Letters, Sept. 24
Taking care of the Greenway
Seems simple to me, either we take care of the Greenway, or Mother Nature will.
Terrie Martin for commissioner
It’s time to elect a new commissioner to bring balance and greater diligence to the three-person board whose decisions impact our lives.
Terrie Martin grew up on a farm outside Talent, where her parents still live. The Harley-Davidson dealership on Highway 99, destroyed last week in the Almeda fire, was her family business. For years, her parents worked nights cleaning offices to keep it going.
Terrie graduated from Southern Oregon College, then joined the Mail Tribune. Over 13 years, her interviews featured the stories of the less visible: farmers; ranchers; immigrant workers; those challenged by poverty, disability, or abuse. She went on to teach journalism at SOU.
The current board is unsympathetic to the day-to-day problems faced by our friends, families and neighbors. They dismiss COVID-19 issues; they propose $170 million (increasing property taxes) for a new jail. With her fresh perspective and energy, Terrie Martin will have our backs.
Do as you say
Tonya Graham ran for City Council in 2018 saying she wanted Ashland to live within its means. Instead, she has voted to raise taxes, city staff compensation, utility bills, surcharges and fees. In fact, Graham was the city’s number one supporter/promoter of a new tax to rebuild City Hall, which was overwhelmingly defeated by 70%.
It’s been too easy to run for office on a platform of good fiscal stewardship and then do the opposite once elected. Julie Akins signed the ACES Economic Sustainability Pledge which formalizes the fiscal and economic promises made to us Ashland voters. It ensures prioritized spending, no new taxes and diversifying Ashland’s economy.
Julie signed the pledge because she’s willing to be accountable for what she says. Councilor Graham did not. Our city can no longer afford to reelect people who don’t do as they say. Vote for Julie Akins for mayor.
Two things. First off, Anne Zauner’s jaw-dropping Sept. 18 letter in the Mail Tribune: Many readers (e.g., those who don’t drink gallons of the Trump/Fox Kool-Aid daily) might agree with much of her letter, but only if she had switched around her use of the words “Republican” and “Democrat.” That is, if she had instead written that much of the (in my own opinion, formerly decent and thoughtful form of moderate conservatism once espoused by many in yesterday’s) Republican Party has indeed — her words in quotes follow here — “degenerated into a lawless, hate-filled, resentful, irrational” imposter GOP.
Secondly, now writing as a fairly new Talent resident (profoundly grateful that our home escaped the flames): As Talent and Phoenix start to rebuild, it will be important for citizens to be vigilant that the process does not result in lessening our towns’ current ethnic and economic-income diversity. In other words, that purchase and development of burned properties does not transform these affordable communities into gentrified towns, like Ashland steadily became during the 50 years I lived there. Some might respond with the sacred cry of “Let the market decide!” A real community is much more than that.