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Letters to the Editor

PAC is legal and legitimate

The faction that gave Ashland its dysfunctional government from 2006-2010 apparently is trying a comeback. It is doing so with a barrage of letters to the Tidings consisting in suspiciously similar phrasing of falsehoods, name-calling and innuendo aimed at Ashland Residents for a Great City Council, ironically while telling everyone how terrible it is that anyone in Ashland would resort to falsehoods, name-calling and innuendo.

Resorting to ad hominems is a tacit admission that they cannot justify their invective with a single specific error that ARGCC has made. Not one. Theirs is an effort to divert the debate from the candidates by attacking fellow citizens registered as required by law as a PAC to advocate for what they think is right. Big money? ARGCC with $6,095.16 is opposing three candidates with a total of $12,058.99 (ORESTAR, Oct. 22). At roughly 50 cents and $1 per household respectively, neither amount seems unreasonable.

It is perfectly legitimate in a democracy to point out selected aspects of a candidate's record that someone thinks disqualifying. In doing so, ARGCC is unusual in providing sources anyone can check for accuracy.

The supporters of Ayars, Haxton Voisin have the right to disagree and to vote on any basis for anyone they wish. They should grant the same rights to ARGCC, rather than slander and denigrate fellow citizens.

David Churchman


Vote for Voisin, not lockstep

When a mailer comes into our house endorsing three candidates and trashing others, it doesn't take a genius to understand one thing. The three candidates are pretty much guaranteed to vote as a bloc on issues facing Ashland.

We are a diverse city facing real issues. We need a council with diverse viewpoints so all sides can be heard before decisions are made.

The mailer trashed Carol Voisin because she sometimes votes in the minority.

Ask yourself: Do we want a City Council voting in lockstep or do we want a council that represents all of us?

I have known Carol for 45 years and know her as someone who listens, studies the issues, steps up and advocates with passion and goes to work to make things happen. She is available, responsive, and takes her responsibility seriously.

She has my enthusiastic vote, and I hope she has yours.

Dorothy Brooks


Scroggin fits bill for Jackson County

After the divisive, financially wasteful leadership of its former chairman, Jack Walker, Jackson County's now fortunate to have two intelligent, common-sense incumbent commissioners, Don Skundrick and John Rachor — both Republicans.

Doug Breidenthal (also a Republican) is hoping to join them on the board, but he's a completely different breed. Breidenthal, who's garnered endorsements from the usual hyper-partisan suspects (including former chairman Walker himself) would be a Jack Walker clone — another stubborn ideologue impeding important county business with grandstanding and wasteful crusades. Apparently now a "stealth" candidate, Doug's all-too-revealing statements posted on the Internet from his primary race seem to have disappeared.

The fact that Don Skundrick's endorsed Doug's opponent, and that John Rachor and C.W Smith (another Republican, whose seat Doug, if elected, would fill) have refused to support Breidenthal, should tell us something: Jackson County can do much, much better. Jeff Scroggin would fit that bill.

Jeff LaLande


Is District 5 really doing with less?

Guy Bishop claims that Fire District 5 has been "doing more with less" (Letters, Oct. 9).

But his idea of "less" doesn't match the facts. This district already has one of the highest tax rates in the state. The bond levy on top of that would likely make us the most expensive in Oregon. Is that more with less?

The district's cost per call is higher than neighboring districts. Firefighters average about $125,000 a year with benefits, which certainly isn't less than most of us make, for a job that doesn't require a college degree.

The district just sent out 6,000 glossy fliers with our tax money, calling it a "newsletter" when it was a blatant attempt to influence this election. The fire chief just spent $2,800 to buy everyone new gym clothes at about $100 apiece. It goes on like that.

That's more with less? I don't think so.

Bring these guys to their senses. New equipment can be bought with the existing budget, and it should be. Rein in expenses, hold steady with the fat raises the board has handed out lately, and the money is there.

Vote no on 15-112.

Bill Robertson


Re-elect Stromberg as Ashland mayor

Please join me in re-electing John Stromberg. John has served tirelessly in supporting healthy local business, is responsive to the many community interests, ushered in a much needed a water master plan, is a supporter of restoring the health of our watershed, and is an egalitarian leader in the council chambers. He is an open-minded mayor who understands that old approaches to problem solving and top-down mandates, which may have worked in the "good old days," no longer serve us. John is willing to listen to all of Ashland's voices and risks stepping outside the box to consider new and innovative approaches to keeping Ashland vibrant and resilient.

I have lived in Ashland for 30 years and have seen the downtown go from boarded up restaurants and businesses and a car-centric focus, to a vital place where pedestrians and bicyclists are safe, and motorized vehicles can efficiently move along. Re-elect Stromberg.

James McGinnis