Letters to the editor

Concerned about gun club lease

I would love to ride my bike on the extension of the Bear Creek Greenway to Emigrant Lake. I do share the worries about the lead and the possible contamination of the Ashland Lithia water supply. However, our city council is ready to lease 66 acres of Ashland City property to the Ashland Gun Club for $1 per year. That's right: ONE U.S. dollar per year!

I find this fiscally irresponsible. We citizens get our property tax increased year after year. If we, as a community, use less water in 2007 than in 2006, the result is, that the city council increases the price of water. And to top off the injustice, the Ashland Police Department has to pay the Ashland Gun Club hundreds of dollars of our tax money to exercise shooting on our city property. The political wisdom of our city council is beyond me.

Udo Gorsch-Nies

Accountability needed in gun club decision

The Ashland City Council and mayor are now poised potentially to renew a lease on 66 acres of city-owned land on Emigrant Creek Road to the Ashland Gun Club. This decision is not in the best interests of the City of Ashland and its current or future citizens. Here are a few of the facts in the case:

1. In a time of severe budget problems, the city continues to "give" the land to the Gun Club. The rent is $0!

2. In a time of environmental awareness, our land is being severely compromised. Other sites that have been similarly used have ended up costing the owners (i.e. the City of Ashland and ultimately us, the taxpayers) hundreds of thousands of dollars.

3. On an issue where we have time on our side (the current lease is not due to expire until June 2009), the city is rushing to renew the gun club lease without any real study or consideration of options.

Why the rush? Why the lack of investigation into alternatives? Only the city government officials can explain. We need to hold them accountable and demand an open decision-making process that is in the inteests of the citizens and City of Ashland, not just a favored special interest group comprised mostly of non-residents.

Peter Gibb

Gun club should be responsible for cleanup costs

Should the gun club's free lease of Ashland city land be extended 20 years?

Who knows, but let's apply one basic, simple ideal: everyone must contribute equally to that which they take. Before considering a new lease (intended to be rushed in on July 15), at bare minimum, the gun club must be made responsible for cleaning up what they have already caused: shooting lead into the soil and Emigrant Creek for 40 years.

We can default to business as usual, turning a blind eye to what is going on. That's the easy way in the short-term. But is it acceptable to you that the interests of the few must (eventually) be cleaned up by the many?

The gun club has taken the land free of charge for four decades. There are many worthy uses of free city land that would benefit a greater percentage of the population. Perhaps it is another's turn for a free "shot" at city land.

A. Wessel

High praise for mayor, council decision

Kudos to the mayor and city council members who elected to hike or bike the Fourth of July parade route! May other able-bodied politicos follow their example next year.

The fly over was thrilling, but I wonder if that thrill was worth the many gallons of fuel burned.

Trish West

Ashland should clean up its streets

Pasadena and Portland both manage to have very nice parades every year without allowing their cities to look like utter garbage dumps the day before. It always amazes me that the City of Ashland is not capable of doing the same.

Since the City doesn't mind having all this debris and they don't feel any responsibility to protect the private property of its citizenry, the City should publish ads and let newcomers know it's OK to put plastic tarps on your neighbor's parking strips to bake in the sun for 24 hours and kill their grass. That begs the question how we can prosecute anyone for vandalism when our own city allows this behavior every Fourth of July?

If our city commission is so proud of how our streets look maybe they should invite the chamber of commerce to take some pictures of the street and use that as the front cover of the Living and Doing Business Guide?

This city has no pride and is apparently managed by a gaggle of geese.

Carolann Hennen

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