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Eggers won't seek re-election to city's Parks Commission

 Posted: 2:00 AM July 26, 2012

Ashland Parks and Recreation Commissioner JoAnne Eggers said she will not run for re-election this November after nearly 16 years in office.

Retired educator Vanston Shaw is running to fill her seat. Shaw worked most recently as superintendent of the Yreka Union Elementary School District in California.

Known for her concern for the environment, Eggers took office on Jan. 1, 1997 — just in time to watch as a major flood ravaged Lithia Park, downtown businesses and other parts of town.

The Parks Commission race so far

Position No. 1

Vanston Shaw

Position No. 2

Jim Lewis (incumbent)

Deadline to file with the City Recorder's Office is Aug. 23. Two of the Parks Commission's five seats are up for election in November. Terms are for four years.

Lithia Park has since been restored and the parks system has made advances on a number of fronts, including adding parkland and boosting recreation programs.

Eggers said every time she ran for re-election to another four-year term, she had to ask herself whether she was still committed to the parks system and had the energy to attend meetings, do her homework on issues and be available to listen to the public.

She said she is still committed to the parks system and wants to keep helping on parks issues, but wants to put more of her energy toward other things.

"I'll figure out other good things to do," she said.

Eggers said parks commissioners must become knowledgeable about a whole host of issues, from pesticides to dog waste to golf to budgeting.

She said she hopes candidates emerge who value the parks system and understand its importance to the health of the community and individuals, Ashland's economy and the environment.

Commissioner Jim Lewis has filed paperwork to seek re-election for Position No. 2. A general construction contractor with experience in historic restoration, he has yet to face any challengers.

Lewis has served almost 12 years on the Parks Commission and served for 14 years on the Ashland Historic Commission.

The Parks Commission could see more change if member Rich Rosenthal is successful in his bid to win a seat on the City Council. He would vacate his parks seat midterm.

Remaining commissioners would appoint a replacement to serve until the position comes up for election in 2014, said City Recorder Barbara Christensen.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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