Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, November 21, 2013

                                                  
                                                  MEDFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING
 
                                                                November 21, 2013
 
The meeting was called to order at noon in Council Chambers, City Hall, 411 W. 8th Street, Medford with the following members and staff present.
 
Mayor Gary Wheeler;  Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Karen Blair, Daniel Bunn, Bob Strosser, John Michaels (*left as noted), Eli Matthews, Tim Jackle and Chris Corcoran (*left as noted).
 
City Manager Eric Swanson; Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke; Deputy City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Glenda Wilson.
 
Employee Recognition
Employees from the City Manager’s Office, Finance, Fire, Police and Public Works Departments were recognized for their years of service.
 
New Employees
Daniel Jones, Laborer and Andrew Hislop, Engineering Technician II in the Public Works Department were introduced.
 
Retirees
Lance Gray, Firefighter was recognized for his years of service to the City.
 
20.     Approval or correction of the minutes of the November 7, 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   Charter Communications
Mr. Swanson introduced Marian Jackson, Director of Government Relations and noted that the negotiations of the franchise agreement are moving forward.  Ms. Jackson addressed the Council and introduced members of the local office.  She noted that Charter had received a list of customer complaints from the City and they have addressed those complaints and concerns.  She provided background on Charter services and service areas.  She spoke to changes in the organizational management that have occurred over the last several years. 
 
Steven Gerber, Senior Manager of Customer Affairs addressed the Council and provided an overview of Charter’s role in Oregon.  He noted they have 300 employees in the State and a majority of those employees are in the Medford area.  He spoke to infrastructure improvements made in the State and how those will improve the services and products they provide.  He noted that programming costs are anticipated to continue to increase and they do not have an ability to address or negotiate those costs.
 
Karen Grosulak, Retail Representative for Oregon and Amanda Gregory, Charter Store Supervisor, addressed the Council and provided information on the types of products that Charter provides.  Ms. Gregory noted that customer service call centers are being brought back to the United States from India and provided information on the local service office.
 
Bob Davis, Technical Operations Manager addressed the Council and reviewed products they offer.  Chris Hinzmann, Field Manager addressed the Council. 
 
Jack Hardy, Senior Manager of Field Communications, spoke to their priority for customer service.  He noted that they are negotiating a new lease for a larger facility in Medford.
 
Ms. Jackson spoke to Charter’s work in connecting all the local hospitals to the OMN. 
 
Councilmember Gordon addressed citizen complaints including high rates and lack of channel selection.  Councilmember Corcoran suggested that a representative from Charter meet with Council on an annual basis and Ms. Jackson noted she would be happy to participate.
 
*Councilmember John Michaels left the meeting.
 
30.2   Pacific Power Blue Sky
Monte Mendenhall, Regional Manager for Pacific Power, and Hattie Berg, Outreach Coordinator for Blue Sky program addressed the Council.  Ms. Berg announced the successful participation of the City of Medford customers in the Blue Sky Program and that we have exceeded our goal by 30%.
 
Mr. Mendenhall noted that the City has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Green Power Community.  Medford is now one of fifty communities across the Nation who has been recognized.  He spoke to the participation by the community and the benefits that come back to the community from this program.  He noted that the Pacific Power will be making a special announcement at the Winter Lights Festival on November 30th about the solar array project that Pacific Power will be providing to the City.
 
30.3   Bob Calkins, 2618 Wilkshire Drive, Medford addressed the Council regarding the JFK Memorial Exhibit that has been housed at the Medford Center.  The owner of the exhibit would like to see the exhibit remain open and is willing to allow the City to manage the exhibit.
 
Mr. Swanson noted that the City could look into the opportunities and begin conversations.
 
30.4   Judy Kimmons, Hilldale Estates Homeowners Association, addressed the Council regarding the proposed design of the Larson Creek path abutting their homes and the Rogue Valley Manor golf course.  She expressed concern for the resident’s safety with a bike/pedestrian path proposed to be right next to their porches.
 
30.5   Victor Met, 736 Hilldale Ave., Medford addressed the Council regarding the bike path issue at Hilldale Estates.  He spoke to the issue with the homes that only have a two foot easement from the proposed path.
 
Councilmember Strosser noted he had spoken with Mr. Met regarding the issues and he hoped that these issues could be addressed as this project moves forward.
 
30.6   Claudia Little, 180 Logan Drive, Ashland addressed the Council regarding the medical marijuana dispensary issue.  She encouraged the Council to reconsider the City’s position regarding this issue.  She spoke to the difficulty that Universities have in getting research approval for cannabis studies.  This is the only Schedule 1 drug that has difficulty for getting approval for studies. 
 
40.     Consent calendar
 
50.     Items removed from consent calendar
 
60.     Ordinances and resolutions
60.1   COUNCIL BILL 2013-163  A resolution authorizing the transfer of $100,000 from the Public Works Sanitary Sewer, Maintenance, Street Utility and Storm Drain Utility contingency accounts for an Interactive Voice Response unit and $2,200 from the Street Utility fund contingency account for additional costs of programming the utility billing system.
 
Motion:  Approve the resolution authorizing the transfer of $100,000 for the additional costs of programming the utility billing system.
Moved by:  Chris Corcoran                       Seconded by:  Bob Strosser
 
Councilmember Gordon questioned use of carry forward amounts versus contingency.  Finance Director Alison Chan addressed the Council and noted that she would review the carry forward projections for these funds and report back at the evening meeting.

Motion: Continue Agenda Item 60.1 to the evening meeting.
Moved by:  Dick Gordon                          Seconded by:  Daniel Bunn
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Daniel Bunn, Karen Blair, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews and Bob Strosser voting yes.  Councilmember Chris Corcoran voted no.
Motion carried and so ordered.
 
60.2   COUNCIL BILL 2013-164  An ordinance authorizing the taking of permanent easements by eminent domain action to acquire needed property for the Larson Creek Greenway Trail Improvement Project between the existing Bear Creek Greenway to Ellendale Drive.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance authorizing the taking of permanent easements by eminent domain action to acquire needed property for the Larson Creek Greenway Trail Improvement Project between the existing Bear Creek Greenway to Ellendale Drive.
Moved by:  Bob Strosser             Seconded by:  Daniel Bunn
 
Public Works Director Cory Crebbin provided a staff report and noted that this action is required by the Federal grant for this project.  If a purchase negotiation cannot be reached, then staff would bring back an eminent domain action for Council approval. 
 
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn, Karen Blair, Dick Gordon, Chris Corcoran, Eli Matthews and Tim Jackle voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-164 was duly adopted.
 
60.3   COUNCIL BILL 2013-165  An ordinance awarding a contract in the amount of $361,341.51 to Central Pipeline, Inc., for storm drain improvements at La Loma Drive/Juanipero Way and at Riverside Avenue/Edwards Street.
 
*Councilmember Chris Corcoran left the meeting.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance awarding a contract in the amount of $361,341.51 to Central Pipeline, Inc. for storm drain improvements at La Loma Drive/Juanipero Way and at Riverside Avenue/Edwards Street.
Moved by:  Bob Strosser             Seconded by:  Daniel Bunn
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn, Karen Blair, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, John Michaels and Eli Matthews voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-165 was duly adopted.
 
60.4   COUNCIL BILL 2013-166 A resolution of the City of Medford, Oregon, authorizing an interfund loan relating to the City’s limited tax revenue bonds, series 2013 for the purpose of financing the project described below; establishing an interest rate and repayment schedule; delegating authority to authorized representatives and related matters.
 
Finance Director Alison Chan addressed the Council and provided a staff report. 
 
Motion:  Adopt the resolution authorizing an interfund loan relating to the City’s limited tax revenue bonds, series 2013.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn               Seconded by:  Dick Gordon
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Dick Gordon, Bob Strosser, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews and Karen Blair voting yes.
Resolution 2013-166 was duly adopted.
 
70.     Public Hearings
70.1   Consider an appeal of an administrative decision regarding the denial of a taxi driver ID card for Kevin Haney.
 
Police Chief Tim George provided a staff report and noted the denial was based on Mr. Haney’s previous felony convictions as per Medford Code 8.425.  
  
Public hearing opened.

1.  Kevin Haney addressed the Council and noted that he has worked since the last hearing to obtain evidence of his treatment and requested the Council reconsider his case and uphold his appeal.  He presented letters from his drug treatment provider and probation officer.  He noted he has been providing taxi services outside the Medford city limits and feels this is a good way for him to give back to society as he has provided rides for impaired drivers. 

2.  Pastor Rex Morningstar, spoke in support of Mr. Haney and his efforts to improve his life and maintain his sobriety. Public hearing closed.
 
Motion:  Confirm the denial of the taxi driver ID card.
Moved by:  Dick Gordon              Seconded by:  Eli Matthews
 
Councilmembers discussed the information presented by Mr. Haney and the difficulty in these issues as they have to consider the safety of the general public but realize that many times the individuals involved have sought treatment and taken steps to improve themselves
 
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Eli Matthews, Karen Blair and Tim Jackle voting yes.  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn and Bob Strosser voting no.
Motion carried and so ordered.
 
80.     Council Business
80.1   Mr. Swanson reported that a complaint regarding the Sam Jennings property on Riverside Avenue was received and the Police Department in conjunction with other City departments met with the property owner to review the issues.  Lt. Ben Lytle reported on the meeting with the property owner and that the staff would be putting together a compiled list of any issues that need to be addressed.  He noted that staff is completing their work and will be meeting with the property owner next week to review the issues.
 
Mayor Wheeler spoke to the need to address code concerns and the impact that this property on the revitalization of the area.
 
Mayor Wheeler noted the time and recommended that the remainder of the meeting be postponed to the evening session.  Councilmember Blair had two items that she requested to speak to before adjourning.
 
a.  Councilmember Blair noted that she had distributed information to the Council regarding the DISC personality program.  She noted that this program assists in improving communication and that the instructor is willing to do this at no charge for the City Council and city administration.  She asked that the Council consider scheduling this to occur during in the future. 

b.  Councilmember Blair reported her participation on the Bill Meyer show on November 11th and that the show was largely focused on communication and the need to be more open to public. She noted that Mr. Meyer has offered to give a page on his website for city news and action reporting from Council meetings. 

Mayor Wheeler noted that the remainder of agenda will be postponed to evening meeting and the meeting adjourned at 2:20 p.m.
 
85.     City Manager and other staff reports
85.1   Quarterly Economic Development update from SOREDI, by Ron Fox
                  Rescheduled.
 
85.2   Quarterly Travel Medford Update by Annie Jenkins
                  Rescheduled.
 
85.3   Further reports from City Manager
 
90.     Propositions and remarks from the Mayor and Councilmembers
90.1   Proclamations issued:
               Small Business Saturday, November 30, 2013
 
90.2   Further Council committee reports.
 
90.3   Further remarks from Mayor and Councilmembers.
 
100.   Adjournment to the evening session
 
************************************************************
 
EVENING SESSION
 
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall, 411 W. 8th Street, Medford with the following members and staff present.
 
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Daniel Bunn, Bob Strosser, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, John Michaels and Chris Corcoran.
 
Councilmember Karen Blair was absent.
 
City Manager Eric Swanson; Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke; Deputy City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Glenda Wilson.
 
110.   Oral requests and communications from the audience
110.1    Medical Insurance Update
Gordon Groshong, WHA Insurance Agency, agent for the City of Medford addressed the Council and provided information regarding current City health insurance coverage and effects coming into the public/private sector by the Affordable Care Act.
 
110.2    Boy Scout Troop #160 members introduced themselves.
 
110.3    Joyce Hailicka, P.O. Box 11, Butte Falls addressed the Council regarding the J.F. Kennedy Exhibit.  She noted that she owns the collection and has put together the exhibit that is at the Medford Center on display.  She offered to share the exhibit with the City of Medford if the City would like to take over the management and display.  Mayor Wheeler noted that City staff would be contacting her to discuss this opportunity.
 
120.   Public hearings
120.1    Consider a request for a six-month extension to repair the unsafe sidewalk at 1732 Whitman Avenue.
 
Cory Crebbin, Public Works Director addressed the Council and provided a staff report.  He noted that the Public Works Director has granted a 90 day extension for this issue but any further extension is required to be approved by Council.  He noted that the property owner is unable to attend the meeting and has sent a representative.  Staff is not opposed to the extension.
 
Public hearing opened.
1.  Jill Stout, representing Christine Lachner who is requesting the extension of time to make the repairs as she is recovering from a medical condition.
Public hearing closed.

Motion:  Grant an eight-month extension for the repair of the unsafe sidewalk at 1732 Whitman Avenue.
Moved by:  John Michaels                        Seconded by:  Chris Corcoran
Roll Call:  Councilmembers John Michaels, Chris Corcoran, Eli Matthews, Dick Gordon, Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn and Tim Jackle voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.
 
120.2    COUNCIL BILL 2013-167  An ordinance amending Sections 10.120, 10.123, 10.133, 10.134, 10.137, and 10.138 of the Medford Code pertaining to Commission residency requirements. (Legislative)
 
Carla Paladino, Planner III addressed the Council and provided a staff report.  She noted that the Planning Commission is recommending approval of the proposed changes. 
 
Public hearing opened.
         None
Public hearing closed.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance amending the Medford Code pertaining to residency requirements for the Planning Commission, Site Plan & Architectural Commission and the Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission.
Moved by:  Bob Strosser             Seconded by:  Daniel Bunn
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews and John Michaels voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-167 was duly adopted.
 
120.3    COUNCIL BILL 2013-168    An ordinance amending Planning Department fees effective December 1, 2013. (Legislative)
 
Jim Huber, Planning Director addressed the Council and provided a staff report.  He noted this proposal is to amend the fees for the Planning Department.  He noted that this is not to raise fees, but to clarity to fees, match current practice to fee schedule, reduce some fees, and provide better explanation of reviews for historic applications. 
 
Public hearing opened.
         None
Public hearing closed.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance amending the Planning Department fees.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn               Seconded by:  Bob Strosser
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Bob Strosser, Dick Gordon, John Michaels, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews and Chris Corcoran voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-168 was duly adopted.
 
130.   Ordinances and resolutions
60.1   Continued from Noon meeting.
COUNCIL BILL 2013-163  A resolution authorizing the transfer of $100,000 from the Public Works Sanitary Sewer, Maintenance, Street Utility and Storm Drain Utility contingency accounts for an Interactive Voice Response unit and $2,200 from the Street Utility fund contingency account for additional costs of programming the utility billing system.
 
Alison Chan, Finance Director provided a staff report.  She distributed a copy of the City’s Contingency Policy for Council information.  She discussed ending/beginning fund balances versus contingency.
        
Motion:  Approve the resolution authorizing the transfer of $100,000 for the additional costs of programming the utility billing system.
Moved by:  Chris Corcoran                       Seconded by:  Bob Strosser
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Chris Corcoran, Bob Strosser, Eli Matthews, Tim Jackle, Daniel Bunn, John Michaels and Dick Gordon voting yes.
Resolution 2013-163 was duly adopted.
 
130.1 COUNCIL BILL 2013-169  An ordinance amending the Rules and Regulations for Executive, Supervisory and Confidential-Professional employees pertaining to medical insurance and job title.
 
Mr. Swanson provided a staff report and noted that this action will remove the Medical Employee Reimbursement Program (MERP) and recognize the Emergency Management Coordinator position.
        
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance amending the Rules and Regulations for Executive, Supervisory and Confidential-Professional employees.
Moved by:  Bob Strosser             Seconded by:  John Michaels
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Bob Strosser, John Michaels, Chris Corcoran, Eli Matthews, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle and Daniel Bunn voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-169 was duly adopted.
 
140.   Council Business
 
150.   Further reports from the City Manager and staff
150.1    Bond Update
Alison Chan, Finance Director provided an update on the Bond sale process.  Ms. Chan noted that the City will be selling $38.155 million in bonds on December 4th.  She noted the City is rated at “AA-“.  Mr. Swanson noted that staff started to develop an approach to manage these CMGC capital improvement projects.  This item will be on the Council study session for December 5th.
 
150.2    Hawthorne Park Update
                    
150.3    RFP Update Proposed Cooperative Services Agreement
Mr. Swanson addressed the Council and provided an update on the communication and work underway in partnership with representatives of Fire Dist. #3.  He noted that Council had been forwarded the Request for Proposal to obtain a consultant to assist in looking at potential programmatic changes that could reduce expenses and maintain level of service to both the City of Medford residents and customers of Fire Dist. #3. 
 
Councilmember Strosser expressed concern as he had received information that a policy change regarding number of fire trucks in Medford is being considered. Mr. Swanson and Fire Chief Gordon Sletmoe noted that the consultant would be looking at all potential areas that could provide cost reductions while maintaining levels of service.  Councilmembers discussed the issue of how the proposal was developed and Councilmembers Corcoran and Bunn, who have been participating in the discussions with the representatives of Fire Dist. #3, reported that communication between all the involved entities has been very positive and supportive of this request for proposal. 
 
Motion:  Direct staff to move forward with the request for proposal.
Moved by:  John Michaels                                    Seconded by:  Chris Corcoran
 
Council discussion on the motion.  Councilmember Gordon noted he would not be able to vote on the motion as he has not had time to review the information that was sent out.  Council discussed the efforts undertaken to make this process as transparent as possible and that communication amongst the representatives has been positive.  Councilmember Strosser noted he would share the concerns he had received with Fire Chief Sletmoe after the meeting.
 
Roll Call:  Councilmembers John Michaels, Chris Corcoran, Daniel Bunn, Tim Jackle and Eli Matthews voting yes.  Councilmembers Bob Strosser and Dick Gordon voting no.
Motion carried and so ordered
 
150.4    Whitehouse Tribal Nations Conference
Mr. Swanson reported on the information received by the Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding trust properties and BIA agency goal to put 500,000 acres in trust in the future.  He noted staff has met with Smith West and legal counsel for the City regarding how this process is moving forward.  Councilmember Corcoran provided his perception of the benefit of the work done by the City in addressing the proposed process changes and noted that a future study session on this issue will be scheduled.
 
160.   Propositions and remarks from the Mayor and Councilmembers
160.1    Further Council committee reports.
a.   Councilmember Strosser reported on the Water Commission meeting and study session.  Topics discussed were the litigation with Mr. Harrington which was dismissed, billing system is moving forward and water levels are good.  He reported on the study session topic which was a review of the wholesale customer service agreement.
 
Councilmembers discussed recent articles in the Mail Tribune.
 
b.   Councilmember Matthews reported on the Regional Rate Committee meeting.
 
160.2    Further remarks from Mayor and Councilmembers.
a.   Councilmember Corcoran reported on a request from the Multicultural Commission regarding the City’s website.  The Commission is requesting that staff look into providing an option for Spanish translation of the website.  Mr. Swanson noted that staff would pursue this request.
 
b.   Councilmember Corcoran reported on the public forums that members of the Multicultural Commission in conjunction with the Police Advisory Committee are holding to garner survey results from the Hispanic community.
 
c.   Councilmember Gordon addressed the Council regarding petitions received regarding encroachment in the alleys in the Marie/Bessie neighborhood.  These alleys are part of a CMAQ grant improvement project to address air quality and approximately fifty percent of the property owners are encroaching into the alley rights of way.  Most of these folks have had fences for 14-20 years and do not have the financial ability to move or reinstall their fences. 
 
Public Works Director Cory Crebbin addressed the Council and noted that this project originally had about 90% encroachment into the right of way.  Staff modified the design to reduce the width of the alley to 16 feet of paving which reduced the amount of encroachment.  He spoke to the Federal requirements to compensate for the construction easement.  He spoke to the number of residents who are looking forward to the completion of the project.
 
d.  Councilmember Bunn addressed the Council regarding recent concerns raised about the Highway 62 bypass project.  The issue pertains to the Coker Butte Road as there is no overpass to provide connectivity.  He noted that the Coker Butte Road issues were discussed during the design process but due to cost constraints, an overpass was not included in the design.  At this point the environmental impact statement has been completed and the project is anticipated to go to bid in March 2014.  Any reconsideration of the Coker Butte issue that would open the EIS will likely cause the funding allocation to be eliminated and the project to not move forward.
 
e.   Councilmember Matthews reported on the Chamber of Commerce visit to Alba, Italy in November. 
        
170.   Adjournment
         There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 9:38 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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