Making it worse

Congratulations to the Ashland City Council: In further taxing Ashland’s housing affordability by quickly and without citizen input adding a potential additional $16.73/month to our already high utility fees to, among other things, add five more police in a low-crime, small city, councilors have made the housing crisis even worse! This, in addition to the potential rising costs of electricity, sewer, and storm drain fees, is also known as taxation without representation.

The Ashland City Council could take a history lesson from the Boston Tea Party. Instead of slashing bags of tea and throwing them overboard, perhaps we should tax a few bags of marijuana. There is a variety of options for ways to address the perceived shortage of downtown police and rising utility fees, but the council is choosing to act quickly and without citizen input, thereby making the current housing affordability crisis even worse.

I worry about my sweet neighbors: students, a retired couple, a young family with three children, already having trouble affording the high cost of living here. The addition of $201  a year to our utility bill may seem like a small amount to some, but for families struggling to afford to live here, students and the elderly on fixed incomes, it’s just one more hurdle that makes it challenging to continue living in Ashland.

Ashland needs children! Ashland needs diversity! A monoculture is not a healthy community! If something isn’t done soon about the rising costs of living here, all the inhabitants of Ashland will be elderly, gray, wealthy people; a Disneyland that tourists visit to see Shakespeare plays!

Heidi Parker