Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING

ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
May 19, 2015
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, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present.
 
MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mayor Stromberg announced the City completed the annual appointment process for the various Commissions, Committees, and Boards but there were still vacancies on the following Commissions: Airport, Forest Lands, Housing & Human Services, Public Arts, Transportation, Tree, and Wildfire Mitigation.
 
He added an agenda item under NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS regarding a letter to the United States Forest Service on summer activities proposed by Mt. Ashland Association.
 
Mayor Stromberg went on to announce his intention to appoint Tighe O’Meara as Ashland’s next Chief of Police and seek Council confirmation at the June 2, 2015 Council meeting. 
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Study Session of May 4, 2015 and Business Meeting of May 5, 2015 were approved as presented.
 
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1.   Annual presentation by Michael Cavallaro of RVCOG
Michael Cavallaro of the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) provided the annual report and submitted the Program and Financial Update for January 2015 into the record.  He highlighted programs and resources RVCOG provided throughout the valley.  RVCOG developed the first certification program in the United States that facilitated and promoted the incorporation of features in residences that allowed people to age safely at home.
 
The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) was a federally designated transportation planning area.  Whenever population rose above 50,000, the federal government designated an area based on population density and created an MPO.  The involved jurisdictions worked with professional staff and facilitated decision making that complimented the growth of the region.
 
2.   Annual presentation by the Wildfire Mitigation Commission
Forestry Division Chief Chris Chambers introduced Steve Parks the coordinator for the Fire Adapted Communities and Victoria Sturtevant chair of the Wildfire Mitigation Commission.  Mr. Parks explained Firewise currently had 22 communities.  They hosted a community clean up in April with 152 individual loads of green debris dropped off at the Valley View Transfer Station for a total of 200 cubic yards of debris.  He submitted Guidelines for Firewise Construction into the record that complimented the Firewise Landscaping documents published a few years prior. 
 
Division Chief Chambers provided background on the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and the upcoming update to incorporate three main tenants of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (The Cohesive Strategy) which were the Fire Adapted Communities, resilient landscapes, and appropriate fire suppression and response.  Ashland was one of eleven pilot communities nationwide implementing The Cohesive Strategy.  Chair Sturtevant further explained the CWPP update would involve a series of meetings with the community and businesses followed with a document that listed strategic actions people could take to lower fire risk.
 
PUBLIC FORUM
Kristina Lefever/2359 Blue Sky Lane/Spoke regarding the Freemont Cottonwood tree on Clay Street.  Cottonwood trees were one of the best sources of resin and nectar for honeybees.  Honeybees were under siege from a variety of viruses and diseases and declining at an alarming rate.  She quoted from a document submitted into the record.  The Fremont Cottonwood tree was old and an important source of resin and because of that, propolis.  She questioned if there were a way to retain the tree, house people, and give bees a chance and offered pollinator friendly alternatives.
 
Rael Reif/125 N Third Street/Requested Council to consider banning the use of Roundup citywide.  The World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society both stated the Glyphosate found in Roundup was a carcinogen.  She submitted documents into the record.  The City of Los Angeles was suing Monsanto for false advertising.  She volunteered her services for alternatives to using Roundup on weeds. 
 
Joseph Kauth/1 Corral Lane/Spoke on science and temporal soil building.  Removing the process of temporal soil building from an area that was geologically sensitive in conjunction with removing 20,000 acres of old growth endangered habitat for many species.  It was like pouring gasoline on a fire.
 
CONSENT AGENDA
1.   Approval of minutes from boards, commissions, and committees
2.   Approval of a public contract for banking services
3.   Approval of recommendations from the Public Art Commission for painting electric utility boxes near the recycling area at North Mountain Park
4.   Approval of an intergovernmental agreement between Jackson County and the City of Ashland for sobering unit services
5.   2015 Annual Appointments – Tree Commission
6.   Amendment to the intergovernmental agreement with Jackson County to lease the Ashland Library to the Jackson County Library District
7.   Endorsement of Southern Oregon Birth Connections Fall Family Fair for the purpose of hanging a banner
 
Councilor Rosenthal/Lemhouse m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
 
PUBLIC HEARINGS
1.   Public Hearing and approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution adopting a miscellaneous fees and charges document and repealing prior fee resolutions 2014-07 and 2014-09”
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg explained this year Airport fees and charges were incorporated into the Miscellaneous Fees and Charges document instead of changing those fees through a separate resolution.
 
Public Hearing Open: 7:56 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:56 p.m.
 
Councilor Marsh suggested clarifying the wording for rental property fees under Business License Fees.  Other changes included updating the return check fee for Court from $25 to the City standard of $35, and show fees that applied citywide in one area in the document.  For Building Permit Reinstatement fees, if the sum of the original permit subject to reinstatement was less than $50, the reinstatement fee was equal to half the original value, for consistency she proposed changing it to less than $100.
 
Parks and Recreation Superintendent Rachel Dials confirmed there was not a fee at the Daniel Meyer Pool for multiple children same family.
 
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution 2015-15 with a change to the Business License language regarding rental properties, an increase in the return check fee for Court from $25 to $35, and a change on page 17 regarding the building reinstatement fee to clarify that the fee was one half of the original fee up to $100.  DISCUSSION
 
Councilor Seffinger/Lemhouse m/s to amend the motion to reduce swimming fees for families that have more than one child to $2 for the remaining children.   DISCUSSION:  City Attorney Dave Lohman noted Council had the authority to make the fee change but the Parks Commission had originally recommended the amount.  Councilor Seffinger explained she had a concern for the safety of children and it was important they learned to swim for safety reasons and the fee punished lower income individuals who could not afford the full amount.  Ms. Dials clarified the Parks and Recreation Department had a scholarship program for anyone with a 25% to 75% discount on any program fee and sold punch cards to families at a discounted rate.  Councilor Lemhouse commented the amendment supported the Council goal to encourage families to live in Ashland.  Councilor Morris would not support the amendment.  This was a decision for the Parks Commission, it was their budget, and they set the fees.  Councilor Voisin, Rosenthal, and Marsh agreed with Councilor Morris.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse and Seffinger, YES; Councilor Marsh, Rosenthal, Voisin, and Morris, NO. Motion failed 4-2.
 
Roll Call Vote on Main Motion: Councilor Lemhouse, Seffinger, Marsh, Rosenthal, Voisin, and Morris, YES.  Motion passed.
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1.   Approval of cooperative improvement agreement with ODOT concerning Siskiyou Welcome Center and Rest Area
Assistant City Attorney Doug McGeary explained Travel Oregon anticipated visitor numbers that would result in staffing the Welcome Center eight hours a day from May through September, and 40 hours a week October through April.  Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) would complete the water and sewer extension within two years.  ODOT was unwilling to reopen the land use decision by Jackson County to request an eight-foot fence instead of the six-foot fence already approved.   ODOT did agree to modify and add fencing to improve security, and bolster the gates.  They would install a water system capable of servicing fire sprinklers and a hydrant subject to City approval.  Adding a metal roof would require reopening the land use decision.  The original roof along with the fire sprinkler system would provide adequate fire protection.  ODOT would also comply with the City’s water curtailment ordinance.
 
Frank Reading, Southwest Oregon Regional Manager for ODOT explained what went into site selection and how it met the Federal Highway Administrations spacing requirements for rest areas.  ODOT Area Manager Art Anderson added ODOT would comply with any water curtailment plan the City indicated was necessary.  They would install an interior fire suppression system and worked with Public Works Director Mike Faught to ensure there was enough capacity for the system.   ODOT would install an 8-inch line versus a 2.5-inch line to the facility and have a  trunkline so part of the water went to the rest area facilities and the rest would feed the fire suppression system.  The roof of both structures would be made of a composite of fire resistant materials.  The intent was keeping the Cascadian style lodge look approved by Jackson County.  In addition to the fire hydrant and the 22,000-gallon water storage tanks, and use of fire resistant building materials the facility design was Firewise.
 
ODOT Construction Project Manager Tim Fletcher addressed the gate and fencing at the site.  He clarified the reason for not installing an eight-foot fence was that ODOT had already installed some of the fencing and Jackson County had approved the 6-foot fence requirement.  Going back to Jackson County to change the fence height would result in a lengthy process that would further delay the project.  There was no assurance Jackson County would approve the height change either.  Mr. McGeary further clarified changing the fence height would entail another land use hearing and the appeals process.   ODOT was providing two fences where there was one prior, and a locked, barbed wire gate.   Mr. Anderson noted the request to add barbed wire to the six-foot fence.  Adding a strand of barbed wire to the fence would not make a difference for people trying to get in or out of the facility grounds.  It was costly and could require installing new fencing.  ODOT had agreed to security cameras, ensuring space for the Oregon State Patrol, and staffing as safety measures.
 
Construction for the Welcome Center and Rest Area would happen concurrently under one construction project.  The work would follow the site civil construction project.  Once the project started, ODOT would complete it within four years. The timeline included potential unforeseen circumstances.
 
Jeff Hampton, vice president of operations for Travel Oregon explained Travel Oregon used three basic models to staff welcome centers.  Direct staffing consisted of employees of Travel Oregon or the Oregon Tourism Commission.  Travel Oregon did not screen volunteers or staff at state welcome centers with the exception of the welcome center at Portland International Airport.  Temporary staff came from a temporary employment agency that conducted their own employee screening.  Volunteers came from the local community.  Each Welcome Center had one or a combination of the three employee types.   Travel Oregon employees would not staff the proposed Siskiyou Welcome Center.  Instead, they would hire temporary staff as well as volunteers.  Travel Oregon staff would train the temporary and volunteer employees.  Standard hours of operation were 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as a minimum with the opportunity to expand the hours based on travel demands.  October through April it would no longer function as the Welcome Center but as the location of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce Visitors and Convention Bureau who would staff  the facility.   It was the intent and expectation of Travel Oregon to be open during that time at least 40 hours a week.  In the event Travel Oregon did not have a local entity to staff during these months, they would staff it themselves though a temporary staffing agency. 
 
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Highway 99/Thought the roof of the Welcome Center and Rest Area should be all solar panels.  ODOT knew nothing about solar and needed help and time to figure it out.  He wanted Council to delay the agreement until ODOT brought back definitive zero net energy plans.  President Obama wanted all federal agencies using zero net energy by 2020.  He suggested the facility have a couple Tesla electric car fast chargers as well. 
 
Stephen Stolzer/1120 Oak Knoll Drive/Spoke on the request for 8-foot fencing.  He did not want the people who would use the Welcome Center and Rest Area at night coming over the fence into their homes.  He was 78 years old and could climb over a 6-foot fence.  That ODOT did not want to go back to Jackson County to get approval on an 8-foot fence was their problem.  They should have done that originally.  Barbed wire would probably work.  He thought they needed to make it more stringent to protect the neighbors.  People would gather there at night to transact illicit business and he wanted them confined to the Rest Area.  There were only two state police officers patrolling the interstate from Ashland to Grants Pass.  He urged Council to hold the line on the fencing.
 
Alex Sol/761 Salishan Court/Expressed frustration and thought the conditions would have guarantees to protect the neighbors surrounding the Welcome Center.  It was insulting to him that the ODOT representatives showed what he described as a sense of entitlement and used the request for barbed wire as an example.  He stated his daughter was 16 and questioned not having background checks on the employees and related it to the possibility of drug dealers and pedophiles working at the Welcome Center.  There were many reasons for the facility and none had to do with the driver coming down the pass with a desperate need to use the restroom.  The entire community was in jeopardy for this one man driving down the highway needing to use the urinal.  He hoped Council took into consideration above the money interest that there were real people involved with real life implications. 
 
Councilor m/s Marsh/Rosenthal to approve and authorize the City Administrator’s signature of a Cooperative Improvement Agreement to Provide Water and Sewer Services to the Siskiyou Welcome Center and Rest Area.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh explained rest stops played a fundamental, sometimes life saving role for people who were traveling.  The addition of the Welcome Center would offer even more services.  They could not always predict the hours the Welcome Center would be open, but every day it was benefited the tourist economy.  Many travelers made reservations over their cell phones but there were some that wanted to talk to someone.  Regarding crime, there was no evidence statewide that indicated rest areas were centers for crime.  The amount of water used by the facility was negligible on the overall city water system.  She supported the Welcome Center and Rest Area.
 
Councilor Rosenthal was convinced this was the best possible agreement the City could achieve with ODOT.  If Council voted against the motion, the Welcome Center would most likely not happen.  ODOT would still build the rest area and the state would not have an obligation to follow through on any of the stipulations the Council tried to negotiate.  The City would have a “black eye” in the neighborhood of Rogue Valley communities.  He served on the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and explained Ashland would lose credibility as a partner in tourism advocacy in the Rogue Valley if the Welcome Center did not go forward.  The community would also alienate the funders of important local transportation projects in what was a highly competitive arena for state and federal funding.  Ashland would be safer if the Welcome Center was a component of the project.  This was about water and sewer.
 
Councilor Lemhouse was consistent in not supporting the project and did not believe it was in the spirit of partnership.  If it were, Travel Oregon would be doing something different than using the standard formula used for every location.  He would rather have drivers stop in Ashland and have the Welcome Center off Exit 14.  An eight-foot fence would make a difference and keep people out of the field that provided an access to neighbors’ backyards.  Some of the security measures were not valid at stopping everything but Council needed to be sensitive to the security perception of the neighbors in the area.  Council’s job was protecting the city and increasing livability and part of that was being safe and secure in your own home.  Much had changed since 1997.  To continue to say the Welcome Center was needed and ignore the changes in society and technology seemed to lack awareness.  He thought the intention was move forward with the plan no matter what.  It told him that government was not as responsive as it should be to the changing times and citizens needs.  He strongly disagreed with the project.
 
Councilor Seffinger would have supported the project if it included the barbed wire and the security checks.  There were benefits to rest areas but she did not feel the community’s needs were met regarding the project.  For that reason, she could not morally support the motion.  Councilor Morris noted this was a state project on county land with federal money and Ashland water.  He thought Travel Oregon and ODOT had done their best to accommodate the City’s requests.  He acknowledged the perceived fears that a rest area brought but was not sure they were real or an issue.  He agreed with Councilor Rosenthal that if Council said no to the water and sewer ODOT would build a rest area anyway and the City would not have any input.  He would support the motion. 
 
Councilor Voisin thought welcome centers and rest areas were necessary but disagreed with the close proximity to town.  A convenience for travelers did not trump the safety concerns of a neighborhood and town.  ODOT had not heard citizen or Council concerns.  She represented the citizens of Ashland, not ODOT or the federal government.  She would not support the agreement.  Mayor Stromberg thought the argument as to whether rest areas and welcome centers were good ideas was not relevant to the decision.  He was concerned in providing the best possible security for the people in the area.  A rest area with a welcome center was more likely safer in terms of the neighborhood than a rest stop by itself.  He would vote in favor of the welcome center to ensure more security for the people living in the surrounding neighborhood.  If Council voted against the motion, he did not think the community would be safer with just a rest stop.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Marsh, Morris, and Rosenthal, YES; Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, and Seffinger, NO.   Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote. Motion passed 4-3.
 
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution adding a surcharge to water meters for the purpose of generating and dedicating general fund resources for additional work in the forest interface as part of the Ashland Forest Resiliency Program”
Mayor Stromberg noted the title of the resolution had changed to, “A resolution adding a surcharge to water meters for the purpose of generating and dedicating general fund resources for additional work as part of the Ashland Forest Resiliency Program,” removing, “…in the forest interface...”
 
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg explained the surcharge would generate approximately $175,000 a year towards Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) projects out and come out of the General Fund.  He provided three options.  Option 1 would include all water and irrigation meters and the rate would be $1.27 per equivalent unit per month.  Option 2 excluded municipal meters at $1.31 per unit per month.  Option 3 would charge ¾-inch and 1-inch meters the same at $1.39 per unit per month.  The current utility billing systems could handle each option at no additional programming or staffing costs.
 
Councilor Seffinger/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2015-14 with Option 3.
DISCUSSION:  Councilor Seffinger thought it was a fair way of getting all citizens onboard with the AFR project.  It was a vital project for all citizens to protect the city and forest health.  Councilor Lemhouse added Option 3 made more sense, charging more for 1-inch meters would become onerous.  Everyone depended on water and should do his or her part to fund a project that benefited all.  It was also transparent.  Councilor Voisin thought the surcharge was unfair.  Rates should pay for infrastructure and the operational costs of the infrastructure for water.  Adding a surcharge was an unbearable burden for those living below the poverty line or on a fixed income. This was a regressive tax.  She suggested capping property tax at 8.92 cents per $1,000.00 instead.  This progressive tax would apply to the wealthier people that had the most to lose.  They should pay more since they had the valuable homes.  They could also deduct the increase from their income tax.  She would not support the motion.
 
Councilor Seffinger had concerns using property tax.  She thought property tax should be reserved for the potential costs of the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) and rising costs of medical for the City.  The health of the forest and forest fire prevention was a concern of all citizens.  There were programs to benefit low-income individuals.  Mayor Stromberg did not agree that using property tax was progressive and the meter charge regressive.  Property tax increases affected people on fixed incomes.  City Administrator Dave Kanner clarified Southern Oregon University (SOU) and publicly owned property or property owned and operated by a non-profit did not pay property taxes.  Councilor Voisin further clarified people working at SOU or non-profits paid their own property tax.  Property tax was a progressive tax because of the income tax deduction.
 
Councilor Marsh explained no one liked raising fees.  This was a critical project and the utility fee had three qualities that were essential in a new fee.  One, the fee was transparent, two, there was a nexus between the source and the use, and third, the funds were dedicated.  Councilor Lemhouse raised a point of order regarding property taxes when this was a deliberation on the utility rate surcharge.  Mayor Stromberg agreed with the point of order.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Seffinger, Rosenthal, Morris, Marsh, and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
 
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
  1. Letter to US Forest Service regarding Mt. Ashland Association summer activities
Mayor Stromberg explained the City received a letter from Donna Mickley at the U.S. Forest Service regarding a hearing deadline of May 29, 2015 to comment on Mt. Ashland Associations (MAA) proposed summer activities.
 
Council addressed the letter and suggested prohibiting smoking instead of limiting smoking to the parking lot.  Councilor Voisin expressed concern on the lack of public comment.  The activities would occur during an unprecedented drought.  She preferred drafting another letter.
 
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to forward to the US Forest Service the proposed letter the Mayor presented with the corrections Council suggested.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse noted concern regarding the expansion often did not extend to MAA.  People wanted MAA to have a better economic plan with year round activities and this was a responsible response to that request.  Supporting MAA’s economic development benefited Ashland.  Councilor Marsh thought the amendment to prohibit smoking could have a counter effect and push people off paved areas creating a more dangerous situation than allocating a smoking area.  Councilor Seffinger noted the term smoking did not specify marijuana and preferred prohibiting smoking of any substances.  Councilor Morris clarified it was federal land so smoking marijuana was already prohibited.  He supported the letter as drafted.
 
Councilor Voisin explained she did not want to curtail human involvement in the forest area.  The headwaters of the watershed were at stake.  This would be the second worst drought year on record.  It was the City’s responsibility to protect the headwaters and not MAA’s economic development.  She preferred waiting until drought conditions changed before supporting summer activities.  Mayor Stromberg further explained MAA was dealing with significant financial issues due to the weather and were trying to reinvent the business.  If MAA failed, the U.S. Forest Service could find a new entity to take over the special use permit and the City could not withhold approval of that change. 
 
Councilor Rosenthal/Lemhouse to amend the signature line to include Mayor Stromberg on behalf of and list each Councilor supporting the letter.   Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
 
Roll Call Vote on main motion as amended: Councilor Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Seffinger, Morris, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
 
  1. 7th quarterly financial report of the biennium
 
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to accept the seventh quarter financial report biennium (BN) 2013-2015. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
 
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS-continued
1.   First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Chapter 11.29 to authorize City Council to establish presumptive parking violation fines by resolution”
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained current practice added a $25 penalty if an individual received a fourth parking violation.  At five, the penalty was $50 and not enforced for further violations.  The ordinance stated the fifth violation and any following received a $50 penalty.  He proposed Council retain the ordinance and have the City start imposing the current provision.
 
Councilor Lemhouse/Seffinger m/s to approve the first reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending Chapter 11.28 to Authorize City Council to Establish Presumptive Parking Violation Fines by Resolution,”  and move to second reading.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin wanted to know who was receiving the multiple violations.  Mr. Lohman responded there was not enough information that determined whether the individual was a city or business employee.  Councilor Marsh thought it was premature to start enforcing standards Council had not discussed.  Mr. Lohman clarified voting yes on the motion would continue the current ordinance provision that required the $50 fine for each violation after the fourth.  Council could strike “…for each parking violation they receive in that year,” in Section 11.28.110(A)(2).
 
Councilor Lemhouse raised a point of clarification and asked whether Council could speak with the Judge between first and second reading.  City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the Judge’s schedule precluded her from meeting with the Council until August 17, 2015.
 
Councilor Marsh/Seffinger m/s to amend the motion to eliminate the words “…for each parking violation they receive in that year,” from paragraph two, Section 11.28.110(A)(2) and from the table  under Additional Penalty.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Marsh did not think it was appropriate to enforce a standard not previously enforced when Council would review the parking fine structure in the future.  Councilor Seffinger was comfortable with the change.  Councilor Lemhouse leaned towards voting against the amendment.  Waiting to hear from the Judge in August burdened the City and it was appropriate to move forward.   Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Seffinger, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, and Voisin, NO.  Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a NO vote. Motion failed 4-3.
 
Roll Call Vote on the main motion: Councilor Morris, Seffinger, Lemhouse, and Voisin, YES; Councilor Rosenthal and Marsh, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
 
2.   First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Chapter 2.10.040 to revise standards for a quorum and for number of votes needed for official action at meetings of advisory commissions and boards”
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained at the last meeting Council majority agreed  to count only the currently serving Council approved appointees for a quorum and have at least three voting in favor of any motion in order for it to pass.
 
Councilor Rosenthal requested that Council not make a motion.  The proposal was an over-reaction to a symptom and would not remedy the root cause.  The problem involved a recent difficulty in filling commission vacancies, specifically the Public Arts Commission and the Tree Commission.  He was not convinced there was a crisis that warranted changing the code.  The better situation would be an analysis on why there were issues with membership and recruitment and review the recruiting process.
 
Councilor Lemhouse suggested tabling the issue indefinitely, form a subcommittee with the mayor, two councilors, and staff, analyze reasons why it was difficult to fill vacancies on commissions and bring a plan to Council at a future meeting.
 
Councilor Lemhouse/Voisin m/s to postpone this item indefinitely and appoint a Council subcommittee to examine the commission vacancy issue.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse would be open to adjusting quorum after looking into recruitment and retention.  Councilor Voisin did not think lack of quorum was a large issue at this point.  Councilor Seffinger added commissions made many important recommendations to Council and having a full commission make those recommendations was important.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Voisin, Morris, Marsh, Seffinger, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
 
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS 
Councilor Voisin announced Historic Preservation events that would occur May 17 through May 23. 
 
Mayor Stromberg and Mr. Kanner noted May 20, 2015 was the dedication of Ashland Creek Park.
 
Councilor Lemhouse announced at the May 15, 2015 Public Arts Commission meeting in addition to the utility box art forwarded to Council for approval, the Commission took initial designs for the gateway art project in front of Fire Station 1.  He encouraged citizens to look at the items suggested.  A review panel would make a selection and the Public Arts Commission would make a recommendation to Council.
                                                                                                             
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
Meeting was adjourned at 10:29 p.m.
 
 
 
 
_________________________________                  ____________________________
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor
                       

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