Three familiar faces – two incumbent and one who served some years ago – were winners in their races for seats on the Ashland City Council Tuesday night.
Dennis Slattery, a professor of business and accounting at Southern Oregon University and member of school's Board of Trustees, won a term on the council in 2010 but took the last two years off after he decided not to run for reelection in 2014. He won back his seat with 5,428 votes (59 percent) against Debra Neisewander with 1,267 (13 percent) and Doug Burns with 2,388 votes (26 percent).
Incumbent Councilor and Goodwill Workforce Development Director Greg Lemhouse, a former policeman and council member since 2008, was elected with 6,404 votes (69 percent) against Martin Kamenski (1,810 votes, 19 percent) and Theo White (934 votes, 10 percent). Lemhouse is on the boards of the Ashland Emergency Food Bank and the Southern Oregon Humane Society.
Running unopposed for a second term, Rich Rosenthal, Medford’s interim Parks Director, netted 6,492 votes (97 percent). He was on Ashland’s Parks & Recreation Commission for a decade before that.
Slattery said he’s excited to get back on the council.
"I talk to a lot of people, hear what they are into and let them know we can try something different," he said. "We’re a small town with neighbors and friends we care about and we’ll try to figure out what’s best for our community.”
Lemhouse said he hopes to unify efforts among the many groups in the community.
"We all have to pull together and support each other and serve our community. I campaigned on better collaboration between nonprofits, the government and private service organizations to better serve the people in need and improve the infrastructure and the affordable housing issues we are facing, as we make sure we’re creating a safe, equitable place for everyone to live in.”
John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.