Letters, July 8
Will of the people
Last November, Ashland voters had an opportunity to weigh in on the legacy of outgoing mayor John Stromberg. In doing so, they rejected the City Hall bond (supported by Stromberg), voted for a city manager form of government (opposed by Stromberg) and elected Julie Akins as mayor (over Stromberg’s endorsement of Tonya Graham). In short, voters resoundingly opted for a new direction for Ashland.
Since then, councilors Steve Jensen and Graham have embarked on a campaign of bitter public attacks on Akins. In last Tuesday night’s council meeting they were joined by councilor Paula Hyatt in what was clearly a carefully planned attempt to blindside Akins and hijack the proceedings. Video of the meeting can be seen here.
This trio needs to be reminded that Akins was elected by a majority of Ashlanders and given the mandate to make changes. Ashland citizens should demand that they stop their divisiveness and get on with the business of running the city and balancing the budget.
David Savage, CFP
Total lack of civility
Ashland voters voted to change our city government from a strong mayor to a strong city manager. The special meeting last Tuesday was ostensibly to refine details of the search for a city manager, but instead became a hostile takeover attempt.
Long before the pandemic sucked the life out of our hospitality, restaurant, and theatre sectors, many citizens expressed unease with the lack of fiscal restraint shown by city government. We were asking politely to pull the curtains back just a little. We wanted to see and understand how the sausage was made.
Nobody asked to see a slaughter! It’s ugly and we shouldn’t have to tolerate this disregard for common decency. By resorting to bloodbath tactics, Councilman Stephen Jensen has abandoned any shred of civility that candidate Jensen may have shown. Claiming long residency does not give Jensen license to abridge the community’s right to a civil society.
Others on the council who facilitate his behavior are tainted by his reckless disregard for our sense of propriety.