Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, February 02, 2016

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING

ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
February 2, 2016
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, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present. Councilor Lemhouse arrived later.
 
Council approved moving the smoking ban ordinance to the end of the agenda so Councilor Lemhouse could participate in the discussion.
 
MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mayor Stromberg announced the City was accepting applications for annual appointments to the various Commissions, Committees, and Boards.  The deadline for applications was March 18, 2016.   He went on to add a discussion regarding HB 4036 to the agenda under Other Business as item #2.
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Business Meeting of January 19, 2016 and Study Session of January 19, 2016 were approved as presented.
 
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
The Mayor’s proclamation of February as Child Trafficking Awareness Month was read aloud.
 
Caleb LaPlante/Representing Rotary Club of Grants Pass/436 NE Baker Drive, Grants Pass/Explained how a local incident of child sex trafficking in 2011 started programs against underage sex trafficking in the Rogue Valley.  He described how people purchased sex with children online, grooming techniques adults used to lure children into trafficking and how Senate Bill 673 that went into effect 2013 made purchasing sex from a child a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
 
PUBLIC FORUM
Sugeet Posey/45 Crocker Street/Spoke on trucks driving through town to avoid inspection or paying over weight charges at I-5 Weigh Stations.  He witnessed 17 trucks drive down Tolman Creek Road towards Ashland Street during a Sunday meeting he attended from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.   This was a common practice and he questioned whether the streets could support that type of traffic.  The police did not feel it was their responsibility to call in license plate numbers to the Weigh Station.  He asked Council to investigate possible solutions and ensure enforcement.
 
Mayor Stromberg asked the City Administrator to provide a report on steps the City could take regarding this issue at a future Council meeting.    
 
Mike Marshak/2283 McCall/Spoke on “Giving in to Win” regarding the homeless situation.  First, the community needed to accept homelessness as a way of being.  The traveler and homeless community provided a potential resource and referenced a pilot project where people could work for room and board that could happen in Ashland.  A homeless and traveler welcome center would give people a place to rest, shower, and register for services and support.  The City could expand the Resource Center.  Other options included establishing affordable housing or an affordable tent village in the Well Springs area.  Traveler registration could happen in City offices, the Plaza, or Chamber of Commerce.  The traveler would receive a picture identification card or “Kinsmen” card to access services in Ashland stores and enroll in a token program for the homeless.  Donations to this fund could come from donations and increasing the Food and Beverage tax.
 
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Hwy 99/During World War II factories made jeeps, heavy equipment, airplanes and there was plenty of oil.  After World War II, America had everything it needed for prosperity.  Construction code came from zoning to keep families away from the industry.  The present code was the same with just a few changes except now it was a mandate to pollute. We now needed a mandate to innovate.  He suggested having people come up with ideas as long as it had no carbons.
 
Ellen Campbell/120 Gresham Street/Thanked the Council for their efforts regarding behavior downtown.  She noted Council was clear about the separation of behavior, civil behavior downtown, and homelessness.  The homeless needed solutions that would enable them to find permanent residence and have a happy life.  The behavior downtown was not necessarily those of the homeless.  She was glad Council was looking at enforcement, ordnances, and attitudes that would address those problems. 
 
Katy Repp/541 Siskiyou Boulevard/Also thanked Council for their time and hard work regarding the homeless.  It allowed the people volunteering to help the homeless in the community do their work as Council took care of the behavior issues.  She liked the City of Ashland and Ashland Police Department Facebook page and appreciated that transparency.
 
Joseph Kauth/1 Corral/Noted the new audio system in Council Chambers and suggested rotating the audience to the fore of the cantilevered ceiling.  He was a bit claustrophobic and it was nerve wracking to address so many people.  Greed based on capitalism created a new culture of burning as opposed to green trees and water that created life to sustain existence on the planet.  Ashland had a path of sustainability.  To go about rashly installing hundreds upon hundreds of houses not based on sustainable practices seemed very contrary.  He was thinking of getting a license to handle Glyphosate to spray noxious weeds the City and surrounding towns were responsible for allowing to grow.  
 
CONSENT AGENDA
1.   Minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2.   Appointment of George Schoen to the Airport Commission
3.   Contingent approval of an airspace license for Plaza Condo Unit Owners Association, Inc.
 
Councilor Voisin pulled Consent Agenda item #3 for discussion.  City Administrator Dave Kanner clarified the airspace license was contingent upon the property owner getting all the land use requirements and approvals and included review by both the Planning and Historic Commissions.  The applicant was asking for proof the City would enter into a license agreement once they secured all the required permits. 
Council would not review the project unless it came before them as an appeal.  Mr. Kanner did not know of any codified criteria for airspace.  The City had granted an airspace license to the balcony in front of Martino’s restaurant. 
 
An airspace license allowed a property owner to build a projection from a building over a public right of way.  The license protected the City from liability.  Granting a license was not a land use action and did not involve the Planning Commission or the Historic Commission.  Only Council could grant a license.  City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the definition of license in this situation was giving someone written permission.  Mr. Kanner further clarified the license was not a land use matter.  The construction of the balcony on the front of the building was a land use matter.  A citizen could object to the balcony through the Planning Commission and Historic Commission.  The property owner wanted to do this project to make the building seismically sound.  The proposed balcony was part of the seismic remodel.  The owner would not be able to do the seismic upgrade without building the balcony.
 
Councilor Morris/Marsh m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #3.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Morris explained the license had nothing to do with historic standards or trees in front of the building.  It was permission to use airspace.  The Planning Commission and Historic Commission would review the application, and if the design standards did not meet the downtown design, they would deny the project.  He did not see a problem with the request.  Councilor Marsh was confident the application would receive careful review as it went through the regular City process.   Councilor Voisin asked if the application would go to the Tree Commission.  Mr. Kanner did not think removal of street trees was part of the land use application.  Mr. Lohman reiterated the project involved changes to the structure of the front of building.  One piece of the project was use of airspace for the balcony.  The entire project would go before the Planning Commission and the Historic Commission. If there were decisions that effected trees, it would go to the Tree Commission as well.  Staff wrote the license as a contract.  Councilor Seffinger wanted to know if the approval process for the project would consider the balcony causing shadows on the property below the airspace.   Mr. Lohman thought the Planning Commission would review shadows. With the exception of blocking solar rays, the City did not have a provision in the code that restricted casting a shadow on a neighbor’s property.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
 
Councilor Rosenthal/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 and #2.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
 
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
 
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1.   Plastic bag ban – one-year review
Management Analyst Adam Hanks and Conservation Commission Chair Mark Weir provided history on the plastic ban.  The goal was eliminate plastic bags in Ashland and reduce the usage of paper bags.  The ordinance had three primary components.  It banned plastic bags at business retail checkouts, requested businesses use a minimum of 40% recycled content in paper bags, and required businesses to charge .10-cents for each paper bag used at check out. 
 
City staff and the Conservation Commission put together three surveys and questionnaires.  Results indicated a general acceptance of the plastic bag ban but tended not to support the .10-cent fee.  Grocery stores did not experience a negative impact to their businesses and noted a significant reduction in their paper bag stocks after the ordinance went into effect.  The Open City Hall survey responses showed a strong acceptance of the ban and the .10-cent fee.
 
Chair Weir noted charging the .10-cent fee for paper bags was a problem with some retail businesses.  Manufacturing 1,000 paper bags resulted in 2,112 gigajoules of additional energy that equated to approximately 58,000-kilowatt hours or providing power to eleven homes.  Additionally, 1,000 paper bags used 3,600 liters of water to produce.  That was the reason the Conservation Commission recommended a .25-cent fee.  The Chamber of Commerce requested removing the .10-cent on small paper bags.
 
Mayor Stromberg explained the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce contacted him earlier and had learned that some of the positions stated in the information before Council did not accurately represent some of their members.  The executive director wanted to revise the information and submit it later.
 
Chair Weir continued and explained the Conservation Commission recommended retaining the .10-cent fee and revaluating changes later with the understanding that every 1,000-paper bags made created a significant environmental impact.  The Commission was concerned a transition from plastic bags to paper bags would result in an increased environmental impact.  Paper bags were five times more energy intensive than plastic bags, had three times more carbon emissions and 25 times more water usage, and produced 7 times more waste.  Charging a fee for paper-bags was a disincentive to use them.  Charging .25-cents stemmed from research done in Ireland using different price points to drive behavior and determined a higher charge had more of an effect on people.  Small paper bags also had a strong environmental impact.  Not charging a fee for smaller bags was a choice to be less environmentally conscious and suggested a marketing ploy was better than preventing wasting 3.6 liters of water or the associated energy manufacturing a bag.  
 
Reusable bags required washing.  Studies showed contamination issues could occur if not cleaned regularly.  The Conservation Commission would look into adding cleaning reusable bags as part of the education program.  Staff provided informational materials explaining the ban to a few retailers to display and could supply more stores. 
 
Council asked the Chamber of Commerce to send their proposed changes and modifications of the plastic ban ordinance to both the Council and the Conservation Commission.
 
Pam Hammond/642 Vansant/Explained she was the co-owner of Paddington Station and that most of Mr. Hanks report was grocery store related.  In the industry of retail, there were several sectors, specialty merchants, mass merchants, and grocery stores.  Each business had different needs and faced different challenges.  What a customer expected to experience in a specialty merchants business was different from what they expected at a grocers.  Paddington Station did the ordinance backwards, giving customers who did not need a bag a dime and those that needed one received a bag and a smile.   She asked Council to consider treating specialty merchants different from mass merchant businesses and grocery stores.  The single best reason to reconsider specialty merchant businesses was customer service.  Charging a customer a dime for a bag after they purchased $300 of product was off putting.
 
2.   Update on issues involving the Vinyl Club and the Granite Tap House
Police Chief Tighe O’Meara explained this was a six-month review on progress made with the Granite Tap House and the Vinyl Club.  The Police Department experienced issues with the Granite Tap House when officers tried to access the facility during two emergencies and found the fire exit door locked from the outside and the elevator not accessible.  Fire Division Chief-Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman worked with the Granite Tap House on the issue.  Progress was slow but the business installed the requested hardware.  There were still problems with doorknob configuration and Granite Tap House seemingly wanted to comply.
 
The instances with the Vinyl Club patrons on Will Dodge Way were generally disorderly conduct and excessive noise coming from the club.  Noise complaints had dropped from 20 to 10 over the last six months.  Complaints of disorderly conduct decreased to none.  It was unclear why the conditions at the Vinyl Club were improving.  The midnight shift teams in the Police Department reported that it was not as busy.  The owner Michael Leslie met with the Chief following the last meeting and developed a plan for handling the complaints.  Chief O’Meara had since heard mixed reports as to whether Mr. Leslie followed through and was hesitant to give him and his staff credit for the decrease in calls.  Chief O’Meara did not recommend doing anything further.  They would continue to monitor both businesses and would report if problems started up again or there were changes.
 
Chief O’Meara clarified the two instances that occurred in the last six months where officers could not access the Granite Tap House due to a locked door.  Both situations were not as critical as the ones that occurred Halloween and New Years Eve that contributed to the previous report.  The progress was the business owners installed the correct hardware for the door.  The deficiency was they were not 100% compliant in ensuring the door was accessible from the outside in the manner the Police Department thought appropriate.  This could be a training issue for the Granite Tap House or a shift in their policies. 
 
Division Chief-Fire Marshal Hickman further clarified the hardware the business had previously allowed people to exit the door from the inside at any time.  The Fire Code required emergency responders to have access when needed.  Granite Tap House had two doors and an elevator.  The Fire Department determined the elevator was not an appropriate access point for emergency responders.  Both the Police Department and Fire Department agreed the ingress egress door closest to the Plaza should be unlocked from the outside during hours of occupancy.  The door was still a concern.  Division Chief-Fire Marshal Hickman further clarified officers had found the door locked several times in addition to the Halloween and New Years Eve instances.   The two incidents that occurred over the past six months Granite Tap House staff had not followed their checklist for opening.  The owner was making an effort. 
 
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1.   First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance establishing a tax on the sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused products in the City of Ashland and referring said tax to the voters of Ashland in the November 8, 2016 general election” and move to second reading.
City Administrator Dave Kanner provided background and explained HB 2041 allowed cities to impose a local sales tax on recreational marijuana not to exceed 3% that required approval by the voters in a general election.  The ordinance would amend and clarify the existing ordinance that would impose a 3% tax on the sale of recreational marijuana at Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) licensed facilities.  The state currently had a 25% tax on the sale of recreational marijuana in effect through 2016 decreasing to 17% in 2017.  If a local jurisdiction received voter approval to impose a 3% tax, the total sales tax would be 20%.  The state would use a distribution formula based on the number of licensed sales outlets to allocate tax.  Jurisdictions banning the marijuana sales would not receive money from the marijuana tax.   
 
Councilor Seffinger/Marsh m/s to approve First Reading and place on agenda for Second Reading.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh thought the City had negotiated legalized marijuana well.  Councilor
Rosenthal commented this was procedural and it was up to the voters.  He appreciated efforts from the City Administrator in bringing the tax forward.  Councilor Voisin supported the motion because it would go before the citizens.  This was also a tourist town close to California and the community should reap the benefits of people coming from California to purchase marijuana.  Councilor Seffinger commended Mr. Kanner for the work he did on the issue.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Seffinger, Voisin, Rosenthal, and Morris, YES. Motion approved.
 
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1.   Council endorsement of SB 1574, relating to greenhouse gas emission goals and carbon pollution markets (request of Councilor Marsh)
Councilor Marsh explained Senate Bill (SB) 1574 was similar to House Bill (HB) 3470 that Council endorsed last year.  SB 1574 would establish a cap and invest program to control green house gas emissions over time.  It also set up designation of any revenues generated by the program for specific communities.   
 
Councilor Marsh/Rosenthal m/s to endorse SB 1574 and send a letter to the legislators indicating so.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal noted SB 1574 contained emission goals for the state that would serve as a guideline for the community.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
 
Councilor Voisin raised a point of clarification to confirm that Council could request to place any item on the agenda that pertained to legislature.  Informing the appropriate commission prior was helpful but not necessary.
 
Councilor Rosenthal/Marsh m/s to place HB 4036 on agenda for discussion. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
 
3.   Discussion regarding HB 4036.
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained House Bill (HB) 4036 was legislation that updated and strengthened the renewable portfolio standards for investor-owned utilities (IOU).  The legislation contained a provision that would subject municipal utilities to those standards when the municipality annexed property served by an IOU and the IOU did not consent to the municipal utility taking over the service territory.  The provision would make the municipal utility subject to the renewable portfolio standards throughout its service territory.  The net affect would result in major cost increases for all municipal utilities that currently get their power from green, emission free hydropower.  The Oregon Municipal Electric Utilities (OMEU) Association drafted an amendment the IOU was not opposing.  The amendment stated when a municipality annexed territory it would compensate the IOU for any plant annexed into the City, that it would become part of the service territory, and removed the provision that the municipality had to meet the renewable portfolio standards throughout the service territory.  OMEU was asking mayors from the cities within the association to write a letter of support in favor of the amendment.  Mayor Stromberg read the letter aloud.
Councilor Voisin/Seffinger m/s to add the Council to the public power OMEU letter written by the Mayor regarding HB 4036 and the amendment.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Rosenthal ordinarily would not support a last-minute effort like this but recognized this was a special circumstance.  He trusted staff and the Mayor and supported sending the letter.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS-continued
2.   First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance creating AMC Chapter 9.30 to prohibit smoking in places of employment, in enclosed areas open to the public, and in downtown Ashland” and move to second reading.
City Administrator Dave Kanner read aloud two amendments to the proposed ordinance in Section 1 9.309.010(C) that would replace the definition of “Enclosed Area” with, “Enclosed area means all space between a floor and a ceiling that is enclosed on two or more sides by permanent or temporary walls or windows, exclusive of doors, passageways, or gaps.  If no ceiling is present, “enclosed area” means all space that is included by three or more sides by permanent or temporary walls or windows, exclusive of doors, passage, or gaps.”  The second amendment would add at the end of Section 1, “9.30.050 Penalties for Violation – Violations of this chapter are Class 1 violations as described in AMC 1.08.”
 
Essentially staff copied the Oregon Indoor Clean Act into the ordinance, codifying state law and making it a violation.  They added two provisions.  One would ban smoking, vaping, and inhalants in downtown Ashland and the other was a process where Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) licensed businesses could obtain a limited exemption.  City Attorney Dave Lohman added the ordinance would prohibit smoking at entrances, exits to buildings, windows, and ventilation intakes.  Exemption would let OLCC licensed facilities get a one year permit to allow smoking between 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
 
Mr. Kanner clarified no outreach to downtown merchants or businesses had occurred regarding the matter.  Mr. Lohman provided an example of a Class 1 violation and explained it carried a maximum $500 fine.  He would review the level of classification if Council moved the ordinance to second reading and thought this should be a minor violation as opposed to something more serious.
 
Enforcement would include warnings and education to encourage voluntary compliance prior to citing. 
 
Caryn Wheeler, the health promotion strategist, health promotion and chronic disease prevention for Jackson County addressed benefits to having a smoking ban and explained looking at tobacco policy measures was trying to change the social norms.  Implementing policies like the ban resulted in a reduction of youth initiation for tobacco and e-cigarette use.  A ban made it easier for people trying to quit smoking.  Cigarettes were also fire hazards.  Ultimately, it came down to changing the conversation about tobacco that was still the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the country.  Councilor Seffinger added that second hand smoke caused over 73,000 deaths a year.  Outside levels within fifteen feet of a burning cigarette could have a level equal to an inside building.
 
Bobby Richardson/1316 Mill Pond Road/Shared his experience in public health and education.  He supported a smoking ban for the implications of second hand smoke and the nuisance of behavior.  He opposed the exemption for businesses and thought it would contribute to second hand smoke and the nuisance of travelers and people congregating.  He referenced Santa Cruz’s smoking ban on their main street.
 
Ellen Campbell/120 Gresham/Agreed with Mr. Richardson and shared her experience of partners being ill due to smokers.  It was difficult to walk downtown at times and not have breathing issues trigger from smoke.  Smoking was an option breathing was not.   She owned a Bed and Breakfast that was completely smoke free.  Concerns of lost revenue when California went smoke free did not happen.
 
Don Dolan/820 Park Street/Opposed the proposed ordinance.  It gave the City a reason to remove the homeless people.  He volunteered at the Pioneer Hall winter shelter.  It seemed like a slippery slope to him.  He could see the law expanding to the point he would not be able to smoke in his backyard.  Smoking was annoying. This ban was one more step towards non-compromise.  It was wrong to make the city non-smoking.
 
Councilor Lemhouse arrived at 9:21 p.m.
 
Councilor Marsh was concerned not enough discussion had occurred with business and property owners’ downtown regarding the ban.  She wanted to know where employees would go to smoke and if Ashland Springs Hotel had a plan for smoking guests.  She suggested asking the Chamber of Commerce to assist the City in getting feedback from businesses prior to implementing.
 
Ms. Wheeler commented historically smoking bans were popular and offered technical assistance.  It was important to build an infrastructure that supported cessation.  Her office could provide outreach on cessation. 
 
Councilor Rosenthal thought staff adequately noticed the item to the public.  This action was regulating behavior.  People had the right not to inhale second hand smoke that was carcinogenic.  People had the right to smoke and non-smokers had the right not to inhale that smoke.  He was involved with the Parks Commission when they made city parks smoke free.  This was the same concept.  He questioned time and effort spent accommodating smokers at the expense of others who had to inhale their smoke.
 
Councilor Seffinger explained the Chamber of Commerce was working on a Blue Zone and Ashland becoming one of Oregon’s healthiest cities.  This was not about the homeless, her brother in-law died from second hand smoke.  The City was obligated to protect the community.  Cigarettes contained over 7,000 chemicals with 70 known carcinogens.  Cigarettes were the number one cause of litter globally.  Birds that ingested cigarette butts or wove cigarette material into their nests killed young birds.  Second hand smoke was also carcinogenic to pets.
 
Councilor Lemhouse agreed it was a public health issue.  He questioned why the ban was only for the downtown area.  He also questioned the timing and suggested waiting a month to solicit feedback from targeted businesses.   
 
Councilor Morris was initially against the ban.  Currently smoking was more of a young person’s issue.  For him there were certain areas where he had to hold his breath to avoid breathing second hand smoke.  This experience started to change his mind.  He thought the ban was an overreach.  He wanted the ordinance to incorporate designated smoking areas for employees.
 
Councilor Voisin agreed that this is a young person’s dilemma and shared her personal experience of cigarette litter on the Southern Oregon University (SOU) campus.  She supported the Chamber of Commerce polling members and wanted to include SOU student government and faculty.  Enforcement would be difficult even if it were education based.  She also had issue with saying the ban prevented deaths.  If that was the case, they should look at the major child death due to choking on hotdogs where 3,500-4,000 young children died yearly from choking on hotdogs.  Instead of a ban, she proposed having age eligibility for smoking go from 18 to 21 years old.
 
Mayor Stromberg shared his concern with second hand smoke.  In addition to asking the Chamber of Commerce to gather data, he suggested a listening session on the topic.
 
Mr. Lohman clarified the provision that kept the area to the downtown was the concentrated pedestrian traffic areas.  The no smoking within 10-feet of an entrance, public or private was state law and applied throughout the city and state.
 
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s ask staff to work with the Chamber of Commerce to do some targeted outreach to downtown business owners, users, and business and building owners to solicit input on the ordinance.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Marsh wanted to make sure they covered their basis and garnered community support.  Councilor Lemhouse agreed and supported outreach. 
 
Councilor Voisin motioned to amend the motion that SOU students at ASSOU be asked to provide input on what they and faculty think of the ban and have a listening post on this issue. Motion died for lack of a second.
 
Councilor Seffinger/Rosenthal m/s to amend the motion that input be completed by April and the issue is met for first reading at the April meeting. Council and staff raised several points of clarification.  Councilor Seffinger withdrew the motion with Councilor Rosenthal’s consent.
 
Councilor Seffinger/Rosenthal m/s to amend the motion to obtain the information with staff and the Chamber of Commerce and come back for first reading by April 19, 2016.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Seffinger explained there was momentum on the item.  The Chamber of Commerce was working on a Blue Zone and this was an important part of that.  This was a health issue for the City and the environment that she wanted enacted prior to summer.  Councilor Marsh thought there should be signage suggestions at the April meeting.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Seffinger, Marsh, Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
 
Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Councilor Seffinger, Marsh, Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, YES.  Motion passed.
 
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS – Continued
Councilor Voisin reported on the last meeting from Rouge Valley Transportation District (RVTD) who would go to the ballot in May 2016 to request a property tax increase.  There was a possibility the state would pass a resolution to match federal funds to rural communities for transportation.  If that occurred, RVTD would receive approximately $2,000,000.  She went on to announce that February 23, 2016 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. the United Methodist Church would host free veterinarian services for pets.  On February 12, 2016, a public forum featuring homeless people, travelers, and transients in Ashland will engage the public in a discussion on the behavior issues downtown and share their suggestions.  The forum would take place at the library sometime between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The Ashland Community Resource Center, OHRA, and WE Ashland were organizing the event with possible help from religious organizations.
 
Councilor Lemhouse provided a liaison report from the Public Arts Commission.  They were working with the Mayor, and the chosen artist for the Gateway Project.  The Commission would bring entry signs to the next Council meeting.  The Public Arts Commission chair would also attend the Historic Commission’s meeting to solicit their input regarding walkway improvements between the theater and Starbucks downtown.
 
Mayor Stromberg and Ann Seltzer met with six of the nine Historic Commission members.  After meeting individually with the Historic Commission, they would meet with the Public Arts Commission in two separate groups. 
 
Mr. Kanner added that the Public Arts Commission would display mock-ups of the entry signs at the Ashland Art Center Friday February 2, 2016 as part of First Friday.  He went on to note the barium levels in the Lithia fountain in the Plaza had improved.
                                                                                                             
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING

Meeting adjourned at 10:03 p.m.

 
 
 
_________________________________                  ________________________________
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor
 
 

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