Russ Silbiger responds to Ms. Rosen; Russ' record set straight; Kudos to Ashland Community Hospital

Russ responds to Ambuja Rosen

Ambuja Rosen (Letters, Sept. 23) has been one of more colorful speakers at [City Council] public forum and certainly the most persistent. My guess is she has spoken before the City Council regarding tethering well over 50 times. Early on in her "campaign," I did speak to her in regards to her proposed ordinance. I remember one call lasting about an hour and a half. After repeated and persistent calls, I did ask her not to call me anymore. That was, perhaps, two years ago.

However, in regards to the ordinance, I did my homework. I called county animal control. I looked up the county and state laws and I researched other ordinances. In fact, I was the one who brought to the Council the recently enacted California state law restricting tethering to three hours, and I supported that as a reasonable alternative, as did three other councilors.

As for the "scathing email" I publicly wrote, please read it in its entirety: http://list.ashland.or.us/pipermail/comment_to_the_council/2007-May/000274.html.

I presented to the public what Council had received from organizations and individuals in regards to alleged misrepresentations by Ambuja. I did not accuse her of lying.

Perhaps my response to some of the more outlandish statements she had made was inappropriate. I am far from a perfect councilor — and it was difficult not reacting to her suggestions that a tethered dog was subject to rape; or that the tethering ordinance was more important than helping the homeless; or comparing her ordinance to the woman's suffrage movement.

Since then, I have worked very hard to remain impassive, even when Ambuja compared dog tethering to human slavery or suggested that her ordinance was more important than reopening the public library. But I'm only human, and I felt some of what she was saying to be very offensive.

Anyone that knows me knows I love animals. I have a dog and I treat him well. I was one of a small group that worked to get the Ashland Dog Park. Ambuja has publicly and privately misrepresented my position and my vote on tethering and I emphatically told her so.

Let me make it clear: I don't believe dogs should be tethered and continue to support a reasonable ordinance limiting tethering.

Russ Silbiger

Ashland City Councilor

Russ' record set straight

I'm puzzled by campaign literature from Russ Silbiger's opponent for City Council. It implies that Russ hasn't taken a strong stand on several important issues. Let's set the record straight.

Ethics Rules

Russ has championed ethics improvements. He strongly promoted and voted for the ordinance that expanded ethics standards in the city code for elected officials and people serving on city commissions. He wisely avoided a provision that would have put an unnecessary limitation on experienced citizens volunteering for city commissions.

Watershed/Water Supply Protections

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Russ, NOT his opponent. Russ has supported every responsible proposal in favor of our watershed. Russ' opponent wants to see stronger water language in the City Charter.

However, the language there and in the Comprehensive Plan is already very strong, giving the city control in protecting our water supply. Creating an issue that doesn't exist may be effective politics, but it doesn't advance the protection of this precious resource.

Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)

Russ likes the concept of IRV and feels it should be considered. However, the City Charter would have to be changed and the state has said emphatically that it will challenge IRV. Peter Buckley tried to get statewide legislation passed that would have allowed it, but failed. Ashland could push for IRV, but is it worth yet another costly court case?

Presenting misleading information in campaign literature is wrong. Please join me in re-electing Russ Silbiger. He stands for honesty, responsibility and reason.

Eleanor Savage

Ashland

Kudos to ACH

I had an unexpected end of summer vacation at the Ashland Community Hospital recently — and never had I been so barraged with angels (male and female). The ER was superb, fast, thorough and full of deep human kindness.

The food was great. They even inquired into my "spiritual," and "cultural" needs. Wow.

Although not the best patient, I am the most grateful. We have our theater, park, greenway, library and our often under-praised and appreciated hospital.

Thanks to the thousands of people who created, maintain and keep ACH progressive, innovative and always getting better. And the fire/med people are true local superheroes. School children should visit them for inspiration.

Leah Ireland

Ashland