Candidates can start campaigns

The November election is months away, but the filing period has already begun for people who are interested in running for the Ashland City Council, the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission, municipal judge or city recorder.

The filing period started on Thursday and runs through Aug. 20.

Seats held by City Councilors Eric Navickas, Kate Jackson and David Chapman are up for election this fall. The city staggers elections for seats so that not all six members of the City Council are up for election at once.

Three other councilors, along with Mayor John Stromberg, will see their seats come up for election in two years.

For now, Navickas, Jackson and Chapman said they are undecided about whether they will seek reelection to the City Council.

Three of the five Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission seats are up for election this year.

Parks Commissioner Mike Gardiner said he probably will seek reelection, but wants to discuss the decision with his wife.

"I'm interested in continuing on. I'm fairly certain I will," he said.

One-term Parks Commissioner Melody Noraas said she doesn't plan to run for reelection.

"I've really enjoyed working with other commissioners and (Parks Director) Don Robertson this past four years, but have some family commitments," she said in an e-mail. "I've really learned a lot about city process and admire those people who are willing to serve year after year."

Parks Commissioner Rich Rosenthal said he does plan to seek reelection.

"I really enjoy serving as a volunteer on the commission. It's been really worthwhile and rewarding," he said.

Parks Commissioners are not paid. City Councilors receive an annual stipend of a few hundred dollars, plus health insurance.

Municipal Court Judge Pam Burkholder Turner said she does plan to seek reelection.

The municipal court judge and city recorder positions are paid.

Long-time City Recorder Barbara Christensen said she does plan to seek reelection. The city recorder also has treasurer duties and serves as the city's elections officer.

To help people interested in running for election, Christensen usually holds a class titled "So You Want to Run for City Office?"

But Christensen said she isn't sure whether she'll have the class this year.

"The interest and enthusiasm is just not out there right now," Christensen said. "Before, I've been encouraged to do the class, but I haven't had the normal interest from the community. I can still do the class sometime after June. That would give citizens the opportunity to get a feel for what's happening."

Information for prospective candidates, including filing information and forms, is available on the city of Ashland's Web site at Click on "Election Information."

Christensen said as people file their paperwork to run for city office, she will post the information on the Web site.

Residents will be able to see who is interested in running for office, and potential candidates can find out who their opponents would be.

Christensen said candidates need to run for specific seats on the City Council or Parks Commission.

Ashland is not divided into wards. Candidates vie against other candidates who are running for the same seats and are elected by voters city-wide.

The city of Ashland has a voluntary campaign expenditure limit of $3,213.25 per candidate.

Christensen is required to run a notice in a newspaper listing the candidates who do and do not agree to the voluntary spending cap. She also posts the information on the city's Web site.

If a candidate agrees to the cap but then exceeds the cap, and later runs for reelection, Christensen is required to run a newspaper notice about the broken pledge when that person seeks reelection.

Candidates must report campaign contributions and expenditures to the state government.

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

Share This Story