Vote no on recall
I urge Ashlanders to read the voters pamphlet statements and to vote no on the recall of Parks Commissioners Mike Gardiner, Rick Landt and Jim Lewis. Having a different opinion about the senior program does not warrant recall of these elected officials.
In my 16 years on the commission, I at times disagreed with one or more of these men about policy or program or budget priorities, but I did not doubt that each was motivated by what they perceived to be best for our community.
Moreover, important issues have been raised:
How many seniors does the current program serve? What are some ways to expand or change the program to be more inclusive?
How can this program and all recreation programs be more self-supporting and less dependent on Ashland taxpayers?
Are appropriate protocols and safeguards regarding privacy and financial advice to seniors being followed?
Are financial records, including allocation of staff time, up to date, accurate, and according to budget?
Thanks to the commissioners for grappling with these issues. And kudos to the Senior Program ad hoc committee members for their work and recent thoughtful and detailed report to the City Council.
Recall based on falsehoods
There are several aspects of the current recall campaign about which I would respectfully engage in a rational discussion with the proponents seeking to remove three Ashland parks commissioners. There is, however, one major underpinning of this recall effort about which there can be no give-and-take discussion, and that is a little thing called truth.
The campaign to publicly shame these public servants, to garner signatures and to gain public support has been riddled with outright falsehoods and half-truths. Pants-on-fire dishonesty items include: Senior Center is being closed down. Olympic size pool is being built to replace Senior Center. Entire staff was summarily fired. Open meeting laws were “repeatedly and flagrantly” violated. A hired Portland consultant will “decide the fate ... of Lithia Park.”
There is more, but the above claims are the most egregiously false. The truth is under siege in our political discourse in the wider world. In our small town, let us join together and reject the efforts by a disgruntled few to shape an election based on outright falsehoods by voting no on the recall. An abiding regard for the truth should start in our own back yard.