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The Tidings' picks

Other editors say

For Ashland City Council: Hearn, Jackson and, by a whisker, Navickas

Be careful what you wish for. That might be the fitting phrase for Position No. 2 in the Ashland City Council race. The Tidings has preached for an infusion of young blood on the council, and the candidates came through en masse.

Alex Amarotico, 33, Andrew Bangsberg, 24, and Eric Navickas, 32, are on the ballot for the hotly contested seat, with Brent Thompson ' though youthful in spirit ' playing the role of the graybeard at 56.

This quartet, all vying for the seat vacated by Susan Reid after 20 years, has made the decision for voters extremely difficult. Each one offers up a unique, qualified, underrepresented point of view to city politics.

But choose we must. By a whisker, The Tidings endorses Navickas. He is all of the following things: an organic gardener, architecture grad, artist, environmental activist, land-use law devotee and affordable housing advocate.

He has also been arrested while protesting the removal of trees for the expansion of the Ashland Public Library. To that, Navickas says: I grew up reading Henry David Thoreau. I am a firm supporter of citizens' rights to act out in civil disobedience. To that, we say: We know a patriot when we see one. Navickas will bring a voice to the City Council that has never before existed.

Thompson is a close second. His enthusiasm for Ashland is unparalleled, and his work against Ashland sprawl is commendable and warranted. It is our hope that he will find a niche in the city and continue to keep a watchful eye on growth.

Position No. 6 on the City Council pits SOU student Corky Gardner against Chris Hearn, who was appointed to the vacated seat of David Fine in mid-term 2001. Gardner stands firmly on a platform of keeping Ashland small and green. Against another opponent, Gardner would be a solid choice.

But in this case, experience prevails. Hearn's knowledge of land use ' he's a land use attorney ' and his years on the Ashland Planning Commission and Ashland Budget Committee earn him the nod. Hearn has appeared hesitant at times during his partial term, and we urge him to assume a more aggressive posture. When he does weigh in on issues, he makes sense.

Position No. 4 is the oddest of races. Kate Jackson has been serving in the absence of Cameron Hanson while Hanson is deployed in the Sinai with the Oregon Army National Guard. Now, Jackson is seeking the seat while Hanson runs a campaign from the Middle East.Although Hanson certainly provided a voice for Ashland conservatives, Jackson's experience with transportation concerns gives her the nod. Street safety is an ever-present problem in Ashland, and Jackson is a solid advocate with street savvy. She wins our endorsement.

Bottom line: They're all worthy candidates.

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Correction

Medford School Superintendent Steve Wisely will remain on the job until next June. Thursday's editorial incorrectly stated he would leave in January.