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City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes
Thursday, December 12, 2019
December 12, 2019
Medford City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
The 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:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks, Tim DíAlessandro, Dick Gordon, Alex Poythress, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski; City Manager Brian Sjothun, Deputy City Attorney Eric Mitton, Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard; Councilmember Eric Stark was absent.
Jackson County Jail Inquiry
Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler spoke about the need for funding to build a new jail facility. Councilmembers Stine and Brooks reiterated the questions submitted to the County. See attached.
Although Talent has decided not to support the jail, services will still be provided to Talent residents that are arrested. The County has not determined how Talentís portion of the jail would be paid.
Sheriff Sickler outlined the needs of the County, the services provided to the area, and the safety concerns due to insufficient jail space.
The County is interested in working with area partners regarding the use of land surrounding the proposed jail location.
Travel Medford Senior Vice President Eli Matthews provided an update noting a variety of projects including an updated brand and logo, the development of a strategic marketing plan and a new visitor information center at the airport. Travel Medford has increased event promotion, including creating the Heart of the Rogue Festival scheduled for 2020, and continues community engagement through service on committees and supporting 25 events. Discussed the success of the Oregon Mayors Association event.
Representatives from Spotlight Media reported on their marketing efforts. They have closed Travel Medfordís Twitter account, but utilize Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google products. Spotlight Media provides all marketing services for Travel Medford.
Mr. Matthews noted that Medford has received record high transient lodging taxes.
Transient Lodging Tax
Ryan Martin requested Councilís direction regarding removing the five-day grace period for transient lodging tax (TLT) payments. Inconsistent payments cause reporting difficulties and the payments to Travel Medford fluctuate. Other cities require payment of TLT taxes on the last day of the month or the 15th of the month. Staff found no other cities allowing a postmark due date. Staff recommends removal of the grace period and require payment on the last day of the month.
Council briefly discussed. Mayor Wheeler clarified there were no objections to staff moving forward with the Code amendment to remove the five-day grace period.
Deputy City Attorney Eric Mitton provided a history of TLT through the Charter. Council discussed whether to remove the TLT rate from the Charter and whether to set specific percentage rate. It was noted that staff contacted various cities and none included their TLT within the Charter.
The Charter change regarding the owner/operator language will be listed as a separate item on the ballot.
Mayor Wheeler clarified that a majority of Council preferred the specific TLT rate of 11% on the ballot. A study session will be set for February.
Planning Director Matt Brinkley provided background on emergency housing. After discussion, Council did not object to removing the CUP requirement. Mr. Brinkley noted that the CUP allowed for special criteria through an appeal to City Council.
Council discussed whether to require a CUP within residential zones. The majority of Council preferred no change to the requirement. Discussed the neighborhood meeting requirement.
The code revisions will be presented as two separate items for Council approval.
The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
Winnie Shepard, CMC
Deputy City Recorder