Editorial: Recall is misguided

The simmering controversy over the Ashland Senior Center has boiled over into a recall effort against three elected parks and recreation commissioners. That's an unfortunate misuse of the recall process.

The Parks and Recreation Commission came under fire in August, when the Ashland Senior Center manager was dismissed and the department announced plans to shift some programs from the center to The Grove and look for ways the Senior Program could generate revenue to help pay its way. The moves came as a surprise to many.

The commission later backed away from some of the changes. An ad-hoc committee has begun meeting to discuss the Senior Program's future.

Meanwhile, a group of residents has filed paperwork seeking to recall three parks and recreation commissioners. That's unfortunate.

Recalling elected officials should be reserved for actual malfeasance or wrongdoing in office, not as punishment for making decisions that upset some constituents.

The parks commission didn't do a good job of alerting seniors to proposed changes ahead of time, but deciding to leave programs in place and backing off the revenue issue were hardly the actions of a body intent on ignoring its constituents.

The ad hoc committee was formed to consider public input, not shut it out. That doesn't mean every meeting must include hours of public testimony, and public meetings law does not require that.

Concerned residents should put their energy into working with the committee, not against it, and not waste that energy trying to recall elected commissioners.



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