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Letters, May 12

Voter information available

The League of Women Voters has provided voter information for 100 years. From the beginning, the League has not supported or opposed political candidates or parties. Continuing our mandate, we would like to recommend two League resources for your use as an informed voter. Both are voters’ guides and available online.

The League of Women Voters of Oregon usually publishes a Voters’ Guide for distribution, but this year, it can be accessed at lwvor.orgvoters-guide-primary-2020. This guide gives information about Oregon State elections and is offered in English and Spanish and in various formats, including audio and large print. The second resource is a website called VOTE411. This website uses your address to personalize your voter information. Candidates answer questions and their unedited answers are included. VOTE411 is available nationwide. Remember:

“Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.” — Susan B. Anthony

Jackie Clary and Margie Peterson

Co-presidents, League of Women Voters Rogue Valley

Arrasmith best choice for assessor

I have known David Arrasmith since shortly after moving here in 2012. He is a good Christian family man that I trust.

I am not a political person but as a senior citizen that has lived more than 80 years, I am a pretty good judge of character. Dave is a compassionate, respectful, honest and hard-working family man. He has helped me on numerous occasions and always has a smile on his face.

I am voting for David Arrasmith for re-election as our county assessor and I ask you to make the right decision also.

Billie Jean Shores

Medford

Amend the charter

Let’s amend the Ashland City Charter to empower our City Council to hire a professionally trained city manager and then hold that person accountable to the highest standards in hiring and supervising the professional staff who make our city work. Others have discussed the inevitable problems of the current divided administrative structure where the elected mayor is charged with authority for hiring and firing city employees, although the city “administrator” has the responsibility for supervising their daily work.

The relationship between staff and governance in a properly functioning city government is like that in a school district: the elected school board, representing the community, hires a professional superintendent who then hires and supervises all school district employees. If the community and their representatives on the school board are unhappy with the district’s performance, the superintendent is held accountable and a new professional is directed to improve the district’s operations. This accountable system of checks and balances is the model that Ashland should adopt.

One argument against the proposed change states: “If passed, it would open the possibility for a manager from Anywhere USA, to fundamentally change the policy direction of the city.” This circumstance could occur only if we citizens failed to elect a mayor and council who were vigilant and responsible in their duty to establish and then monitor policies.

Our decision to adopt this model should have absolutely nothing to do with the specific individuals currently holding any positions; this vote is about the best and most efficient governance structure for the city of Ashland going forward. I urge you to join me in voting yes on the change to Ashland’s charter.

Susan Stitham

Ashland

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