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More Letters To The Editor

The top priorities of the people of Jackson County are the education of our children and the health of our citizens.

Dr. Dave Gilmour has proven that he shares our priorities and deserves to be re-elected as our county commissioner.

Governor Ted Kulongoski is endorsed by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters as "the only candidate with both a track record and plan to combat global warming, protect our rivers and forests, and keep Oregon a great place to live for our kids." He should serve a second term and deserves your vote.

Please join me in re-electing Dr. Gilmour and Governor Kulongoski.

Mat Marr

A word from Yohanna Storm

In this energetic campaign season, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Yohanna Storm, candidate for city recorder. I am a 51-year-old grandmother, architectural design professional and artist. Fourteen members of my family live here in the Rogue Valley, including my two sons and grandchild.

Ashland has unlimited creativity and experience among its citizenry, and real potential to become a global example of how a city can create a future we can all thrive in. City council has important work in the coming years, reducing debt, earning people's trust. The city recorder can play a pivotal role in this process if there is a strong commitment to truth and openness.

We all need our voices heard in these times of secrecy and mistrust in government. Your five minutes before your city council speaking about issues affecting you and your neighbors are no less important than anyone else's. Information about taxes and fees important to people of Ashland shouldn't be buried in 400-page documents, but placed up front on our city's website, so everyone knows what's going on in Ashland.

Public records are a historical trust and must be clear and unbiased; council minutes open to correction. Public documents removed from public record are never an issue in the hands of a good city recorder. After all, we create history together. Accurate, non-partisan records of history simply must be preserved.

Ashland voters elect this position every four years so that new recorder candidates apply, and the position remain independent to avoid being co-opted by partisan interests.

The treasury and elections portions of the city recorder's job are statute and procedure-based and constitute only a portion of the work of this office. The city recorder is also the liaison between citizens and council.

In addition to managing business accounts, my background for this job took place with a dynamic, visionary company whose work brought forth what we called the "group genius" of the businesses and not-for-profits we served. It was my job to make sure all voices were heard and all proposed ideas made available in an accurate, unbiased manner.

As your city recorder, I will raise the standard of integrity for public records keeping. I will open a more respectful forum between citizens and council with a serious commitment to truth and transparency. Join me in creating historically respectful communication in a city full of genius.

Yohanna Storm

Support for Steve Traisman

I support Steve Traisman for mayor of Talent. I regret not being able to help elect Steve, however, I have known this outstanding man for many years. What a candidate ... informed, educated, competent and visionary! I observed for many years, his work for guiding and counseling wayward youth, ages 10 to 18 at the Nevada Youth Training Center.

Steve is an articulate, compassionate, understanding man and a great role model. He listens to people of all ages. Steve is the proud father of three lovely, educated and successful daughters. Here again, a role model as a father. Steve will be a proactive and forward-looking leader for Talent.

Carley L. Sullivan

Nev. Board of Education

Reno, NV

Support for John Stromberg

How often do we get a chance to vote for a councilor who has both proven business skills and a sincere, knowledgeable commitment to green values? We have that rare opportunity in this election.

John Stromberg has a doctorate and 27 years of real-world management/organizational consulting experience in the private, nonprofit and public sectors. He has the skills to work with and bring together differing interests.

If this combination isn't what our city council and our city need, I don't know what could be. So I urge you to join me and my husband in voting for John Stromberg and getting Ashland moving again.

Valentine S. Jones

Support for Craig Prewitt

We have known Craig Prewitt for decades, depending on his expertise in orthopedic surgical implants to promote excellent heath care for patients in the Rogue Valley. Because of this excellence and his experience on many boards, we have complete confidence in role of Jackson County Commissioner. His success in business and commitment to community service prove his ability to bring new vision to this position. We do not recognize the "good old boy" mentality he has been blamed for in previous editorials. He has a common sense perspective on business and sees the need to fully diversity our local economy. He will thoughtfully consider realistic utilization of our timber resources while assuring that our forests are properly managed. This will help offset the loss of OC revenue and help to minimize the catastrophic loss of forests when fire strikes our region again.

Please join us in supporting Craig Prewitt.

Tony and Debra Ruberto

White City

Support for library bond

As Ashland voters cast their ballots, they face some difficult choices. These choices will have an enormous impact on the quality of their lives, their community, and as informed participants in a democratic society. However, I'd like to take a moment to talk about one decision that is easy to make.

Historically, Ashland voters have always supported their library by approving all previous serial levies and most recently by overwhelmingly passing the bond that has allowed Jackson County to re-build its libraries. The bond measure was strictly for bricks and mortar; no money at all could be spent on operations. In 2000, that was not a problem, because Jackson County had OC money to operate them. Not so today. Funding for the library will come to an end in June, 2007. Zero, zip, nada. It's unbelievable that our brand new buildings would close, but that's what will happen if we don't pass Ballot Measure 15-66.

The Jackson County Library System includes 15 libraries. The Ashland Library is a big part of that system. Patrons enjoy a beautiful, efficient, state of the art facility blended with the tradition of the old Carnegie. It's a great place to meet friends or hold a meeting. Students, from elementary to adult, find the print, audio-visual and Internet resources they need to do their work and research. The information to repair your leaking faucet, plan your trip to Vermont or select the right investment is there for you in a safe, welcoming environment. And let's not forget, reading a really good book is one of our finest pleasures. Go ahead, check out a pile of books, read and return &

no charge. In short, the library rocks!

Ballot Measure 15-66 is a local option that will maintain library service at its current level at all branches. It's a sensible and frugal proposal. The levy will cost 66 cents per $1,000 assessed (not market) value. The cost to the average Jackson County homeowner will be about $9 a month. If federal OC timber funds are renewed, the levy amount will be eliminated or adjusted according to the amount of federal money received. Measure 15-66 will end in five years.

I urge all voters to renew their support and commitment for the libraries. The impact of your decision on Ballot Measure 15-66 is huge, but fortunately the decision is an easy one to make.

Jim Fety

Support for Jack Walker

I have worked with Jack Walker over the past eight years and have always found him to be a practical, no-nonsense commissioner. He is fiscally conservative and he works hard for the people of Jackson County. We have worked together on reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools legislation in support of our local communities, on the OC Executive Committee, and on the Legislative Committee for the Association of Oregon Counties. Jack will continue to be an excellent county commissioner and he has my full support.

Anna Morrison

County Commissioner

Eugene

Support for Dave Chapman

Dave Chapman might be running a "quiet campaign" (Ashland Daily Tidings, Oct. 10), but at least when he does talk he has something worthwhile to say.

In contrast, his challenger Randy Dollinger has yet to utter a rational, coherent statement or present a single substantive solution to any of the issues that our community faces. Dollinger goes on at great length at the candidate's forums about the present condition of our downtown area. What he fails to mention is that the damage and lack of cleanliness that he finds so deplorable was the handiwork of the panhandlers/homeless-by-choice contingent of our population. This is the same segment of the population whose sphere of influence he seeks to expand within our community. To date, I have not heard him propose a single, specific plan of action for how this problem should be dealt with.

Furthermore, he was the one who spearheaded the movement to recall the mayor this summer. Had he been successful it would likely have had an extremely divisive effect on our community. Are we to take this failed activity as an example of his ability to build consensus and get the community working together in a positive, productive fashion?

And finally, what kind of message do we send our young people when we support candidates who are physically and mentally capable of being self-sufficient, but choose instead to collect welfare benefits.

Ashland deserves better than this in its elected officials.

Fortunately, we have Dave Chapman to turn to. He may not talk a lot or have a campaign brochure filled with flowery, new-age rhetoric, but his comments are intelligent, well reasoned and make a lot of sense. Dave also understands the issues that working, middle-class people and small business owners face.

But then maybe I shouldn't be so hard on Randy. He at least sees the vandalism in the plaza as a problem. Eric Navikas on the other hand has publicly stated that he feels that this type of behavior is justified.

While you're casting your vote for Dave Chapman, don't forget to vote for Greg Lemhouse as well.

Michelle Phillips

— Southern Oregon Media Group: