Letters to the editor

Wasting energy, money with recall

It saddens me to see my beloved Ashland community in such a divisive mode that it would waste valuable energy and money trying to recall three duly elected city councilors. Anyone who serves on the council is doing the rest of us a major service and clearly cares about our home, whether or not we agree with their every action or vote. They won their election hands down. Instead of complaining, I'd invite the recallers to run for the next election.

Frankly, I am grateful for a council that doesn't vote as one rubber-stamp body. I'm grateful that the City Council members have strong points of view that represent the variety of Ashland residents. I would love to see us focus on finding common ground, with an informed participating citizenry; rather than divisive recall rancor that denigrates the majority vote. None of these councilors misused their power for personal gain or did anything illegal &

they work hard to uphold the points of view of their constituency.

Sharon Hines Gist

Dump the recalls

We held a normal, proper, handsomely democratic local election to put our current city counselors in office. Certainly, these counselors need to learn how to hear and support local business owners.

We'd all like to see some old, lawsuit-spawning debates resolved. However, a recall election is a time-consuming and expensive waste of city staff resources, as well as a divisive and annoying distraction for the voting citizenry.

Out of respect for the inefficient but essential election process and, at the very least, to use tax dollars effectively, recall elections should be reserved only for cases of blatant, statutory criminal activity by elected officials. Opposing positions on emotionally charged issues and learning statesmanship and negotiation skills on the job are not crimes.

The only crime I see is the abuse of the emergency-only recall election option. Don't sign recall petitions just because you don't like how a counselor votes. Instead, get involved and give your elected neighbors good reasons to see things your way.

Gary Kliewer

'Loudmouth bullies in Ashland'

Interesting news that a few Ashland merchants are rounding up their usual gang of loudmouth bullies to overturn the results of the City Council election we just had in November. These folks are sore losers who don't have the guts to run their own candidates in a real election.

The recall organizers are not able to participate constructively in civic matters and prefer instead to subvert the will of the community with a divisive diversion that will accomplish nothing. Also disappointing is that former Mayor Cathy Shaw stoops to demeaning herself by throwing bombs from the sidelines to validate this disgruntled band of fringe malcontents.

The truth is that Navickas, Hartzell and Hardesty have been working diligently and effectively on a range of issues, from reining in the city budget to protecting our precious Ashland watershed to finding a way to reopen the Ashland library soon. But of course the recall organizers have a right to use the democratic process to pursue their goals, and the voters can be trusted to decide if a recall is a wise approach to resolving political differences of opinion.

Paul Copeland

Not against police substation

In a July 23 Ashland Daily Tidings article by Chris Rizo ("Recall effort starts to take shape"), Richard Hansen is quoted as saying that three councilors, including myself, are opposed to a downtown police substation. I would like to set the record straight that I am not opposed to a downtown police substation; in fact, I have spoken in favor of the idea.

Alice Hardesty

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