Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, November 20, 2014

                                                MINUTES OF THE MEDFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING
 
                                                                November 20, 2014
                                                                             
 
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 Daniel Bunn, Eli Matthews, Chris Corcoran (*arrived and left as noted), Bob Strosser (*left as noted), Tim Jackle, John Michaels and Dick Gordon.
 
City Manager Eric Swanson; Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke; Deputy City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Glenda Wilson.
 
Employee Recognition/Promotion
Employees from the Fire, Police and Public Works Departments were recognized for their years of service.
 
*Councilmember Corcoran arrived.
 
Retirement
Karl Giepel, Fire Department; Ernie Whiteman, Police Department; and Larry Beskow, Public Works Department were recognized for their employment at the City of Medford.
 
20.     Approval or correction of the minutes of the November 6, 2014 regular meeting
         There being no corrections or amendments the minutes were approved as presented.
 
30.     Oral requests and communications from the audience
30.1   Quarterly Travel Medford Update by Annie Jenkins
Ms. Jenkins provided an overview of the activities of the organization in promoting travel and tourism in Medford.  She spoke to future conventions and events for 2015 including the Color Run, Oregon Quarterhorse Show and the International Food and Wine Travel Writers Association.  She spoke to the launch of the Southern Oregon Sports Commission in August.  She reported on the hotel/motel occupancy and rates.  Councilmember Corcoran questioned when the current contract with Travel Medford would expire and Ms. Jenkins noted the current contract is through June 30, 2015.
 
30.2   Estelle Voeller representing Mayors for Peace addressed the Council regarding the goals of the organization.  They  are requesting that the Mayor join this group.  She noted that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has been endorsing this organization along with over 6,000 mayors internationally.  She provided information to the Mayor on how to join the group. 
 
30.3   Hideko Tamura-Snider addressed the Council regarding the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks.  Ms. Tamura-Snider was a child in Hiroshima during the attack.  She encouraged the Council to support the Mayors for Peace efforts.
 
Mayor Wheeler noted the Council would review the information and consider the request.
 
30.4   Richard Nuckols, 1006 S. Oakdale Ave., Medford addressed the Council regarding the City’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Medford. 
 
30.5   Jeanette Sayre, 740 Hilldale Ave., Medford, representing the Hillsdale Estates Homeowners Association, addressed the Council regarding the Larson Creek path project.  She expressed the concerns of the residents of this neighborhood with the safety impacts that the developed path would bring to this area. 
 
30.6   Diane Archer, 813 Mason Way, Medford addressed the Council regarding the maintenance of Orchard Home Court.  She noted she is a bus driver and that the condition of this street with large potholes is dangerous.  Cory Crebbin, Public Works Director was asked to speak with her. 
 
30.7   Victor Met, 736 Hillsdale Ave., Medford addressed the Council regarding the Larson Creek bike path and noted that a six foot path would be adequate for the pathway by Hillsdale Estates. 
40.     Consent calendar
 
50.     Items removed from consent calendar
 
60.     Ordinances and resolutions
60.1   SECOND READING
COUNCIL BILL 2014-139  An ordinance authorizing execution of Intergovernmental Agreement No. 30143 with Oregon Department of Transportation for Larson Creek Trail Segment II Improvements.
 
Cory Crebbin, Public Works Director addressed the Council and provided an overview of the meeting held with representatives of the Rogue Valley Manor.  He noted a letter from the Rogue Valley Manor was distributed to the Council.  The Rogue Valley Manor is agreeable to provide 7 ˝ feet to accommodate this path. 
 
Councilmember Corcoran confirmed that the Rogue Valley Manor was not donating the additional land and Mr. Crebbin responded that it would be a purchase being funded from the project budget.  He noted that the City cannot agree to any terms at this time as that would need to be done per the grant process and real estate acquisition.  He noted that this agenda item would be acceptance of the grant and that any dollars spent by the City before this grant acceptance is finalized would not be eligible for reimbursement from the grant funds.
 
Councilmember Bunn questioned if the path cross section could be reduced to ten feet and Mr. Crebbin noted that the grant was based on building the path to City standards but that an exception could be sought for the reduction. 
 
Councilmember Gordon questioned the change of the proposed path to the north side of St. Mary’s High School when it was originally on the south side.  Mr. Crebbin addressed the design change.
 
Councilmember Gordon questioned what type of buffering could be expected for the Hillsdale Estates and the additional apartment property north of St. Mary’s High School.  Mr. Crebbin noted that there would be a lot of options for buffering.  Once the intergovernmental agreement is approved and the project is assigned to a project manager, the first steps are to contact the abutting properties to obtain their input into the design.  He noted that the Parks Department will be responsible to maintain the path and will also provide input into the design.
 
Councilmember Bunn noted a potential conflict of interest in that he owns real property across from the eastern terminus of the project but does not feel this will affect his ability to vote in this matter.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance authorizing the agreement with ODOT for the Larson Creek Trail Segment II Improvements.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn               Seconded by:  John Michaels
        
Councilmember Bunn spoke to his motion and expressed his confidence that staff will work with the neighbors to mitigate issues to the degree possible.
 
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, John Michaels, Chris Corcoran, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews and Bob Strosser voting yes.  Councilmember Dick Gordon voted no.
Ordinance 2014-139 was duly adopted.
 
60.2   COUNCIL BILL 2014-142  An ordinance authorizing exemption from competitive bidding and the purchase of light fixtures from Northcoast Electric Company in the amount of $125,482 for the Riverside South Parking Lot Project.  
 
Chris Reising, Deputy City Manager Development Services addressed the Council and provided a staff report.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance authorizing the exemption from competitive bidding and the purchase of light fixtures from Northcoast Electric Company for the Riverside South Parking lot project.
Moved by:  Eli Matthews              Seconded by:  John Michaels
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Eli Matthews, John Michaels, Daniel Bunn, Tim Jackle, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon and Bob Strosser voting yes.
Ordinance 2014-142 was duly adopted.
 
60.3   COUNCIL BILL 2014-143  A resolution authorizing the transfer of $25,000 from General Fund Contingency to the City Attorney’s Professional Services Account to hire part-time legal services for Municipal Court.
 
Lori Cooper, Deputy City Attorney addressed the Council and provided a staff report.  She noted that due to staff shortage in the office, this will provide additional staffing to assist through the end of the fiscal year. 
 
Motion: Adopt the resolution authorizing the transfer from General Fund Contingency to the City Attorney’s Professional Services Account to hire part-time legal services for Municipal Court.
Moved by:  Bob Strosser             Seconded by:  Daniel Bunn
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn, Eli Matthews, Tim Jackle, John Michaels, Dick Gordon and Chris Corcoran voting yes.
Resolution 2014-143 was duly adopted.
 
60.4   COUNCIL BILL 2014-128  An ordinance amending Section 2.503 of the Medford Code pertaining to the City Manager’s authority for contracting and purchasing.
 
Lori Cooper, Deputy City Attorney provided a staff report and noted that Council had previously amended the Medford Code to align with state standards and streamline contract processing.  Eric Swanson, City Manager noted that to keep Council informed a weekly report could be provided for Council review.
 
Councilmember Michaels questioned the impact of changing the process on employee training.  Finance Director Alison Chan noted that the City’s Purchasing Manual has not been updated pending the outcome of this action.  Employees who process agreements would need to be retrained.
 
Councilmember Gordon noted he had requested that this be brought forward for Council consideration.  He noted that while the Council approved the current levels for the City Manager’s approval authority, he felt in retrospect that it was adjusted too high and he would like to have the dollar limit for City Manager approval reduced to $75,000 but is willing to agree to $100,000.
 
Councilmember Gordon noted that the bigger issue is the City Manager authorization for all Intergovernmental Agreements up to his signing authority level.  He stated that he feels that the City Council should sign on all intergovernmental agreements.  He feels that these often contain policy issues that the Council should decide not the City Manager.  As an example, he spoke to the intergovernmental agreement with Jackson County Fire Dist. #3 for the fleet and duty officer services as well as the agreement with Jackson County Sheriff for jail beds.   He expressed concern that Mr. Swanson is making policy decisions and not informing the Council until after the agreements are approved.  Mr. Swanson noted that the Fire Dist. #3 issue was an operational issue to allow for better coverage.  Mr. Swanson also noted that the reporting form to be sent to Council on pending contracts could be modified to provide additional information.
 
Councilmember Matthews spoke in favor of Council getting a report on pending agreements as a means of providing disclosure as to what is being considered.  Councilmember Strosser noted he would agree to more disclosure.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance amending Section 2.503 of the Medford Code pertaining to contracting and purchasing.
Moved by:  Dick Gordon              Seconded by:  Chris Corcoran
 
 
Councilmembers discussed the motion and language of the ordinance.  It was noted that the ordinance would restrict the City Manager from approval of any intergovernmental agreements and these would need to be brought to Council.  Councilmember Gordon requested Council support of the motion. 
 
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Chris Corcoran, Tim Jackle and Bob Strosser voting yes.  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Eli Matthews and John Michaels voting no.
Motion carried to a second reading.
 
60.5   COUNCIL BILL 2014-145  A resolution revising information on previously presented delinquent assessments.
 
*Item moved to the evening session.
 
*Councilmembers Strosser and Corcoran left the meeting.
 
70.     Council Business
        
80.     City Manager and other staff reports
80.1   FEMA Plaque Presentation by Ken Murphy, FEMA Regional Administrator & Karen Wood-McGuiness, FEMA Floodplain Management Specialist Region 10
Mr. Murphy addressed the Council and noted that the National Floodplain Improvement Program has improved with meaningful and substantial work such as work done by individuals like Christy Taylor.  Ms. Taylor was presented with a plaque of recognition for her efforts. Ms. Taylor addressed the Council and recognized additional staff in Planning, Public Works, and others for all the effort that the team put into this project.
 
Mayor Wheeler deferred the remainder of the agenda to the evening meeting.
 
80.2   Capital Improvement Project Update by Greg McKown
 
80.3   Quarterly Financial Report (1st Qtr. Fiscal Year) by Alison Chan
 
80.4   Further reports from City Manager
 
90.     Propositions and remarks from the Mayor and Councilmembers
90.1   Proclamations issued:
               Small Business Saturday, November 29, 2014
               Giving Tuesday, December 2, 2014       
 
90.2   Further Council committee reports.
                 
90.3   Further remarks from Mayor and Councilmembers.
 
100.   Adjournment to the evening session
         Meeting adjourned to the evening meeting at 2:01 p.m.
 
*********************************************************************
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 Daniel Bunn, Bob Strosser, Eli Matthews, Tim Jackle, John Michaels Chris Corcoran (*arrived as noted) and Dick Gordon (*arrived as noted).
 
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
None
 
120.   Public hearings
Mayor Wheeler noted there was one item from noon meeting that needs to be addressed prior to the public hearings.
 
60.5   COUNCIL BILL 2014-145  A resolution revising information on previously presented delinquent assessments.
 
Motion:  Adopt the resolution revising information on previously presented delinquent assessments.
Moved by:  Bob Strosser             Seconded by:  Daniel Bunn
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Eli Matthews, John Michaels, Dick Gordon and Tim Jackle voting yes.
Resolution 2014-145 was duly adopted.
 
120.1    CONTINUED FROM November 6, 2014
COUNCIL BILL 2014-141 An ordinance amending Sections 10.764, 10.1010, 10.1022, 10.1046, 10.1100, 10.1200, 10.1300, 10.1400, 10.1500, 10.1510, 10.1600, 10.1610, 10.1700, 10.1710, 10.1800, 10.1810 of the Medford Code and adding Sections 10.1140 and 10.1150 pertaining to electronic message signs.
 
John Adam, Senior Planner provided a staff report and noted that a supplemental staff report and additional letters from citizens that have been included in the Council packets.  He noted that there are four areas of concern raised previously by Council; rate of message change, rate of animation change, spacing and brightness.
 
Councilmember Corcoran raised the question of the size of the signs and Mr. Adam clarified that size is for a static message that changes every 5 seconds and there could be the same size.  However, if the message was animated, the size of the sign would be half of the normal allowed size.
 
Councilmember Jackle questions the use of the signs in a residential zone for institution uses under a conditional use permit.  Mr. Adams noted that institutional uses would be allowed with a previously approved conditional use permit.
 
Public hearing opened.
 
1.Rob LaGrone, Outdoor Media formerly CBS Advertising addressed the Council regarding the LED regulation.  He noted that the issue for them is their existing signs are too large to be allowed as electronic signs under code. His company would like to retrofit the existing billboards with the newer electronic sign technology.  They are requesting that the Council allow them to upgrade their existing signs to the new technology.
 
Councilmember Michaels noted his concern is not size as much as the animation.  Councilmembers discussed Mr. LaGrone’s request.  Mr. LaGrone noted the signs will be static at up to eight seconds with no animation. 
 
2.Linda Borum, 795 Ridgeway Ave., Central Point addressed the Council regarding the issue.  She spoke in opposition to the electronic signs. 
 
3.Phil Colvard, 520 Palm, Medford addressed the Council regarding electronic signs in Medford, He expressed concern regarding the motion but also the colors being used.  It can be confusing if the colors are like emergency vehicles. 
 
4.Brad Hicks, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce addressed the Council and provided information regarding concerns that local business have with the proposed amendment.  The issues they are still concerned about are the ambiguous definitions such as “glare”; section 5 inconsistency issue; how to define animation and what that is; compliance measurements being taken from the prescribed distance in the ordinance but needs to be assured that the measurement is accurate;  regarding height of signs in relation to traffic signals; regarding size in relation to Medford being a regional hub, feels size reduction is arbitrary.  He suggested that the size and height amendments should be stricken from the amendment.  He spoke to the definitions such as scintillating, disturbing, etc. as being techniques of animation and are subjective.
 
Mr. Hicks noted he also has brought a letter from Phones Plus to be submitted to the record.
 
5.Jared Pulver, 3908 Crystal Springs Drive, Medford addressed the Council regarding the code amendment and electronic signs.  He spoke about concern that this is coming forward but wondered if it is still an issue, this came forward with complaints for the Verizon sign eighteen months ago.  He felt this will impact the smaller business and signs currently existing and feels that this should be looked into further.
 
Councilmember Corcoran questioned what the Council should be addressing and Mr. Pulver responded that brightness is the biggest issue and possibly the refresh rate.  Councilmember Corcoran questioned how this is affecting real estate and Mr. Pulver noted that the ability for this signage is one of the top five issues.
 
6.Jayme Sparks, 26 Maple Street, Central Point addressed the Council regarding the Biddle and McAndrews sign which he manages; he spoke to how this sign is managed by software to control brightness.
 
Councilmember Gordon questioned the rotation and refresh rate and Mr. Sparks noted is six seconds.
 
7.Kevin Stine, 1487 Poplar Dr., Medford spoke to the issue being the size of the signs.  He noted that the Biddle Road sign is large but is not very distracting.  He suggested that the Council take out the size requirements and pass that portion back to the Planning Commission.  He addressed the definitions issue raised and agreed that these need to be refined. 
 
8.Jim DeBoer, representing Rogue Credit Union, addressed the Council and questioned how this will affect the signage that they have already purchase and had in place.  This has been taken down as they construct a new facility and wondered how this will affect them when they go to reinstall the sign. He noted that he does not have issue with brightness or animation, but size is an area that needs to be addressed.
 
Staff confirmed that given the proposed code language, this sign would likely not be able to be utilized if there was animation.  Mr. DeBoer noted that they do want to use the full animation elements on their sign.
 
Councilmembers and staff had discussion to determine what “animation” was versus the “refreshment rate”.  Mr. Adam noted that the intent was not to cut out animation but to allow movement but not explosions such as fireworks.  Councilmember Michaels asked if video movement behind the text would still be allowed and Mr. Adam stated yes; such as a flag waving. 
 
9.Ward Farrell, 29345 Airport Road, Eugene addressed the Council and expressed support for the position brought forward by the Chamber ad hoc group. 
 
10.Steve Erb, representing People’s Bank, addressed the Council and noted that Peoples Bank has a digital sign that operates under a conditional use permit as they are located in a residential zone.  They are concerned that if things change that they would not be able to put their sign back up.  He stated that he feels that the Council does not have enough information to make a decision on this issue.
 
Public hearing closed.
 
Mr. Adam provided additional staff input and addressed questioned raised tonight; he noted that as these items could be addressed individually at a future meeting.  He addressed the ambiguous terms issue the staff has reviewed the terms and have struck out the word “animation”.  He noted that is appears that everyone is on board regarding the issue is of brightness and the rapid effects such as explosions.  He stated that the height and size appears to be an issue that needs to be further explored.
 
Mayor Wheeler questioned the issue raised by Mr. LaGrone regarding the retrofitting of their existing billboards.  Mr. Adam noted that if the existing signs are already a non-conforming use, the additional of animation might exacerbate the non-conforming issues.
 
Councilmember Bunn requested further clarification regarding the height restriction for property adjacent to a signal.  Mr. Adam noted that the entire property line is considered when looking at adjacent.  However, he noted that depending on the location of buildings and structures the standard height is available by moving the sign further into the property (away from the property line).
 
Councilmember Gordon questioned if this would affect any highway signage from the freeway and Mr. Adam noted that there is the freeway overlay district that would manage these signs.
 
Councilmember Jackle noted he would like the conflicts within the code readdressed by the Planning Commission; he feels this needs to be further reviewed prior to Council consideration.
 
Mayor Wheeler noted that this is a policy decision for Council to determine and will be used to define how our community looks.  Councilmember Bunn noted he feels this is a policy determination that Council needs to undertake and that this should not be sent back to the Planning Commission; they have provided their recommendations.  Councilmember Michaels noted that the main issue for him is the distraction of the animation.
 
Motion:  Move to change the rate of message from 2 second to 5 seconds.       
Moved by: Chris Corcoran         Seconded by:  Dick Gordon
 
Ms. Cooper noted that this action will only approve the amendment for the rate of message change.  Councilmember Corcoran noted that his intention is that this would only apply to the text. 
 
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews and Bob Strosser voted yes.  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn and John Michaels voted no.
Motion carried and so ordered.
 
Councilmembers discussed the remaining modification proposed and determined they would like the issues to go back to the Planning Department for staff to incorporate information and address the concerns raised by the Council this evening.  Councilmember Gordon noted he would like to have this brought forward to the Council in a study session prior to coming to a regular Council meeting.
 
Motion:  Refer the balance of the proposed ordinance amendments to a future Council study session.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn                        Seconded by:  Bob Strosser
Roll Call:  Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Bob Strosser, John Michaels, Tim Jackle, Dick Gordon, Eli Matthews and Chris Corcoran voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.
 
Councilmember Strosser requested that all of the participants of the public hearing be informed of the future study session meeting.
 
Mayor Wheeler declared a 10 minute recess.
************************************
Meeting reconvened with same persons present.
 
         120.2    COUNCIL BILL 2014-144  An ordinance amending Sections 4.405, 4.718, 4.735, 4.761, 4.807, 4.1200 and 4.1206 of the Medford Code pertaining to Sanitary Sewer, Storm Drain and Street Utility fees effective July 15, 2015.  (Legislative)
 
Cory Crebbin, Public Works Director addressed the Council and provided a staff report.  He noted that this item is a part of the financial program that Council approved in 2009 to move the Public Works funding completely out of the General Fund.   He noted that the timing for this to be approved now is to give customers an opportunity to adjust their budgets.  The changes, if approved, would go into effect in July 2015.  This would also allow the department to include these projected revenues in the upcoming budget cycle.
 
Councilmember Gordon questioned if there was additional revenue from the utility billing changeover included in this financial impact and Mr. Crebbin confirmed that revenue was already included.
 
Councilmember Gordon question if any consideration was given to charging customers outside of the City a higher fee and Mr. Crebbin clarified that no services are provided outside the City limits.
 
Councilmember Matthews questioned if the previous fees included a construction cost index adjustment and Mr. Crebbin noted sometimes; he also noted the construction cost index is stable at this time.
 
Public hearing opened.
         None
Public hearing closed.
 
Motion:  Adopt the ordinance amending the Medford Code pertaining to sanitary sewer, storm drain and street utility fees effective July 15, 2015.
Moved by:  Daniel Bunn               Seconded by:  John Michaels
 
Councilmember Bunn spoke to his motion and noted that it is likely the Council will get pushback but feels that this is a basic service that the City should provide.  Councilmember Michaels agreed and stated that the Council tabled this item last year and it is time to fund Public Works so that the City’s infrastructure is maintained at the lowest cost cycle possible.
 
Councilmember Gordon stated he did not feel this has been fully vetted and feels this should be spread out differently; he wanted to know how this would affect the commercial businesses.
 
Councilmember Jackle noted he would be abstaining from this item as he did not have the historical information to make an informed decision.
 
Roll Call:  Councilmember Daniel Bunn, John Michaels, Chris Corcoran, Eli Matthews and Bob Strosser voting yes.  Councilmember Dick Gordon voted no.  Councilmember Tim Jackle abstained.
Ordinance 2014-144 was duly adopted.
 
130.   Ordinances and resolutions
         None
        
140.   Council Business
 
150.   Further reports from the City Manager and staff
150.1    Mr. Swanson noted that the Council had received the Capital Improvement Update and any questions could be referred to Greg McKown.
 
150.2    Freshwater Trust Request – Cory Crebbin, Public Works Director
Mr. Swanson noted that a copy of a memo from Mr. Crebbin regarding the request from the Freshwater Trust group had been distributed to the Council.  Mr. Crebbin noted that the request is to allow them to list the City of Medford as a “Trusted Partner” and that there is no financial obligation to the City for allowing this.  Council agreed to the request.
 
150.3    CMAQ Alley Improvement Project Update – Cory Crebbin, Public Works Director
Mr. Crebbin displayed photos of before and after of project which was largely funded by a Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant.
 
150.4    Quarterly Financial Report – Alison Chan, Finance Director
Mr. Swanson noted that the report had been distributed to the Council along with a memo containing an update on the 2013 Bond Payment Revenue Stream.  He noted that he or Alison Chan could respond to any questions regarding these documents.
 
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 that the wholesale agreements for Water Commission customers was moving forward.
 
160.2    Further remarks from Mayor and Councilmembers.
a.  Mayor Wheeler noted he has appointed Haylie Durant to the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission.
 
170.   Adjournment
There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 10:04 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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