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Q&A: Donna Lane

If elected, what would be your top priority while in office?

It’s bringing the community to figure out how we can have a more vibrant downtown Medford and also a clean and inviting Bear Creek. There was a report, the Bear Creek Master Plan, that was written in 2003, and for some reason that plan didn’t go forward. I want to find out what caused that plan to not go forward. Then seeing through the different entities, what kind of workforce are businesses looking for to come here. I think we need to pull together with SOU, RCC and the Job Council and make sure we’ve got a good pool of people. So that we can sell the city better and have more people move here and backfill some of those empty buildings that are downtown.

Do you think recreational marijuana should be legalized?

I’m not going to have a choice on City Council whether I support it or not support it. The city always has the ability to figure it out, and it’s going to take the whole community. I’ve been out talking to people and they have lots and lots of opinions on that. It’s going to be complicated. The answer I give everybody is if it passes we’re going to have to deal with it. The long term health implications, I would probably tend to lean toward it would not be something I’d support, the recreational (side). Its not eight city council people that need to figure this out. The more people you can get at the table, I think the better results. I believe in strong community decision making.

Should the city continue the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries?

Again, I don’t think we’re going to have a choice. I’ve done a lot of research, and from what I’ve read, it has a lot of uses. If it’s truly a medical use, it needs to be regulated as a medical drug, just like every other medical drug. It shouldn’t be taxed if it’s a medical drug. ... I wouldn’t want to deny anybody of any medical benefits.

How should the city deal with homeless people who cause problems in the parks?

Of course it’s a terrible situation. There has been identified other places they can go. It is definitely an issue we’re going to have to figure out. There are more resources out there than bringing food to the park. In the interim I think we do have a fix. They have made Railroad Park a place they can continue to get food, and also the Salvation Army parking lot. (Long term) I don’t know what that is. I think all part of that stems back to a strong workforce so that people who do have food insecurities can become employed. A large majority of the people with food insecurities are not homeless, and so I think the long-term solution is making people employed. It’s not putting a Band-Aid on. Those are constitutents of our city that are having a tough time. I think the long run is not to have them in those situations, where they have employment that provides them with a livable wage.

How would you be different as a leader?

I don’t have a personal agenda. I haven’t been on a planning committee or I don’t own a business here locally. It’s truly just to make Medford a better place. I have a strong humanity side of me that believes that people need to come together and be involved in the solutions. It’s not about what I believe in or what I think, it’s about getting out there and supporting the people of Ward 4.

Donna Lane