Council Corner: Thank you, Ashland

Today, our votes will have been counted and as a community we will know who we have elected to lead us against the challenges we face in the future. Regardless how the final tally comes out, I can honestly say that serving the community of Ashland for the past eight years has been the honor of my life.

A common question during the campaign is “Why are you running?” My answer has always been very simple. I feel a deep sense of obligation to serve the community that has provided me with everything that matters most in my life.

I came to Ashland in March of 1995. 21 years old, completely alone and everything I owned packed into my Jeep.

Fast forward 21 years and I cannot accurately count the number of relationships I have built during my time in Ashland. The most important of which being the girl I met in 1996. A smart, kind and beautiful person who grew up in Ashland and made it clear she was never leaving, which was OK with me as long as she let me stay by her side. Since that time we have raised our family, made lifelong friends and witnessed our eldest graduate Ashland High School and leave to find his own way, while his two siblings continue to grow and experience all Ashland has to offer before they spread their own wings.

I have had the opportunity to serve my community during the devastating floods of 1997, standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow citizens to ensure security of the downtown buildings (and their livelihoods) as our town struggled to recover in the weeks and months that followed. I have served on many city commissions and nonprofit boards such as the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, coached youth sports, cheered my head off at the AHS and SOU sporting events, taken in the shows at the Cabaret and OSF, experienced all of our quirky Ashland traditions, hiked nearly every inch of our watershed trails and I have loved all of it.

I have witnessed SOC become SOU, the Marc Antony Hotel emerge from its decade-old cocoon to become the beautiful Ashland Springs Hotel, the Railroad District become a vibrant and revitalized area, and watched a gravel road and field become the model retirement community known as Mountain Meadows. I have also observed Ashland rise to the occasion of many challenges and would like to believe that I contributed positively to the effort.

For a community that has given me so much and one that I have been such a part of for so long, it has truly been an honor to serve it as your representative on the City Council and it would be my honor to continue to serve so that I may continue to give back. I hope I have earned your vote.

Either way, it has been a great ride and I thank Ashland for every minute of it.

— Greg Lemhouse is a member of the Ashland City Council.

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