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  • Writer's pictureEric Hansen

Questionnaire from the Ashland Chronicle

1. What stand do you take on Ashland's Ballot measures? Explain your stance. (250 words for each measure)

I will be voting No and No on both measures. Ashland voters will decide, and I’ll respect and work with the results.

Why No and No? We’ve historically maintained park independence but due to the nature of Parks’ robust roll in our city. We are better served with the commission maintaining independence from City politics. We have a world class park system here and an elected Commission to manage it. I think it’s really, well… Ashland of us.

Ballot Measure 15-210, Ashland's Charter

Shall Ashland amend its City Charter to delegate all authority to appoint, supervise, and remove employees to the City Manager?

As I stated above, Parks & Rec is a robust and historically important part of Ashland’s identity. The commission is elected by the people to carry out a specific task.

Ballot Measure 15-211, Ashland's Food & Beverage Tax Ordinance

Shall the Ordinance be amended to dedicate a portion of revenues to general government services and extend the sunset date?

I will be voting No on this. The reason being, we as a City need to stabilize our funding. Making such a major change in times like these tend to shake things up and create uncertainty. I think allowing this to go on another 5 years gives all stakeholders an option on how to proceed, and all departments to have input into how that revenue can be utilized in the future.

2. How are you going to make it more possible for folks who work in Ashland to live in Ashland?

That is a very important question we’re facing. Ashland has been discussing housing and affordable housing for 20 years, we can go all the way back to Housing Commission meetings in November of 2001 and there were discussions about protecting our vulnerable citizens and especially those in mobile home parks. So why does this continue to be an issue? I believe the issue isn’t that we don’t know how to solve the problem, but that there is a lack of leadership and political willingness to address the problem boldly. Ashland doesn’t need small fixes; Ashland needs an aggressive and courageous approach to this problem. I promise you, that if elected I will be this voice. I don’t want to just talk about it, I want to be a part of the solution. I encourage readers to read my blog post on solutions.

3. Do you believe the city budget is in trouble and if so, what will you do about it? If you don’t believe the budget is in trouble, please explain why it is not in trouble.

No. The budget isn’t in trouble. Decisions need to be made in the short term on how to be sustainable. In fact, these discussions are ongoing. My job and the job of a councilor is to listen to the experts in each department, our city manager, and city staff; to make informed decisions at their recommendations. My understanding is that going into the next biennium, we need to make some cuts. I also know that these cuts are in place to give the city more flexibility in how we address the needs of various departments as they arise. I am very confident in a; parties to do what is best for the city now, and into the future. Level heads will prevail.

4. What question do you wish folks were asking that they aren't asking? Explain why it is important to your campaign.

I wish more people asked, “What’s next?”.

We need to start saying yes! We need to start looking at every fresh and radical idea that comes before us. We need to expand our recreational tourism, we need to further our culture and community with more events, we need to make it easier for small businesses to thrive, and for developers to be comfortable with affordable housing. We need to invest in infrastructure the addresses and combats climate change. And we need to make a really solid plan to address “What’s next” for sustainability in Ashland.

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