I was appalled to read Medford City Council candidate Curt Ankerberg's comments in the Medford Sneak Preview, which stated: "There is a culture of corruption within Medford government".

I was appalled to read Medford City Council candidate Curt Ankerberg's comments in the Medford Sneak Preview, which stated: "There is a culture of corruption within Medford government".

I have been a Ward 1 resident for 22 years. During this entire time, I have been proud of my city government and our ward council members. We are probably one of the most fiscally stable cities in the state. Even during this recent economic recession, Medford has been able to balance a budget and retain sufficient reserve funds for emergencies.

For the past four years, our Ward 1 councilman, Dick Gordon, has performed an outstanding job representing us. He works hard to enhance livability in our city and can be trusted to make informed, unbiased decisions. We don't need an attack dog on the City Council. We need to re-elect Dick Gordon as our representative. Please vote for Dick Gordon. — L. Wilcox, Medford

I have contempt for the Medford City Council. Dick Gordon is the only member who I trust implicitly. I disagree with him on some issues but his integrity is beyond reproach. Anyone who would question his honesty is either a liar or a fool. He and I have different paths to the same goal — the betterment of the city.

I respect all the members for their selfless duty, but Gordon stands out above the rest. Check your facts before you accuse a man such as he of any wrongdoing.

I look forward to doing future political battle with him, because I know he is fair, trustworthy and an honorable man. Good luck, Mr. Gordon. — Brad Martinkovich, Medford

Mitt Romney's debate performance showed a suspicious move to the center after months of appealing to his extreme right-wing donors. He now has distanced himself from his quote about the 47 percent of the population that does not pay federal taxes. He wants to keep the popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, even though he knows that this is not economically possible unless all provisions of the law remain intact. He tries to pretend that his policies are somehow different from those of George W. Bush.

Just like a used car salesman, he will change his tune to fit the audience. He wants to cut taxes and pay for it with changes in deductions, but he will not tell us which ones he will cut. Above all, voters must be able to trust that their president has their best interests in his heart. Romney fails this test. — Marc Heritage, Rogue River

The constant hammering of slick commercials from the fake Grange raised my suspicions. Turns out foreign money is paying big bucks to try to convince us to vote for a nontribal casino near Portland.

Measure 82 would overturn a 28-year-old state constitutional ban on casinos, which only Oregon's nine recognized tribes are allowed to own. Measure 83 would let Canadian investors build that casino resort.

They took a familiar name without permission from the actual Grange to try to get 82 and 83 passed. That's enough sleaze to convince me to vote no.

Profit from tribal casinos benefits Oregonians. Profit from the fake Grange will benefit Canadians. — Ellen Wakefield, Medford

On reviewing the slick, expensive flier sent to me by Fire District No. 5, I don't understand the need.

The department (rightly) touts its great review from the insurance ranking agency; yet it presents itself as desperately needing to update equipment, including three new engines. How is it that it managed to do such a good job with equipment so aged and lacking that it needs $1.8 million from us? The first three trucks that would roll out first for a call in its current fleet aren't anywhere near the pre-determined age of retirement to second-level duty.

The second-level trucks are older, but there's no evidence to document their inability to meet needs — in fact, it seems the fire district is doing very well. And the recent flier seems so wasteful.

Please spend our money, especially in these fragile economic times, more carefully. Vote no on Fire Levy 15-112. — Marilyn Bailey, Ashland

After reading his three-part plan for revitalizing Phoenix, I am supporting Steve Schulman for mayor.

The plan shows a vision for the future and an ability to think outside the box. I urge the voters of Phoenix to join Steve and myself in working for the future. Steve's plan not only reflects common sense but also demonstrates sound business practices for a successful partnership between the city of Phoenix and small and large corporate businesses: reduction of fees for new businesses, fast tracking through the Planning Department and actively seeking new business for Phoenix through the national Main Street Program.

Steve's plan focuses on what Phoenix needs: businesses up and down Main Street that create new jobs and deliver services for all of us who live and work in our valley. — Sandy Wine, Phoenix

I'm in favor of John Stromberg for Ashland mayor. John Stromberg has shepherded some important solutions to long-standing community challenges during his tenure as mayor. He helped bring all parties together and worked with Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to acquire funding for the Ashland Forest Resiliency thinning project in the watershed.

With his leadership and the input of citizens, the City Council drew up an economic development strategy for the town, fixed the Wimer-Hersey intersection and developed a water master plan. Mayor Stromberg also appointed the Homelessness Steering Committee to find practical solutions to issues of the homeless — and the increasing numbers at risk of homelessness — in Ashland. I encourage Ashland residents to re-elect John Stromberg as mayor. — Connie Saldana, Ashland

Congressman Greg Walden is our alleged representative in the House of Representatives.

Greg Walden does not represent the people of Oregon.

Greg Walden does not even represent the Republican people of Oregon.

Greg Walden represents the Republican Party leadership.

This is what is wrong with our legislative branch of government.

Remove Greg Walden, and those like him, and you fix the problem.

All you have to do is look at the voting record of these folks.

They are not "Americans," they are "waiters". They don't think. They take orders.

We can fix this, this year. — Ed Scanlin, Medford

Well, doggone it! I guess I'm one of the very few boosters of Obama winning the first presidential debate last Wednesday night.

He was described as a loser because he looked so beat and tired, and not a bit feisty, which he can be sometimes. Subdued. Placid. Almost boring!

Well, think of him this way, especially after seeing — if you had a chance to — his campaign performance the very next day! Lively, brisk and positive on the issues.

Why that "loser" behavior in the debate? To liven up the scene! Obama has the numbers in so many voter categories and in electoral votes, close with 270 to the ones needed on Election Day.

Yep, I think Obama's performance was a deftly, cleverly planned one. And I surely saw the evidence in his reversed demeanor, the very next day! — Maryline White, Ashland

The "debate" has left it clearly enunciated: The very rich can create jobs, the government cannot. Where were these creators the past four years, when the president, who had helped them hold on to their wad, begged them to do a little more hiring?

They looked up from counting their money long enough to say it was not yet profitable. It will become profitable, maybe, when the American worker is desperate enough to take any job for a fraction of what she or he used to earn. And without the benefits the unions fought for, under a government that diligently looks the other way.

Are we expected to vote for the ticket that sells this philosophy while eloquently weeping about the (profitable) joblessness? I don't think so. — Hans Stroo, Medford

People come at legal problems from all directions, which is why a good judge is so important. Ben Bloom is an excellent judge — devoted to the law, fair and patient — and he upholds the dignity of the courtroom. It is important to keep a judge this good. Vote for Ben Bloom. — Dick Thierolf, Medford

Make sure you are registered, and when you receive your voter pamphlet soon, please give careful consideration to candidates on the Democratic slate, from national office to local county commissioner. These are capable, reasonable people who bring good will toward all. You can count on them to do the right thing.

President Obama has earned a second term, and hopefully he will get more help from Congress this session to move the country forward. Jeff Scroggin as a county commissioner will bring energy, political experience and an open mind to creating more jobs in our local economy. Check out his website for more information.

We are fortunate in Oregon to be able to vote by mail and not have to deal with voter suppression laws found in Republican-dominated states. Don't pass on voting as history shows elections can be decided by a very small margin. — Gordon Smith, Rogue River

Romney shamelessly lied throughout last Wednesday's debate. But that didn't trouble right-wing pundits desperate to declare him a winner.

After all, they earn their exorbitant salaries by lying and distorting facts at every opportunity.

The last thing this country needs is for flimflammer Romney to take up residence in the White House. The only possibility for job creation during his occupancy would stem from an outside watchdog agency's need to hire hundreds of shift workers to fact-check his rhetoric 24/7. — Marie Arvette, Medford

Every person — be they liberal or conservative — should tape Rick Fernandez's letter to the editor of Oct. 4 to their mirrors in their bathrooms. They should read this every day. Maybe, just maybe, they will realize the road we are going down in this country both locally and nationally will be the ruin of us all.

Wake up and vote to put an end to this before it's too late. We need to give the freedom and power back to the people where it belongs. Read his letter before you vote, and decide who on the ballot will help bring back the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that this country was founded on. You won't get many more chances. — Rick Schefers, Shady Cove

Please support Dick Gordon for Medford City Council. Gordon has served most capably and honorably, and deserves to be elected to another term.

He is careful and thoughtful in his consideration of the issues, respectful of citizens testifying before the council and responsive in a timely way to inquiries and opinions sent to him. He always is prepared, having studied the materials provided before the meeting, and after hearing testimony will often follow up with more study and research on his own. Medfordites are fortunate to have the service of a volunteer with his experience and dedication. — Marjorie Overland, Medford

I spent the last few years of my law enforcement career working with Ben Bloom and his law firm on various issues affecting the criminal justice system. I was impressed with Ben's motivation, integrity and dedication to improve the system.

I was very happy when Ben was selected for the position of Circuit Court judge. I have followed his career and court decisions. I believe he has developed into a fantastic magistrate. As one intelligent man stated: "I do the very best I know how and I'll keep doing to the end." I am sure Ben would agree.

Please return his honor Ben Bloom to his Circuit Court position. — Bob Kennedy, retired Jackson County sheriff, Medford

My husband and I moved to Phoenix in 2003, and almost immediately, 2004, Steve ran and was elected to the City Council. He has served as chairman of the Phoenix Urban Renewal Agency board for the past three years.

Steve's positive attitude about Phoenix is summed up in his campaign slogan, " I'm betting Phoenix, will you?"

Please join us in working on the future of Phoenix. — Gail B. Schulman, Phoenix