City Council (View All)
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
January 7, 2014
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.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present.
STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS BY MAYOR STROMBERG
City Administrator Dave Kanner provided the first part of the State of the City address and shared the following.
Ashland City government means:
- that when you turn on the tap, clean water comes out;
- when you flush the toilet, your waste is carried away to be treated properly;
- your car does not break axles in potholes;
- when you flip the switch, the electricity comes on;
- police keep a watchful eye on the City and respond if you are the victim of a crime;
- firefighters who are trained emergency medical technicians respond every day to people in crisis; and
- our parks and trails provide free, world-class enjoyment.
These things do not happen by magic. They happen by virtue of the hard day-to-day work of 250 City of Ashland employees, who, through their dedication and diligence, provide the services that create the foundation for the extraordinary quality of life we enjoy in Ashland. Our last citizen satisfaction survey, presented to you roughly a year ago, found that 89% of respondents rated our employees good or excellent for responsiveness, 87% good or excellent for job knowledge and 86% good or excellent for courtesy, numbers that are much above national benchmarks and comparator communities. Those are numbers we hope to build on in the year ahead as we roll out a new program of customer service standards for City employees aimed at maintaining and improving those numbers.
The staff’s work program is rooted in the goals and objectives adopted by the City Council and the Parks Commission. Those goals are:
- Public safety and other city agencies, along with the community, collaborate effectively to ensure security for all and improve overall livability.
- Collaborate with the community to ensure safe, cost-effective, and sustainable public services, facilities, and utilities to meet the urgent, immediate, and future needs of Ashland.
- Anticipate and identify opportunities to provide for the physical, social, economic, and environmental health of the community.
- Provide high quality and effective delivery of the full spectrum of city service and governance in a transparent, accessible, and fiscally responsible manner.
- Maintain and expand park, recreational, and educational opportunities; provide high quality, efficient and safe services with positive experiences for guests, and other participants while maintaining community participation in the decision-making processes and protecting the environment.
The Parks Department maintains 642 acres of parks and 26 miles of trails. On top of all of this day-to-day work, 2013 was a very productive year for the City of Ashland:
- Reconstructed and dedicated our new plaza in downtown Ashland. At the same time, we refurbished and re-planted the planter boxes downtown.
- The City took several important steps toward helping the most vulnerable members of our community; establishing a weekly winter shelter in a City building – now a twice-weekly shelter – and providing a $100,000 grant to ACCESS and OHRA to create a help center for those in need, including the homeless.
- Citizen survey
- Council goals
- Transportation Systems Plan
- Major Progress on the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project
- Completed an affiliation agreement between Asante and Ashland Community Hospital
- Completed nearly 100% of the funded projects in our fiscal year ’13 capital improvements plan
- Realignment of Hersey/Wimer and Road Diet
- Re-financed debt on AFN bonds; savings of $1.7 million
- Rec’d a grant for construction of Ashland Creek Park
- Facilities Energy Audit
- Fire Department hosted “Ashland is Ready” event
- Open City Hall
- New solid waste franchise agreement
- Opened new fire station and newly remodeled police station
- Parks Dept. reconstructed the Enders shelter and built the cover on the ice rink.
Mayor Stromberg shared the following values and reasons he ran for Mayor:
- Making democracy work
- Decisions based on sustainability
- The amateur Directors – people elected without experience running a municipality
The City was addressing the following projects:
- AFR Funding
- Fire Adapted Community
- Ashland Community Hospital transition to Asante
- The new Housing and Human Services Commission and their task of conducting the Social Service Grant study as well as a survey of needs and available resources in Ashland
- Winter Shelter facilities partnered by the City and two congregations
- Road Diet Experiment/Wimer-Hersey realignment
- Downtown Parking and Multi-modal Circulation Committee
- Help Center
- The Planning Portfolio: Unified Land Use Ordinance; Normal Avenue Neighborhood; Croman Mill site
- Nevada Street Bridge
- Open City Hall
- Plastic Bags policy
- Parks & Recreation Dedicated Funding transition and the Memo of Understanding
- Revised Council Rules; changes in liaison/Commission Chair roles
- GMOs and protecting organic farming, gardening, and seed production
- Gun Control
- Pacific Connector Pipeline and the impact from fracking
- Lemelson Places of Invention project and their intention to study Jackson County
- The “All The Way” play created through the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was now going to Broadway
- You Have Options Sexual Assault Reporting Program is a campaign Ashland initiated in 2013 and one the US Military was currently researching for their own use
- Cynthia Rider – new executive director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
- Sheila Clough – new executive director of the Asante Ashland Community Hospital
- Jay Hummel – new school superintendent for Ashland School District
ELECTION OF COUNCIL CHAIR
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to appoint Councilor Slattery as Council Chair for the year 2014.
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Voisin/Rosenthal m/s to add Discussion of Ordinance Updates: City Council Rules (Chapter 2.04), Boards and Commissions Rules and Procedures (Chapter 2.10), and Miscellaneous Chapters (2.18 and 2.28) at the end of the agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Planning, Tree, Public Arts, and Firewise Commissions and on the Band Board. He went on to request three Council volunteers that would work with three citizens to set agenda items and a possible work plan for the joint Council and Budget Committee over the next year during the current budget.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Study Session of December 16, 2013 and Business Meeting of December 17, 2013 were approved as submitted.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
The Mayor's proclamation of January 11, 2014 as Christmas Tree-Cycle Day in Ashland was read aloud.
1. Acceptance of Commission minutes
2. Award of a professional services contract in excess of $75,000 for consulting and engineering of the Ashland Municipal Airport taxi lane extension project
3. Liquor license application for Ashland Food Co-op
4. Approval of an intergovernmental agreement between Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team and the Ashland Police Department
Councilor Voisin/Morris m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - None
Sydney Klotzer/Questioned the recent change to the Winter Shelter rules prohibiting children 18 years old or under. She shared her experience as a host of a shelter who spent the night with another 18-year old female volunteer with 15 homeless men without issue or concern. Guests of the shelter were grateful to have a place to stay and would never do anything to jeopardize shelter service.
Councilor Lemhouse directed Ms. Klotzer to the Council Business page on the City website that had an email link that went to Council where they could respond to her inquiry.
1. Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution accepting changes to the financial management policies and accounting methodologies”
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg clarified the following items from the proposed policy and accounting methodologies:
- Financial Management Policies - General Fund
- Financial Management Policies - Accounting - Management Letter
- Accounting Methods – General Fund
- Accounting Methods – Internal Service Funds - Equipment Fund
- Accounting Methods – Enterprise Fund – Wastewater Fund
Councilor Morris/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2014-01 as amended. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Letter to Jackson County Board of Commissioners requesting a referral of the question of non-partisan commission positions
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained at the Council meeting of November 5, 2013 Council agreed to support the Jackson County Board of Commissioners referring a charter amendment that made their positions non-partisan. Jackson County Commissioner Skundrick explained the Commission had delayed adding the amendment to focus on creating Special Districts for the Library and Extension and thought the non-partisan amendment would be on the November 2014 ballot.
Councilor Marsh/Slattery m/s to the approval of the letter that has been drafted for submission to the County Board of Commissioners. DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh noted that Klamath County actually approved a similar move in their May 2013 election. Councilor Slattery thought it would bring credibility to government. Councilor Lemhouse thought it was important for citizens to vote on the topic. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Discussion of Ordinance Updates: City Council Rules (Chapter 2.04), Boards and Commissions Rules and Procedures (Chapter 2.10), and Miscellaneous Chapters (2.18 and 2.18)
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained there were revisions to four sections in AMC 2.04, 2.10, 2.18 and 2.28 concerning the rules of City Council, Boards and Commission, Conservation Commission, and the operating departments. Proposed changes included:
AMC 2.04.040 Conduct of Meeting – C. Council Deliberations
a. When a question or motion is put to a vote by the presiding officer, each member present must vote for or against the motion unless a majority of the Council excuses that member from so doing. Unless excused from voting, a member who is present and does not vote for or against the motion shall be counted as having cast a negative vote. The Mayor can only vote in the case of a tie, and then is required to vote.
Council thought the sentence, “Unless excused from voting, a member who is present and does not vote for or against the motion shall be counted as having cast a negative vote,” should apply to the Mayor as well.
b. A simple majority of the quorum present determines the action on ordinance, or resolution and on most motions. On questions required by City Charter, City Ordinances, or applicable provisions of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised to be decided by a two-thirds vote of the Council, approval requires an affirmative vote of at least four Councilors.
AMC 2.04.050 Order of Business
E. Public Hearings
c. Persons wishing to speak at public hearings are to submit a “speaker request form” prior to the commencement of the hearing and deliver the form to the City Recorder. The Mayor or presiding officer is to inform the audience of this requirement to submit the form prior to the commencement of the hearing. No testimony will be accepted on public hearings that have been closed.
F. Public Forum
a. Members of the public may speak during public forum about any topic not on the agenda for the same meeting. The agenda for public forum is 15 minutes, unless a majority of the Council votes to extend the time. On behalf of the City, any Councilor may request that any matter discussed during public forum be placed on a future Council agenda.
Council discussed moving Public Forum on the agenda, and extending the Public Hearing extension currently at 9:30 p.m. Mr. Lohman explained Public Forum could occur before or after the Consent Agenda on the agenda unless there was a Public Hearing scheduled in which case the Mayor or Council would have the discretion to move it to later. City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the rationale behind Public Hearings concluding by 9:00 p.m. allowed Council adequate time to deliberate and get through the agenda. Council could apply reasonable time limits to the amount of public testimony allowed to each speaker during a Public Hearing. Council supported moving the cut-off time on Public Hearings from 9:00 - 9:30, to 9:30 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. with language the Council could reverse cut off times if needed.
Mr. Lohman separated language pertaining to Public Forum without any changes to the language. He removed verbiage regarding the Mayor setting time limits since other sections of the ordinance implied it already. He also removed the language giving preference to individuals living within city limits. Council expressed concern that residents within city limits should have preference and the language should remain.
G. Public Testimony on Agenda Items
a. Members of the public who wish to speak on an agenda item that is not the subject of a public hearing at the same meeting may do so at the time set aside for that agenda item. If a member of the public or a Council member has requested time to speak on a consent agenda item, the presiding officer shall make time for a brief presentation by the requestor prior to the Council’s vote on the consent agenda.
AMC 2.04.070 Rights of Citizens - Deleted
AMC 2.04.090 Commissions and Boards.
- Establishing Commissions and Boards
Mr. Lohman would look into why the Parks and Recreation Commission showed in the Charter and not in the code.
- Regular Commission and Board Membership Appointments
Council discussed allowing two full term limits instead of three.
F. Regular Membership Removal Process
The City Council, with or without cause, may by majority vote of the City Council at a regular meeting, remove any regular commission or board member prior to the expiration of the term of the appointment. …Notwithstanding the above procedure, removal of a Planning Commissioner shall be governed by the procedures in ORS 227.030 and removal of any member of the Recreation Commission is not subject to this section….
The Charter established the Recreation Commission so the Council could not remove members. Mr. Lohman would add language regarding the removal of various Commission and Committee members.
AMC 2.04.100 Council Liaisons to Advisory Boards and Commissions
A. Roles and Responsibilities of Council Liaisons
2. City Councilors serve as liaisons to City commissions and boards, as well as ad hoc committees and task forces and are expected to represent the full City Council in interacting with such entities.
Council suggested adding “objectively and accurately” to read, “City Councilors serve as liaisons to City commissions and boards, as well as ad hoc committees and task forces and are expected to represent objectively and accurately the full City Council in interacting with such entities.”
- Council Information
Council and staff discussed 2.04.100 Council Liaison to Advisory Boards and Commissions, F. Role of Liaison as Regards to Vacancies and H. Liaison Appointment Process and Term, and decided not to make the suggested language changes. Council could decide through resolution when they formed an ad hoc committee whether to appoint a Council Liaison or not.
- Reporting to the Council.
Council liaisons may report to the entire Council on significant and important activities of any advisory body to which they have been assigned. The chair of each advisory body should expect to give at least one short annual presentation to the Council each year on the advisory body’s annual goals and accomplishments and on recommended goals for the Council to consider adopting. Liaisons may seek assistance from the relevant staff liaison to accomplish this reporting responsibility.
Council wanted to add language that commission chairs should be objective in their annual presentation to Council, avoid personal views on any given topic, and expect to answer questions from Council. Council also suggested changing presentation language to the following, “The chair should be expected to give a presentation on the accomplishments, work in progress, and planned activities of the commission.” Council and Mayor discussed possibly having a separate policy on addressing the Council annually, with language having them prepared to present the response to a Council request for recommendation. Mr. Lohman noted 2.10.105 Reports was similar to Reporting to Council and would ensure the language was consistent.
Council discussed adding definitions regarding conflict and opinion and how the representative would handle a known conflict of interest regarding 2.04.110 Council Representatives to State, Regional, Community, and other External Organizations, A. Role and Responsibilities of Council Representatives 4. City Representative serving as voting members on another organization’s Board of Directors (such as the Rogue Valley Council of Governments) should work in the best interest of that organization when not in conflict with best interest of the City of Ashland. When presented with a conflict, the member shall declare the conflict and, it necessary, recuse himself/herself from the matter. Mr. Lohman would add a new provision concerning conflicts of interest, values, or views and language for Council representatives bringing issues back to Council or voting the way that best represented Council.
AMC 2.10.020 Terms, Term Limits and Vacancies
All successors to original members of an advisory commission or board, shall have a three (3) year term… Notwithstanding the three year limitation, Planning Commissioners and Budget Committee members not on City Council shall serve four (4) year terms. All regular terms shall commence with appointment and shall expire on April 30 of the third year…. Members may serve three (3) terms on any single commission or board, after which time the Mayor and Council will give due consideration to other qualified candidates before making a reappointment.
Council suggested moving the term end date for the Budget Committee from April 30 to June 30.
AMC 2.10.025 Meetings and Attendance
Unless otherwise provided by law, the number of meetings related to business needs of an advisory commission, or boards may be set by the advisory body. Each member must attend at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the full advisory body’s regularly scheduled meetings, study sessions and special meetings which occur within each twelve-month period from May 1 to April 30 and while the person is a member of the advisory body.
Council suggested having the City Recorder develop a process regarding attendance. The Mayor wanted the ability to reinstate a Commissioner terminated regarding attendance with prior notification to Council of the Mayor’s intention. Mr. Lohman noted commissions also wanted a rule regarding attendance. Additionally the rule might not apply to all the commissions with different attendance standards for the Planning Commission and the Budget Committee. Council thought it was important to make expectations clear from the start of the application process and retain the 75% attendance rule.
Generally, advisory bodies may not allow alternates to represent or stand in for a member at a meeting. Notwithstanding the foregoing preclusion of alternates, on advisory bodies with some members who are appointed by an entity other than the Mayor and City Council and who serve as a representative of the appointing entity, an alternate may participate and vote for the named member by proxy at any meeting of the advisory body, and such participation by the alternate will be deemed to be attendance by the named member.
Council suggested language that no one appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Council should have an alternate.
A member should provide at least 48-hour notice to both the chair of the advisory body and the staff liaison regarding any planned absence from a scheduled meeting of the advisory body. In the event an unexpected emergency will cause a member to be absent from a meeting, the member must notify the chair or the staff liaison at least two hours prior to the meeting.
Mr. Lohman suggested replacing “48-hour notice” and “at least two hours prior to the meeting” with “reasonable notice.”
Each advisory body should review member attendance approximately every six months and report to the Mayor and City Council advising of on the need for appointments or re-appointments, if necessary.
Mayor Stromberg suggested having the staff liaison fill out an attendance form and forward it to the City Recorder’s office. City Recorder Barbara Christensen would work with the Legal Department on wording.
AMC 2.10.040 Quorum and Effect of Lack Thereof
A meeting quorum shall consist of more than one-half of the total number of authorized members of the body, including any vacant positions. Non-voting ex officio members, staff and liaisons do not count toward the quorum. Members need not be physically present at a meeting if another means of attendance (e.g. telephonic, internet etc.) has been established by the membership and public meetings law requirements are met.
Mr. Lohman addressed telephonic attendance at meetings and explained Public Meeting Law stated the public had to have access to the conversation. He would forward the state law provision for Planning Commissions regarding telephonic and internet meetings to Council.
At least a majority of the quorum is necessary to adopt any motion; some motions require the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members present. If the members in attendance do not constitute a quorum, no deliberations towards a decision or any other official business may be conducted, except for informational presentations by staff or invitees, and the members present may leave.
Mr. Lohman confirmed a lack of quorum meant there was not a meeting under the law and minutes were not required. The meeting would be informational instead. Staff would take notes instead of minutes, bring information back to the full commission when there was a quorum, and post the notes on the City website. Council could request verbiage indicating notes and recordings were not official minutes.
AMC 2.10.050 Election of Officers, Secretary, and Subcommittees
At its first meeting following the appointment or reappointment of members each year, the advisory commission or board shall elect a chair and a vice chair who shall hold office at the pleasure of the advisory body. Neither the chair nor vice-chair shall serve as an officer for more than three consecutive annual terms.
Council comments included removing “Neither the chair nor vice-chair shall serve as an officer for more than three consecutive annual terms,” while others supported retaining the language.
Subcommittees may be formed for the purpose of gathering information and forming a recommendation to be brought forward to the full advisory body. Only the full body can make recommendations to the City Council. Subcommittees must comply fully with the requirements of Oregon Public Meetings law.
Ms. Christensen explained the City Recorder’s Office and the Legal Department trained each commission annually on Public Meetings Law.
AMC 2.10.060 Agendas and Minutes
The chair or staff liaison will be responsible for the agenda of all meetings of advisory commissions and boards. A member or staff liaison will be responsible for taking minutes. Agendas and minutes will be posted on the City’s web site. Members are encouraged to access those documents from the website. Staff will email or mail documents to members upon request. If the advisory body has a current Council Liaison, the Liaison should [periodically] be given the opportunity to report to the commission or board periodically.
Council wanted at least a 4-business day requirement for posting the agenda and minutes on the City website. City Administrator Dave Kanner suggested making that request advisory because often delays in posting the agenda were due to waiting on final approval from the Commission Chair. Ms. Christensen would work with staff liaisons on posting minutes in a timely manner and work with the Legal Department to improve the overall process.
AMC 2.10.070 Rules and Regulations
The advisory commission or board may make such rules and regulations as are necessary for its governance, including the conduct of meetings, when not inconsistent with Ashland City Charter, Ashland Municipal Code or Oregon law. These rules may be less formal than the meeting procedure rules in AMC 2.04.40. In the event of conflicts that cannot be resolved less formally, AMC 2.04.040 shall be used as the standard for meeting rules and procedures. Failure to strictly comply with the rules on meeting procedure in AMC 2.04.040 shall not be cause to void or otherwise disturb a decision or action. The body will strive to be clear in its proceedings.
AMC 2.10.085 Deliberations - Deleted
AMC 2.10.105 Reports
Each advisory commission and board shall submit copies of its minutes to the City Council and shall prepare and submit such reports and make such presentations to Council as from time to time may be requested by the Mayor and City Council. The chair of each advisory body should expect to make at least one presentation to the Council each year on the advisory body’s goals and accomplishments and on recommended goals for the Council to consider adopting. Unless otherwise expressly provide in the Ashland Municipal Code or State Law, all reports or recommendations of City advisory bodies committee shall be considered advisory in nature and shall not be binding on the mayor or City Council.
AMC 2.18.010 Established Membership
...The commission shall also consist of certain non-voting ex officio members, including the mayor or one council member serving as council liaison, the Department of Community Development Director and the Electric Utility Director, the Director of Public Works, the Building Official and City Administrator. The primary staff liaison shall be appointed by the City Administrator and shall serve as Secretary of the Commission. Voting members shall be appointed by the Mayor with confirmation by the City Council.
Mr. Lohman would revise the language that implied the Community Development Director, Electric UT Director, Director of Public Works, Building Official, and City Administrator were voting ex officio members.
AMC 2.28.100 Electric Utilities Dept. – Functions
The functions of the Electric Utilities Department are the construction, operation, and maintenance of the electric distribution system; the installation of all new lines, services and meters; the maintenance of the hydro-generation plant; the preparation and submission of proposed work programs including estimates of cost; and the installation, maintenance and operation of all electrical equipment and facilities of the City.
AMC 2.28.130 Finance Department – Functions
The functions of the Finance Department are … equipment and services for all departments… fiscal and property accounting for all departments.
AMC 2.28.340 Public Works Department - Functions
The functions of the Public Works Department are … supervision of the repair and maintenance of all motor equipment of the City…
AMC 2.28.354 Community Development Department - Functions
The functions of the Public Works Department are … and, with the assistance of the Police Department, the enforcement of all laws and ordinances governing zoning and land-use as set forth in Title 18 of this code.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS - None
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Councilor Voisin commended Deputy Police Chief Corey Falls for his efforts regarding the You Have Options Sexual Assault Reporting Program. She announced a shelter volunteer training would occur the next day. On January 23, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., the Unitarian Church would host a free screening of the 2012 Documentary film titled American Winter. Free veterinary vaccinations for guests with dogs using the Shelter or low-income individuals with pets would happen early February.
Meeting adjourned at 10:17 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John Stromberg, Mayor