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.