. The homeless were willing to work with Council and wanted a Town Hall meeting.
John Gilmore/Explained he was a transient in Ashland and had received three tickets in the past two months for sleeping. He believed the homeless should have an allotted time at night to sleep without the fear of being harassed.
Tom Crimmins/Shared he had been homeless for 13 years. The Interfaith Care Community of Ashland (ICCA) was somewhat successful then failed. Many homeless people could not physically handle walking out to Immigrant Lake or the watershed. There needed to be solutions closer to town for people unable to walk that far. He suggested a Commission or entity of possibly three homeless people and three City staff to help establish standards in camps like no fires during fire season, taking care of trash as well as sanitary facilities. Someone the Police can go to or who can go to the Police. The homeless also needed opportunities to be part of the workforce in Ashland. Currently there was only one shower facility on Mondays and that was not conducive for someone wanting to work.
Jonathan Nelson/Explained he was currently a transient in Ashland and stated it was unjust and inhumane to demand money from someone who has no source of income, for sleeping at night. The ordinance was directed at the homeless. Making a law that targets a specific group of people was discrimination and it needed to stop.
Duane Roe/Shared he was dying of cancer and was homeless in Ashland because of personal reasons. He had the right to sleep regardless of his problems. Without sleep, it was hard to get motivated to find work. The homeless were not looking for a free place to sleep or a hand out, just a time to sleep without being harassed. There were other tickets, crimes, and laws the community should be worried about, not sleeping.
Tim Kennedy/Explained he had been in the hospital four times in the past year. He had nowhere to go after being discharged. He has to walk 3 miles out of town to sleep without antagonizing police. He debated whether to attend the meeting or catch the last bus to his campsite. He acknowledged there was not an easy solution and there was a lot of diversity involved with different types of people. Putting a ban on police citations until a better solution was found would be helpful. Winter storms were coming and people just want to be able to pitch their tents, but where was the problem. They needed a temporary shelter to get out of the elements until the issue was resolved.
Robert Fisher/Stated the homeless were that way for different reasons. Some did not have families and at the end of day liked to come together as a family. He observed that when the homeless came together, there was more of a police presence. He addressed earlier testimony on getting jobs and explained how difficult it was when there was only one shower a week.
Sharon Schroer/Explained she was currently not homeless but there was times when she was and noted that Ashland was one of the safe places for young women to be homeless. The kids in Ashland help push out people selling drugs and void out aggression. She would appreciate the harassment of people sleeping to stop.
Lisa Smidt/When a person gets a ticket for sleeping, they have to stick around for the court date. With no place to sleep, that person is at risk to incur more tickets. It was ridiculous.
Michael Majchrzak/894 Blackberry Lane/Stated most people think of the homeless as an embarrassment. They were intimidating, and people really want to give them a couple of dollars and hope they go away. The public testimony gave an eloquence that put a new face on homelessness. These people were asking for the minimum comfort of life to sleep and be warm. Tonight everyone was hearing the humanness for another segment of population relegated to the bottom 2% that could rattle your cage with their eloquence. He was humbled and glad to support them.
Wendy Wallace/Shared that currently her brother was homeless in Seattle. She talked to homeless people and loved them because they did not judge her and she had not experienced that with non-homeless people. She appreciated the stay on issuing citations to people when they were trying to sleep. That homeless people have difficulties is not an excuse to blame them for being homeless. She expressed her appreciation to Council for actively listening. She marched for civil rights where people were rejected and hurt because they looked different and considered scary because of that difference. She applied that reaction of looking different to the homeless.
John Maurer/Lived in Ashland for 35 years and during that time watched the homeless problem come and go. He thought the term homeless defied definition and was too broad. When Ashland had the resources to house people, there were still homeless issues. Some homeless people were impoverished psychologically, socially, and culturally and not by their choice. People want to interact with society for a variety of reasons but have to live by society’s law, and the law is on the record. The law can be changed but there will always to people who want to be in society but do not want to live with society.
Mark Annis/850 Hopkins Road, Central Point/Comes to Ashland every Sunday to help feed and clothe the homeless and those that are hungry. He knows and loves these people and was called to help them. If everyone came together and contributed a small amount, it would not be difficult to resolve this situation. He talked to the homeless and the people who have businesses and noted they were onboard with helping anyway they can. We as a community cannot continue to turn a blind eye and hope they go away or fine people who have no money.
Ralph Temple/150 Myer Creek Road/Spoke on behalf of the Southern Oregon Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and appeared before Council October 21, 2008 on this same issue. At that time, the ACLU presented a report on Decriminalizing Poverty Reform of Ashland’s Camping Ordinance and he urged Council to read it. In 2006, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in City of Los Angeles vs. Jones. ACLU sued the City of Los Angeles for issuing citations to homeless persons camping. The court ruled it was a violation of US Constitution under the Eighth Amendment because sleeping is a biological necessity and you cannot punish poverty or status. The City of Los Angeles entered into an agreement that between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. it would not enforce its anti sleeping ban until it provided an additional 1,250 shelters. ACLU proposed Council suspend the enforcement of the camping ban until the City provided 50 beds.
Jeff/Thought ticketing people trying to sleep was obscene. He noted Councils earlier discussion on appointing a member to the Housing Commission who was a homeless advocate. He wanted to know how Council would deal with the homeless.
John Prowse/Referred to the officer who lost his home during the Oak Knoll fire who subsequently became homeless. He shared experiences of living in Ashland when he was young. The camping ban law was ridiculous. He stressed the need to come together and help each other. He went on to describe his personal losses and experiences. Nothing could change these losses but something could be done about the problem in Ashland.
Joaquin Saloma/Explained he had lived in Ashland for 30 years and the camping ban was written in 1995. Current Councilors did not put this law into effect and were not obligated to hold the torch for those who did. Council has the power to show the people this is not the old Ashland. He hoped Council remembered when Ashland was open hearted and had a teen center for kids and a Community Center, there were more meals available during that time and no one was getting hurt. He urged Council to abolish the ordinance instead of putting a stay on citations.
Kirk/Corner of Pioneer and Main/Explained earth was his home. His word was equal to Council’s word and if Council failed to honor that, there was no honor in them. His conditions were share the earth, and stop the harassment. The City was hurting people with their indifference and incredulity. The absolute ease to which the City dismissed and censured people he found distasteful, odious, and very hard to palate. He invited Council to sit down and reason. He asked everyone to use his or her intelligence and pizza buying ability to sit down and have some fun instead of this nonsense.
Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to continue item to the December 21, 2010 meeting. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse requested staff provide a response regarding the ACLU lawsuit in Los Angeles. City Administer Martha Bennett will forward the October 21, 2008 minutes to Council. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Navickas asked Council to direct the Housing Commission to look into homeless issues during their retreat. Councilor Lemhouse suggested the Housing Commission write down what they thought the goals should be and Council could address them when they discussed homelessness in the New Year. Mayor Stromberg explained he was attending part of their retreat to discuss what their position was on homelessness.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:28 p.m.
Dana Smith, Assistant to the City Recorder
John Stromberg, Mayor