Strange values on budget panel
The Ashland Budget Committee seems to have adopted some strange values in coming up with its proposed biannual budget.
Might must make right these days. The Parks and Rec funds are fair game because they're not legally protected from being raided. This reminds me of the school district's decision to open their enrollment for students to transfer from other districts. All the press coverage in that case cited the extra monies that would come with the new transfer students. Nothing was ever mentioned about where that money came from, which was the neighboring school districts we impoverished by draining their enrollments and their accompanying dollars.
I understand that Ashland has unavoidable increased expenditures for such things as upgrading our water sand sewage systems. But how can we justify the obscene amounts of money earmarked for consultants and studies? Who thinks it's wise to spend $50,000 to $100,000 on a study of parking, bike, pedestrian and traffic issues? Haven't these issues been under constant study for the past several decades? And how complex are they in a town the size of Ashland? Do we need specialists with uncommon training to understand them?
Our efforts to improve the downtown area have already been set back by the misguided and awful "beautification" of the Plaza. I can hardly wait for the next enlightened traffic plan that I'm paying for.
Give new Plaza look some time
I am grateful for the Plaza renovation. It has a very strong look that will stand the test of time.
The pavers look great after a rain as they absorb May rains; over time the bricks will age gracefully as opposed to difficult beige colors that tend to hue toward peach and pink, fading ungracefully.
The tile reminds me of Ashland Creek flowing nearby, a colorful touch like a little blue dot the artist puts in one corner of a painting. Up-lights make the plaza look like understated European town centers in Germany, France, England.
The overall look is inviting, but not over-embellished; my word for the tasteful approach is "spare" with strong bones. I am happy to see a diversity of young and old, visitors and locals sitting on the benches, including myself.
Give the Plaza some years; many will appreciate the hard work that was put into it in 2013.