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Letters, July 21

Outrageous

How outrageous! Ashland Mayor John Stromberg, who opposed the charter change to a city manager, is trying to impose his candidate for the position.

On the agenda for tonight’s council session is the proposed appointment of Adam Hanks to a three-year term as city administrator and effective Jan. 1 as city manager.

David Runkel

Ashland

Ashland citizens alert

Ashland Mayor John Stromberg is attempting to undercut the city manager form of government approved by city voters in May by a 2-1 margin. He’s put before the City Council a three-year contract which would promote Interim City Administrator Adam Hanks immediately, with an automatic stepping into the new role of city manager on Jan. 1.

The contract would give Hanks two years of severance payments, in excess of $300,000, if he is removed by the next mayor and council without cause.

This is being done before a job description is written for the new position of city manager, before any citizen involvement in the process, before the job is advertised, before any recruitment effort is made and without any competition.

Yet the current council is being asked to vote on the contract tonight, July 21.

Why is this happening? The answer may be that while Stromberg is not running for re-election he is hoping to keep in power his mentee and his overtaxing and spending policies, which have created a fiscal crisis in city government.

We urge all Ashlanders to contact the six members of the council by going to www.council@ashland.or.us before 6 p.m. today and explain to them that this irreversible contract would overturn the will of the people and approval of it would be a breach of their duty to act in the best interests of the city and our fellow citizens.

Bill Heimann and Susan T. Wilson

Ashland

Administrator contract premature

The July 21 City Council meeting will include a vote on whether to appoint Adam Hanks to the city administrator/city manager position.

This should not be passed.

There should be a competitive search for this position. The person serving on an interim basis may well be the most qualified person, but it is doing him no favors to be appointed by an outgoing mayor and outgoing members of the City Council. Whoever is hired needs to be selected by the new mayor and the City Council members who will be in office.

The two-year severance package is not a standard severance package nationally; it is excessive.

I hope the mayor and City Council will reconsider the wisdom of this appointment and vote no.

Adrienne Simmons

Ashland

No postage required

COVID-19 will make voting at polling sites more difficult and a greater health risk. Consequently, I believe states should adopt voting by mail, and voting by mail should be free: no postage required.

Requiring voters to pay postage will make it more difficult for the elderly, lower income people and otherwise sick and/or disadvantaged people to vote. It is not easy to buy a single stamp and many of the groups just mentioned will find it difficult to spend $10 to buy a book of stamps and/or to find a location to purchase stamps.

The Postal Service is an agency of the U.S. government. I strongly believe states and the U.S. government should promote and utilize vote-by-mail, and this service should be free/no postage required.

Ross Pelton

Ashland

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