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Letters, June 28

Dismayed by departures

Like many Ashland residents I am dismayed by the recent departures of senior city managers. I do not know them but it is apparent that each has served well for a number of years. They are respected professionals as far as I can tell. The public comments from each of them were indicative of good character and care for the city of Ashland. I think it is telling that two of the three are resignations, not retirements. So what are the causes? Not having talked with them I don’t know for sure. What I surmise from a distance includes the following: The campaign run last year against the “status quo,” and now embodied in the mayor and several councilors, is having an impact; incumbent staff are part of the status quo; anti-status quo rhetoric and behavior are driving away key competency. I think the use of “status quo” as a label for political messaging was effective, but inaccurate and harmful. I don’t think running our beautiful town well is a negative. I am dismayed.

Alan Steed

Ashland

A simple water solution

Chlorine shortages, brown lawns. This drought is not new.

I recently moved to the Rogue Valley from Reno, where the water utility, TMWA, introduced a new conservation tool — water usage restrictions. We could only water three days a week, before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m., based on numbered address. There was no watering on Monday to give the aquifers a day to restore. Hand-watering and drip systems were exempt. There could be no water on asphalt or concrete — in other words, no waste.

Surprise! No lawns turned brown, trees didn’t die, golf courses and sport fields stayed green. This restriction applied to everyone — residential, commercial, parks and recreation, golf courses, cemeteries.

Even private well owners, who were not affected, adopted the watering schedule because their wells were going dry and they were needing to dig deeper ones. Car washes had to use recycled water. Restaurants did not automatically offer water to each patron; only on request. This did not happen overnight, obviously. It took many months for landscapers to readjust timers and sprinkler heads.

This is now the norm. It is recognized that water is a valuable commodity that everyone must share. Something to think about.

Linda Robb

Jacksonville