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.


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

• 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
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 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.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Minute Minutes August 15 and 16

August 15, 2011 Study Session
Electronic Packets. City Recorder Barbara Christensen discussed the transition from paper packets to electronic packets. Issues related to the PC Notebooks and ipads were discussed.

Electric Rates. Council and staff discussed the current status of the Electric Fund. Council directed the staff to schedule a public hearing to consider a 4% across-the-board increase in Electric Rates for the second meeting in September.

August 16, 2011 Regular Meeting

Consent Agenda. Council approved:
· The minutes of various boards and commissions
· The 3rd year of a contract with the Ashland Police Association.
· A 3 year contract with the Laborer’s union.
· An increase in the contract for construction of the Laurel Street Sidewalk Project
· A resolution authorizing the Finance Director to sell the G.O. Bonds for Fire Station #2.
· A contract with Springbrook software to replace the City’s utility billing software.
· Continued work on a TGM grant from the State of Oregon on a master plan for the Normal Avenue neighborhood
· An engineering contract to conduct work required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for Hosler Dam.
· Discontinuation of Route #15 starting on September 5, 2011.
· A $10,000n increase in a contract for powder coating the downtown light poles.
· A contract with James McNamara to act as project manager for construction of Fire Station #2.
· A contract with Batzer construction to remove and repair 142 feet of the multi-use path near the West Bellevue Phase II subdivision.
· A contract with Pacific Power Products to repair a fire engine.

VIII.1. Agreement on SUP with Mount Ashland Association. Council took public testimony on an agreement that would dissolve the existing lease agreement, replace the lease with new terms, convey the property currently owned by the City to MAA, and require the City to relinquish the Special Use Permit for the Ski Area so that MAA can directly obtain the SUP. The public hearing was not completed on August 16, so it was continued to a Special Meeting of the City Council on August 30, 2011.

XI.1. Regional Problem Solving. Council adopted a new resolution stating the City’s request to have Jackson County address several issues in their adoption of RPS.

XI.2. Report on the 4th Quarter of Fiscal Year 2010-2011. Council accepted the report for the 4th quarter of the previous fiscal year.

XIII. Other Business from the Council. Council did not discuss either item due to lack of time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thoughts on Senator Mark O. Hatfield

I worked for Senator Mark O. Hatfield for a little over a year back in 1993 and 1994. I was on a fellowship created by the Senator to honor another liberal Republican Senator’s family – Senator Jacob Javits from New York – to encourage students of public policy to bring their training to the U.S. Senate. I picked Senator Hatfield’s office because when I interviewed with the Senator and staff it felt immediately like “home.” Senator Hatfield filled his Washington D.C. offices with people from Oregon because he believed you had to know where Vale, Talent, Fossil, Cove, and Powers all are to represent the people of Oregon.

It was not a surprise this morning to learn that he has died. He had been ill for seven or so years, not much seen since he fell down in 2004.

His death is the end of an era. I grew up in a time when people could be “liberal Republicans” and “conservative Democrats,” and Senator Hatfield was definitely part of that era. I didn’t always agree with Mark Hatfield. He came from a very consistent set of political beliefs forged by his strong family, his faith, and his rapid rise in Oregon politics. He was the most “pro-life” person I know. So, he and I might not have agreed on abortion rights, but his views were consistent. He opposed abortion, but he also opposed the death penalty and was a proponent of peace. His Republican Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln and Herbert Hoover, which favored clear thought. His staff – both in Washington D.C. and in Oregon – reflected that same degree of independence. We were all over the political center – no one too radical, but liberals, conservatives, democrats, and republicans. MOH did not demand that we all thought alike.

Senator Hatfield did demand that we use him as an instrument to accomplish the things that we cared about. One day when the Senator hauled all of his legislative staff into the Lincoln conference room. I don’t remember what fired him up, but he was not happy with what he saw as our “reactive” work. He told us in no uncertain terms that he needed us to care deeply about something. He told us that his greatest accomplishments as an elected official came because of a partnership between him, Oregon, and his staff. He challenged us to care deeply enough about making the world, country, or state a better place and to use his elected office as a way to pursue that passion. He told us stories about his work with refugees, and about how that became his work because of the work of a compassionate member of his legislative staff.

That was a crystallizing moment for me. Not at that second, but over the coming weeks and years, I learned that I truly cared about a couple of things. First, I truly care about excellence in government. I do not believe in the idea of “good enough for government work.” Second, I truly care about helping people find and protect community. Whether that community is Ashland – a place with a strong sense of itself – or the landscape of the Columbia River Gorge, I know that working in communities with an exceptionally high quality of life is difficult but worth it. It is Mark Hatfield’s fault that I know my life’s work and that I view my work as a partnership among passionate elected officials, citizens, and staff.

Oregon is literally covered with evidence of Mark Hatfield’s partnerships with people of passion. The Oregon Trail Visitor’s Center in Baker City, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Nation Forensics Lab in Ashland, OHSU, much of Willamette University, Portland State, etc, etc, etc. Likewise, Oregon is filled with the people who Senator Hatfield taught to be excellent and passionate public servants. Many of the staffers and interns who worked for Senator Hatfield are engaged every day in making the world, the country, and Oregon a better place. In this era where campaign committees and strong political parties seem to have not only polarized the political landscape but to have paralyzed it as well, his legacy of people who think for themselves and have passion for their work offers me hope. I will miss Mark Hatfield.

Martha Bennett

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Minute Minutes August 2, 2011

August 2, 2011 Regular Meeting
6:30 p.m. Annual Meeting with Ashland Community Hospital.
The Council met with the Hospital Board Chair Doug Diehl and Chief Executive Officer Mark Marchetti about the Hospital’s performance, their financial condition, and the projects they are currently tackling.

Mayor’s Announcements
Councilor Voisin read a proclamation declaring August 6, 2011 as Hiroshima Day and August 9, 2011 as Nagasaki Day.

Mayor Stromberg welcomed Jackson County Commissioner Don Skundrick to the meeting.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. A Liquor License Application for Ruby’s Neighborhood Restaurant on Pioneer Street
3. A recommendation from the Public Art Commission to implement, The Wishing Tree mural at Helman Elementary School
4. An amendment to the Transportation and Growth Management grant of $40,000 for the RSP update
5. Reconvening the Public Safety Bond Committee to evaluate options for expanding or relocating the Police Station and to evaluate possible funding options for the expansions or relocation. Council approved asking the Mayor to appoint and additional member who served on the Facilities Master Plan Committee to the existing list of Public Safety Bond Committee members.
6. Repealing the resolution which created the AFN Advisory Board.

VIII.1. Pilot Project for Road Diet on North Main.
Council heard testimony from nearly 30 people on the proposed pilot project. Council voted to move forward with the Hersey/Wimer realignment project and once completed, move forward with the North Main pilot road diet. Council directed staff to move as quickly as possible in order to complete the road diet prior to the start of the school year in 2012.

Council approved use of overlay funds for the Hersey/Wimer project and approved the Cooperative Improvement Agreement with ODOT for $115,000 to partially fund the pilot project.

XI.1. Historic District Standards.
Council approved the revisions to Ashland’s Historic District Design Standards with the revision to remove “wood shingles” from Section IV-B-9 and directed staff to prepare the relevant code amendments for implementation into the City’s land use approval process.

XI.2. Comment to the Council listserv.
Councilor Chapman has requested time to discuss the Comment to the Council listserv. This item was postponed to a subsequent meeting due to time constraints.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

North Main Street and the Proposed Road Diet

The traffic issues on North Main include:
• Cars travelling faster than the posted speed limit
• Numerous left turns onto side streets and driveways
• Unfriendly pedestrian environment
• Lack of bicycle lanes
• Limited number of crosswalks
• High crash rate

The physical constraints of North Main include:
• A narrow 4 lane arterial street
• The intersection at Hersey and Wimer Streets (highest crash rate of any intersection in Ashland)
• Neighborhoods and businesses on both sides of the street
• Narrow sidewalks that abut the curb (no buffer between pedestrians and cars)
• Lack of bike lanes

The Transportation Commission is trying to solve the safety issues within the confines of the existing space. Their recommendation is a Road Diet: reduce the number of traffic lanes to three, reduce the number of possible left hand turns and add bike lanes. Three lanes allow a center lane for left hand turns and a single travel lane in each direction. The single travel lane reduces weaving and lane changes which improves vehicle flow and narrows the road which naturally slows motorists’ speed. A bike lane accommodates cyclists and provides a buffer between the sidewalk and the traffic lane.

The most number of vehicle crashes in Ashland occur at the Hersey/Wimer Intersection at North Main. City staff recommends lining up Hersey and Wimer Streets to facilitate left hand turns from North Main onto those streets and from those streets onto North Main. Aligning the intersection and implementing the Road Diet as a pilot program is expected to significantly reduce the safety issues on North Main.

On August 6, the City Council will consider two options: align the Hersey/Wimer intersection and then implement the pilot Road Diet or implement the pilot Road Diet and a year later align the intersection. City Council meetings are broadcast live on channel 9.

To read about the pilot project, see

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One Minute Minutes from July 18 and 19

July 18, 2011 Study Session
Council discussed the Urban Renewal Feasibility Study.

July 19, 2011 Regular Meeting
Special Presentation
John Williams of the Forest Lands Commission and Fire Chief John Karns presented the new Ashland Creek Watershed map. The commission intends to use the map as an educational tool to heighten community awareness of the watershed.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Housing Commission from March 23. 2011
2. The award of two public contracts for janitorial services.
3. An extension of an existing contract for legal services with Douglas McGeary.
4. A lease amendment to the existing Civil Air Patrol (CAP) lease.
5. The award of a public contract to L.N. Curtis & Sons for fire hose and related equipment.
6. The request to use an alternative contracting approach (solicitation process) for fuel purchases.
7. Authorized signature of an IGA with Jackson County for building inspection services.

VIII.1. Resolution updating miscellaneous fees and charges.
Council approved a Resolution Adopting a Miscellaneous Fees and Charges Document and Repealing Prior Fee Resolutions 2001-05, 2007-34, and 2008-29 and the Hourly Service Charge Section of Resolution 1999-29. Councilor Morris asked whether the City should reduce the fees associated with placing overhead electric lines underground to encourage underground lines.

VIII.2. Lease of the Lithia Springs Property (Ashland Gun Club Lease) .
Council approved an Order authorizing the lease of real property to the Ashland Gun Club under the terms of a lease negotiated with the Ashland Gun Club and included in the packet..

XI.1. Economic Development Strategy.
Council adopted the Economic Development Strategy. Council added a requirement for an annual update of the strategy each year and adopted a motion for the staff to report quarterly on progress on the strategy.

XI.2. Effluent Temperature Preferred Option.
Council approved the recommendation to use riparian shading as the preferred option for both the “near field” and “far field” temperature requirements for wastewater effluent.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One Minute Minutes June 28th Special Meeting

Special Presentation & Awards
A Proclamation was read declaring July 15, 2011 as Oregon Child Coalition Day.
The Mayor called for a moment of silence for Ric Sayre.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. An Intergovernmental Agreement with Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon to provide emergency dispatch services to Ashland.
3. “A Resolution Transferring Appropriations Within the 2010-2011 Budget” to remain compliant with Oregon Budget Law
4. The collection agreement between the City of Ashland and the United States Forest Service to provide a watershed patrol during the summer fire season

VI.1 Public Hearing Request for Noise Variance
Council approved a request for a noise variance for the use of amplified sound resulting from OSF performances in Lithia Park.

VII.1. License for Oregon Shakespeare Festival Performances in Lithia Park
Council approved the issuance of the license to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

VII.2. Resolution Allocating FY 2011-12 for Economic Development Program Funds
Council approved the Resolution Allocating Economic Development Program Funds with the provision that that no remaining funds be spent without Council approval.

VII.2. Contracts with Ashland Chamber of Commerce
Council approved the contract with the Chamber of Commerce for Visitor and Convention Bureau services for FY 2011-12 in the amount of $293,160.

Council approved the supplemental contract with the Chamber of Commerce for developing and completing a business retention and expansion survey consistent with the draft Economic Development Strategy in the amount of $25,000. Councilors will forward suggestions about the survey to Martha Bennett who will forward to the Chamber.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

One Minute Minutes for June 6 and 7

June 6, 2011 Study Session
Council heard a report from Jeff Tashman and Nancy Guitteau about the preliminary information about the boundaries, market potential, and revenue potential for Croman, the railroad district, and the downtown as part of the Feasibility Study for urban renewal for these areas. The next part of the report will be presented at the July 18, 2011 study session.

June 7, 2011 Regular Meeting

Executive Session. Council met in an Executive Session to discuss property, labor negotiations, and pending litigation.

Special Presentation/Proclamation
1. Ashland citizens are invited to join with the Ashland Elks and pledge allegiance to the Flag and Nation on Flag Day, June 14 at noon in the Plaza
2. The Ashland High School students traveling to Guanajuato gave a brief presentation.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. Appointment of Mike Morris as Council Liaison to the Firewise Commission
3. A $10,500 contract amendment with KAS & Associates for the Jefferson Ave. project
4. An exemption from the competitive bid process and directly award a contract for graphic design services for Park projects
5. An IGA with the Oregon Department of Aviation for the 2011 pavement maintenance program
6. An exemption from the competitive bid process and directly award a contract to CVO Electrical Systems
7. Appointment of Catherine Gould to the Conservation Commission.

VIII. 1. Public Hearing on adoption of the Budget for FY 2011-2012.
Council approved:
1. A Resolution adopting the annual budget with modifications recommended by staff to address carry over projects and new capital projects.
2. A Resolution declaring the City’s election to receive state revenues
3. A Resolution certifying the City provides sufficient municipal services to qualify for State subventions
4. First reading of an Ordinance levying taxes for the period of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 for a sum of $9,997,229.

Council also directed staff to schedule a brief meeting with members of the Budget Committee prior to the next Council meeting to accept the recommendations of the Social Services and Economic and Cultural Grant sub committees of the full Budget Committee.

VIII. 2. Public Hearing on appeal of a land use approval for 260 First Street.
Council rejected the appeal, finding that the appeal was not appropriately filed, and affirmed the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project.

X.1. Lease on Imperatrice Property.
Council approved the lease with Standing Stone Brewing Company. Council directed staff to look into leasing the remaining Imperatrice property located above the TID canal.

X.2. Adoption of Findings for 163 Hitt Road Appeal.
Council adopted the findings as presented.

XI.1. Resolution implementing GASB 54.
Council approved the Resolution implementing GASB 54.

XIII. Co-sponsorship of SOPride Event.
Council approved the request that the City co-sponsor the SO Pride event this October.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Spring has sprung

It appears that Spring will make an appearance (perhaps brief) this weekend. It certainly should be here: High School graduation takes place in Lithia Park tonight, First Friday Artwalk is tonight, and OSF opens the previews for the shows in the Elizabethan Theater. I thought you might want a quick update on a couple of issues.

Weed Ordinance. The deadline for Ashland residents to trim tall grass and tall weeds is fast approaching (June 15). With all this rain, we will likely have a bumper crop. In case you are asked, the City’s ordinance can be found here. The maximum height for weeds in Ashland is four inches.

Background Documents. In addition to the information that staff posted on this blog last week, I thought you’d be interested in a link to the Facilities Master Plan and to the Public Safety Bond Committee report . There is obviously a lot of citizen energy around this issue, and I’ll be working with Parks & Recreation, Public Works, and Police to involve the public and to help the Council and Parks & Recreation Department work on whatever decision is ultimately made about the Grove.

Legislative Session. As the Oregon Legislature winds up its current session, there is a lot of interesting activity. Check here for the League of Oregon Cities latest bulletin.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Grove

On May 17, the City Council approved a contract for architectural services for remodeling the Grove for eventual use as a police station. That the Council is even considering relocating the Police Department to the Grove has come as a surprise to a few citizens who enjoy attending contra dance events at the Grove.

A bit of history about that space:

Originally built as a teen center with a combination of funds from the local community and CDBG funds, the Grove stopped operating as a teen center in 2004 when attendance dropped off and Community Works determined it could no longer operate the center.

The City reimbursed HUD for the CDBG funds thus freeing the building for other uses. The City Council asked the Parks and Recreation Department to manage the Grove, on a temporary basis, for community classes and programs until the Council determined the best use of that space.

As a result of the Facilities Master Plan study completed in 2008, the City Council determined that Fire Station No. 2 and the Police Station were the two city-owned facilities with the greatest need.

The City Council appointed the 14-citizen member Public Safety Bond Committee to review both facilities and make a recommendation to the City Council. In May of 2010, the Committee recommended the City seek voter approved General Obligation Bonds to finance a new Fire Station No. 2 and the Committee recommended moving the Police Department to the Grove.

In January of 2011, the City Council adopted a goal to “Complete a feasibility and financing plan regarding renovating the Grove for the Ashland Police station and evaluate the use of the existing police station for other City office needs.”

The City Council needs detailed architectural plans to determine the feasibility of relocating the police station to the Grove and to determine realistic costs to do so. If, after reviewing the plans and the associated costs, the Council decides to move forward and relocate the Police Station to the Grove, it could take as long as two years to secure funding and complete construction.

Parks and Recreation has ably managed the Grove for the past seven years and will continue to manage the space until the Council determines otherwise. Someday, people who participate in community run classes and programs may find themselves in another venue, but there will be time for the Parks, the City, and community groups to plan for the transition if it comes.

But for now, detailed plans are the first step needed to make a final decision. It is unlikely the community will see any changes at the Grove for at least two years.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Minute Minutes from May 17

May 16, 2011 Budget Committee Meeting
The Budget Committee met for the “wrap up” session.

May 17, 2011 Regular Meeting

Special Presentations & Awards
The Council heard a presentation from SOU students on their work studying the Wildfire Zone.

Consent Agenda
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. Appointments to the Firewise Commission
3. Authorized the solicitation of formal bids and proposals for three public works projects
4. A proposal and award of a contract for architectural services to Straus & Seibert Architects in an amount not to exceed $94,020 for architectural services related to remodeling of the Grove to serve as a police station.
5. Appointment of the City Attorney
6. Five of eight proposals to be submitted to the ad hoc Homelessness Task Force (three proposals will not be submitted including limited sidewalk use, free camping and portable toilets)
7. A letter from the Conservation Committee to DEQ supporting minimal financial impact in the permitting process of Grey Water Systems
8. The Police Department applying for a grant from the US Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing for one additional officer to engage in community policing activities.

VIII. 1. Public Hearing on a request to terminate a pedestrian easement in the Oaks subdivision. Council approved terminating a portion of a pedestrian access easement on Lot 9 in the Oaks of Ashland subdivision.

VIII. 2. Public Hearing on two requests for supplemental budget for Water Fund.
Council approved a resolution adopting a supplemental budget establishing appropriations for an inter-fund loan within the 2010-11 budget.

VIII. 3. Public Hearing on appeal of a land use approval for 163 Hitt Road.
Council affirmed the decision of the Planning Commission, rejected the appeal and directed staff to prepare findings for adoption.

X.1.Lease on Imperatrice Property.
This item was delayed to a future meeting.

XI.1. Lease of City property for parking for Caldwell Chiropractic.
Council approved a lease to Caldwell Chiropractic for parking of property the City acquired for the eventual realignment of the Hersey/ Wimer/ North Main intersection.

XI.2. Special Events Permitting and Fees.
Council heard a brief presentation on temporary fee structure for special events. Council directed staff to schedule a public hearing on the proposed temporary fees and to move forward to develop a new Special Events Permit ordinance.

Friday, May 6, 2011

One Minute Minutes from May 3

Mayor’s Announcement
The Mayor acknowledged the passing of Don Makin and his many contributions to the community.

Special Presentations
The Ragland Award was presented in memoriam to Steve Hauck.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. A four month extension to the RVTD/City of Ashland Reduced Fare Program Agreement
3. The Quarterly Financial Report At the request of Councilor Slattery, future Quarterly Financial Reports will be placed on the discussion portion of the agenda.
4. A Liquor License Application from Peter Bolton dba “The Playwright” at 258 A Street, #3
5. The Ambulance Operator’s License renewal for Ashland Fire and Rescue
6. A Quick Response Project grant application for the Transportation and Growth Management Program to fund preparation of a redevelopment plan for the area southwest of the intersection of Ashland Street and Tolman Creek Road
7. A request from the Parks Department to submit a grant application to Oregon State Parks for a playgrounds equipment upgrade in Lithia Park in 2011 and a two-year approval to allow Parks staff to apply for a 2012 grant if 2011 grant funds are not secured.

This item was deferred to the next meeting
8. A proposal and award of a contract for architectural services to Straus & Seibert Architects in an amount not to exceed $94,020 for architectural services related to remodeling of the Grove to serve as a police station.

VIII. 1. Public Hearing on two requests for fee waivers for Oak Knoll homeowners.
Council approved waiving the land use application fee for a variance for fence height to allow homeowners to build an 8-foot tall fence.

Council approved waiving the Community Development and Engineering Fees for Oak Knoll homeowners actively rebuilding their properties.

VIII. 2. Public Hearing on two requests for supplemental budget for Water Fund.
This item was deferred to the next regular Council meeting.

VIII. 3. Public Hearing – REOPENING – 85 Winburn Way.
Council re-opened the public hearing to allow testimony related to the issue of a parking in-lieu fee and allowed uses. This item was continued to a special meeting at 4:00 on Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Council made an oral decision to approve the application and development agreement as recommended by the Planning Commission, with the following changes:
• No residential uses allowed
• No medical office uses allowed
• Imposing a $250,000 in lieu of fee for downtown parking development
• Affirming inclusion of the ice rink property
• Affirming the proposed timeline for construction.
The development agreement, ordinance, and findings will return at a future meeting.

XII.1. Ordinance annexing the Caldera Property and Removing it from Fire District #5.
Council approved second reading of the ordinance.

XIII. Resolution Supporting Senior Tax Deferral Program
On May 4, Council authorized the Mayor to send a letter of support for continuation of the Senior Tax Deferral program.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Start of FY12 Budget Process

The first meeting of the Citizen’s Budget Committee was Monday night. The Citizen Budget Committee is made up of the six elected Councilors, the Mayor, and seven citizen volunteers, and they will spend about 30 hours this Spring making sure the City’s budget meets the needs of the community.

The City Administrator and Administrative Services/ Finance Director presented a balanced budget of just over $94 million. Overall, the budget would fund City programs and activities at about the same level as last year. The City’s General Fund and Parks & Recreation Fund, which fund Police, Fire, Planning, Municipal Court, and Parks & Recreation are actually in better shape, financially speaking, than they have been since the Great Recession started in the Fall of 2008.

The proposed budget would reduce the property taxes used for operations by 1.6 cents per thousand. If the voters approve a General Obligation Bond levy to replace Fire Station 2 on May 17, the total tax rate in the next fiscal year will go up by about 10 cents per thousand from the current fiscal year.

Despite the relative health of the tax-supported funds, both the water and the wastewater utility funds are struggling financially. The proposed budget includes potential rate increases of 6% for electric rates, 5% for water rates, and 4% for sewer rates. The electric rates would go up in the Fall, and the water and sewer changes wouldn’t happen until May 2012. The Budget Committee will discuss water and sewer in more detail when the Public Works Department presents their budgets on May 4, 2011.

The proposed budget is about $4 million more than the previous year, for three main reasons – an increase in Oregon Public Employee Retirement System rates, a projected electric wholesale power rate increase from Bonneville Power Administration, and the federally funded Ashland Forest Resiliency Project. City union contracts, the possible construction of a replacement Fire Station on Ashland Street, and general inflation also have caused budgets to rise.

Each of the City Departments will present their portion of the budget to the committee in several meetings in the next few weeks. A schedule of these meetings can be found HERE. The meetings are open to the public and televised live on channel 9, Rogue Valley Public Television.

We’ll blog about this process in the coming weeks and we hope interested citizens will send their comments to

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 19 One Minute Minutes

April 19, 2011 Regular Meeting

Mayor’s Announcements
SOU President Cullinan addressed the City Council asking for support of SB 242, changing the Oregon University System status from a state agency to a statewide public university system. This would mean that tuition paid to the universities would stay with the universities as opposed to being “swept” into the State’s General Fund. Council added a letter of support to the consent agenda.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Annual appointments to the various Commissions and Committees
2. A Resolution to adjust budget appropriations for changes in the wastewater fund
3. A letter of support for SB 242.

Public Forum
Brandon Ducherme expressed concern that the Council only tbled exclusionary zones not eliminated it from being considered at any times..

Keith Haxton spoke of his ideas for installing solar panels on private property with the cost panels being offset by the amount of electricity that they generate.

VIII. 1. Business License Fees.
• Council approved second reading of “An Ordinance Relating to Setting Business License Fees by Resolution”
• Council approved the Resolution establishing Business License Fees at the same level as is currently set by ordinance.

X. 1. Water and Sewer for Siskiyou Welcome Center and ODOT Rest Area.
Council approved ODOT’s application to extend water and wastewater services outside of the UGB contingent on the following:
• The actual construction of the proposed Welcome Center, not a stand alone rest area.
• Limiting the use of City drinking water to interior domestic uses only. City water may not be used for irrigation.
• Adequate funding for maintenance and staffing of the Welcome Center at least when the Center opens. City staff will investigate whether the City can discontinue water and sewer if the Welcome Center is ever closed.
• Providing space for the Oregon State Police office on site

The Council also included a provision that the approval for urban services expires if the Welcome Center and Rest Area are not constructed within four years. The IGA (Intergovernmental Agreement) between the City and ODOT will include these items and is subject to Council final approval.

XI.1. 2011 Citizen Satisfaction Survey.
Council reviewed the results of the Citizen Satisfaction Survey

XII.2. Ordinance annexing the Caldera Property and removing it from Fire District #5.
Council approved first reading of “An Ordinance Annexing Property and Withdrawing an Annexed Area from Jackson County Fire District No. 5.”

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 4 and 5 One Minute Minutes

Here is the summary of Monday and Tuesday night’s meetings.

April 4, 2011 Study Session

Council Goal Work Plan. Council reviewed the draft work plan. They expressed concern about not having a study session on the economic development strategy until June 20, and they requested staff come back to Council in fall 2011, to discuss the strategies and actions the City could implement to avoid purchasing Tier 2 power from Bonneville Power Administration.

Clarification of three Council Goals. Council agreed their intent was to create a City Sustainability Plan and assign the task to the Conservation Commission. Conservation Commission can invite the participation of members of other City advisory groups as needed. Councilors will send an email to staff indicating which of the Commission they will meet with to review possible changes to the powers, duties and membership. Council clarified that they want to create a recognition program for people who volunteer for the City of Ashland.

Plaza Improvements. Councilors Chapman and Morris discussed their idea for low-cost and easy-to-implement improvements for the Plaza. Council requested all plans and recommendations be presented to the Council for final approval.

April 5, 2011 Regular Meeting

Executive Session. Council discussed threatened litigation and employment of a public official.

Special Presentations. Oregon Department of Forestry staff presented the City with its 26 annual Tree City USA recognition.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. Appointment of Sandra Friend to the Public Art Commission
3. The City’s Risk Management Report
4. The City’s purchasing practices or participation in the national coalition promoting changes in factory working conditions
5. The City Administrator or her delegate to sign the Residential Exchange Program Settlement agreement with Bonneville Power Authority
6. An order amending the 1994 Ashland Gun Club Lease to extend the lease by four months and move discussion of the new lease to July 2011
7. An Intergovernmental Agreement to join the regional Emergency Notification System managed by Jackson County, Oregon.

VIII.1. Public Hearing to allocate Community Development Block Grant funds.
Council approved allocating $30,000 to St. Vincent DePaul to continue their rental/payment utilities assistance program and $163,142 to ACCESS to purchase the affordable housing lots on the Buds Dairy property.

VIII.2. Public Hearing on appeal of a decision to terminate utility service.
Council voted to uphold the staff decision to discontinue City Utility Services to Lisa Grant until the account has been paid in full.

X.1. Caldera Annexation.
Council adopted the findings for the approval of annexation of the properties at 590 Clover Lane that will be used for the expansion of Caldera.

X.2. 85 Winburn Way.
This agenda item is continued to May 3.

X.3 and .4 Homelessness Next Steps.
• Council approved a revised Council goal and a purpose statement for the ad hoc Homelessness Steering Committee.
• Council adopted the resolution creating an ad hoc Homelessness Steering Committee with the inclusion of two Council liaisons. Council also modified the resolution to require the Committee report to the Council quarterly.
• Council approved the appointment of nine citizens to the Committee and the appointment of Councilor Slattery and Voisin as liaisons to the committee.
• Council voted to assign the short-term strategies to the Homelessness Steering Committee except Exclusionary Areas.
• Council voted to table discussion of Exclusionary Zones.

XII.1. Ordinance moving business license fees out of the City Code.
Council approved first reading of the business license ordinance.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Few Updates

There are variety of small things that I thought you might want to know about.

Laurel Street Sidewalk Project. Construction of the sidewalks on the east side of Laurel Street has begun. This is a project funded with federal transportation dollars and is an essential safe route to Helman School.

Downtown Light Poles. Beginning in the next 10 days or so, the City will be repainting the poles of the tall cobra-head street lights in the downtown (the ugly brown ones). We will actually be taking each of the poles down so that each pole can be powder coated and will be reinstalling the poles with new, black lamps. We will first remove the poles in the block of east main between second and third. The freshly painted poles will be installed elsewhere in the downtown, and this will go on until all fifty lights are repainted. No one in the City can remember when the entire pole was last painted, so we are shockingly excited about this project.

Hearing on Transient Occupancy Tax Bill. Last Wednesday, Councilor Chapman testified on behalf of the City, by phone, in front of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee, seeking some minor flexibility in use of transient occupancy tax for services that are used to promote tourism. The City has advocated for this expansion in the last three legislative sessions, but the lodging industry is strongly opposed to any changes to this law. I do not expect it to pass this session.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

TSP Open House

Do you have ideas to make getting around town as a pedestrian easier?
What do you think about narrowing North Main Street to make room for bike lanes?
Do we need additional railroad crossings in the Railroad District?
What is a “Green” Street? A “roundabout”?

The City of Ashland invites you to share your vision for increasing alternative travel options and a creating a smarter, more efficient transportation system that will serve Ashland now through 2034. A key objective of the City's Transportation System Plan (TSP) is to further realize the goal of being a more “green” community while improving our quality of life and supporting economic prosperity. We will be holding an open house tomorrow, Wednesday, March 9th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Ashland Middle School, 100 Walker Avenue.

The TSP is a joint effort between Ashland citizens, the Transportation Commission and Planning Commission and in coordination with the Rogue Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (RVMPO), Rogue Valley Transit District (RVTD) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Since the last TSP update in 1998, there has been a pressing desire to expand and implement a variety of transportation system treatments focused on minimizing new infrastructure, supporting alternative transportation modes, reducing our carbon footprint, and creating a more green-friendly system. The proposed TSP update is the catalyst to bridge the current community values with the regional transportation system thus resulting in smarter, more efficient land use planning, innovative in-fill development, the creation of multimodal supported activity centers, and diversity in transportation options for system users. More efficient planning in this TSP update will lead to better system management and operations, a reduced number of auto trips, an increase in biking and walking trips, and reduced congestion on Highways 99, 66, and Interstate 5.

For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at 541-488-5587 or attend the open house on March 9th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Ashland Middle School, 100 Walker Avenue.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

CERT Graduates 500th Basic Trainee

Ashland CERT completed its winter basic training course on February 24 with a disaster simulation exercise despite heavy snow from the recent winter storm.

This graduating class is significant because not only is it the largest class, with twenty-six graduates, since CERT was founded in 1999, it also represents the 500th citizen trained to be prepared when disaster strikes.

A recent partnership with Southern Oregon University has bolstered the number of people participating in CERT’s basic training and the program is on track to add over fifty new members this fiscal year.

Participants in CERT basic training learn to help themselves, their families, and community members immediately following a disaster when emergency services are typically overwhelmed and unable to help.

Through training ranging from disaster kits to search and rescue, graduates are able assemble a team to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people following a disaster.

The class will be offered again in April.

More information about CERT can be found at or by contacting Richard Randleman, the CERT Program Coordinator at 541-552-2226 or

Friday, January 14, 2011

Council Goal Setting 2011

This weekend, the Ashland City Council will meet to set goals for 2011 and 2012. The City Council goals are the backbone of much of the work that the City does. In the first place, the goals convey to the citizens and departments the Council’s sense of the work that the City needs to do ensure that Ashland remains a healthy and vibrant community. Secondly, the goals define the major projects that the City will work on. This translates into the budget, into staff work plans, and into the public meetings that the City has in the coming two years. Third and maybe most importantly, the Council goals bring the seven people who are elected together to define a shared agenda. I can tell you from past experience that not every Councilor supports every single goal. However, all Councilors support the need for a collective agenda to ensure that their time, the community’s time, the limited taxes, fees, and charges, and the City’s staff are working towards a set of clear priorities.

Goal setting is usually one of the least “exciting” of the Council’s meetings. Although many of the goals are related to issues that are controversial , Councilors can usually agree that the City needs to work on them. So, although there is often a disagreement once a project or policy is being debated by the Council, there is usually a strong consensus that a given project – whether transportation planning or fiscal stability – needs to be debated. The best thing about goal setting is that it takes place outside of the “regular” work of the Council, so Councilors are able to reflect on how the work they will do in the next two years relates to the “big” picture of their vision for Ashland.

Like most meetings of the Council, goal setting is open to the public. This year, the Council will meet on January 15, 2011 on the meeting room on the 1st floor of the Plaza Inn and Suites, which is at the corner of Helman and Central in downtown Ashland. We’ll report next week on the results, and Council will finalize and formally adopt these goals soon so their work plan guides the upcoming budget process.

All the best,