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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Medford City Council Study Session
August 14, 2014
The meeting was called to order at noon in the Medford Room, City Hall, 411 W. 8th Street, Medford with the following members present.
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, John Michaels, Dick Gordon, Chris Corcoran and Bob Strosser.
  1. Distribution of Food and Services in Parks and Facilities:  Parks & Recreation Director Brian Sjothun addressed the Council and provided the history and background on this issue.
He noted that over the past six years, Hawthorne Park has become a site for several non-profits to provide food and services to homeless and those in need of additional assistance.  With the pending renovation of the park, the Parks & Recreation Commission asked that staff review options for relocating these services during the renovation as well as a potential permanent site other than Hawthorne Park.  The Parks & Recreation Commission created a sub-committee to work with staff, service providers and the surrounding business owners to develop options. 
The sub-committee met with stakeholders and toured various potential sites in the vicinity of the park.  Potential locations were identified and shared with the service providers.  The groups did not approve of the options presented to them.  Staff met with the Parking Commission who was not in support of utilization of City owned parking lots for the food and services distribution.  An additional site was identified at 3rd and Front Street as a potential city-owned property that is underutilized.
The Parks & Recreations Commission is recommending that the Park Use Regulation be changed to require a permit for distribution within City-owned facilities.  This would be a no charge permit that would be good for six months.  They are also recommending a semi-annual meeting of the groups distributing services and goods.  This will provide a time to look at coordination of services and changes to schedules.
The Parks & Recreation Commission is also recommending use of the city-owned site at 3rd and Front Street.  Additional costs would be incurred to provide water, tables and garbage service to the site.
Deputy City Attorney Lori Cooper addressed the Council and noted that  Legal recommends if the Council chooses to support the recommendation, they would need to ensure that the language in the policy applies to any parties such as family reunions, birthday parties, etc.
Councilmember Michaels noted he is not in favor of using the 3rd and Front location and would like to see the services being provided in a covered facility.
Council discussed the potential locations, use of City parking lots, food handling requirements.
Steve Curry, owner of Heritage Motors spoke to his concerns with this service moving next to their business on 3rd and Central.
Rich Hansen, Parks & Recreation Commissioner spoke to the work that was done to try to identify a location for the temporary relocation. 
Lynette O'Neal, Assistant to the Deputy City Manager, spoke to the Parking Commissions concern with distribution of food and services in any of the parking lots.  She noted the Parking Commission is not supportive of this due to the efforts they have already had to undertake to diminish the public concerns that the parking lots are unsafe.
Jenna Stanke addressed the Council and spoke to the Bear Creek Foundation and the Bear Creek Greenway joint powers committee who have been working hard to improve the Greenway and also struggle with the perceptions regarding the safety of the Greenway.
Council members discussed alternatives and how to address this issue. Suggestion that additional police presence could be addressed in next budget cycle.
Mr. Swanson noted that direction appears to be a parking lot location at the Greenway as a temporary solution during construction.  However the policy and rules to move this forward with permitting is an administrative action and he will draft something for council input before adoption.   Councilmember Michaels requested that this be addressed in a public hearing and Councilmember Bunn requested that surrounding property owners be notified so they can participate as well.
  1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Consulting Contract:  Alison Chan, Finance Director addressed the Council and provided information on the process and need for a consultant to assist us on this project.  She provided an overview of the proposed timeline with the project implementation in June 2016.
Mr. Swanson noted that there was a protest of the intent to award that the Council will address at the council meeting.
  1. Fire Sprinklers Fire:  Postponed until future meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 1:10 p.m.
Glenda Wilson
City Recorder 

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