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Letters, Sept. 5

Video worth watching

During a time when so much focus is on national politics, it is very reassuring to know that there are people that have not lost sight of the importance of shedding much-needed light on local issues. I would like to personally thank the concerned citizens over at AshlandSOS.com who collected and posted the videos of the videotaped testimony that are public record of Ashland’s Parks and Recreation commissioners, the APRC director, Ashland’s city attorney and director of HR concerning the illegal termination of the executive director of Ashland’s Senior Center.

At 59 minutes in length it’s a little dry at times, but watching the above-mentioned “civil servants” squirm, awkwardly pause and sheepishly look over at their attorney with a non-verbal plea for help is worth every minute and more satisfying than most things you’ll find on Netflix.

I couldn’t help but wonder if some of Ashland’s elected officials are corrupt or incompetent, or worse, both. I’m an Ashland taxpayer. Can I have some of my money back as a result of this embarrassment? Wait, I know the answer to that. It’s the same as it was last time.

Jay Roberts

Ashland

Vote Graham for mayor

Like national and regional elections, our local elections will shape the face of our communities for years to come. So, who should be Ashland’s next mayor?

We need a leader who can preserve our clean water, robust infrastructure, and accessible public parks without breaking our bank or making housing even less affordable than it currently is. From her time on the City Council and School Board, Tonya understands the decisions that have strained our city budget — in fact, she writes about them extensively on her blog, tonyaforashland.com.

Those experiences have made her a realist: For Ashland to remain livable, both for people and for businesses, she knows that we have some tough decisions ahead of us. Still Tonya’s commitment to our way of life and her willingness to engage with the community to find solutions mean that she understands the impact of those sacrifices better than anybody. Vote Graham 2020!

James Edson

Ashland

Julie Akins for mayor

As a conservationist and a resident of the valley for over 20 years, I fully endorse Julie Akins as Ashland’s only mayoral candidate that can effectively support local businesses dealing with the hardship of pandemic-forced closures, homeless people needing shelter, OSF facing declining tourism, and the escalating costs of climate change.

Julie is a passionate advocate for social justice and equity. She works tirelessly for the LGBTQ community, workers’ rights, people of color, Ashland’s Climate Action Plan, and founded an organization to assist unsheltered families. Julie has the unique business acumen and the track record of balancing budgets to keep the city in the fiscal black. She is a great communicator that will unite social and climate justice, business interests, and law enforcement. Ashland needs a mayor that can bring the community together. Only Julie Akins can do this.

Dominick DellaSala

Ashland

Tonya Graham for mayor

I’m enthusiastically supporting Tonya Graham to be Ashland’s next mayor and ask that you support her, too.

Tonya is an amazingly hard-working member of our City Council who is a terrific collaborator and long-range thinker/planner. She is also a careful listener who believes genuine transparency in city government is essential.

Ashland needs Tonya!

Karen Smith

Ashland

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