Letter at length, October 16

Places that sell food should not be held hostage

My wife Beth and I opened Alex's Restaurant in 1987. We advertised in all the local papers plus on public TV and radio. One of the main objectives, which we achieved, was having the local populace as the backbone of our business.

In the 18 years we owned Alex's, money made from tourism was from the middle of May until the middle of September — four months out of 12. People seem to have the misconception that local means Ashland. Local means Grants Pass to Mount Shasta.

When the meals tax was first voted in, the 1 percent from open space was a good thing. However, we were all deceived, and it quickly went to 5 percent in order to upgrade our sewer system.

In short order, countless patrons from the local towns told me that in good conscience they would not and should not pay for our sanitation problems. After all, they had to pay for their own system without a tax on outsiders.

These same people who will not come to Ashland with friends and relatives for a meal because of the tax will also not come just to shop at our wonderful variety of stores.

When the tax was passed, restaurant owners from Jacksonville and Medford that I talked to would rub it in and backhandedly thank Ashland for helping their bottom line.

Alex's never again had the fall through spring business that we once had.

Recently we went to Jacksonville for dinner and Britt. The waiters that worked in Ashland for years told me that Jacksonville didn't have the lull in business that occurs in Ashland.

Places that sell food should not be held hostage in order to pay for services such as a sewer system.

Alex and Beth Reid


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