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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 14, 2016

12:00 PM
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
  1. Joel Rubin – Federal Lobbyist
12:00 PM
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 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, Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Brian Sjothun; City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Karen Spoonts
*Arrived as noted.
Joel Rubin – Federal Lobbyist
City Manager Brian Sjothun introduced our Federal Lobbyist Joel Rubin, Vice President of Federal Affairs at CFM Strategic Communications and Michael Skipper, Federal Affairs Associate at CFM Strategic Communications.
Councilmember Bunn provided an update on the IPMC; staff will bring back to Council on November 3, 2016.
Mr. Rubin discussed the following:
  • Comprehensive Service; Mr. Rubin outlined the various duties his organization provides for the City including working to determine our priorities, maintaining relationships with other government agencies and ascertaining funding options available to us.
*Mayor Wheeler arrived at 12:08 p.m.
  • 2016 Federal Agenda
    • Grant Projects
      • Funding for firefighter equipment
      • Prescott Park which is one of two projects selected in Oregon
      • Downtown Business Revolving Loan Fund; due to regulation changes, SOREDI can now use their revolving loan funds in Medford
      • Bear Creek Restoration Project; he met with RVCOG, but this application needs to be resubmitted
      • Brownfields Area; will work with RVCOG to submit paperwork to obtain these funds. Council requested the information be circulated to them
      • Rogue Community College Expansion; he is working with the college to expand their White City location
      • I-5 Viaduct & Corridor Improvements; he met with the Oregon Department of Transportation.This will be a long-term process, but noted because we are a rural applicant it improves our chances of obtaining freight mobility funds
    • Policy Initiatives
      • Medford Casino issue is pending; it is a two-part determination
      • The FY 2017 program funding for various grants
      • Project Development; Mr. Rubin is talking with staff to determine priority projects
Councilmember Gordon requested information on the new market tax credit; Mr. Rubin will provide a one-page information sheet to Mr. Sjothun for distribution to Council.
Councilmember Stine noted some of the topics were quite old and suggested Council review whether we should continue pursuing them.  Mr. Rubin stated the projects list is not a finalized document and can be updated at any time.  Councilmember Bunn noted our funding is important to consider as well; we shouldn’t apply for projects which were not high priority. Mr. Rubin noted the federal government prefers to have the background “story” for each City and that projects should follow the City’s priorities.
Mr. Rubin outlined the status of various legislative issues.
* Councilmember Jackle left at 12:47 p.m.
* Councilmember Gordon left at 12:48 p.m.
* Councilmember Jackle returned at 12:48 p.m.
Mr. Rubin stressed the importance of having plans and information ready to support funding our projects immediately after the election.
Councilmember Stine reviewed the history of Mr. Rubin’s activities and noted that no grants have been approved for the City. Mr. Rubin responded that the grant process usually takes more than one year, but he expects Prescott Park to be approved and should know more in December. Councilmember Stine questioned Mr. Rubin’s deadline for Council’s priorities. Mr. Rubin noted the next Washington DC trip will be around February, so Council should have their priorities finalized by early January.
Mr. Sjothun asked what the Council needed from staff to set priorities. Councilmember Jackle suggested creating a new strategic planning process at the beginning of the year; he believed the previous plan was too big and he preferred a small, targeted list.  Councilmember Bunn noted that we should know who won the election in November and could start earlier.
Councilmember Zarosinski and Mayor Wheeler noted their appreciation for the work of our new federal lobbyist firm.
Council questioned the process for deciding our policies. Mr. Sjothun noted there are two forms of matching funds; one that leverages existing funds budgeted for project and one in which the City must use cash or provide in‑kind services.
The meeting adjourned at 1:14 p.m.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC
City Recorder

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