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Kim Keller of Ashland drops off a ballot for a friend in the voting drop behind the Ashland Public Library. (Daily Tidings file photo)

Big ballot shaping up for Ashland voters in November

Ashland voters have the chance to choose majorities of the City Council and Parks & Recreation Commission, as well as a city recorder and a municipal court judge, on Nov. 6.

A total of nine positions will be on the ballot, including four of six seats on the council and three of five on the commission.

The filing period opened May 30 and closes at 5 p.m. Aug. 16. Incumbents have already filed for reelection to six of the positions: Pamela Turner for judge, Melissa Huhtala for recorder, Mike Morris for council position No. 2, Jackie Bachman for council position Nor. 3, Stefani Seffinger for council position No. 4 and Rick Landt for commissioner No. 5.

Incumbents Stephen Jensen (council position No. 6), Mike Gardiner (commissioner No. 3) and Matt Miller (commissioner No. 4) had not yet filed for reelection as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the city of Ashland website.

Challenger Alfred Willstatter has filed for council position No. 3, to which Bachman was appointed by the council after Councilor Greg Lemhouse resigned in February. If he had not resigned, the position would not have come back before voters until 2020.

George Kramer has filed for council position No. 6, to which Jensen was appointed by the council after Traci Darrow resigned in March. Darrow had been appointed to fill Pam Marsh’s seat after she was elected state representative.

Jim Bachman and Howard McEwan have filed for the commissioner No. 4 seat.

No filings have been submitted for the commissioner No. 3 position.

Turner has served as Ashland Municipal Court judge since 2007 after serving as judge pro tem from 1987 to 2006. She is a graduate of the national Law Center at George Washington University.

Huhtala has been city recorder since June 2017. She previously served as city recorder and executive assistant to the city manager of Talent from 2011 to 2017, as as administrative assistant to the finance director for the city of Ashland from 2008-11.

Morris has been a councilor since 2011, after serving on the Ashland Planning commission from 1997 to 2010. He’s a self-employed construction contractor with a business degree from Southern Oregon State College.

Jackie Bachman, a retired director of special education for a California school district, has served on the council since March, shortly after concluding her duties as chairperson of the ad hoc committee appointed by the Parks & Recreation commission to offer recommendations for the commission’s Senior Program. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Los Angeles and a master’s in special education from Cal State L.A.

Willstatter is a retired veteran of World War II and Korea who served with the U.S. Department of State in Austria and the Netherlands, on the Ashland City Council from 1969-1972 and as chairman of the founding board of directors for the Rogue Valley Transportation District from 1974-1999.

Seffinger was elected to the council in 2014 after serving on the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission and the Forest Lands Commission. She’s worked as a high school counselor, teacher supervisor, school psychologist and child development specialist and also makes glass art. She has a master’s in psychology from Cal State University Northridge.

Kramer is a self-employed historic preservation consultant with a bachelor’s degree in history from Sonoma State and master’s in historic preservation from the University of Oregon.

Jim Bachman is a retired educator with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA who completed master’s coursework in accounting at San Diego State University.

McEwan is a retired attorney with a bachelor’s in political science from San Diego State and juris doctor from Lincoln University School of Law.

Landt, a registered nurse who’s worked as an environmental planner and landscape contractor, was previously elected to four-year terms on the parks commission in 1998, 2010 and 2014. He has a bachelor’s in general studies from Southern Oregon State College.

Bert Etling is editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings. Email him at betling@rosebudmedia.com.

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