Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, May 10, 2018

AGENDA
May 10, 2018

6:00 p.m.
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
 
  1. Jackson County Jail Overview
     
  2. Mike Cully - League of Oregon Cities
     
  3. Livability Team

MINUTES
May 10, 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 Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
 
Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks (arrived at 6:15 p.m.) Tim D’Alessandro, Dick Gordon, Kevin Stine (arrived at 6:06 p.m. and left at 7:52 p.m.), Kim Wallan and Michael Zarosinski
 
City Manager Brian Sjothun; Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
 
Mayor Gary Wheeler and Councilmember Tim Jackle were absent.
 
Jackson County Jail
Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler presented the history of the local jail.
  • Built in 1981 and was designed to hold 176 people; now holds 292 but working to increase it to 300 with night time maximum of 315
  • Presented comparisons on cities with similar populations, including forced releases, measure 11 (20% of our inmates), and the average length of stay.
  • Inmate numbers impact workload for staff, mental health issues for inmates, as well as officer and inmate safety.
  • Lack of jail space impacts multiple other agencies in the area with increased crime, offenders not being held accountable and often reoffend, lack of availability of mental health services and drug/alcohol treatment, district attorney cases move faster if offenders are in jail, etc.
  • Existing building would be difficult to modify or remodel to add extra rooms
  • County could continue to rent beds from Josephine County, use talent’s facility as jail space, or perhaps add gas or marijuana tax
  • Currently county staff is working to prevent jail time by linking offenders to services, education, searching for funding, etc.
 
Council comment:
  • Recommended 750 beds in a new facility; would take about 5 years to build
  • Mental health facility/health care could reduce number of needed jail beds
  • New facility would force offenders to serve their full sentence and also provide the time to allow access to mental health services
  • Ratio of deputies to offenders depends on jail design, visual access, etc.
  • Medical costs and mental health services would increase expenses; currently care costs about $500k per year
  • Resources from state marijuana tax is relative low; just $492,000 for two years is not enough for a new jail
 
League of Oregon Cities
Mike Cully, Executive Director of the League of Oregon Cities noted the League is conducting meetings throughout the state to speak about their work with the cities within Oregon. Craig Honeyman, Legislative Director; Paul Aljets, Research Coordinator; Kirk Mylander, General Counsel at CIS; Patty Mulvihill, League of Oregon Cities General Counsel; each briefly spoke about their general responsibilities with the League and noted the services were “free” as part of our dues.
  • Website is being updated to be more user-friendly
  • Weekly “local focus” newsletters will continue
  • Concerns about the northern part of the state does seem more “heard”
    • Board positions open if we would like to be more active
    • Working toward perhaps having an LOC representative in this area
    • Difficult to represent every issue for every City
 
Livability Team
Deputy Police Chief Scott Clauson spoke, noting that Council requested a plan to enforce the Code on October 5, 2017.
  • Health and safety operations on the greenway
    • Enforcing no camping
    • Link violators to services: veteran’s outreach, access, mental health, etc.
    • Remove garbage and clean area
    • Vegetation removal and maintenance
  • Enhanced Police Patrols
    • Extra patrols within the downtown core
    • Exclusion zone enforcement
  • Livability team
    • Modeled from other communities
    • Focus on current areas and would be adaptable
    • Would include three police officers, one code enforcement officer and one records specialist
  • Instead of livability team
    • Increase in overtime
    • Specific to areas, but only for short durations
    • Expand greenway operations to twice per month, but needs funding source
  • Could obtain a grant for funding over three years; City would need to pay 55% of the expense
 
Council comment:
  • Current public safety fee is being spent for police and fire
  • Police does try to keep the overtime as low as possible
  • Unit would be fairly flexible, using bike patrols or cars; would need to be able to go to where there is need
  • Currently, the daytime calls for service in the downtown area 2,400 per month
  • Group proposed the plan is the most economical and still get a lot accomplished
  • Livability group would be a community policing response to eliminate repeat calls
  • May need to combine the creation team with mental health and community justice programs
    • Police does provide information on services
  • Would like more walking police officers on specific nights in specific areas
  • Police is now at full staff, first time since 2005
  • Shouldn’t use the safety fee; use marijuana funding or grants
  • Perhaps review the general fund grant funding levels
    • Grant receivers need to be held accountable
  • Grant is typically awarded beginning of July and is funded around September
  • Marijuana funds will be discussed at the July budget meeting
  • Increasing the utility bill impacts homeowners, but also renters in low-income areas
  • Council directed staff to apply for the COPS grant and separately discuss the marijuana funding
 
The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
 
 
 
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder
 

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