October 29, 2015
Medford Room 330
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
- Ad Hoc Committee Recommendation
- Skypark Development
October 29, 2015
Medford Room 330
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 5:30 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Daniel Bunn*, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, Kevin Stine* and Michael Zarosinski*
*Arrived as noted.
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Executive Office Manager Lynette O’Neal, Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
Special Guests: Rudd Johnson, John Anhorn, Beth Lindsay, Rick Whitlock, Dan Brame, Mark McKechnie, Allan Sandler
Mayor Wheeler opened the meeting and noted members of the Ad Hoc Committee were present to outline their recommendation for a recruitment firm for the new City Manager.
*Councilmember Bunn arrived 5:32 p.m.
Ad Hoc Committee Recommendation
Ad Hoc Committee Member John Anhorn recommended Waters & Company (Waters) because they are small, aggressive, video all interviews for consideration, and have experience with cities of various sizes. His second choice was CPS HR Consulting (CPS) and the third was SGR.
*Councilmember Zarosinski arrived 5:35 p.m.
*Councilmember Stine arrived at 5:36 p.m.
Ad Hoc Committee Member Rudd Johnson recommended Waters as first choice, CPS was second and SGR was third. He preferred Waters, because they have worked with markets both bigger and smaller than ours, they have a wide range of experience, their consultants have government backgrounds, their work with Ashland provides knowledge of our market and they have an unconditional two-year guarantee to refill the job for any reason. However, most of their employees had media versus government experience and the individual leading our search was brand new.
Ad Hoc Committee Member Beth Lindsay preferred Waters as well, noting they put together a good presentation and marketing materials and their Ashland experience was beneficial. Regarding CPS, Ms. Lindsay believed their consulting services were a negative factor and their staff backgrounds were only okay. She further stated that the other options were “far behind” these two companies, because they didn’t have public sector experience or provide marketing materials.
Ad Hoc Committee Member Rick Whitlock recommended Waters, because of the people assigned to conduct the actual search. He also liked SGR, because of the breadth of their search materials including internet, newsletter, contact with 70,000 to 80,000 people, strong public sector experience, and impressive materials regarding the behavioral aspect. SGR was his top choice, but he would be happy to go with Waters as well.
The Ad Hoc Committee members explained the methods the recruiting firm should use to find the best candidate. Ms. Lindsay recommended three to five hours of interviews, a dinner meeting to view candidates in a personal atmosphere and tailoring the interview questions for each candidate. Mr. Johnson agreed and stated the experience, skill and competency of the recruiter is incredibly important. He also suggested the interview questions have “drill down” options to modify the remaining questions, based upon responses given. Mr. Johnson explained that applicants should be interviewed extensively to run out of “prepared material”, meaning their practiced, standard answers. Mr. Whitlock noted a good recruiter should be able to determine some focus points to find the qualities Council requires.
Councilmembers discussed how to proceed. Councilmember Bunn asked whether Council was required to interview the top three candidates; Executive Office Manager Lynette O’Neal responded the contract did not require interviews. Councilmember Gordon recommended determining the cost before interviews were conducted. Ms. O’Neal explained that pursuant to the Request for Qualifications, the cost is negotiated after the interviews. After consideration, Council decided to discuss the topic again during the November 12, 2015 meeting.
Mr. Hoke introduced Dan Brame, Parking Consultant, Mark McKechnie, Oregon Architecture, Inc., and Allen Sandler, local developer, to discuss Skypark. Mr. McKechnie noted Skypark residents need 24‑hour parking and recommended reserved spaces, the ability to tow vehicles, an association to manage the parking, a provision for additional parking within 250 feet and the ability to include secondary lifts.
Councilmember Corcoran questioned whether the offer to prepay rent remained valid and asked for an automatic annual percentage increase on the parking spaces. After discussion, Mr. Sandler agreed to participate in negotiations regarding these items.
Ms. O’Neal explained the lease agreement provided for permit parking. She clarified the Municipal Code prohibits the City from leasing parking spaces or granting control of parking spaces to outside agencies. In addition, the current agreement assigns one space per unit. She also noted the City oversells their leased parking spaces to provide enough permit spaces. Although the City has leased spaces in parking garages, the City maintains control of these spaces.
Mr. Brame presented a PowerPoint regarding Skypark’s proposed parking area and noted the City has only agreed to shared parking. In response to questions about the City’s leased spaces in parking garages, Ms. O’Neal explained the basement parking at the One West Main building was designed specifically for the development and is regulated through a 5‑year agreement.
Councilmembers and Mr. McKechnie discussed a lift option to increase parking spaces for residents. Councilmember Gordon questioned whether a DDA revision was required to add the lifts; Mr. McKechnie responded the lifts weigh 8,000 pounds. Mr. Brame liked the lift idea, but reiterated the importance of determining whether Skypark should have reserved or shared parking.
Councilmember Bearnson was concerned regarding the loss of income if the parking spaces were reserved. Mr. McKechnie responded the City would sell monthly permits to Skypark residents, who would also be paying property taxes and shopping downtown. Mr. Sandler was adamant that there is no market for housing without parking. If there are not dedicated spaces, the project cannot move forward.
Mayor Wheeler requested information regarding Skypark’s proposed parking lot. Mr. Brame presented the lot’s diagram and explained his concern regarding the turn radius around the columns as well as handicapped parking access. He spoke again about shared spaces. Ms. O’Neal noted the spaces in the lot are turned over approximately three times per day.
Councilmember Gordon stated the housing is needed, but the City is not getting a good deal. Councilmember Corcoran responded the project “sets the stage” and it will impact the downtown. Councilmember Stine noted the City has already provided many benefits to support this project. Councilmember Bunn stated at this point, he preferred not to overturn another committee recommendation. Mayor Wheeler explained that he had been a major supporter of this project, but the parking lot did not look useable in its current configuration. Councilmember Bearnson did not agree with taking additional parking spaces from our growing community. Councilmembers Corcoran and Matthews preferred finding a way to make the project work.
Councilmember Bearnson suggested selling the 26 parking spaces to the developer and using the funds to purchase another parking area. Councilmember Gordon recalled discussing this option previously, but there was an issue regarding property taxes. Councilmember Zarosinski stated the City shouldn’t “give property away”.
Mr. Hoke noted there is a sunset date for the DDA. He would be willing to negotiate revisions, but would like to come to agreement within a reasonable time.
The meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.
Deputy City Recorder