An Open Letter to the Ashland City Council


I beseech you to accept the staff recommendation to refer the City Manager’s two proposed initiatives to the voters this November.  Please approve Resolution 2022-21 and a first reading of Ordinance 3212.  Also please instruct staff to prepare a resolution to refer his amendment to Article VIII-A of the Charter to the voters.

We voted for a new form of government because the old form was not working effectively for us.  We voted to hire a manager to manage the city’s business, to change the path we were following toward either insolvency or intolerable fee increases.

Please give him a chance to do his job.  Both initiatives, if approved, will facilitate that.  Please support his efforts.  Please do not drive him away from Ashland by inhibiting his ability to manage.

The manager needs to be able to manage ALL of the expenditures of the city.

The manager needs to be able to manage ALL of the employees of the city.

Please show the citizens that the council is able to support positive solutions and work constructively with staff.  It is clear that these measures are important steps to complete the transition to our new form of government.

The intractable situation we find ourselves in now requires these additional steps to make that transition workable.  Without these measures, we will remain mired in the unworkable competitive environment fostered by the fractured structure of our city departments.  We all have to work together for the common good.

Please respect the clear wishes of the voters when they approved the council-manager form of government.  We voted to hire a manager to manage ALL of our municipal business.

Please allow the citizens to affirm the way forward in November.

Inaction is not an option.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dean Silver