Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, September 19, 2013

                         
                                                  MEDFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING
 
                                                               September 19, 2013
                                                                             
 
The meeting was called to order at 12:15 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall, 411 W. 8th Street, Medford with the following members and staff present.
 
Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Karen Blair, Eli Matthews, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Bob Strosser and John Michaels.
 
Mayor Wheeler was absent.
 
City Manager Eric Swanson; Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke; City Attorney John Huttl; City Recorder Glenda Wilson.
 
Introduction of the Alba, Italy Exchange Students
Kim Wisnovsky, Alba Sister City Program, addressed the Council and provided information regarding the visiting students and activities they have participated in since their arrival in Medford.  The students and chaperones from Italy introduced themselves and were presented gifts from the City.
 
Employee Recognition
Employees from the Finance, Fire, Human Resources and Public Works Departments were recognized for their years of service.
 
New Employees
Chris Reising, Parks Building/Utility Tech III; Andrea Torrey, Recreation Supervisor; Monica Godlewski, Police Records Specialist; and Benjamin Pryor, Public Works Laborer were introduced.
 
20.     Approval or correction of the minutes of the September 5, 2013 regular meeting
         There being no corrections or amendments the minutes were approved as presented.
 
30.     Oral requests and communications from the audience
30.1   Landmarks & Historic Preservation Awards
Cathy deWolfe, Chair of the Landmarks & Historic Preservation Commission addressed the Council regarding the awards program.  Council President Dick Gordon presented the awards to the recipients.
 
30.2   John Huttl, 1500 Angelcrest, Medford, representing Bear Creek Watershed Education addressed the Council and presented an invitation to attend the Bear Creek Greenway Cleanup event on Saturday, September 28.
 
30.3   Bill Dames, 243 S. Holly, Medford, addressed the Council regarding the proposal for the downtown housing project “Skypark”.  He requested that the Council consider the impacts for the parking needs in downtown.  He expressed concern that the contract considering “air rights” be clearly reviewed.
 
40.     Consent calendar
         None
 
50.     Items removed from consent calendar
 
60.     Ordinances and resolutions
60.1   COUNCIL BILL 2013-132  An ordinance amending Sections 2.040 and 2.050 of the Medford Code pertaining City Council agendas and order of business.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance amending the Medford Code pertaining to City Council agendas and order of business.
Moved by:  Karen Blair                 Seconded by:  Eli Matthews
 
Councilmember Matthews spoke to the volunteer Council positions and emphasized the importance of all Councilmembers being present at meetings to vote.
 
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Karen Blair, Eli Matthews, Dick Gordon, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, John Michaels and Bob Strosser voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-132 was duly adopted.
 
60.2   COUNCIL BILL 2013-133  An ordinance amending Sections 2.428, 2.438, 2,439, 2.447, 2.457, and 2.462 of the Medford Code pertaining to City boards and commissions.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance amending the Medford Code pertaining to City boards and commissions.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn               Seconded by:  Karen Blair
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Karen Blair, Dick Gordon, John Michaels, Bob Strosser, Eli Matthews and Bob Strosser voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-133 was duly adopted.
 
60.3   COUNCIL BILL 2013-134  An ordinance awarding a contract in the amount of $118,450 to Vitus Construction, Inc., for improvements associated with development of Liberty Park.
        
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance awarding a contract in the amount of $118,450 to Vitus Construction, Inc. for improvements associated with development of Liberty Park.
Moved by:  Chris Corcoran                       Seconded by:  John Michaels
 
Councilmembers spoke to the length of time it has taken to bring this forward and appreciation that this project is moving forward.  Mr. Swanson noted that the groundbreaking for the Park is Monday, September 23rd.
        
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Chris Corcoran, John Michaels, Dick Gordon, Karen Blair, Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn and Eli Matthews voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-134 was duly adopted.
 
70.     City Manager and other staff reports
70.1   Liberty Park Groundbreaking
Mr. Swanson noted that the groundbreaking is scheduled for Monday, September 23rd.
 
70.2   Mr. Swanson addressed the Council regarding the Christmas decorations for City Hall.  A memo detailing the costs to purchase new decorations or to refurbish the existing decorations had been distributed to the Council.
 
Motion:  Direct staff to move forward with refurbishing existing decorations in the amount of $6,800 to be funded from the Mayor and City Council budget.
Moved by:  Chris Corcoran                       Seconded by:  John Michaels
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Chris Corcoran, John Michaels, Dick Gordon, Karen Blair, Eli Matthews, Daniel Bunn and Bob Strosser voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.
 
70.3   Mr. Swanson addressed the Council regarding modification to the regular scheduled meetings for the Medford Urban Renewal Agency meetings to be rescheduled to the third Thursdays each month at 6:00 p.m.
 
70.4   Mr. Swanson updated the Council on the work completed to date to move forward with the recommendation for the public safety facility funding.  It is anticipated this will be before Council on October 3rd.  Ms. Chan addressed the Council regarding the proposed code amendments that would be brought forward.  Mr. Swanson spoke to the need for Council representation as this topic comes forward with the Chamber legislative committee and other entities.
 
Councilmember Bunn noted he would like to see the consultants work papers regarding the options and staff noted those have been requested and will be forwarded to the Council.  Councilmember Blair expressed concern regarding the lack of presentation or information on Option one and the lack of public input. She noted she would like to see this go to a vote of the citizens.  Councilmember Corcoran noted he felt this discussion should be done during a public hearing.  He requested information regarding Chief George’s meeting with the Chamber Legislative Committee and Chief George noted he did not meet with the committee but di give a presentation several months ago.  Mr. Swanson reviewed the timing of the process and that this item will be in a public hearing in November.
 
80.     Propositions and remarks from the Mayor and Councilmembers
80.1   Proclamations issued:
               None
 
80.2   Further Council committee reports.
a.   Council President Gordon appointed Councilmember Bunn as the Chamber Transportation Action Team liaison.
 
b.   Councilmember Strosser reported on the Water Commission meeting.  He noted that the Five Cities group has presented information regarding the forming of a water cooperative and a copy of the information will be sent to the Council.
 
c.   Councilmember Bunn reported on the Oregon Transportation Committee meeting and that Mr. Densmore spoke on behalf of the City of Medford. 
 
d.   Councilmember Matthews reported on the General Fund Grants Committee meeting and that they are working through the applications.
 
80.3   Further remarks from Mayor and Councilmembers.

a.  Councilmember Strosser reported on a meeting at the Rogue Valley Manor regarding the U.S. Cellular Community Park additional field lighting.  The meeting was very positive and the residents were supportive of the improvements. 

b.  Councilmember Matthews noted he would be out of town on October 3rd and November 7th Council meetings and would like to have the fee increase public hearings held when he would be able to attend. 

90.     Adjournment to the evening session
         Meeting adjourned at 1:57 p.m.
 
 
*****************************************************************************
 
EVENING SESSION
 
The evening session was called to order at 7:07 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall, 411 W. 8th Street, Medford with the following members and staff present.
 
Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Chris Corcoran, Karen Blair, Bob Strosser, John Michaels, Daniel Bunn and Eli Matthews.
 
Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke; City Attorney John Huttl; City Recorder Glenda Wilson.
 
110.   Oral requests and communications from the audience
 
120.   Public hearings
120.1    COUNCIL BILL 2013-135  A resolution adopting the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) pertaining to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the 2012-13 program year.
 
Jennifer Sparacino, Executive Support Specialist addressed the Council and provided a staff report. She reviewed the goals and strategies in the plan and actions taken by the City to address these strategies. 
 
Public hearing opened.
         None
Public hearing closed.
 
Motion:  Adopt the resolution adopting the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) pertaining to the Community Development Block Grant funds for the 2012-13 Program Year.
Moved by:  Bob Strosser             Seconded by:  John Michaels
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Bob Strosser, John Michaels, Eli Matthews, Daniel Bunn, Karen Blair, Chris Corcoran and Dick Gordon voting yes.
Resolution 2013-135 was duly adopted.
 
120.2    COUNCIL BILL 2013-136 An ordinance approving a minor amendment to the General Land Use Plan Map of the Medford Comprehensive Plan, by changing the land use designation from Urban Residential (UR) and Urban High Density Residential (UH) to Commercial (CM) for a 1.17 acre parcel located at the northwest corner of West Main Street and Quince Street. (CP-13-050) (Land Use, Quasi-Judicial)
 
City Attorney John Huttl read a statement regarding the rules governing quasi-judicial hearings.
 
Jim Huber, Planning Director provided a staff report. He gave an overview of the amendment criteria and background for the request for the minor amendment.  He noted the Planning Commission is recommending approval of this amendment.  The proposal is appropriate for the amendment, poses limited or no environmental, economic, energy or social consequences and has little impact on the zone type needs in the City.  Staff notes that the proposal meets goals and criteria for approval.
 
Councilmember Michaels questioned the intended use of the property and Mr. Huber noted that this was questioned during the Planning Commission meeting and the applicant was uncertain at that time.
 
Public hearing opened.

1.  Jay Harland, CSA Planning addressed the Council as representative of the applicant.  In support of the staff report and requested Council approval.

Councilmember Blair questioned if the applicant was planning to use this for a parking  lot.  She expressed concern regarding the use of the property and how that use may affect the abutting residential neighborhood.  Mr. Harland noted that the initial idea was for a parking lot which was not allowed in the existing designation.

2.  Mary Ann Terrill, 422 Helman St., Ashland, OR who owns property in the vicinity address the Council and expressed concern regarding finding out how the property is going to be developed.  She is concerned with what type of commercial that may go in and be a determent to the neighborhood.
 
3.  Jay Harland, under rebuttal, addressed the Council and noted that the development of the property will be processed under normal procedures and appropriateness of use will be addressed in that process.Public hearing closed.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance authorizing a minor amendment to the General Land Use Plan map to change the land use designation from Urban Residential to Commercial for a 1.17 acre parcel located at the northwest corner of West Main and Quince Street.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn               Seconded by:  Chris Corcoran
 
Councilmember Blair spoke to her concerns regarding what will be developed in the parcel and how that will affect the surrounding neighborhood.  Councilmember Corcoran also expressed concern regarding the use of taxpayer funds to purchase and change the designation of the property without a clear indication of the intended use.
 
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Bob Strosser, John Michaels, Eli Matthews and Dick Gordon voting yes.  Councilmember Karen Blair voted no.
Ordinance 2013-136 was duly adopted.
 
120.3    COUNCIL BILL 2013-137  An ordinance amending Sections 8.751, 8.752, and 8.755 of the Medford Code pertaining to the car rental tax.
 
Brian Sjothun, Parks & Recreation Director addressed the Council and provided a staff report covering Agenda Items 120.3, 120.4 and 130.1.  He noted that these three items address the Budget Committee and Council direction to move forward with development of the final phase of the U.S. Cellular Community Park. He noted that 95% of the use of the facility is from local resident and the remaining 5% from tournament play.  He noted that completion of the final phase will also allow for the recruitment of larger tournaments which have demonstrated a positive economic impact for the community.  Estimated cost for the final phase is $6,155,000 with annual debt service of $483,500.  He reviewed the funding options presented during the Budget Committee meetings.  Option C was the option recommended by the Parks & Recreation Commission and the Budget Committee.  Option C would be an increase to the car rental tax and an increase to the park utility fee.
 
Brad Hicks, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce addressed the Council and reported on the presentation by Mr. Sjothun to the Board of the Chamber.  He spoke about Sports Tourism and the growth of this industry in the Rogue Valley.  The Chamber Board moved to support the completion Phase 4 with a car rental tax that excluded trucks, auto dealers, and repair shop rentals.
 
Councilmember Matthews questioned how many tournaments has the City lost out on due to the limit of the playing fields.  Mr. Sjothun stated he did not know about missed opportunities for tournaments but he did not that there have been many tournaments and league play that is limited and teams have been turned away.  Councilmember Matthews questioned what the financial impact would be if the Chamber of Commerce recommendation to eliminate the tax on trucks, auto dealers and repair shop rentals.  Mr. Sjothun did not have the information broken out to be able to determine. 
 
Mr. Sjothun spoke to the outreach efforts to inform members of the car rental industry, the Chamber and the residents of the Rogue Valley Manor.
 
Mr. Sjothun reviewed the impact to the U-Haul and Budget Truck rental rates based on internet local rental rates.  He provided the estimated impact on the cost for car rentals and a comparison with other communities in the state. 
 
He reviewed options for imposition of the car rental tax; Option 1 would increase car rental tax at the airport only to 6% which would necessitate the Park Utility Fee to be $.92 per month; and Option 2 would increase the car rental tax to 6% city-wide which would necessitate the Park Utility Fee to be $.68 per month.  He noted that the Budget Committee recommendation was to expand the car rental tax city-wide.
 
Public hearing opened.
 
Councilmember Gordon noted that individuals providing testimony should clarify which agenda item they are providing testimony.
 
1.  Rich Hansen, Chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission, and Committee members Cheryl Breeden and Jerry McLeod, addressed the Council regarding the proposed car rental tax and increase to the Parks Utility Fee.  He noted the commission is strongly in support of the completion of the park and they support the expansion and increase to the car rental tax to soften the impact to the parks utility fee on the residents of Medford. 
 
2.  Eric Wood, Enterprise Rent a car, addressed the Council in opposition of the car rental tax increase.  He stated that this tax should not be passed to the home city locations which are largely used by local citizens when a car is broken down or in the repair shop.  He noted the Multnomah fee does not cover replacement vehicles.  They are in support of the 1% increase at the airport.  They would like to see a change in Section 3 (3) to delete “by an auto dealership”. 

3.  Joe Brett, representing the Medford Parks & Recreation Foundation Board, addressed the Council in support of the proposal to fund the remaining phase at U.S. Cellular Community Park.  He spoke to the benefit to the local youth and adults in the community with these additional fields. 
Councilmember Gordon questioned the need to complete the additional parking and activity pavilion.  Mr. Sjothun noted that these items are planned to be completed within future budgets on a pay as you go basis.  Councilmember Corcoran spoke to the issues with adequate parking at the facility when large events are being held.  Mr. Sjothun noted that staff is working with the Harry & David field representatives to assist in completion of the parking.
Public hearing closed.
 
Councilmembers discussed what the tax level would need to be at the airport to mitigate raising the Parks Utility Fee.
 
Councilmember Matthews reported exparte communication with community members and that he is an employee of the Chamber of Commerce but this would not affect his ability to participate.
 
Motion:  Continue Agenda Item 120.3 to October 3, 2013 Council meeting and re-open the public hearing.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn               Seconded by:  Chris Corcoran
 
Councilmember Bunn noted that additional time is needed for staff to provide information regarding the financial impacts of the proposed exclusions as supported by the Chamber of Commerce. 
 
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Eli Matthews and Bob Strosser voting yes.  Councilmembers Karen Blair and John Michaels voted no.
Motion carried and so ordered.
 
120.4    COUNCIL BILL 2013-138  An ordinance amending Section 4.1011 of the Medford Code pertaining to the park utility fee.
 
Motion:  Continue Agenda Item 120.4 to October 3, 2013 Council meeting and re-open the public hearing.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn               Seconded by:  Bob Strosser
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Bob Strosser, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon and Eli Matthews voting yes.  Councilmembers John Michaels and Karen Blair voted no.
 Motion carried and so ordered.
 
130.   Ordinances and resolutions
130.1    COUNCIL BILL 2013-139  A resolution of the City of Medford, Oregon declaring intent to reimburse expenditures from the proceeds of revenue bonds or other debt; and related matters.
 
Motion:  Adopt the resolution declaring intent to reimburse expenditures from the proceeds of revenue bonds or other debt; and related matters.
Moved by:  Chris Corcoran                       Seconded by:  Eli Matthews
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Chris Corcoran, Eli Matthews, Bob Strosser, Dick Gordon, Daniel Bunn and John Michaels voting yes. Councilmember Karen Blair voted no.
Resolution 2013-139 was duly adopted.
 
Councilmembers discussed the information that they would like staff to bring back at the next meeting regarding the Parks Utility Fee and car rental tax. 
 
Motion:  Direct staff to provide information regarding the breakdown of potential revenue by modifications discussed during the public hearing including recommendation of the Chamber Board to exclude trucks, auto dealers and repair shops; and to keep the Parks Utility Fee at $.68.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn               Seconded by:  John Michaels
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, John Michaels, Bob Strosser, Chris Corcoran, Eli Matthews, Dick Gordon and Karen Blair voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.
        
Councilmember Corcoran noted he would also like information to address the parking issue at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
        
140.   Further reports from the City Manager and staff
140.1    Mr. Hoke noted that Dr. Althea Rizzo from Oregon Emergency Management will be presenting on Earthquake Preparedness on Friday, September 20 in Council Chambers.  He noted that the presentation will be video streamed and recorded.
 
140.2    Mr. Hoke noted that on Monday, October 23 at 6:00 p.m. are the City Council Ward 1 interviews in the West Conference room at City Hall.
 
140.3    Mr. Hoke noted that there will be no City Council meeting next week due to the League of Oregon Cities conference.
 
150.   Propositions and remarks from the Mayor and Councilmembers
150.1    Further Council committee reports.
 a.   Councilmember Blair noted that the unveiling of the new murals at the Santo Community Center will be on Friday, September 20 at 5:30 p.m.
 
150.2    Further remarks from Mayor and Councilmembers.
                    
160.   Adjournment
There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.
 
The proceedings of the City Council meeting were recorded and are filed in the City Recorder's office. The complete agenda of this meeting is filed in the City Recorder's office.
 
 
 
Glenda Wilson
City Recorder
 

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