Medford City Council Study Session
January 23, 2014
The meeting was called to order at noon in the Medford Room, City Hall, 411 W. 8th St., Medford with the following members present.
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers John Michaels, Eli Matthews, Tim Jackle, Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn and Dick Gordon.
1. Tobacco Use in Parks: Parks & Recreation Director Brian Sjothun addressed the Council and provided information regarding the background and history of the issue, examples of other communities who enforce this restriction, and the Parks & Recreation Commission recommendation. He noted that the restriction already exists in the Parks use regulations and the consideration is whether to move this into an ordinance that would be enforceable by citation.
He reviewed statistics on use of tobacco in Jackson County and the litter generated by use of tobacco. He reviewed the history of the review of the issue at the request of the Parks & Recreation Commission. The Parks &Recreation policy is tobacco and smoke free facilities with exception of special area at U.S. Cellular Community Park (staff does not support but the Parks & Recreation Commission does). He spoke to the Administrative Regulation currently in place regarding the City Hall campus and the need to provide updated language to include “tobacco free/smoke free” to address the new e-cigarettes.
Mr. Sjothun reported that there are 902 communities in the nation and 16 in Oregon who have policies regulating tobacco and smoke free environments. He spoke to working with local health officials to promote and educate the general public. Staff would utilize a variety of media sources to educate the public on the change of in the law if approved by the Council.
The Parks &Recreation Commission is asking the Council to consider an ordinance amending the Medford Code that will allow for enforcement and the potential for exclusion results from multiple violations.
Councilmembers discussed the proposal and questioned the impact on the Police staffing to enforce. Police Chief Tim George noted that this will not have much of an impact but does give the Police another tool to help address issues with individuals within the parks.
Councilmembers discussed moving this forward and requested this be brought to Council for formal consideration.
2. Councilmember Gordon brought forward an issue regarding ODOT review of Highway 99 and converting it to two lanes with a center turn lane and bicycle lanes. Public Works Director Cory Crebbin noted that this does not include Highway 99 where it is under the City’s jurisdiction. This would potentially affect Highway 99 approximately 500 feet south of Stewart Ave. He noted that this is being reviewed by ODOT at this time. Councilmembers requested this be brought back as a study session item.
Meeting adjourned at 12:40 p.m.