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    Letters to the Editor

  • Mailer's authors did their homework
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  • Mailer's authors did their homework
    I have studied the mailer that came from Ashland Residents for a Great City Council. The folks behind it seem to have done their homework as honestly as anyone can. I checked out their website. Voting records and splinter group leader's proposals such as voted on or led by Voisin, Ayars and Hartzell indicate that no reasonable voter would choose those folks as council members.
    I will be voting for Agee, Lemhouse and Rosenthal and I recommend that all concerned voters in Ashland do likewise. It is the right thing to do!
    Joyce De Witt Thompson
    Supporting Ayars for City Council
    I support Regina Ayars for City Council Position 5. She has contributed positively to our community in the 10 years she has lived here.
    I am grateful to Regina and all who work on city committees and boards. Such service is sometimes thankless because we don't all see issues the same way. On occasion, attacks become personal rather than centered on ideas presented.
    One of the disheartening items in the flier in yesterday's mail was the implication that the Ashland League of Women Voters' merger with the Rogue Valley LWV was a failure of leadership on Regina's part. As a longtime League member, I see things differently.
    Have you noticed a shift in people's commitment level in local organizations? I see a change over the years.
    People want more flexibility with their time. They may approve or endorse goals of organizations but don't want to be responsible for daily tasks that make them work. In such a situation it was sensible to combine forces with the Rogue Valley League, share leadership and continue the work of voter education, study of issues and engaging communities in promoting positive solutions to public policy issues through education and advocacy.
    The role of the League in Ashland is unchanged. Membership is open to men and women citizens of voting age. Noncitizens may participate as nonvoting associates. You and your leadership skills are welcome.
    Let's treat all our candidates with the respect they deserve.
    Shirley Patton
    Council mailer is a coup attempt
    I just received a mailing from a group calling themselves "Ashlandvotes.org" titled, "Ashland Residents for a Great City Council." This four-page mailer consists of three pages outlining all things they think are wrong with Carol Voisin, Keith Haxton, and Regina Ayars. No information is offered about the candidates they do favor — Greg Lemhouse, Jackie Agee and Rich Rosenthal — which leads me to wonder: Well, then maybe there's not much to say in favor of these candidates.
    The mailing is dispiriting, to say the least. It attempts to pit one triumvirate of candidates against another. It looks like a little city coup attempt. They criticize Carol Voisin for her efforts on behalf of the homeless, her efforts to address what all must agree is a difficult issue calling for a solution that balances humanitarian concerns with practical ones. Issues like this need vision and creativity, not demagoguery in the style of our national political dialogue.
    The U.S. Congress feeds on this style of negativity, and it is why its approval rating is south of 10 percent. Do we really need to infuse our small town political conversation with this kind of scattershot negativity?
    I would hope to see a City Council reflecting the broad spectrum of opinion in Ashland. We need all sides represented on the council — business interests, environmental and lifestyle concerns, and humanitarian concerns.
    I will be voting for Carol Voisin, to keep her wise counsel alive in our town.
    Nancy Parker
    Negative campaigning is counterproductive
    Not more than five minutes after posting a letter to a friend regarding the lack of civility and decorum among candidates and their supporters on the national level, I found a four-page flier in my mail, full of the same nastiness I had just decried.
    I felt sick — how did that level of negativity reach this community? By reading it, I learned nothing about the qualifications or positions of candidates this Ashland Residents for a Great City Council backs, only how awful their opponents are. That is not the way to choose an elected official.
    Not only have I not made the acquaintance of any of the candidates running for City Council, since I do not live within the city limits I will not be voting for any. However, all of us need to work together starting Nov. 7 to solve the problems identified by citizens and civic leaders.
    The more divisive, hurtful and personality-oriented the campaign becomes, the harder the fences will be to mend. Why would any group want to exploit the fracture lines that already exist in Ashland, when a positive, cooperative approach would accomplish so much more? I hope to hear an answer.
    Debbie Miller
    Ashland needs leaders like Ayars
    Shortly upon moving here in 2003, I asked around as to who might help with a campaign to stop plans for a rock quarry and asphalt plant just outside the city limits where I was living. Regina Ayars' name came up repeatedly as one who was well-liked, well-organized and a hard worker. She readily volunteered to help me distribute literature and gather signatures in her neighborhood. Soon, I met her again as I became active with the League of Women Voters in Ashland and with local politics in general.
    I discovered that not only did Regina live up to her reputation for being highly capable, but she was also well-traveled and well-educated with an astute understanding of world views and cultures. There is a certain appreciation of people who experience the world differently that makes one able to listen more deeply to others and that seems only to come from working with people of disparate cultures. Regina has that experience, one of several things that distinguish her from other candidates for Position 5.
    Moreover, I know Regina to be remarkably kind, generous, and caring. She's exactly the type of leader that Ashland needs!
    Pam Vavra, Ashland voter
    Santa Clara, Calif.
    Mailer is distorted, inaccurate
    I want to object to the recent mailing sent out by Ashland Residents for a Great City Council, which was negative, attacking, distorted and inaccurate. I believe such tactics to be divisive and inappropriate for our community.
    I am supporting Regina Ayers, Carol Voisin and Keith Haxton because I believe they are caring, civic, clear and receptive, with values that I appreciate: fairness, tolerance, generosity and social justice.
    I have known Regina Ayers for many years and have experienced her dedication to the well-being of this community. She has given generously of her time and energies to Peace House, UFD, WILPF, Ashland Food Project, League of Women Voters, Housing Commission, Homeless Steering Committee and AIFF.
    In observing the decisions and work of Carol Voisin, I have repeatedly seen her choose fairly and for the greater good, and I believe her voice is an important reflection of a large part of the population here. I confidently believe that Regina, Carol and Keith will contribute a great deal that is positive to our City Council, making decisions with their hearts as well as their minds.
    Pamala Joy, director, Ashland Food Angels
    Vote for Lemhouse for City Council
    In his first four years on the Ashland City Council, Greg Lemhouse has proven himself to be fair, prepared, hard-working and an excellent problem solver. He does not come with a pre-set agenda, but rather works creatively and cooperatively with others to serve the best interests of the community overall. I urge you cast your vote for Greg.
    Suzanne Frey
    Bloom should stay on the job
    I would like to voice my support for Judge Benjamin Bloom in the upcoming election. My job requires considerable involvement with the Jackson County courts, and I have had the opportunity to serve as a witness in Judge Bloom's courtroom.
    The case dealt with a sensitive family matter in which both parties were unrepresented by attorneys and emotions were running high. During the hearing, Judge Bloom patiently assisted the parties in presenting evidence and examining witnesses. He listened to both parties and ultimately rendered a fair decision based upon the facts presented. It is clear to me that Judge Bloom appreciates the importance of his job and that he thoughtfully carries out his duties as circuit court judge.
    Judge Bloom is well qualified to continue to serve Jackson County. My vote will be for him in the upcoming election.
    Gabe Dawson
    Candidates should show respect
    It saddens and shocks me deeply to read how J. Agee, G. Lemhouse and R. Rosenthal express their political view. They are trying to defeat candidates who have another approach or view in resolving and dealing with the issues and problems we have in our town.
    We are living in a community that agrees for the most part that kindness matters. To have a healthy coexistence of many different walks of life we need to show respect for both ourselves and each other. I would expect this quality most especially from candidates who want our votes. If I would vote for these three I would fear that this style of exacerbating conflict would become a part of how they think they can govern this city. I don't want this.
    Edeltraud Muroki
    Ayars shows energy, ethics, people skills
    I am a "woman of the cloth" and a principled person. I want you to vote for Regina Ayars, who is running for Ashland City Council. I met her last year, and was impressed with her intelligence, people skills, high energy and ethics.
    I've watched her study issues and research the background of current city events as if she were already a councilwoman.
    I know she serves with the League of Women Voters and the Ashland Food Project. In Toastmasters I watched her systematically improve her professional communication skills. She is dedicating her life, time and talents to serve Ashland. I proudly display a sign for her at my Ashland home. My neighbors support her also.
    The Rev. Penelope Martens
    Stromberg is good at herding cats
    Herding cats is hard work. If you have three cats, they will try to go in six directions.
    We citizens of Ashland are often cat-like. We don't like killing pedestrians and bicyclists, but we are not sure that we want to slow down cars. We worry about fires but we are wary about cutting down trees. We consider ourselves compassionate, but we are annoyed by unwashed panhandlers.
    As mayor, John Stromberg has proven to be a master cat wrangler. He is very patient. He has helped create the consensus necessary to move forward on sensitive projects like the Ashland Forest Resiliency thinning program.
    John is willing to spend the time required to lead us forward on other issues, such as planning for an adequate supply of fresh, affordable water. Let's give John another four years to get us cats organized.
    Diarmuid McGuire
    Campaign flier was scurrilous
    The campaign flier mailed to arrive with our voters' guide is the most scurrilous piece of campaign literature I have ever seen. The distortions of fact and sleazy innuendo are blatant to the point of farce.
    There is no doubt that Carol Voisin and Regina Ayars speak for many in Ashland and they will definitely get my vote!
    Nan Trout
    Vote Alan DeBoer for Ashland mayor
    Alan DeBoer is one of the most generous people with both his time and financial support for dozens of charities and helping organizations in the Rogue Valley. Over the years, Alan has served on numerous boards of directors and committees. He has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life and services for all residents of the Rogue Valley. Alan has served with intelligence, diligence, and humility.
    Alan's accomplishments, and there are many, include chairman, Ashland School Board, YMCA board member and past mayor of Ashland. He is also a successful businessman and leader. Alan will use all of his skills to help steer Ashland through these difficult economic times.
    It would be difficult not to support Alan DeBoer for mayor of the city of Ashland. Help make Ashland a fiscally and socially responsible city. Vote for Alan DeBoer.
    Steve Shapiro
    Vote Jeff Scroggin for county commissioner
    The Rogue Valley League of Women Voters ran an excellent and fair forum Thursday for two county commissioner candidates that wasn't covered by the press. The two candidates answered many hard but fair questions.
    The responses separated the candidates in important issues. Jeff Scroggin came across with fresh ideas such as his support for nonpartisan commissioner election, acceptances of grant money including federal funds, support for agriculture, particularly vineyards, garden farms and tourist industries and his suggestion of asking the public if they support funding for longer hours for libraries that serve as civic centers. His opponent mainly expressed his concern about the federal debt.
    Presently, one sitting commissioner supports Scroggin while a previous one supports him and two commissioners support neither. What does this tell you about Scroggin's ability to serve as commissioner?
    Vote Scroggin for Jackson County commissioner.
    Porter and Corinne Lombard
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