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Letters, May 1

Vote yes for City Hall upgrades

About 10 years ago I realized I wanted to put solar panels on our roof. I have been concerned about climate change and our impact on the planet for a long time, so I had a strong desire to reduce the amount of electricity we drew from the grid. However, I also struggled with spending so much money out of pocket.

I sat with this internal tension for a few years. Installing the panels felt like the right thing to do, but I was hesitant to spend so much and I ended up feeling a sense of guilt. I finally installed the panels and realized I should have done it years earlier. The savings on my electric bill each year turned out to be a greater guaranteed return on investment than I could get anywhere else, but the ongoing warm feeling of having done the right thing has been priceless.

I hope Ashland moves forward with the energy efficiency upgrades and solar panels for City Hall. Since other bonds will be paid off in June, this bond won’t increase our taxes. Using solar to generate two-thirds of the energy used, having beautiful civic buildings that respect our history and move us forward in meeting our Climate and Energy Action Plan goals, and bringing the buildings up to earthquake safety standards, all without an increase in taxes it’s simply the right thing to do!

Ken Crocker

Ashland

No on City Hall bond

During my 35-plus years in Ashland, I’ve looked at each proposed bond or tax in the light of benefit vs. cost and supported many. The $8.2 million bond proposal set for a May vote funding the renovation of City Hall, Pioneer Hall and the Community Center should not be approved.

The coronavirus outbreak has all but stopped the economic engine of Ashland. Many incomes are gone or have been cut drastically. This is the time to lessen the burden on Ashland taxpayers, not ask them to shoulder a new loan.

Secondly, the construction estimates are not from the appropriate type of company. We need bids from companies geared to the retrofit of an historic building, not from the tear-it-down-build-new sector. This vote is premature!

The city is asking us to approve and repay a massive amount of borrowed money. We must request that they present a well-thought idea at a more appropriate time.

John Hauschild

Ashland

Yes on Measure 15-189

Ashland voters have a rare opportunity to significantly improve their city government by approving Measure 15-189, an amendment to the Ashland City Charter to create a city manager position.

Anyone who has watched the increasing dysfunction and rising cost of Ashland government and the constant (and costly) turnover in Ashland’s city administrator position knows that it’s time to do away the city’s current mayor/council government and replace it with a council/manager government, as virtually every other city of any size in Oregon has done.

This change will place responsibility for the day-to-day management of city government in the hands of a trained, experienced professional who reports to the entire City Council, while doing nothing to diminish the political powers and duties of the mayor, who will still set the agenda and preside over the meetings of the Council.

For a better Ashland city government that can effectively face the challenges of the 21st century, please vote yes on Measure 15-189.

Maureen Vega

Ashland

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