Wow, I just got a recorded call from the mayor pleading for my vote for new pools for Medford. Then I proceeded to read my mail, which contains a property tax statement of $284.40 per month that I pay now for a $200,000-plus house.

Wow, I just got a recorded call from the mayor pleading for my vote for new pools for Medford. Then I proceeded to read my mail, which contains a property tax statement of $284.40 per month that I pay now for a $200,000-plus house.

We pay enough now to our local government. I know the YMCA in town has a great complex. Why don't we support a local facility that is already in place? I would rather spend money on them in the form of assistance and urban upkeep.

I am sure some of the previous tax money was earmarked for upkeep of the pool but finds its way to other projects. Use what you have, and don't raise my taxes anymore. Vote no! — Mike Miller, Medford

I agree that Medford should have a public pool. My problem is, what happened to the original Hawthorne and Jackson pools? They weren't maintained.

Why? City neglect.

What's going to happen to the new pools that we pay for? What's to say they won't be neglected also? We homeowners are being asked to pay more, again, for something that we paid for once before, with no guarantee that our money isn't going to be thrown away by mismanagement and neglect again. And since the pools will be for the benefit of the entire county, why aren't the other cities in the county being asked to pay for them?

Being brought up with the attitude that if you break the "toy" you're given you won't get another makes me wonder about the practices of the city that says, we broke that toy so we want you to buy us another one. — P. Moran, Medford

Mayor John Stromberg is the perfect mayor for Ashland moving forward in 2012. What I have admired most about his style of leadership is his wise and minimal use of mayoral power; he is a gracious and strong team player.

His strongest efforts are devoted to hearing and balancing the full range of opinions arising out of our diverse citizenry and City Council. He uses friendly good humor as he keeps meetings on task and on schedule. Meanwhile he has presided over significant improvement to Ashland's habitat, both natural (watershed protection, thank you!) and societal (improving Ashland city codes and strengthening regional problem solving). Mayor Stromberg is a practical and effective visionary who truly enjoys and excels at making a meaningful contribution to our wonderful community; let's keep him as mayor of Ashland. — Deborah Gordon, Ashland

Jeff Scroggin comes to this position with valuable experience gained from his position as chief aide to Sen. Alan Bates in the Oregon Legislature.

His first concern is jobs and local business support by investing in fiscally responsible upgrades to the infrastructure. Business looks to stay and locate where communities invest in themselves.

Jeff is also concerned with land use policies and will work to balance protecting farmland, forest land, streams and rivers and green space while responsibly managing land and resources for our future.

Jeff is profoundly knowledgeable about Oregon and the Rogue Valley and I believe he will serve us well as county commissioner position 2. A vote for Jeff is in your best interests. — Victor W. Rogers, Ashland

Obama helped prevent the second great depression. Although the stimulus package was far too little, it stemmed the tide and turned around an economic mess long in the making.

Obama helped get finance reform through, though it wasn't nearly enough. Obama finally helped pass comprehensive health care reform — something a dozen previous presidents couldn't. It wasn't sweeping enough, but he did what was possible.

Obama has begun to repair our image with a world grown weary of U.S. pomposity and neocolonialism. Obama appointed reasonable Supreme Court justices. Maybe they'll help overturn Citizens United, which legitimizes purchasing elections and politicians. Obama has supported increased equality for women and gays. Our president has been far too pragmatic and compromising for my taste. I'm hoping he might actually be able to tackle big issues like climate change now that he has helped clean up the mess left for him. Re-elect Obama. — Doug Huston, Ashland

Only one of my four grown children returned to the Rogue Valley after college. We agree that this a great place to raise a family, but when my kids look at the want ads, they see the same old service economy they grew up in.

So I've been watching the election for county commissioner to see if there's any hope that we might develop an economy that will support the next generation. When I listen to Doug Breidenthal, I hear about timber jobs. A few more jobs in the woods is OK, but that won't bring my children home.

But when I listen to Jeff Scroggin, I hear words like "technology," "investment" and "education," and I feel hopeful. Scroggin understands that we need to diversify and transform to bring this valley into the 21st century.

I miss my kids. That's why I'm voting for Jeff Scroggin for county commissioner. — Pam Marsh, Ashland

I can only shake my head in disgust. What has happened to honesty, morality and the rule of law in our country? How could anyone who believes in truthfulness vote for Obama? He should, at a minimum, be impeached, but more likely, subject to trial for treason.

Why? For starters: documented lying (numerous examples, with Benghazi the "final straw"); dereliction of duty (Benghazi the most visible); aiding and abetting our enemies (The Muslim Brotherhood — which has, in writing, vowed our destruction, and is making very real progress toward that goal).

Why is he still even in contention for another four years? The only faint sliver of hope I've seen the last couple of days comes from the fact that several newspaper editors of very liberal, Democrat-based for decades newspapers have endorsed Romney. — M. Isaak, Medford