Vote no on recall
I’m urging my friends, neighbors and fellow citizens to vote no on the upcoming special election.
I’ve known Mike Gardiner, Rick Landt and Jim Lewis for over 26 years and strongly contend these individuals are by far some of the most upstanding and dedicated citizens Ashland has ever had. Ashland would not be the same if it were not for these individuals.
Jim was one of the original founders of the Historic Commission, Rick was one of the original members of the Tree Commission and Mike Gardiner was on the Ashland Planning Commission who, as the chair, presided over numerous controversial proposals. They are now dedicated volunteers for the Parks and Recreation Commission and advocate for improved parks and recreational activities, including supporting our senior community. The unanimous vote by the entire Parks and Recreation Commission to restructure and enhance the Senior Program is an example of that commitment!
I urge a yes vote on the recall ballot. An engaged democracy requires an informed citizenry. We can only fulfill our responsibilities to our city when we are adequately notified about issues.
To expect people to search all departmental websites for information on decisions that affect our community is untenable. Such expectations violate the spirit of the Oregon Public Meetings Law. We are fortunate to have a responsive community newspaper that was not informed of agenda items relating to APRC’s pending decisions about the Ashland Senior Center in August 2017.
I was startled to discover that radical changes were being launched without major discussions and input from our citizens. APRC commissioners acted inappropriately, asserting their citizen-granted powers in a surreptitious way.
I strongly disagree with the values demonstrated by the APRC commissioners. I was appalled that APRC dismantled the Senior Center, claiming the “need” for a $75,000 cost recovery over two years. This number was based on a study that cost the city $40,000 and was presented only days before the APRC announced a park study costing $230,000. Alert city officials to respect a process that includes adequate notification of government decision-making and runaway budget issues.
Let’s hold our officials accountable by voting yes on the recall!
Vote no on recall
The parks commissioners being named for recall (Rick Landt, Jim Lewis and Mike Gardiner) have done nothing to warrant a recall.
The issue with changes at the Ashland Senior Center has been blown completely out of proportion and a recall vote on three parks commissioners should never have even come to a vote.
The park system of Ashland is complex and involves a lot of study and decisions by the elected commissioners who have managed well for many years. These men have been appreciated and elected more than once to serve. The job of a parks commissioner is a time-consuming job without compensation.
The fact that they made difficult and unpopular decisions regarding the Senior Center does not make the decisions or the commissioners wrong. The Senior Center seems to be thriving, has kept programs in place as well as having added new classes, programs and events under new management.
Again, the three commissioners named for recall have done nothing illegal, corrupt or unethical which would constitute a recall effort.
This recall measure is an unnecessary expense for the city of Ashland and its residents.
Please vote no and keep the parks commission intact and working for us all!
Betty Jo Reynolds
I have always felt that recalls should be used only when an official has shown prejudice or malfeasance.
I know in my 10 years on the City Council and 15 years as a Circuit Court judge I made my share of mistakes. I’m not suggesting Messrs. Landt, Lewis and Gardiner made a mistake, but that’s the most this election can be about. These commissioners have served us honorably and we should acknowledge that by voting no on the recall.
Golden most qualified
Last week, 250 people rallied in Ashland to promote “common sense gun regulation.”
One of them was Jeff Golden, candidate for State Senate District 3. Commenting on the growing demand for change, he noted, “The difference this time is it’s a national movement of young people who dare to demand they be safe in school.”
Golden is a candidate who can clearly assess a situation, has the fortitude to state his views clearly, and the proven ability to work with a wide range of people to bring about change. In this time of uncertainty, Jeff is the most qualified candidate to represent the values and needs of Southern Oregon.
And, he can’t be “bought” — on his website (GoldenforSenate.com) he states, “I want [support] from you, the citizens and voters, so that there can be no possible doubt that 100 percent of my responsibility and obligation as Senator is to you.”