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Letters, May 2

Vote for a change

Now is the time to vote for a change in how we run the city of Ashland.

It might seem that a city manager and a city administrator are the same thing, but they aren’t.

What we have now is a city administrator who is expected to supervise department heads, but the hiring and firing of department heads is done by the mayor. The mayor is a volunteer position which does not require any expertise in running a city. While I appreciate all the time and effort put in by the mayor and City Council members, we are in desperate need of a city manager form of government.

Ashland is also more complex than a typical city of its size with functions that are unusual, including providing its own electrical services, Ashland Fiber Network and an airport. Rather than having an outdated form of management, we need a structure that is effective.

At a time when we are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis as well as the ongoing challenge of wildfires, we shouldn’t be hampered with the wrong type of city management. It’s in our best interests to be able to attract and retain a city manager that will allow him/her to manage the city. Citizens will have a voice since it will be the responsibility of the mayor and the City Council to hire and fire the city manager.

This change will also create a more rational approach for department heads of the city who won’t have to contend with having a mayor who is responsible for hiring and firing them and getting immersed in operational issues, but someone else who is responsible for directing them. We need a city manager who can be legitimately held accountable for the running of the city and who has expertise in project and team management

The role of City Council and mayor can then be what it should be: setting policy.

Please join me in voting yes for 15-189.

Adrienne Simmons

Ashland

Yes on Measure 15-193

As the city of Ashland begins to emerge from the depths of this pandemic, we can rejuvenate our community by prioritizing the Climate and Energy Action Plan and supporting the passage of Measure 15-193.

The climate crisis has not gone away. Neither has the deterioration of City Hall, Pioneer Hall and the Community Center. The bond has the potential to confront both problems.

Rebuilding these structures can be done in a sustainable, green, job-producing and community enhancing way. For less than $10/month for an average Ashland homeowner, we can start the process of living in a post-pandemic, post-growth world.

The alternative, by giving up on years of input from citizen committees, will keep Pioneer Hall and the Community Center behind cyclone fencing and an empty, crumbling City Hall in the center of our downtown.

Let the resilience of the Ashland spirit shine through. Vote yes on Measure 15-193.

Linda Peterson Adams

Ashland

Vote for Bernie

Sadly, the leadership of the Democratic Party of New York, citing concerns about the pandemic, decided to cancel its primary rather than have it in June as planned. That decision effectively means that most, if not all, delegates will go to Joe Biden.

Why is that bad? It’s bad because the number of delegates for a given candidate have power in determining the Democratic platform and rules going forward.

We here in Oregon are blessed with mail-in voting. By casting our ballots for Bernie Sanders, we can still acquire delegates that stand up for progressive issues such as Medicare for All, a living wage, affordable housing, free college tuition and the Green New Deal.

Andy Seles, chairman, Our Revolution Southern Oregon

Ashland

Attorneys endorse Greif

We are attorneys who appear regularly before Judge Greif.

Judge Greif has always maintained a professional decorum while presiding over cases within her courtroom. She treats attorneys, defendants and victims fairly and in accordance with the arguments put before her. She is respectful. She makes her expectations for standards and decorum clear.

She is transparent, prepared and knowledgeable about the law. We have never seen her swayed by personal motive or bias in any case she has presided over.

She has done excellent work overseeing the creation and administration of the Jackson County Mental Health Court Program, as well as the newly created Aid & Assist dockets to ease the burden of growing mental health issues that are plaguing Jackson County. Her personal investment with these programs are essential to the administration of justice.

Alyssa Bartholomew, Connor Shores, Donald Scales, Jason Caplan, Jaclyn Hise, Jeni Feinberg, Jen Zammetti, Justin Rosas, Paul Moser, Rachel Pavlich and Sarah Robbins

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