City Council (View All)
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
March 7, 2017
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Darrow were present.
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal m/s move to place the advertisement for the City Recorder position on the agenda under New and Miscellaneous Business at the top due its time sensitive nature.
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Slattery/Darrow m/s to place the replacement of trees on the Plaza under New and Miscellaneous Business and place it at the top due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Mayor Stromberg announced the City was accepting applications for annual appointments to the various Commissions, Committees, and Boards. The deadline for applications was March 17, 2017.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Councilor Seffinger made a clarification to the minutes of the Business Meeting of February 21, 2017 on the first page, last sentence under Special Presentations & Awards. She clarified the sentence should read, “Councilor Seffinger wanted staff to clarify if the Nevada Bridge Street was important because of the fact that neighborhood above it had only one entrance.” The minutes of the Business Meeting of February 21, 2017 were approved as amended.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS - None
Jeff Sharpe/557 Fordyce/Spoke regarding two items discussed during the staff update on the 10x20 ordinance at the last Council meeting. The first was the project’s financial viability. The reports from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and OS Engineering indicated the cost of the electricity would produce at a long-term fixed cost of under $0.09 per kilowatt-hour with no additional transmission fees. The “take or pay” provisions in the Bonneville Power Administration contract would not be an issue. The second was the environmental impact review. The BEF recommended using the Imperatrice property. Even if the assessment precluded the project from consideration, the information would be valuable for the Parks and Recreation Department, Public Works, the Land Conservancy and other interested parties.
Byron Carrier/362 Oxford/Lived in Quiet Village and suggested the City purchase a piece of property overlooking the Helman Elementary School and convert it into community a center that had a grocery store, and a teahouse during the day that became a tavern/smokehouse/playroom at night.
1. Approval of minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2. Liquor license application for Michael Szelong dba O’Ryans Irish Pub
3. Appointment of Ron Cue to the Transportation Commission
4. Confirmation of Mayoral appointment of Mark Welsh as Administrative Services/ Finance Director
5. Approval of a special procurement for Police Department Personnel Uniforms
6. Approval of Public Art Commission recommendation for mural at 1668 Siskiyou Blvd.
7. Endorsement of the SOU Film Club for the purpose of hanging a banner
8. Adoption of a resolution titled, “A resolution adopting a supplemental budget for changes to the 2015-17 Biennial budget”
Councilor Lemhouse pulled Consent Agenda item #4, and Councilor Rosenthal pulled #2 and #8 for discussion.
Police Chief Tighe O’Meara addressed the liquor license application for O’Ryans Irish Pub and explained the venue had a greater number of cases associated with it than other establishments downtown but nothing alarming. It was a standalone bar with live music and typically, those venues had a higher call for service volume. City Recorder Barbara Christensen added the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) had final approval on all applications, even if a municipality did not approve an application. Revoking a liquor license was a long and involved process. Chief O’Meara would meet with the new owners to discuss the venue’s history and moving forward.
Mayor Stromberg and Interim City Administrator John Karns addressed Consent Agenda item #4 and shared background information on Mark Welch, the City’s new Administrative Services/Finance Director who would start in May.
Interim Administrative Services/Finance Director Bev Adams addressed Consent Agenda item #8 and explained the payments that came out of the Health Benefits Fund fluctuated because they were health benefit reimbursements or the payments for healthcare. At the end of January, the materials and services in the health benefits fund was at 82%. The final payments would not clear until August and it would be too late to make any changes to the budget. This was a safeguard to keep the City within budget constraints.
Councilor Rosenthal/Morris m/s to approve the Consent Agenda Items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - None
UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
- Place Tree Replacement Proposal
Councilor Slattery/Seffinger m/s to direct staff to work out the details necessary to implement the tree removal and replanting on the Plaza. DISCUSSION: Mayor Stromberg provided background on a community driven proposal that would remove 4 to 5 trees and replace them with larger trees. The trees removed would go to the Parks and Recreation Department and Southern Oregon University for replanting.
Planting needed to occur soon or the project would have to wait until late fall.
Councilor Slattery supported the donation and wanted Council to give it serious consideration. Mr. Lohman suggested Council give the Interim City Administrator the authority to sign a contract similar to the one presented last night by Greg Trunnell. Councilor Seffinger explained the current trees would take 10 to 15 years to reach the same degree of growth the proposed trees would provide. She talked with Parks and Recreation Department Arborist Peter Baughman and Interim Superintendent Jeff McFarland. Mr. Baughman would work with Solid Ground on how they maintained the trees and what supports might be appropriate. She supported a donation policy as well.
Councilor Lemhouse wanted additional measures added to the contract to cover the trees in the event they failed two years after planting. He also wanted to review the contract prior to the City signing. Councilor Slattery confirmed his motion did not include bringing the contract back to Council for review. Councilor Seffinger noted the contract guarantee to replace the trees if they failed within 18 months. Mr. Baughman had explained ensuring the trees survived the second summer was critical and the extended maintenance covered that period.
Mr. Trunnell explained the best time to plant the trees was the end of March, no later than April 15, 2017. The City would be the project manager and select the trees. The willows they proposed to use were approximately 30 feet tall. The Zelkovas were fifteen feet tall with a 16-foot span for the drip line. The mature trees had a diminished lifespan of 10 years. Alternately, there were Willow Oaks that had lived 600 years. Zelkovas could live ninety to 100 years. Councilor Morris noted the contract indicated 30-foot Zelkovas. Mr. Trunnell clarified they were 15 feet to 20 feet.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to amend the motion and have the proposed contract come back to Council for final approval at the next City Council business meeting and the trees removed from the Plaza replanted on City property. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse thought it was important that the trees citizens paid for remained on City property. Councilor Seffinger confirmed the Parks and Recreation Department would take the trees. Roll Call on Amended motion: Councilor Slattery, Rosenthal, Seffinger, Morris, Lemhouse, and Darrow, YES. Motion passed.
Roll Call on amended main motion: Councilor Seffinger, Morris, Slattery, Darrow, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Darrow/Lemhouse m/s to direct staff to bring back to Council some policy wording on how the City would respond to generously proffered donor chosen civic features. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
- City Recorder replacement process
Council discussed removing the word “municipal” and agreed to move it to the fourth bullet as, “Municipal government experience, desired but not required.” It was not necessary to be a notary. The selected candidate could take the notary course after their appointment.
The application deadline was March 22, 2017. Based on the number of responses, Council could consider forming a Council subcommittee to review applications at the April 3, 2017 Study Session.
Councilor Lemhouse/Seffinger m/s approval of the Ashland City Recorder/Treasurer vacancy listing as amended by Council and staff. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
3. Results of Downtown Businesses Survey
Item postponed to next Council meeting.
4. Climate and Energy Action Plan acceptance/approval
Assistant to the City Administrator Adam Hanks introduced Andrea Martin and Jeff Golden who were the project consultants for the Climate Energy Action Plan (CEAP). The primary objective was Council review and adoption of the CEAP. Additionally, staff sought Council direction on two draft ordinances. One ordinance contained goals and targets for the plan, and the other ordinance created a Climate Energy Action Plan Commission. Councilor Rosenthal noted this was the CEAP ad hoc Committees thirty-third public meeting September since 2015. He read the names of the Committee and staff involved and thanked them for their efforts.
They provided a presentation that included:
Why a Climate and Energy Action Plan?
- Heavy rainfall and drought risk
- Changes to snowpack and water availability
- Wildfire risk
- Temperature increase and extreme heat
- Mitigation – Reduce Ashland’s contribution of carbon greenhouse gas emissions
- Adaptation – Prepare for projected climate change impact regardless of emissions
- Reduce overall Ashland community greenhouse gas emissions by 8% per year, on average
- Reach carbon neutrality by 2030
- Reduce fossil fuel consumption by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050
The draft plan you see today is the culmination of a yearlong engagement process
- Over 240 community members who attended at least one of three public open houses
- Over 135 individuals who responded to an online survey
- Representatives from over 15 local organizations, businesses, and institutions who participated in presentations and interviews
- Over 30 city staff members who participated in two facilitated workshops
- Ashland Greenhouse Gas Inventory
- Ashland Climate Trends Summary
- Climate Vulnerability Assessment
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) assessment
- Public survey and open house inputs
- Identify, prioritize, and evaluate strategies and actions: Review of peer city climate actions and industry best practices and Expert evaluation of prioritized strategies and actions
- Draft action Plan - Compilation of vetted vision, goals, priorities, strategies, and actions
- Finalize action plan and implementation strategy: Final open house and plan revisions
- Clean & Renewable Energy Sources: Solar, Wind, Hydro Electric, Local Generation, Geotherm AL
- Efficient and Equitable Management & Consumption: Demand Management, Operations, Mode Shifting, Smart Technology
- Vehicles & Equipment that run on Cleaner Fuels: Electric Motors, Electric Cars & Fleets, Electric Heat Pumps
- Transition to clean energy
- Maximize water and energy efficiency and reuse
- Support climate-friendly land use and management
- Reduce consumption of carbon-intensive goods and services
- Inform and work with residents, organizations, and government
- Lead by example
- Urban Form, Land Use & Transportation
- Consumption & Materials Management
- Natural Systems
- Public Health, Safety & Security
- Cross-Cutting Strategies
- Focus Area
- Strategies: Thematic groupings of actions that work toward a specific goal
- Priority Actions: Actions within a strategy that were prioritized or shortlisted and underwent criteria-based assessment
- Other Actions: Opportunities identified but not considered high priority through engagement process
- Role of the Community: Actions people, businesses, and organizations can take to address climate goals
- Analysis and Reporting
- Using Evaluation Results for Action & Improvement
Mr. Hanks confirmed hiring a full time employee would go to the Budget Committee as an ad package. The plan referenced carbon offsets annually as a strategy to fill the gap if they failed to meet reduction percentages. They added sun inventories to the greenhouse gas inventory. One for City operations aside from the community inventory, and the third was the electric utility. The hydro element to the purchase power in the electric utility made the carbon emissions number low. For the community inventory, staff used the international accepted protocol required using the regional grid number for calculating carbon emissions in the energy area. Ms. Martin added greenhouse gas protocols changed frequently and there was a trend allowing utility specific emission factors that had some requirements of verification by a third party organization, namely the Climate Registry.
Melanie Mindlin/1248 Calypso Court/Spoke as a citizen and not the Chair of the Planning Commission. Climate change was the most pressing issue of the times. Affordable housing, healthcare, and other social equity concerns were issues of allocation of resources and society had sought solutions as long as there was inequality. Climate change was different. Everyone was on a course towards a planet not habitable for humans, massive population displacement, sea level rise, crop failures, and weather events. The CEAP was a nod in the direction of social responsibility. People wanted to save the planet but not if it meant changing their lifestyles that much. She noted conflicting goals in the community.
Claire Pryor/1221 Orchid Street/ Was a member of the CEAP ad hoc committee and Ashland Climate Youth Action. Climate change was the biggest threat humanity had ever faced and had the very real potential to destroy everything people cared for. The plan was one of the most comprehensive and science based in the nation. Ashland Youth Climate Action started based on the ordinance passed in the City of Eugene.
Christopher Buckley/71 Dewey Street/Was a senior High School student. He spent lot of time outdoors and noted the changes he had witnessed due to climate change. Last year he lost hope in his future. The federal government was currently denying science and rolling back regulations that once protected the environment. The national government was ignoring its duty by saying the US cannot control China’s emissions. Ashland could lead other cities with this plan and more. It was everyone’s responsibility to leave more of a legacy than dried lakes, dead forests, and poisoned oceans. He urged Council to pass the plan and ordinances.
Allie Rosenbluth/40 North Mountain Ave/Was a community organizer at Rogue Climate. She commented on the hundreds of people that had come forward over the past 18 months for climate change. She urged council to approve the CEAP unanimously. The City along with the community must stay diligent to ensure the outcomes of the plan would not disproportionately affect low-income communities, young people, and communities of color, the elderly, and disabled. These groups needed a voice and representation on the CEAP Commission. She supported Ashland adopting an ordinance similar to the City of Eugene.
Nikolas Lindauer/320 Oxford Street/As concentrations of Co2 continued to increase in the atmosphere, the rate of Co2 dissolving in the ocean increased, creating higher levels of carbonic acid in the water. Carbonic acid caused coral reefs that held 82% of marine diversity, to disintegrate making the water uninhabitable for many creatures and causing distinction throughout the ocean. Millennials had less confidence in government than any other generation in US history. When half the politicians ignored 90% of scientists, every change mattered.
Kayla Fennell/1350 E Nevada Street/Supported the CEAP and ordinances. She shared her experiences traveling through Indonesia, Greece, Italy, and Morocco, documenting the effects of climate change in those regions, and sharing results at the UN Climate Change Summit. Society had a moral obligation to act. The US was responsible for most of the emissions. Not taking action because it was an inconvenience was not an option. Everyone must do his or her part on behalf of others around the world paying the price for US consumption. She urged Council to pass the plan unanimously and support the ordinances to follow.
Katie Crocker/134 Nutley Street/The realization of the catastrophic effects of climate change prompted her to join the Ashland Youth Climate Action and fight to pass the ordinance in the CEAP. Today, the global temperature was 1.3 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times. The world would experience a multi-meter sea level rise within fifty to 150 years if the current rate of fossil fuel emissions continued. According to “Young People’s Burden” by Dr. James Hanson, carbon emissions needed to be reduced by 350 parts per million if society wanted to preserve the planet. Currently, the level was 400 parts per million with two parts per million each year. To reach 350 parts per million, carbon emissions needed to be reduced 8% yearly.
Carson Barry/134 Church Street/The CEAP would fulfill Ashland’s obligation to protect the citizens and take responsibility for the role everyone played in the national and global community. People needed to take the strongest action possible. She feared the impact climate change had in her future. She supported passing the ordinances along with the CEAP. Without an ordinance, the conditions in the CEAP did not guarantee full execution of the plan. She did not think anyone should take any chance when it came to an issue of this magnitude and importance. The ordinance established a commission that would ensure execution of the plan.
Annika Larson/795 Ellendale Drive/Spoke on the CEAP the City of Eugene passed in 2010. She thought Ashland should pass their CEAP and ordinances to hold everyone accountable to these values. She noted the City of Eugene’s successes. The community could no longer count on the national government to further policy objectives. She supported passing the plan and ordinances.
Erin Finklea/545 Grandview Drive/Submitted written testimony into the record from her husband Ed Finklea, an energy attorney for 35 years.
Jennifer Jones/134 Church Street/Loved the community and town and wanted to be proud of the Ashland. One of the ways to do that was approving the CEAP and passing the ordinances. The testimony from the young people present moved her. She hoped Council would pass the plan and the ordinances.
Dan Wahdedah/PO Box 1211/Phoenix, OR/Thanked the ad hoc Committee for their work for the benefit of future generations. Tribal prophecies indicated this was point in time where everyone had to prove they were worthy of moving forward to the “Eighth Fire,” shedding colonial ways and returning to the earth. The way energy was currently harvested harmed future generations. We were all relatives, in the same boat together. He urged Council to adopt the plan and ordinances.
James McGinnis/629 Altamont Street/Quoted Russell Brand and noted the CEAP was a moonshot. He talked about the power of standing up, and being present. He was grateful for the new generation and young people who spoke earlier. Climate change will affect them, their children, and grandchildren. The CEAP was a work in progress and the beginning of a process.
Councilor Seffinger/Slattery m/s to accept and approve the Climate and Energy Action Plan as presented. DISCUSSION: Councilor Seffinger talked to Claire Pryor the week before and her dedication to climate change moved the Councilor. The plan was very important to the future generations. Councilor Slattery thought the CEAP was a good beginning and foundation. However, the ordinances had to be carefully constructed and he did not think they were at that point. An ordinance would not lock a process down and a future council could change them. It was essential to have the community committed to making the plan work.
Councilor Lemhouse stressed the importance of implementing the plan correctly and asked the speakers to remain patient with the process. There were things in the plan Council needed to review. The plan was a work in progress. Regarding social equity, establishing minimum energy efficiency standards for affordable housing could actually reduce the number of units built. Ms. Mindlin summed it up well on conflicting priorities. He had some concerns the plan was overreaching in terms of policy. He liked the adaption part of the plan. The most he could do as an elected official was prepare the city to adapt to what was coming. He appreciated the hard work and the young people’s testimony.
Councilor Seffinger added her sister in-law was the ambassador to Fiji and Tonga who currently were losing their homes due to the effects of climate change. Councilor Rosenthal would support the ordinance and appreciated the comments. It was motivating to see the young people involved in the public process. The plan was not perfect and required more comprehensive vetting. The strategies often were conflicting. The commission and a full time staff person would help review and resolve conflicts within the plan. Councilor Darrow observed the real movement in the plan was community action, education, and behavior changes in transportation and consumption. That would create the biggest impact. Creating a commission was the logical next step. This needed to be a community project. Councilor Morris would support the plan but thought it focused more on City actions than community participation. Mandating change was difficult. The real issue of the commission was getting people to change what they were doing to achieve the goals. He did not think the technology was there to achieve the goals, not even in 30 years.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Darrow, Morris, Slattery, Lemhouse, and Seffinger, YES. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Slattery volunteered to work with City Attorney Dave Lohman on draft ordinances. Councilor Rosenthal understood the ordinance adopting the climate goals and targets would take time to review and wanted the second ordinance establishing a commission fast tracked. Councilor Seffinger wanted to know how the commission would interface with A-L in the climate goals and targets ordinance as well as how it affected the business community and the economic life of Ashland. Mr. Lohman would bring back a discussion with arguments for or against having an ordinance along with particular wording for an ordinance or resolution.
3. City Hall seismic project
Interim City Administrator John Karns explained the matter stemmed from an earlier discussion with the Public Works Department and ORW on options to replace or retrofit City Hall. The City since then had identified other opportunities as well. He recommended implementing an ad hoc committee similar to the Public Safety Bond Committee established in 2010. The ad hoc committee would review recommendations from ORW and City staff. The committee would have a recommendation and justification to Council by September 1, 2017. In addition, the funding option would include $1,000,000 to complete Phase II construction of the Police Department and Emergency Operations Center facility.
Council wanted a recommendation on both City and the Police Department and Emergency Operations facility and a separate recommendation for City Hall. Pioneer Hall, the Community Center, or other facilities that needed retrofitting were not included in the ad hoc committee’s purview. The committee would consider possibly moving central staff outside of the downtown area. Another option the committee would look at was leasing space.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve the creation of a City Hall ad hoc Committee and the charge of the committee as presented in the memo from the City Administrator with clarifications from Council and staff. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Darrow, Rosenthal, Seffinger, Lemhouse, Morris, and Slattery, YES. Motion passed.
4. Citizen Budget Committee appointment
City Recorder Barbara Christensen distributed ballots to Council and the Mayor that resulted in the following:
- Saladin Amery received 6 votes from Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Mayor Stromberg
- Sharon Harris received 1 vote from Councilor Darrow
Councilor Slattery/Seffinger m/s to appoint Saladin Amery to the Citizen Budget Committee for a term ending December 31, 2017. DISCUSSION: Councilor Seffinger thought Mr. Amery would be a real asset to the Budget Committee. Councilor Lemhouse noted Mr. Amery had lost to the last appointee by one vote. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Adoption of a resolution titled, “A resolution of the City Council of the City of Ashland allocating anticipated revenues from the Transient Occupancy Tax for the biennium 2017-19 budget and repealing Resolution 2015-04.”
Councilor Slattery declared a potential conflict of interest, and asked to recuse himself from the discussion. City Attorney Dave Lohman clarified Councilor Slattery did not have an actual conflict of interest, and could choose to participate in the discussion but chose to treat it as if it were a conflict of interest.
Councilor Lemhouse/Seffinger m/s to allow Councilor Slattery to recuse himself from this item’s discussion. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse knew Councilor Slattery could make an objective decision on this but out of an abundance of caution and transparency, this was the best move. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Slattery left the meeting at 9:50 p.m.
Assistant to the City Administrator Adam Hanks explained the resolution was consistent with the previous methodologies with a portion allocated to tourism activities and another for the General Fund with further allocations for each. One difference from the previous resolution was this one restored allocating two items in the General Fund, the economic development program funding and the unrestricted portion of the economic cultural and sustainability grants. The resolution appropriated the amount totals, and detailed the economic development program that was broken down in the budget process.
The City had an agreement for services contract with the Chamber of Commerce. After the Economic Development Strategy, staff had a Council approved, economic development document that provided structure on what to ask the Chamber of Commerce to focus and work on in addition to their historical work. The contract included specific deliverables and reporting categories. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) followed the small grants contract template and was not as prescriptive in terms of reporting requirements. Council could amend the template and use something similar to the Chamber of Commerce instead. Council agreed and directed staff to create an agreement for services contract with OSF.
Councilor Rosenthal/Lemhouse m/s to approve the resolution titled, “A resolution of the City Council of the City of Ashland allocating anticipated revenues from the Transient Occupancy Tax for the biennium 2017-19 budget and repealing Resolution 2015-04.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal commented the allocation provided a great value for the community. Councilor Lemhouse supported the resolution. The Chamber of Commerce was active in the community, worked hard to promote local businesses and did it well. The City’s partnership with OSF was also critical. Councilor Seffinger added the Chamber of Commerce contributed to the Climate and Energy Action Plan, the Healthy City Initiative, the watershed map, and efforts to support the Ashland Resiliency Project (AFR).
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Darrow, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Councilor Rosenthal announced the Sister City Classic, a youth baseball cultural exchange with Guanajuato March 26, 2017.
Councilor Lemhouse announced the Ashland High School football exchange with Japan that would occur this summer. To help fund the trip, the public could hire the team through their “Rent-A-Griz” program.
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
Meeting adjourned at 10:08 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor