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MailTribune.com
  • Letters to the Editor Thursday, July 31

  • Concerning the issue of the city's proposed opening up of R-1 short-term rentals in Ashland which include many new and unique conditions (i.e., one guest party at a time, one rental area within the residence, owner must be present during visitor occupation, one car per visiting party, no kitchen usage, etc.): Without city enf...
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  • Rental rules a bad idea
    Concerning the issue of the city's proposed opening up of R-1 short-term rentals in Ashland which include many new and unique conditions (i.e., one guest party at a time, one rental area within the residence, owner must be present during visitor occupation, one car per visiting party, no kitchen usage, etc.): Without city enforcement of other more broad conditions, a host of individuals have been operating illegal accommodation businesses for years.
    In fact, almost as many illegal operators were discovered as there were legal ones. If this new category of STRs is created, there will be a flood of applicants. Once approved and operating by the dozens, and more likely by the hundreds, how will the city insure compliance?
    Without practical enforcement these newly "legalized" operators will ignore whatever conditions and ordinances that are not convenient for them. As a result, the entire traveler's accommodation situation in Ashland will become a free-for-all that will end up in total chaos.
    At this point, when the city finally realizes its mistake, it will be very hard to legally reverse what they have allowed, thus creating a perpetual mess that will negatively impact Ashland's residents, property values and the quality of the visitor experience. — Stephen Alfred Larson, Ashland
    Elk Trail facts
    The truth about Elk Trail School needs to be revealed: $2 million in budget cuts were not necessary, and that was not the cause of Elk/Trail closure. Elk/Trail cost less than $300,000 to operate.
    Go to the Oregon Department of Education website financial reports for the truth. Under "Actual Revenue By Fund and Source", Eagle Point ended 2010-11 with $5,910,980 (19.4 percent carryover); 2011-12 with $5,056,358 (16 percent carryover); and 2012-13 with $4,557,012 (14.5 percent carryover).
    Eagle Point School District consistently has the highest cash carryovers in Oregon. Why isn't that money being spent on students and smaller class sizes?
    The school district had over 180 teaching positions when this administration arrived in 2007-08 and had just over 130 at the end of this past school year. Class sizes are at high levels while the administration sits on their huge cash carryover funds.
    Administration numbers continue to increase and in 2014-15 administrators will be in their third year of large salary increases.
    The Medford School District listened to the Ruch community and Ruch School remained open and thrived. Determining the fate of Elk/Trail is another chance for the D9 board and administration to listen. Will they pass or fail? — Jim Mannenbach, Eagle Point
    Firing was retaliation
    Bob Sergi's recent firing by Sheriff Winters is clearly retaliation for Sergi running against Winters in May's election. It demonstrates precisely what Sergi pointed out: a culture of fear and intimidation that starts at the top in the Sheriff's Department.
    A brave candidate, challenging his own boss for public office, Lt. Sergi finds himself out of job in a career he has served for over 34 years. When you wonder why more good people don't run for public office, this surely is one reason.
    Most people know that fear and intimidation do not result in a better quality work environment where open discussion prevails and decisions are based on best information. Great officers cannot thrive and serve excellently in those conditions. They lose and we lose.
    So, residents of Jackson County witness a sheriff ruling by fear and intimidation, desperate to maintain his job. Well, that is up to us. — Lynn Howe, Medford
    They’ve lost the war
    The Republican Party and the Israeli government have something in common: they've both lost the propaganda war.
    Once again, our mainstream media have jumped into bed with the wrong people. — Ron Smith, Medford
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