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Vote Seffinger, Jensen

On Thursday, we recommended incumbents for City Council positions 3 and 4, reasoning that, absent a compelling reason to make a change, those who have served effectively in a challenging and unpaid position and are willing to continue should be given the opportunity. The same approach holds true for council positions 4 and 6.

In position 4, Councilor Stefani Seffinger is seeking a second term. She has a long record of service, being a former member of the Senior Program Advisory Board, the Ashland Forest Lands Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission, serving as chair of the latter for two years. She faces a challenge from Carol Voisin, a retired Southern Oregon University professor who served two terms on the council before mounting an unsuccessful challenge to Mayor John Stromberg in 2016.

Voisin was an independent and sometimes solitary voice on the council, and lost to Stromberg 54 percent to 41 percent. We recommend voters re-elect Seffinger.

In position 6, incumbent Stephen Jensen is seeking a full term after being appointed in May to fill a vacancy. Jensen taught at South Medford High School, has chaired the Forest Lands Commission and is district coordinator for the Ashland Food Project. Also on the ballot are historic preservation consultant George Kramer and Randy Dolinger, who is formerly homeless. Dolinger’s campaign appears to consist primarily of complaining about transients downtown who give Ashland’s homeless population a bad name.

Kramer is qualified, but doesn’t make a compelling case for replacing Jensen, who gets our nod.