The city of Ashland has taken a page from the playbook of the nonprofit world and adopted values and vision statements.

The city of Ashland has taken a page from the playbook of the nonprofit world and adopted values and vision statements.

The recently adopted values state Ashland places importance on participatory government, a healthy environment, responsible land use, free expression, diversity, distinctiveness, a sense of community, all people having their basic needs met, lifelong education and an economy with environmentally friendly businesses that provide good wages, local products, support for arts and culture and connections to Southern Oregon University.

The vision lays out what an ideal Ashland would look like in 2030.

Many attributes would remain the same, including that Ashland is a relatively safe place with outdoor recreation, events and festivals, performing and visual arts, preservation of historic buildings, limits on sprawl and a school system that is regarded as among the best in the nation.

Other attributes are a work in progress, such as forests above town offering wildlife habitat, recreation, clean drinking water and safety from wildfires. In the past several years, the city of Ashland and the U.S. Forest Service have carried out three projects — one of which is in progress now — to thin wildfire fuels and improve forest health in the Ashland watershed.

Some attributes of an ideal Ashland would be challenging and costly to achieve, including that the town would meet its energy needs through conservation and alternative energy generation, residents would reuse treated sewage effluent and stormwater runoff for irrigation and strong bus and rail systems would connect Ashland to the Rogue Valley and the rest of the West Coast.

The city spend months gathering and summarizing input from community groups, city boards and commissions, individuals and about 100 people who answered an online questionnaire before putting together the documents. Details are at http://ashland.or.us/Files/062910_Adoption_of_Values_Vision_CC.pdf.

— Ashland Daily Tidings