George Kramer Writes the Council about the $10 million Capital Improvement Bond

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Dear Mr. Mayor and Members of the Council:

I am unable to attend your January 7 business meeting due to a prior commitment. Please consider this testimony related Item XVII(2), Mayor’s Presentation on Capital Needs and Financing.

Please do not waste our time and money by placing a $10 million dollar Capital Improvement Bond on the ballot to fund a new city hall and address deferred maintenance to other city-owned properties and features. As I expect and hope you realise, it’s a waste of time. You have contined, despite your public statements to find a low-cost alternatives to address the issues at City Hall, to pursue a mono-dimensional approach with a single architectural firm. This has, predictably, erroneously led you to believe replacement is at best no more costly than repair and rebuild. We can do better. It is unclear if you are interested in trying to do. I begged you, in public forum, several months ago to seek a “second opinion” and you didn’t, with predictable results. The City of Ashland can not demolish a National Register listed historic structure and expect citzens to pay for it.

Marrying this poorly designed “want” with other community goals, including the over- priced estimate to repair and reopen the Winburn Way Community Center and the repair of the Perrozi Fountain (which you should fund out of TOT receipts) is simply an attempt at bait and switch. I can not believe you expect anyone to support so brazen an ask.

Get your fiscal house in order. It is disappointing that you continue to spend all your efforts in attempting to raise revenue and lack the willpower to cut expenses. Stop nickel and diming us at every turn. If you are foolish enough to put this mess of a request on the ballot I will do everything in my power to encourage voters to defeat it. I don’t expect it will take all that much effort.

Sincerely,

George Kramer

//inserted by Sharon