Why I am not seeking re-election

Why I am not seeking re-election

I wanted to explain to the citizens of Ashland why after long consideration and with great reluctance I have made the decision to not stand for re-election to my council seat this year.

I want you to know I love serving my community in this capacity; it is one of the true honors of my life.

Yes, it is challenging and time-consuming; however, my overriding thought has been, "I'm grateful to live in a community where serving in this capacity is worth it."

I am tremendously proud of what has been accomplished while I have been on the council. However, changing priorities create the need for me to turn my attention to another community I love as well; the university.

Southern Oregon University's importance to this community cannot be fully valued; it is one of the major economic drivers of this city and the region. Its well-being is as important as any other single entity can possibly be to Ashland.

As most know, Southern Oregon University, where I serve as a professor, continues to meet with challenging times, and those challenges will only increase over the next few years. I believe the university will need all hands on deck, especially those of us in senior tenured positions, to successfully meet the challenges of we face in the future.

In the next couple years we will implement a local board to govern SOU; the issues of retrenchment are still, and will remain for the longer term, front and center. Reorganization is just beginning and administrative changes are certain in the near term. I believe strongly that the university needs to recommit to its regional mission and we need to make ourselves increasingly more relevant in the changing age of the delivery of education.

I do plan to return to a community leadership role in the future. For now I will focus my attention and energy on helping SOU build a positive future. Moving away from serving on the council is made easier in a couple of ways. First, our community is well served on the council by dedicated citizens who work hard to direct limited resources to unlimited demands. I will miss working with my council colleagues, the mayor and staff. All excellent people.

I also feel good about a candidate for my position, Stefani Seffinger. Steph is the current chair of the Parks Commission and a person I respect a great deal. She does her homework on issues and listens with an open ear. I hope you will pay attention to her campaign and I urge you to vote for her in November.

Finally, let me just say thank you. I came to Ashland in 1977 and I found a home, almost by accident. The most fortunate of accidents.

I have been educated, found careers, wonderful friends and the love of my life in Ashland. I have gained so much more than I can ever return. Representing a community one loves is a gift I would hope for everyone. Thank you.

Dennis Slattery