I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the Tidings editorial on Ashland’s broken public art process (Can’t look away, Feb. 14) takes the “give it time, it might grow on you” approach. It’s all Ashland is left with. That and the hope that trees and plants hide its poor judgment.
But the Tidings' conclusion that the council’s efforts to appease the public is where the failure lies is just wrong-headed. No, Springs on Sticks is not much of an improvement over Gather. That was obvious from the day it was chosen. Had the council listened to the public in the first place, and started over rather than doubling down, we might have had a valuable community discussion and commissioned public art the public supported. Sad that the Tidings believes those unworthy goals.
Some people have characterized the recall as mean-spirited or divisive, casting the Parks and Recreation commissioners as victims of an extremist group of malcontents. Let's look at what has led to the recall.
The commission has attacked a most vulnerable population of elders who have little alternative to the lifeline that the Ashland Senior Center provided them for the last 43 years. They have destroyed a substitute family for the lonely and alienated, one that provided access to vital social services, and have not replaced it for six months. They have dismissed that community's pleas to reconsider, and wait, and have launched a cover-up in the form of the ad hoc committee that is busily finding ways to spend much more money while downgrading and outsourcing social services.
These commissioners need to be replaced with people who will work with the community they serve, not impose their will on us!