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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 12, 2018

6:00 p.m.
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
  1. Continuum of Care
  2. Boards & Commissions Reorganization
  3. Poultry Ordinance

April 12, 2018

6:00 p.m.
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Councilmembers Kay Brooks (attended via phone), Tim D’Alessandro, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Kevin Stine, Kim Wallan; City Manager Brian Sjothun, City Attorney Lori Cooper, and Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson and Michael Zarosinski were absent.
Continuum of Care (COC)
City Manager Brian Sjothun noted Connie Wilkerson and Angela Durant were present and appreciated their assistance.
  • Defined COC as the state of housing from homelessness through permanent
  • Medford cannot fund all assistance; it is a regional issue
  • Approximately 170 year-round shelter beds in Medford; does not include transitional housing (Hope House)
  • Approximately 107 beds available in the two temporary shelters
  • COC functions:
    • Outreach, intake and assessment, and emergency shelter
    • Transitional housing and supportive services
    • Permanent supportive housing
    • Homeless management information system
    • Coordinated entry
  • COC provides a cohesive approach, limits duplication of services and streamlines process
  • History of the plan to end homelessness
    • Initiated plan in 2007
    • HUD funds have continually decreased over the past 10 years
    • Homeless Taskforce created
  • Recently created a COC Executive Committee with goals to:
    • Establish a functioning coordinated entry system
      • Prioritization, reduce barriers, fair and equal access, coordination of services
    • Develop workgroups, including
      • Executive committee, system performance, program and evaluation, coordinated entry/HMIS, housing pipeline and target populations
    • Create sustainable funding from the community
      • Funds needed; ACCESS is at a deficit of more than $136,000
  • COC needs
    • Participation by all public agencies
    • Funding COC coordinator position
    • Municipal Code updates for shelters and traditional housing
  • SOU conducted a survey on homelessness; received 782 responses
    • Over 70% of participants from Medford; 38% from the downtown area
    • Main causes of homelessness were drugs and mental illness
  • SOU completed a survey of businesses; 681 responses
    • Businesses reported that homelessness impacted their security, increased littering, loitering, vandalism and theft, and human waste is left on property
    • More than half of businesses reported an impact at least once per week
    • Businesses have installed additional lighting and/or security cameras, reported incidents to police, and/or hired security
Principal Planner Angela Durant worked with HUD and RV Habitat for Humanity to obtain funding to purchase three homes. The topic will be discussed at the April 19 Council meeting.
Council Comment:
  • Homelessness seems to impact more communities along I-5
  • Council discussed the various locations receiving funds from HUD’s Continuum of Care
  • Request financial assistance from Jackson County and surrounding cities; no known outside funding
Boards and Commissions
Mr. Sjothun outlined the Current Council Liaison information for Boards, Commissions and Committees, noting that Councilmembers serve in six voting and 18 non-voting positions.
Proposed Parks & Recreation Revisions
  • Parks & Recreation would serve as the parent commission for Arts and Cemetery Commissions
  • Permanent youth positions on Arts and Cemetery Commissions in lieu of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee (MYAC)
Council had no objections to the Parks Commission revisions.
Council requested audience input:
  • Simone Stewart, Arts Commission Chair, noted two youth were incorporated into Arts when MYAC disbanded; she had no objection to the proposed revisions
  • Michael Davis, Arts Commission, preferred to have a Councilmember at meetings
Mr. Sjothun explained that although Councilmembers would not attend Arts Commission meetings, information/requests/concerns would be brought to the parent commission and then to Council, if required. Councilmember Gordon noted his appreciation of the volunteers serving on the Boards and Commissions; he then explained that attending multiple meetings can be very stressful for a Councilmember.
Proposed Creation of a Transportation Commission
  • Serve as the parent commission of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Traffic Coordinating Committee
  • Membership to include members from the Joint Transportation Subcommittee, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Traffic Coordinating Committee
  • Appeals would go to the Transportation Commission then to Public Works and eventually to the
Council agreed to the parent assignment; Council preferred retaining the “at large” positions rather than change to a representative from each ward. 
Proposed Planning Commission revisions:
  • Remove Council Liaisons from Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission (LHPC) and Site Plan and Architectural Commission (SPAC) as their appeals are heard by Council; eliminating those Council Liaisons eliminates potential conflicts of interest in potential appeals to the Council
  • Planning Director Matt Brinkley noted the importance of the new Housing Advisory Commission (HAC) the Grants Committee; housing items received by the Grants committee would be referred to the HAC; the Grants Committee would hear CDBG funding requests before HAC.
Council comment:
  • Requested Grants Committee verify that General Fund Grants recipients used the funds received as they indicated
  • Housing and Community Development Commission duties would be reassigned; members would be appointed to HAC and Grants Committee
  • Potential conflict of interest with HAC as members serve on the organizations that receive the funding
  • LHPC should be eliminated as SPAC is set up to do most of that work or limited to the functions required by the State Historic Preservation Office
  • Minor LHPC duties could be assigned to staff (paint, signage, fences)
  • Possibly expand the SPAC membership and require they have one position that specializes in historic preservation or maybe replace the landscape position as it can’t be filled
  • The required positions for SPAC are highly beneficial and should remain
  • Council discussed whether there were ex parte concerns for Council Liaison serving the LHPC and SPAC do not generally cause issues; with the transparency in government, anyone can listen to any meetings; Council Liaison assists with finding applicants for the vacancies; could appear to be a conflict to the public
  • Need a formal recruiting process for Council and staff
  • Perhaps make LHPC a subcommittee under SPAC
  • Clearly define the duties of LHPC, then move forward to making it a subcommittee
Mr. Sjothun clarified that all the proposed revision:
  • Council okay with eliminating Housing and Community Development Commission and reassigning those duties; LHPC and SPAC would be discussed again
  • Possibly narrow the scope of LHPC
  • HAC membership should include a couple “at large” positions
Code Changes:
  • Change Council Liaison appointments to the second meeting in January annually
  • MYAC add additional schools and require City of Medford residency
Multicultural Commission:
  • Multicultural Commission Fair works with Medford Parks Foundation too; could be absorbed into the Parks Foundation
  • Assign other duties to Lilia Caballero, who attends all meetings
  • Need a Councilmember to attend if it remains
Council comment:
  • Multicultural Commission
    • At Council’s request Debra Lee, Multicultural Commission, explained that Multicultural Commission takes positions/provides advice to citizens with cultural issues and concerns as they arise.As our city grows in diversity, we need representation. Racism still exists here and Medford should have a Commission
    • Marta Tarantsey, Multicultural Commission Chair, concurred with Ms. Lee.She stated the Rogue Valley’s diversity is increasing and there are issues that are not necessarily police related or parks related.
    • Councilmember Brooks agreed that the Commission plays an important part of the cultural community that aren’t represented in other areas of the governing body
    • Councilmember Stine noted that outside of cultural celebrations, but did not recall serious issues resulting from the Multicultural volunteers
    • Council preferred no changes to the Multicultural Commission
  • Residency requirement should be updated to “owner of business located with the City’s urban growth boundary”
  • Some preferred a liaison, except for the Cemetery and Tree Committees
  • Councilmember Gordon outlined the previous process for appointment for council; with the current process, the applicants may be interviewed multiple times, which is inconvenient for the applicants
    • Liaisons can conduct the interviews with the Chair/Vice Chair of the Commission
Council spoke regarding chickens and there were no objections to handling complains through Code Enforcement; no revision to the Code except to prohibit roosters.
The meeting adjourned at 7:58 p.m.
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder

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