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City Council Study Session
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Medford City Council Study Session Minutes
May 22, 2014
The meeting was called to order at Noon at Medford City Hall, Medford Room, 411 W. 8th Street with the following members present:
Council President Daniel Bunn; Councilmembers Chris Corcoran, John Michaels, Eli Matthews, Tim Jackle, Bob Strosser, Dick Gordon
City Manager Eric Swanson; Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke; City Attorney John Huttl; Assistant to the City Manager/City Recorder Glenda Wilson; Deputy City Recorder Karen Spoonts; Emergency Coordinator Larry Masterman
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmember Karen Blair was absent.
City Manager Eric Swanson stated that the order of the study session will be different than listed on the agenda. He stated that Glenda Wilson will present the Communication Outreach Plan.
Communication Outreach Plan – Glenda Wilson
Assistant to the City Manager Glenda Wilson stated that the Communication Outreach Committee, of which she was part of, met twice and presented the topics that they worked on. The Committee identified three goals: 1) Media management 2) Media relations/education for media and 3) Public education and promotion of City services and activities. Ms. Wilson reviewed each goal and the actions identified in the Plan to achieve the goals.
Councilmember Michaels noted that staff does help Council and that he would like to have a Councilmember available with a staff person when interviewed as Council made policy, not staff. Ms. Wilson noted that it was also suggested that a staff person attend to support the Councilmember to help with questions.
City Manager Eric Swanson commented that the “Media Agenda Review” briefing has been successful at other cities and helps the reporters understand the topics presented to Council. Councilmember Corcoran noted that time is difficult for reporters and suggested either feeding them at the meeting or allow them to attend via phone.
Councilmember Strosser commented on the redesign of the utility fee; he noted that he had received complaints regarding “late fees” on the bill as they are listed as “miscellaneous”. Public Works Director Cory Crebbin noted that he has looked into this issue and the vendor has stated that is the only way to list this. Ms. Wilson noted that this would be looked at again during the redesign of the bill to see if there are any new options available.
Councilmember Gordon commented on subscribing to the website. There is so much on the website that does not show up on the subscriber email notice. Rarely does he ever see anything pertaining to the Planning Department and other departments, as well. Ms. Wilson noted that what appears on the subscriber email is controlled by where the stories are posted on the website. In addition, the website software is an older version and staff will be looking at the option to upgrade the software. Mr. Swanson thought we could address this between the department heads and not only show the crime in our area.
Councilmember Strosser noted that Ward 4 no longer holds Town Hall meetings as the school where they were being held had decided to charge for use of their school. Ms. Wilson noted that staff will be looking at other venues beyond the schools, such as churches. Councilmember Strosser stated that we also have the Carnegie to use. Councilmember Michaels suggested that training on media interviewing, etc. be provided for the Councilmembers as an action in the Plan. Ms. Wilson noted this would be added and would also recommend such training be extended to staff.
Councilmember Corcoran spoke to the Communications Specialist as the most important aspect of the Plan. He questioned if cities our size have addressed this issue. Ms. Wilson noted that the Outreach Committee will be working on this request for proposal and will be looking for a person/firm with government experience.
Emergency Management 90-Day Action Plan – Larry Masterman
Emergency Manager Coordinator Larry Masterman presented the Emergency Management Update.
*Councilmember Corcoran left at 1:00 p.m.
Councilmember Michaels questioned if we have done any asset management on our employees on what other skills they have had; Mr. Masterman has not heard that that has been done but did note the other things that we have done. Councilmember Michaels suggested that Human Resources gather this information as new employees are hired.
Mr. Masterman thanked for the support from local leadership. Collaboration between other jurisdictions is high.
Councilmember Gordon hoped that we consider that disease could potentially harm part of the community as well as contamination of our food supply. Mr. Masterman agreed with Councilmember Gordon’s comments and noted that the focus on emergency management is on any emergency.
Mr. Swanson requested Mr. Masterman talk about our fuel supply; Mr. Masterman noted that it would not take much before fuel could not be available and we would be isolated for as much as 18 months.
Council President Dunn noted that the final presentation on Special Events Funding Policy will be postponed and reviewed the upcoming meetings schedule.
Finance Director Alison Chan noted that while at a conference she attended a class on implementing financial software; she found that they covered everything that we are doing. She also attended a Financial Disaster class and the presenters said that the disaster helped their community to connect and become stronger.
Special Events Funding Policy – Glenda Wilson
The meeting adjourned at 1:17 p.m.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC
Deputy City Recorder