Letters to the editor

Kramer for mayor

George Kramer has my vote!

There are likely to be hundreds of Ashland citizens in November unsure about who to vote for in the local council race. I'm likely to be one, but not for the position of Mayor as I'm confident in only one candidate — George Kramer.

As an ex-City of Ashland employee and now a private land use planning consultant, I've been lucky enough to know or at least meet most of the candidates and assess their ideologies, personalities, management styles and shortcomings. Most of them could be council members as they are dedicated citizens and care dearly for their community. Unfortunately, I can't say that about one of the candidates, but that's negative and negative politics is one less thing we'll need in November.

I have known George Kramer for a long time, as we've worked on numerous projects while I was with the Planning Department, and I can tell you he has no hidden agendas and speaks from within. I can also tell you he has led many campaigns to stop or significantly alter development proposals (not just in Ashland), but instead of just making an articulate argument or throwing a procedural technicality at a problem, he gets involved and takes action, which typically led to a better result.

Examples include: his work on the preservation of Carpenter Hall, Downtown Design Standards, sign ordinance, four local national register district listings, restoration of the Ashland Springs Hotel, restoration of the Peerless Hotel, restoration of Standing Stone, preservation of the original Bellview school house, restoration of the new Lithia Fountains on the Plaza, etc. The list goes on and on.

The truth is, George is a leader, is passionate, has backbone, has sat on many decision-making and advisory committees, has a family with kids in the local school system and is a longtime resident with years of experience with local, state and federal issues. The guy has substance!

This experience, as well as his many other involvements in local politics, makes him an ideal choice for Ashland's next Mayor. Vote YES for George Kramer in November.

Mark Knox


Stop the cruelty of tethering

It has come to my attention that the city of Ashland does not have a tethering ordinance for animals at home as of yet. Many people have signed a petition favoring such an ordinance and the police chief has stated that it would be enforceable and it should not drain city resources. As a matter of fact, it would cost the tax payers less money to have an ordinance restricting the tethering of animals at home enforced, than having animal control officers spending time trying to educate pet owners about the dangers and cruelty involved in this practice.

The ordinance that the concerned citizens of Ashland are proposing relates to all animals and that is how it should be. Since I am involved with the canine community, most of the information in this e-mail relates to the chaining of dogs in particular, but does that not mean the ordinance should be limited to them.

There are two very important reasons why dogs should not be tethered at home for a long time. One, tethering dogs is inhumane. Two, tethered dogs pose a danger to humans.

Dogs need companionship, care, exercise and attention. If these basic needs are not met, they may become neurotic, unhappy and anxious.

In addition to the psychological damage that comes from being tethered for a long time, the animal is also placed in serious physical danger. A tethered animal is unable to escape the harsh effects of weather, attacks by other animals, abuse by humans and theft. In many cases, the necks of tethered dogs become raw and covered with sores. Dogs have been found with collars embedded in their necks due to years of neglect. The tethers can also become entangled with other objects and cause choking/strangulation.

Tethered dogs can become aggressive. When confronted with a perceived threat, dogs respond according to their fight or flight instinct. A tethered dog, unable to take flight, often feels forced to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person who wanders into the dog's territory. Tragically, the victims of such attacks are often children who are unaware of the dog's presence until it is too late.

More than 100 communities in more than 30 states have passed laws that regulate the practice of tethering animals. Please add the City of Ashland to this list. Any city, county or state that bans or heavily restricts tethering of animals is a safer, more humane community!

Caroline Liljencrantz


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