Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One Minute Minutes February 21, 2012

6:00 p.m. Study Session
I. Council discussed the procedure and scoring system for the Citizen Budget committee, sub-committee to use in evaluating grant applications for these grants.

6:30 p.m. Executive Session
Council help an executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660 to consider the employment of a Public Officer.

7:00 Regular City Council Meeting

VII. Consent Agenda
Council approved the following items:
1. Approval of minutes of Board and Commissions
2. Approval of IGA to Acquire Aerial Photos for City mapping
3. Appointments of Council Liaisons
4. Amendment to 2010 Fund Exchange Agreement No. 26612 for the Laurel Street Safe Route to School Project.
5. Review of 2013 Mayor and Council Budget.
6. Installation of a mural on Enders Alley
7. Disposal of surplus transformers and contract award to Transformer Technologies.
8. An IGA for Accela Automation Software for electronic building permit and plan review
9. A Request for Historic Preservation Grant
10. Extension of the Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling Program

VII. Public Hearings
1. Council approved the purchase of 2,773 square feet of land along Ashland Creek for a future trail to be developed by Parks. The total estimate of the purchase is $23,532.
2. Council approved the transfer of city-owned housing property to the Parks Department in exchange for $125,059.

X. Unfinished Business
1. Council did not support the creation of a resolution of a constitutional amendment to eliminate “personhood” for corporations and unions. Council directed staff to prepare a resolution addressing campaign expenditures limitations.

XI New Business1. Council approved the appointment of Dave Kanner as City Administrator.
2. Council adopted the Operations Guide for Commission and Committees.

XII. Ordinances, Resolutions, and Contracts
1. Council approved the Resolution Allocating Anticipated TOT Revenues and directed staff to clarify expenditures of the 10% for City economic development programs must first be approved by Council.
2. Council approved the Resolution Relating to the Expenditure of Monies for the Economic Cultural, Sustainable Grants Resolution; to add to the Resolution a 4th category relating to tourism and to include the scoring criteria put forth by staff.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Minute Minutes February 6 and 7, 2012

Study Session of February 6, 2012
FY13 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Project List, the FY 13-18 CIP Program and the FY13 Capital Equipment Plan. Council heard a from Mike Faught, City Public Works Director outlining the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for FY 2013-2018 and the projects scheduled for work in FY 2013.

City Council Meeting of January 17, 2012
VII. CONSENT AGENDA
Council approved the following items:
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. Confirmation of Appointment of Mike Gardiner to the Transportation Commission.
3. Confirmation of Appointment of Frank Betlejewski to the Forest Lands Commission.

VIII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
1. Public Hearing and Approval of Quitclaim Deed. Council approved staff recommendation to abandon the Nevada Street sewer pump station and its accompanying force main.

2. Public Hearing and Adoption of the FY 2013 CIP Project List, the Overall FY 13-18 CIP Program and the FY 13 Capital Equipment Plan. Council adopted the proposed CIP FY13-18.

X. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. New Policy for the City’s Annual Economic, Cultural, and Sustainability Grant Program. Council approved the following allocation of TOT funds:
a. Allocation of Funds
i. Non Tourism allocation: 80% to the general fund, 10% to City Economic Development Program, 10% to Economic, Cultural and Sustainability Grant program.
ii. Tourism allocation: 56% to the Chamber of Commerce, 10% for City Economic, Cultural and Sustainability Grant program, 3% for Public Art, 10% City Capital projects related to tourism, $110,135 to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and any remaining funds rolled into the City Capital projects related to tourism.
b. Criteria for Evaluation of Grant Submissions
i. This item is continued to the February 21 regular Council meeting to be discussed in a study session at 6:00. Discussion will center on criteria for Sustainability Grant submissions.

XI. NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Special Event Fee for OSPRIG Council voted not to waive fees for the OSPRIG march on March 4.
2. IGA Between OMEU Association. Council approved the IGA between Oregon Electric Municipal Utilities Association (OMEU) and the City of Ashland.
3. SAFER Grant. Council approved applying for SAFER Grant to fund three firefighters for two years.
4. Funding Agreement with Oregon Department of Forestry. Council approved the funding agreement with the Oregon Department of Forestry for the purpose of fuel reduction around residential properties.
5. Economic Development Implementation Plan Quarterly Update. Council accepted the Economic Development Strategy Quarterly Report as presented.
6. Guidelines for Commission Sponsorship. Council approved the Guidelines for Commission Sponsorship as presented.
7. Quarterly Financial Report. Council approved the Quarterly Financial Report.

XII. ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
None.

XII. OTHER BUSINESS
1. Resolution Supporting Elimination of Corporate Personhood. This item was moved to the agenda for the February 21, 2012 regular Council meeting.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

State of the City Speech 2012

State of the City 2012
January 3, 2012

Thesis: We are moving from a ‘let the City do it’ model to an ‘all hands turn to’ self-sufficiency model of community and city government.


Part I: What’s coming in 2012

Challenges and Opportunities

I will be giving you a sampling of upcoming issues, all part of a much larger list. First, we have the Water Master Plan. The Water Master Plan has four major issues that are really important to all of us; do we have adequate supply and is it redundant, we have to amortize and manage the maintenance of our current infrastructure so that we can avoid getting in to a financial hole, we have to develop a new rate structure that doesn’t cause our revenue to fall below our fixed-cost expenses in years where there is low water use or good conservation, and the last issue is the security of our water source.

The second item that we are going to be dealing with next year has to do with Urban Renewal. The Council has so far been somewhat cool on the subject, for good reason, but I believe that we are going to need to consider some possibilities - at least for the downtown area. One is that we may want to do something substantial about downtown parking. The second is that a lot of the buildings on The Plaza need to have a seismic retrofit. Chief Karns tells me that those buildings would not be in good shape if we have a substantial earthquake. The third is that we’ve been thinking for a long time about possibly revamping The Plaza, and this may tie in with some other ideas.

The third item that is going to come up, and it’s already on our agenda, is the Recology Rate Increase Request. I want to point out a couple of things about this. First, we have an unusual and somewhat unique relationship with Recology in that we have a legacy franchise. Normally if the City were going to have this function we would either have it within the City, in which case the manager of this function would have to prioritize their budget, or we would have this service via an RFP (Request for Proposal) process in which contractors competed to give us the best price on a menu of services. In some states you have a public utility commission whose job it is to be an independent arbitrator of what is a fair increase. In our case we don’t have that, instead we have a new owner of a company we’ve had a long-standing franchise agreement with who is trying to get us to move to a cost-plus basis, which, as I’ve said before, I’m not comfortable with. Our current franchise with Recology runs to 2018. So that’s a bundle of issues related to this topic that we’ll have to deal with.

Next, changing the tone completely, we have the aftermath of the Grubbs murder. We don’t know yet what the resolution of this may be and the resolution may even be no resolution and living with uncertainty. It seems to me to be pretty clear that this next year the reverberation of this tragic event are going to be with our community, and properly so while we work through it. I have been getting suggestions from the community in terms of things we can do for each other, watching out for each other and you can find those suggestions on the City’s website. We have ten suggestions at the moment. Fairly soon I think we’re going to come to the point where we can bring that information together and run some sort of session with the Council and the public where we report back to the Council on the feasibility of these suggestions and then the Council, where appropriate, will decide whether it’s going to take any policy actions or take any steps to follow through on those.

The fifth major item has to do with the Capital Improvement Plan. We have not made significant capital expenditures since I have been Mayor, and I think possibly before that. When I first got into city government we were doing a lot of capital projects and you have to in order to keep your infrastructure and other major activities and resources going. We now have a backlog with multiple projects and we have a big funding problem. This is something we’re going to need to confront in this coming year.

Next we have the issue of Homelessness. Homelessness is not just an issue of street people on The Plaza, it’s an issue of people in danger of falling into homelessness because they can’t pay for their rent or they can’t pay for their kid’s school lunches or they’re in financial straits. It’s not going to go away and it may get worse. Down on The Plaza we have a very complex situation where we have a combination of behavior problems that are damaging to the kind of ambiance that the merchants require to be able to function and the needs of people who are financially unable to take care of themselves. That’s not a one-to-one correspondence by any means. In fact, besides homeless people who are down on The Plaza we also have transients, and an issue which we have not address which has to do with the youth of Ashland who go and participate in that situation and that is a dangerous and difficult problem. The other point, if you think about it, is that the city of Ashland, the community of Ashland tends to vacate The Plaza in the high tourist season. So we leave a kind of vacuum in that there is nobody there who takes ownership of The Plaza on behalf of the community.

The last project I want to remind you of is the Transportation System Plan, which is moving its way towards the City Council. You will know it by its parts; the realignment of Wymer and Hersey Streets, the Road Diet trial, lively conversations that have been going on about changes in transportation and parking in downtown, and the Pedestrian Places overlays. This is another cluster of decisions that will be coming to us in this next year.

Context and Changes

Here’s the interesting thing, what’s the context? There are some important contextual issues in which these decisions are going to be made in this community. The first one is that we’re hiring a new City Administrator. While Larry has been doing a terrific job as an interim, the impact of replacing a long-term, highly skilled City Administrator with a new person is major because the City Administrator has his or her finger on the pulse of everything that is going on with this city and that’s the standard we’re used to. When you take that away over a prolonged period of time, we don’t know what all the implications of that are going to be. Imagine what new person; coming in during an election year, with these kinds of things on the table, a learning curve - depending upon where that person comes from, and also assimilating to the community. You can learn things quickly if you’re skilled and experienced but to assimilate into the community people have to live with you, they have to go through the cycles of the year, they have to go through having kids in school with you happen to be someone with a family. We all saw when Martha came in the timing it took for her to become a part of this community. But we have to make decisions on the seven things I pointed out earlier, and others, next year and the City Administrator is going to be crucial, so that will be a real challenge. It may also be that the new person brings some fresh insights or some special experience. No matter what, it’s going to be different.

The second contextual thing is that it’s an election year. As I think all of us would tell you, if we’re being really frank, there is a huge difference between running for office and what you think about and how you talk and how you comport yourself and trying to be part of a team of people you did not choose in doing the business of the City. I can say frankly, and this is self disclosure, that if I chose to run and am sitting here, every time I make a decision and start opening my mouth I think about it politically as well as working with the Council and City. So we’ve got that factor coming in.

The third contextual item is we’ve got a couple of important leadership changes in this community. Paul Nicholson has announced that he’s retiring at the end of the year from OSF. He’s one of the top managers of the city and a strong personality. That organization is already starting to go through shifts and adjustments with this future departure. Also, Ashland Community Hospital, as you do well know, is entertaining entering into some kind of partnership with some other organization, so the nature and culture of that major community institution is going to change. In that circle of key administrators who help hold this community together there are going to be important shifts.


Part II: Community Organization

So, that’s the set up. Those are the key issues we face going into 2012. Now the question is, ‘what do we bring to those issues?’ How does this community organize itself to deal with these kinds of challenges? I’m going to go through a list, a spectrum, if you will:

1) We start with the City Employees, the 250 “invisible but essential” people, because, in fact, most of us do not see the people who deliver the services that we depend upon on a day to day basis to carry on our lives and do our business and do everything that we do in this city. We have very skilled, very responsible, knowledgeable city employees. I sometimes think that what we really should do is, have all 250 of the march in the 4th of July parade with banner for the part of the city where they work so that the city would actually see these human beings who make such a big difference in their lives.

2) Next, we’ve got the City Council, and it’s very interesting because the first question is not, are they cozy with each other but do they have the ability to deliver the goods on hard decisions and do they articulate? I don’t mean verbally, but rather when we’re working on a hard decision do I feel that each member of this Council is thinking about it and deciding independently rather than following some ideology or alliance with each other. I think they have done you proud in the last year and I want to tell you some of the examples of the tough decisions this City Council has made, not that I agreed with all of them, but I feel all of them were seriously considered. Going on chronological order, more or less, the City Council decided:
• To provide water for the ODOT Welcome Center, even though a lot of people were urging us not to, but placed conditions on it that would counter-act a number of the problems opponents were concerned with.
• Refunded substantial Community Development fees to the Oak Knoll homeowners who lost the eleven homes in that catastrophic fire.
• Approved large building at 85 Winburn Way but put conditions on it in terms of parking in lieu fees and not allowing it to be used in the future for medical offices.
• Leased 265 acres of the Imperatrice property to Standing Stone Brewing Company. I don’t mention that as such a difficult decision, but that was an important decision in this community.
• Approved temporary use of Lithia Park for the OSF tent theater and did it promptly and the whole city government collaborated with that.
• Approved a new gun club lease with substantial requirements on environmental and management practices.
• Adopted an Economic Development Strategy to be updated on a yearly basis. That could prove to be fairly significant if we follow through on it well.
• Approved the Road Diet and the Hersey/ Wimer Street realignment.
• Succeeded in resolving an issue with Regional Problem Solving regarding Ashland population level. The City’s growth rate was artificially reduced and when we demanded it back we found it had been given to some other cities. The Council stood firm on behalf of the community because that affected our ability to get grants and participate in other kinds of programs.
• Approved the Homelessness Steering Committee and that is a work in progress.
• Approved a new agreement with the Mount Ashland Association and gave up the Special Use Permit.
• Changed to a biennial budget.
• Accepted the recommendation of the Public Safety Bond Committee to change from using the Grove as a future site for the Police department to remodeling the existing facility.
• Approved an 11.1% rate increase for Recology while analyzing Recology’s request for a 23% increase.

3) The Mayor and City Administrator are kind of Siamese twins. The Mayor has access without power and the City Administrator has power without policy.

4) The City Commissions are institutionalized participation by citizens in government. We’ve had this year, for example, the Planning and Transportation Commissions collaborating on the Transportation System Plan.

5) Ad hoc Committees who work on projects. We have the AWAC, who are working on the Water Master Plan, the Homelessness Steering Committee, the Public Safety Bond Committee that we pulled back into service to be able to deal with the difficult problem of the Grove.

6) City Volunteers who fill the gaps in work that we need done that we would otherwise have to pay. We have CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), Police volunteers, and the FireWise organization.

7) Regional Partners. Regionally, this City benefits and participates in mutual aid agreements, which is a very powerful and community system for getting certain things done for emergency services. Jackson County, through Commissioner Skundrick, would like to work on additional ways in which we can collaborate. We also have the ACCESS food pantries, which is a county-wide organization that provides food pantries in Ashland.

8) Another way in which the community organizes itself is in Advocacy Groups. We have the Jackson County Fuel Committee, and Respect Ashland which is a group concerned about radiation. With respect to these organizations and others, what we are trying to do is establish a foundation of facts that we can mutually agree to that allows us to have more meaningful interactions with them and with their constituents. So we have less time spent sitting here with people talking to us when they don’t understand some of the fundamental facts that they are talking about. What we’re finding is that the advocacy groups don’t want to do that either because it undermines their credibility with Council.

9) Collaborators in another example. The E-Coli Study, the Ashland Pond Study, is an example. There are classes as SOU working on quality of life measures, which is something that may have bearing on our Economic Development Plan. Also, a number of our parks are pesticide free because neighbors who live around the parks get rid of the weeds without using pesticides.

10) We have Allies. The Wildlife Committee is an ally, they aren’t usually lobbying us to do things but they are trying to provide support services. SOU has a program going on this year that has to do with civility. All these allies are doing complimentary things that work along with what we do.

11) We have Independent Groups that take on projects that the Council can’t or doesn’t want to get involved with. They are groups such as, the Ashland Food Project, the Emergency Food Bank, and Food Angels. Ashland at Home is a new organization working to help people who have lost their partners remain in their homes in their later years. The Deer People is an independent group that brings a sort of liveliness and humor to help defuse a tense situation. The Homeless Coalition, the local Churches, etc. are all involved in their own projects.

12) Then we have Partners. These are major organizations. The Chamber of Commerce is a long-standing partner with the City of Ashland. The Community Health Center has for well over 30 years been providing sliding scale medical services for people who don’t have health insurance. St. Vincent de Paul does work for us with homeless and people in danger of homelessness. The Daily Tidings has just instituted a new project called, “Acts Matter” whose purpose is to generate Ashland specific content for the newspaper. Having your own newspaper is vital to a community such as ours and we’re really in danger of that running short on us so that is as step from the Tidings in extending a long-term relationship with us.

13) And then I have to say that we have Individual Contributors. Bill Heimann, if you’re watching this, will appreciate this. For those of you who are on his mailing list, which now numbers over 600, Bill puts out a preview of what’s going to happen at City Council meetings and he’s now added County Commissioner meetings from the point of view of a citizen trying to make sense of what’s going on in this complex world.

14) Finally, there is The Community as a whole. The community itself, without being mobilized by anyone, does certain things. For example, for two years now we’ve made it through the 4th of July holiday with no significant problems with people breaking our fireworks ban. We do not have the ability to enforce that ban and yet people cooperate with it even when they don’t like it. We also see self-initiated conservation with water, electricity, and trash. Also, the response to the Oak Knoll Fire, which came out of the community, helped people in many ways. We are also seeing this with the Grubbs investigation with people providing tips, suggestions, and contributing to the reward.


Part III: Conclusions

So, why do I mention all these things? I mention these things because I’m making the case to you, which you may agree with or not agree with, that we are really changing from being a city where people sit back and expect every problem to be handled by the City Council to a city that is starting to really get into solving its own problems, helping each other, cooperating with, supporting, and supplementing city government and, therefore, having a stronger sense of itself as a community. So, again, we are moving from a ‘let the City do it’ model to an ‘all hands turn to’ self-sufficiency model where the network of personal connections is key. All this stuff works on a person to person basis and communications greases the skids. You work with your enemies because the future is much more important than the past. This is the path to a sustainable community.

If you have any comments, complaints, or epiphanies about anything I’ve said tonight please let me know by e-mail at john@council.ashland.or.us. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One Minute Minute January 17, 2012

Study Session of January 16, 2012
Due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, the Study Session has been cancelled. Enjoy your evening.

City Council Meeting of January 17, 2012

VI. SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS AND AWARDS
1. Peace House Appreciation Day Mayor Stromberg read a proclamation declaring January 26, 2012 as Peace House Appreciation Day.

2. Universal Right to Education Day Councilor Voisin read a proclamation declaring the third Monday in January as Universal Right to Education Day.

VII. CONSENT AGENDA
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of Boards, Commission and Committees.
2. A liquor license Application from Steve Hoxmeier dba IDA’s at 475 A Street. The business complies with all city regulations pursuant to AMC Chapter 6.32.
3. An exemption from the competitive bidding process to award contract to Dennis Bleser of Bleser Construction for professional installation of playground equipment in Lithia Park. Playground equipment is being purchased from State Contract #9786 for Lithia Park. Dennis Bleser of Bleser Construction is the local authorized installer of this equipment. Having the equipment installed by an authorized installer limits the liability to the City therefore, the request to approve this exemption and contract. The contract is in the amount of $7,900.00.

VIII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
1. Council approved the selection criteria for the City Administrator Selection Process as presented by staff.

IX. PUBLIC FORUM
1. Thomas Lethroth requested Council waive the $350 permit fee for an SOU political rally. Staff will review the request and place the item on the next agenda.

XI. NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Council heard an update on Council Goal on Economic Development to increase the clarity, responsiveness and certainty of the development process by using the plans previously provided by Zucker and Siegel.

XII. ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Council approved a Resolution Establishing a Streetside Memorial Marker and directed staff to remove “residential” from section 3B.
2. Council approved a Resolution Establishing a Reward Fund for information resulting in the apprehension and conviction of persons responsible for the murder of David Michael Grubbs.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One Minute Minutes January 3, 2011

Study Session of January 2, 2012
The Study Session was cancelled.

City Council Meeting of January 3, 2012

Executive Session
The City Council met in an executive session at 6:30 p.m. to discuss employment of a public officer or employee pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(a)

Regular Meeting
State of the City
Mayor Stromberg presented his annual State of the City address.

VIII. Special Presentation and Awards
1. Annual Christmas Tree Recycle Day. January 7, 2012 was proclaimed as Christmas Tree recycle day. This is a joint effort by Troop 112 of the Boys Scouts of America along with the Ashland Parks Department, Ashland Host Lions and the Early Bird Lions.

2. 72 Hour Emergency Response Kits. Chief Karns explained the City’s 72 hour emergency response kits.

IX. Consent Agenda
1. Council approved the Award of Sole Source Procurement for Northwest Mail Services.

XII. Unfinished Business
1. Use of Grove to Provide Showers for Homeless.
Council did not approve the recommendation of the ad hoc Homeless Steering Committee to offer showers at the Grove for homeless males. Council expressed concern about how the program was to be managed and could not approve the concept until they know the details of how it would be overseen. Council was not opposed to the concept and encouraged the committee to find a non-profit partner to manage the program.

XIII. New and Miscellaneous Business
1. Hardey Engineering, Inc. Contract Amendment.
Council approved a $4,000 amendment to the existing contract with Hardey Engineering, Inc. for the design of the Ashland Creek Sewer Rehabilitation Project.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Minute Minutes from December 19 and 20

Study Session of December 19, 2011
The Study Session was cancelled.

City Council Meeting of December 20, 2011

Executive Session
Council met in an executive session to discuss real property transaction pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(e)

Regular Meeting

VII. Consent Agenda
Consent items were approved including:
1. Approval of the minutes for the Conservation Commission Meetings of Oct 26 and Nov 19.
2. Council is asked to approve a Liquor License Application from Emil McMillan Jr., dba McMillan’s Hong Kong Bar at 23 North Main Street. The applicant complies with all City rules and regulations.
3. Council is asked to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Tobin Fisher to the Historic Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2014.
4. Council is asked to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Richard Kaplan to the Planning Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2015.
5. Council is asked to approve a Sole Source Procurement for the acquisition of Itron electric meters. The City of Ashland uses Itron meter reading equipment and software, which requires a readable Itron electric meter. The Council approved a Sole Source Procurement for Itron meters on March 17, 2009 for a term of three years. This approval is due to expire on December 31, 2011. We continue to use these meters, equipment and software.


X. Unfinished Business
1. Recology Rate Increase.
Council approved a Resolution authorizing an interim rate increase of 7.5% increase and a 20% increase to the current discount for customers with commercial bin service for high volume/high frequency services for calendar year 2012. The interim increases accounts for an 11.2% increases in revenue for Recology.

The City will review current services and discounts provided by Recology; propose franchise agreement revisions to reflect a formula for rate increases hereafter and current best practices for solid waste collection; and, seek a mutual agreement with Recology on a subsequent rate increase and on priorities for solid waste collection services.

2. Pedestrian Overlay Ordinance.
Council reviewed sections of the Pedestrian Overlay that apply throughout the City, and those that apply in the Pedestrian Overlay and Detail Site Review Zone and those that apply exclusively to the Pedestrian Overlay. The Council to again review the Pedestrian Overlay Ordinance particularly focusing on those sections, which are city-wide regulations.

3. EV Charging Station.
Council approved the Charging Site Host Agreement with ECOtality North America to participate in a pilot project for the installation and use of EV Charging units in two city-owned parking lots.

XI. New and Miscellaneous Business
1. City Investment Policy.
Council reviewed and approved the City Investment Policy.

2. Appointments to Budget Committee.
Council approved the Mayor’s appointments to the City Budget Committee.

XII. Ordinances, Resolutions and Contracts
1. Second Reading to Reduce Members of the Planning and Housing Commissions.
Council approved second reading of an Ordinance which amends AMC Chapter 2.12 and Chapter 2.19 Reducing the Number of Established Members on the Planning Commission and Housing Commission.

XIII. Other Business From Council Members/Reports From Council Liaisons
1. Wildlife Issues.
Council requested that this item be placed on a future Study Session.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Continuation of Community Forum

Dear Ashland Citizens,

On November 29, the Ashland Police hosted a community forum at the Ashland High School and provided an update on the investigation into the murder of David Michael Grubbs.

At that meeting I invited citizens to contact me with suggestions on how we can look out for each other during these difficult times.

Some of the suggestions I’ve received including placing lights on the bike path, installing a memorial bench and opportunities for the public to contribute to the reward.

If you have more ideas, please feel free to call me at 541-552-2104 and leave a voice mail message for me.

Below is a list of suggestions I have received. This list will continue to be added to as new suggestions are submitted.

Stay safe and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

John Stromberg, Mayor


How can we look out for one another?
- Lights on the bike path
- Memorial bench on pike path
- Public contributions to reward fund
- Remove Parks & Recreation maintenance shed at parking lot entrance to bike path
- Conduct a security evaluation by the Ashland Police Deparment of the bike path - inform community of risky areas
- Hold a Community Safety Seminar
- Encourage Neighborhood meetings/block parties
- Promote the VIPS program (Volunteers in Police Service)
- Alter Transportation Commission's mission to include community safety and security
- Hold a Take Back the Night style event on the bike path

Thursday, December 8, 2011

One Minute Minutes December 5 and 6

December 5, 2011 Study Session
Council reviewed a request for a 23.3% rate increases for solid waste collection.

December 6, 2011 Regular Meeting

Mayor’s Announcements
• Police Chief Terry Holderness provided an update on the Grubbs investigation. Police have spoke with more than 300 people and have followed up on more than 600 leads. Holderness reminded the audience that people may contribute to the reward money by sending a check to:
Crimestoppers of Southern Oregon
Medford Police Department
c/o Ruth Cox TIU-Crimestoppers
411 W 8th Street
Medford, OR 97520

• The Mayor will discuss the Water Master Plan on Town Hall on RVTV, Wednesday evening, December 7 at 6:00 p.m.

VII. Consent Agenda
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. An agreement with Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad Inc. (CORP) authorizing construction of crossing improvements at the Hersey/Laurel rail crossing.
3. A special procurement contract with GE Water and Process Technologies for the purchase of new wastewater membrane filters in the amount of $480,203.

Council requested the item regarding the installation and use of Electric Vehicle Charging units, be placed on a future agenda to allow for public input.
Council removed the item regarding legal representation of the City by David Lohman on matters related to Mt. Ashland.

VIII. Public Hearing on Recology Rates
Council directed staff to develop a resolution to reflect an interim rate increase on solid waste disposal to reflect 7.5% for all customers and a 20% increase to commercial customers. Council agreed to further study on rate increases and consider revisions to the current franchise agreement after the holiday.

VII. Public Forum
A petition with more than 1700 signatures was presented to Council requesting lights be placed on the Central Ashland Bikepath. Preliminary costs to install lights, both standard and solar were also presented to Council. City Administrator, Larry Patterson reported the City had begun gathering cost estimates for lights and will bring the information forward to Council at a future study session. The City will also look into the installation of a memorial bench.

X.1. Wireless Communications Facilities
Council moved this issue to a future work session, which is currently scheduled for March 19th, to reconsider wireless communication issues.

XI.1. Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
Council approved the CAFT report as recommended by the Audit Committee.

XIII.1. Planning and Housing Commission Membership
Council approved first reading of an ordinance amending the membership of the Planning Commission and the Housing Commission for its present 9 members to 7 members.

XIII. Other Business from Council
Councilor Voisin reported the Conservation Commission has a retreat and will bring information to the Council at a future date.

At the request of Councilor Silbiger, Council directed staff to prepare a list of changes in the Pedestrian Places Overlay that affect areas of the community not included in the overlay for Council review at the next meeting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 14 and 15 One Minute Minutes

November 14, 2011 Study Session
1. Design and Funding of the Police Station.
Dave Straus of Straus and Seibert Architects explained the remodel and expansion of the existing police station and the Public Safety Bond Committee made their recommendation to move forward with Phase 1 of the plan and to use existing resources to pay for the project.

2. City Administrator Recruitment Process.
The City Council discussed the selection criteria to use to evaluate and screen candidates for the City Administrator position. Council also discussed the selection process.

November 15, 2011 Regular Meeting
IV. Mayor’s Announcements
• The Mayor invited the public to submit their comments on the selection criteria for a new City Administrator to tina@ashland.or.us.

• Councilor Slattery spoke of Dave Fortmiller, a resident of Ashland since 1935 and his many contributions to the community. The Mayor called for a moment of silence in recognition of Fortmiller.

VI. Special Presentation and Awards
Staff liaison to the Tree Commission, Michael PiƱa announced the Redwood tree at 65 Granite as the 2011 Tree of the Year with the large Magnolia in front of the McCall House as the runner up.

VII. Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. The Mayor’s appointment of Mark Weir to the Conservation Commission.
3. The Mayor’s appointment of Brett Ainsworth to the Housing Commission.
4. The Council approved a letter of support for Sky Research and their grant application for Connect Oregon IV in order to build a hangar at the Ashland Municipal Airport.
5. The award of an $184,890 contract to Smith Sheet Metal for the replacement of the Service Center roof.
6. The award of a public contract for Municipal Audit Services.
7. The City entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation providing the use of the City’s front end loader to load cinders in exchange for ODOT providing the cinders
8. Council approved a letter of support for the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad (CORP) for connect Oregon IV grant application for rail runnel enhancement.

VIII Public Hearing
The Council held a Public Hearing on a revised ordinance for development standards for location of Wireless Communication Facilities and directed staff to remove requirements for the preference of co-locating wireless communication facilities if there is no visual or aesthetic impact and leave the rest of the ordinance the same.

XI.1 Recommendation of the Public Safety Bond Committee (PSBC) on Police Station
Council accepted the recommendation of the PSBC to expand and improve the existing police station using existing resource to fund the project. Council approved the use of forfeiture monies and CIP monies to pay for the project.

XI.2 Transit and RVTD Update
Council approved extending the current transit reduced fare agreement with RVTD and continuing the $10,000 low income transit pass program to June 30, 2012. Councilors Chapman and Lemhouse will serve on the transit sub-committee.

XII.1 Second Reading of Ordinance regarding Buildable Lands Inventory
Council approved second reading of An Ordinance Amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to Adopt the Buildable Lands Inventory as Supporting Documentation to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan.

XII.2 Second reading of an ordinance amending the Zoning Map and Ashland Land Use Ordinance to implement the recommendations of the Pedestrian Places Project
Council approved second reading on four ordinances related to the Pedestrian Places Project:
1) Ordinances Amending the Zoning Map and Ashland Land Use Ordinance for the Pedestrian Places Project
2) Ordinance Amending the City of Ashland Municipal Code Creating a New Chapter 18.56 Overlay Zones, Including the Residential Overlay and Airport Overlay
3) Ordinance Amending AMC 18,72,080 Sire Design and Use Standards Implementing the Recommendations of the Pedestrian Places Project
4) Ordinance Amending AMC 18,08.651, 18.12.020, 18.68.050, 18.72.030, 18.72.090, 18.88, 18.88.080, 18.92, 18.108.060 and 18.108.080 of the Ashland Municipal Code and Land Use Ordinance Implementing the Recommendations of the Pedestrian Places Project.

Council also approved Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for Amendments to the City of Ashland Zoning Map and Land Use Ordinance Implementing the Recommendation of the Pedestrian Places Project.

XIII Other Business
Interim City Administrator Larry Patterson reported on the recent attendance of Councilors and staff at the League of Oregon Cities conference held in late September.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One Minute Minutes November 1

October 31, 2011 – Study Session
No meeting was held.

November 1, 2011 - Regular Meeting
Announcements:
1) County Commissioner Don Skundrick thanked the City of Ashland for its participation and commitment to the Regional Problem Solving process.
2) Councilor Slattery introduced the SOU student body president and vice president.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. Applications and matching funds to two Assistance Fire Fighter Grants including one for an aerial ladder truck and for a personal protection equipment and radiation monitoring.
3. The appointment of Councilor Silbiger as the Council Liaison to the Ashland Community Hospital Board.
4. The results of the sale of General Obligation bonds for construction of Fire Station #2.
5. A resolution to adjust budget appropriations for changes in operational expenses, reestablishing a police officer and firefighter positions which were cut in 2008.
6. A Liquor License Application from Kevin Dikes dba Cebolla Bar and Grill at 1951 Ashland Street.

VIII.1. Public hearing and first reading of an ordinance to consider amending the development standards for wireless communication facilities.
Council delayed First Reading of the ordinance and directed staff to prepare language on the procedures to engage a 3rd party for verification and analysis of applications for rooftop wireless communication facilities.

VIII.2. Public hearing and first reading of an ordinance amending the Zoning Map and Ashland Land Use Ordinance to implement the recommendations of the Pedestrian Places Project.
1) Council approved first reading of an ordinance amending the City of Ashland Zoning Map to Add a Pedestrian Places Overlay map proposed by the Planning Commission and move to second reading on November 15.

2) Council approved first reading of an ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code Creating a New Chapter 18.56 Overlay Zones and the Planning Commission recommendation for shadow plan allowance and diagram and move to second reading on November 15.

3) Council approved first reading of an ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code 18.72.080 Site Design and Use Standards Implementing the Recommendation of the Pedestrian Places Project and the Planning Commission recommendation for shadow plans allowance and diagram and move to second reading on November 15.

4) Council approved first reading of an ordinance amending AMC 18,08,651, 18.12.020, 18.68.050, 18.72.030, 18.72.080, 18.72.090, 18.88, 18.88.080, 19.92, 18.108, 060 AND 18.18.080 of the Ashland Municipal Code and Land Use Ordinance Implementing the Recommendation of the Pedestrian Places Project and the Planning Commission recommendation of a shadow plan and design and move to second reading on November 15.

X.1. First Reading of Ordinance Amending Comprehensive Plan to Adopt Buildable Lands Inventory (BLI).
Council approved first reading of an ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive plan to adopt the Buildable Lands Inventory as a supporting document, and move to second reading.

X.2. Resolution replacing annual budget process with biennial approach.
Council approved a Resolution to implement a biennial budget for FY 2012/13.

XI.1. Contract with JBR Environmental Consultants, Inc.
Council approved a contract with JBR Environmental Consultants, Inc, in the amount of $49,080 to conduct additional soil and groundwater sampling, testing and monitoring at the Lithia Springs property.

XI.2. Appointment of Council Liaison to the Mount Ashland Association Board (MAA).
Council appointed Councilor Slattery as the Council Liaison to the MAA Board.

XI.3. First Quarter Financial Report.
Council approved the First Quarter Financial Report

XIII. Other Business from the Council.
Council requested staff develop guidelines on for City –sponsored events and agreed not to reimburse expenses for the Climate Change event.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Minute Minutes October 17 and 18

October 17, Study Session.
Council discussed allocation of ending fund balances and the economic, cultural and sustainability grant program. Both items will return to Council in future regular meetings for deliberation and decision.

October 18, 2011 Regular Meeting
Special Presentations & Awards
1) Partners of AFR updated the Council on their work over the past year. Recognition awards were presented to former Fire Chief Keith Woodley and former USFS District Ranger Linda Duffy for their leadership.
2) Councilor Slattery read a proclamation declaring October 16 – 22, 2011 as National Friends of the Library Week.
3) Mayor Stromberg presented a plaque to outgoing City Administrator Martha Bennett .

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. A Liquor License Application from John Bohn dba Northwest Pizza.
3. A Liquor License Application from Xiao Yu dba Panda Garden
4. A Labor Agreement with the IBEW Electrical Union Local No. 659
5. The appointment of Larry Patterson as Interim City Administrator
6. The first quarterly update on the implementation of the Economic Development Strategy
7. A report from of discount and assistance programs in place to aid customers in paying their utility bills.
8. A telecommunication franchise for Sprint Communications.
9. An extension of the existing contract for legal services with Douglas McGeary.

VIII.1. Public Hearing on Buildable Lands Inventory.
Council heard a presentation on the City’s inventory of vacant and underdeveloped lands. Council will consider first reading of “An Ordinance Amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to Adopt the Buildable Lands Inventory as Supporting Documentation to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan” at their meeting on November 1, 2011.

X.1. Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee.
Council deliberated on the proposals submitted by the committee at the last meeting and staff suggestions and took the following actions:
1) Council approved placement of a portable toilet adjacent to the recycling area in the Calle for a one year trial period.
2) Council voiced support for the concept of a Day Use Center in Ashland.
3) Council approved the placement of four donation boxes in the downtown area and encouraged the committee to work with the Chamber on appropriate signage.
4) Council did not approve the extension of the ad hoc Homelessness Committee beyond March 2012, but they will remain open to the possibility of extending the committee after the next report..

X.2. Biennial Budget.
This item was postponed to a future meeting due to time constraints.

X.3. Clarification of Proposed Agreement with MAA.
Council decided to go back to the amount negotiated with MAA for restoration, which is the amount set by the Forest Service in the SUP plus inflation.

XII.1. Ordinance fixing Quorum Requirements.
Council approved second reading of this ordinance.

XIII. Other Business from the Council. The item was postponed to a future meeting due to time constraints

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One Minute Minutes from October 4 & 5

October 3, Study Session. At SOU in Stevenson Union Arena at 5:30 p.m.
Council met with the RVTD Board. Council and the Board discussed RVTD’s application for CMAQ funds that would allow RVTD to offer either evening or weekend service for three years. They discussed ways to increase support from other regional jurisdictions for this application. The two agencies also discussed options for passes for low income residents and for employees of Ashland-based businesses. The City’s transit subcommittee and RVTD staff will continue to explore options.

October 4, 2011 Regular Meeting

Executive Session.
Council met in Executive Session to discuss labor negotiations, property negotiations, and employment of a public official.

Special Presentations & Awards
Players of three Ashland Little League All-Star teams were introduced to the City Council. The players and their coaches were acknowledged for their accomplishments and good sportsmanship.
Councilor Chapman read a proclamation designating the week of October 9 Fire Prevention Week.
Councilor Slattery read a proclamation designating the week of October 1 Oregon Days of Culture.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Adoption of a Resolution repealing the Resolution which establishes an AFN Advisory Board.
2. A trail easement from the Ashland Christian Fellowship Church.
3. An Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Medford to provide building inspection services.

VIII.1. Public Hearing on Miscellaneous Fees and Charges.
Council approved a Resolution correcting, amending, and deleting section of the Miscellaneous Fees and Charges Document previously approved by Resolution 2011-26.

X.1. Finalizing Agreement with MAA.
Council reviewed the draft agreement with MAA to relinquish the SUP and convey the assets and reviewed the proposed amendments from MAA.

Council made the following changes to the proposed MAA agreement:
1) 4.a The City shall have the right annually to appoint one person to serve as a non-voting liaison to the Board of Directors of the MAA. The City’s appointee will be provided with all information provided to directors, except that any such director will not participate in personnel or legal matters.
2) 4.d The City requires MAA to hold a minimum of $700,000, adjusted for inflation, in either unencumbered assets or in cash that would available to the City should MAA fail. Council specified that this is not intended to be the same as the Restoration Sum that the Forest Service will require as part of the Special Use Permit.
3) 4.e MAA agrees that it will not proceed with any logging, earth movement, or construction activities related to the portion of the expansions identified as Phase 1 until MAA has received a combination of cash contributions, binding financial commitments, and performance bonding necessary to cover the entire cost of Phase 1. The final details of Phase 1 will be defined by permits issued by USF but can be generally described as Ski Run Settlement Sale, a chairlift with new lower intermediate and novice runs, a warming hut , additional parking spaces, the widening of several existing runs, and 23 watershed restoration projects.

In addition, the Council agreed that conveying the permit property would further the public interest and approved the Agreement with the modifications listed above.

X.2. Biennial Budget.
This item was postponed to the next regular meeting due to time constraints.

XI.1. Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee.
Council heard the presentation from the committee and public input on the work of the committee. Due to time constraints, Council deliberation and action on the committee recommendations will occur at the next regular meeting.

XII.1. Ordinance fixing Quorum Requirements.
Council approved first reading of an Ordinance Amending Meeting Quorum Requirements for City Boards and Commissions.

XIII. Other Business from the Council.
Due to time constraints, the report from Council members who attended the League of Oregon Cities Conference was postponed to a future meeting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Minute Minutes September 19 and 20

September 19, 2011
The Council discussed professional recruitment services for a new City Administrator and discussed a two–year budget process.


September 20, 2011Regular Meeting

Special Announcements
Jeff and Sam Allen updated the Council on the Solar4Schools program at Helman School and thanked the Council and the community for support of the project.

Consent Agenda
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
Councilor Silbiger noted there was not a quorum at the Planning Commission meeting of August 23.
2. Three grant applications to fund future Public Works and Parks and Recreation Department projects and programs.
3. An update on Council Goals.
4. The Mayor’s appointment of James Berge to the Forest Lands Commission.
5. The Mayor’s addition of membership to the Public Arts Commission for a student liaison.Councilor Slattery voiced support of student liaisons for all City commissions.
6. A 12 month lease of property at 5 Water Street located at the corner of ‘B’ and Water Streets
7. An agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation to fund the Walker Avenue Safe Routes to School project.
8. An Agreement with Waters Consulting Group, Inc. for professional recruitment services.

VIII.1 Public Hearing to raise electric rates
Council approved the Resolution raising electric rates 4% effective October 20, 2011. Council directed staff to prepare a report of the existing utility assistance programs with information on the funds allocated to the programs, income level requirements to qualify for assistance, the number of households who have benefited from the programs and the number of accounts that were turned off due to lack of payments.

IX Public Forum
Emery Way announced that the group Phronesis is calling for a boycott of Mt. Ashland and their sponsors. He invited individual Councilors to join the effort.

XI.1 Voting delegate for League of Oregon Cities membership meeting
Councilor Silbiger will serve as the voting delegate and Councilor Chapman as the alternate delegate.

XII.1 Report from Councilor Silbiger on Ashland Community Hospital
Councilor Silbiger met with the Executive Committee of the Ashland Community Hospital. They are looking at consultants and are developing a Public Information campaign. Council expressed their preference the hospital seek public input prior to seeking a consultant.

XII.2 Report from Finance Director, Lee Tuneberg on recent electrical outage
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg gave an update on the recent electrical outage that occurred last Thursday as a result of a small animal coming into contact with an exposed conductor at the Mountain Avenue substation. Tuneberg explained various components of the substation are exposed and crews are gradually insulating equipment as time and funds permit. He estimates replacement of the damaged equipment will be approximately $20,000.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Minute Minutes September 5 and 6

September 5, 2011
In observance of the Labor Day Holiday the study session was cancelled.

September 6, 2011Regular Meeting

Mayor’s Announcements
The Mayor and Council observed a moment of silence in honor of Ralph Temple.

Special Announcements
September 7, 2011 was proclaimed as Spay and Neuter Day

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. A Special Procurement to use an alternative contracting approach for asphalt patching services.
3. An Application for a Technical Assistance grant from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development to revise the land use ordinance to implement the Council goal to improve the land use process.
4. A request for a one-time co-sponsorship of the Monster Dash for the sole purpose of hanging a banner across E. Main Street.
5. A connection to the City’s sewer system of an existing commercial building locate at 2925 Highway 66, which is outside the city limits. It was noted that DEQ now oversees septic matters. Council directed staff to prepare a draft ordinance substituting Jackson County with DEQ in paragraph D in AMC 14.08.030.

Public Forum
Aaron Corbett spoke about reopening the investigation of September 11, 2001.
Jim McGinnis invited the Council to a climate change event on Wednesday September 14 at 5:00 p.m. at the Historic Ashland Armory

X.1.Water Conservation and Reuse Study and Comprehensive Water Master Plan Update. Staff presented an update on the Water Master Plan. The Council asked a number of questions about the two major water supply options being discussed by the advisory committee. The draft plan will be presented to Council in November or December with final adoption in early 2012.

X.2.Transit and RVTD Update.
Council approved the transit subcommittee recommendations to end the current $1.00 fare subsidy program on December 31, 2011. Council will meet with RVTD at a later date to discuss future transit options.

XI.1. A Resolution Establishing Criteria for the Refund of Community Development and Engineering Fees in the case of a Natural Disaster or Similar Event
Council voted to take no action on this item. Waiver requests would continue to be brought to the Council on a case by case basis.

XI.2. Clay Street and Chitwood Lane Properties
Council directed staff to negotiate the transfer of the Chitwood land area (0.32 acres) originally designated for affordable housing development of the City of Ashland Parks Comission for parks purposed in exchange for $125,0059 which shall be dedicated to the Housing Trust Fund.

Council directed staff not to take action on the Clay Street property at this time with the intent to re-evaluate the City’s options annually.

XI.3 Quorum Requirements
Council directed staff to prepare a draft ordinance substituting “Unless otherwise ordained, a meeting quorum shall consist of more than one half of the total number of authorized members of the body” for the current first sentence in Section 2.10.040

XII Other Business from Council
Council directed staff to implement an easy method for citizens to email the Council as a group, a method to archive those emails and to modify the existing comment to the council listserve to become a public forum.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Citizen Alert System

The City of Ashland, City of Medford, and Jackson County have partnered in the purchase of a Citizen Alert system which will significantly improve our ability to communicate with the public in an emergency as well as other significant events. Here are some of the highlights:
· The Citizen Alert system will notify citizens when a notification is sent out by Fire, Police, Public Works, or other designated City personnel. This can be done for an emergency or other major event such as a fire, missing person, major transportation issue, etc.

· This notification can be in the form of a call to the citizen’s land line, cell phone, SMS text, email, work phone, etc.

· The Citizen Alert system to be used by City of Ashland, City of Medford, and Jackson County utilizes the same data base.

· All land-lines are already in the data base. This is known as the ESN 911 (Emergency Service Number) information. This is the same data base that allows a 911 dispatcher to know where the call is coming from when you dial 911 from your land-line based home phone.

· There are two features of this system that allow citizens to customize it for their use. By “opting in” you can create a profile that improves how and when you receive notifications.

· When you opt-in you can define how you are notified, i.e. by land line, cell phone, text, email, etc., and prioritize in which order these notifications are made. There are up to 7 choices. You can set the priority of how the system contacts you. For example, you can set text as your #1 choice, email as #2, or whatever you prefer.

· Also when you opt-in you can list up to five locations where you want to receive notifications. This is attractive if you want to know about other locations such as your kid’s school, relative’s homes, place of business, etc. This also allows a relative who lives outside the area to opt-in to receive notifications affecting citizens in the area. For example, the out of state children of an elderly Ashland citizen can be alerted when a notification goes out for their parent.

· These features are only available if you opt-in. If you don’t, the system will only attempt contact on your land line. If you don’t have a land line, no contact will be attempted without you opting in.

The City of Ashland highly encourages all citizens of Ashland and Jackson County to opt-in to the Citizen Alert system. It only takes a minute or two. You can access the opt-in page by going to http://www.ashland.or.us/ and clicking on 'Opt-in to Citizen Alert' on the right side of the homepage. You will be linked to the opt-in page at the Citizen Alert system provider, Everbridge, and can then click on 'Sign Up' for Alerts.

If you have any questions please call Ashland Fire & Rescue at 541-482-2770. We’ll also be hosting a work shop soon that will allow citizens who don’t have computers or who are having difficulty to be assisted in opting-in by members of the department.