An Open Letter to the City Council

Madam Mayor and Esteemed Councilors:

STOP IT!  This is not the Hunger Games.  We elected you to conduct the business of the city, not to attack each other, play blame games, and jockey for political position.

The illegal hijacking of the Special Meeting of 6/29/21 was a disgrace.  That meeting will live in infamy in the history of Ashland, and will not soon be forgotten.  In November, 2022, the voters will weigh in on what happened then and happens in the future.  Let that never happen again.

The Bloc of Four has a super majority on the council.  In theory, that means that voting bloc can do anything on the basis of those four votes; not just in theory, but now as evidenced by 6/29, in practice as well.  Apparently there is no limit to the depravity of the use of that power.  But make no mistake, anyone who ever again makes a mockery of the democratic process in our city will pay the price politically.

It’s obvious that even though Clrs. Jensen and Graham continue to violate the code of conduct and the AMC, there will be no repercussions.  The Council is its own court, and with the super majority judging itself, there will never be accountability.  Therefore, I no longer expect to see any accountability until the composition of the Council has changed, if ever.  The authors of the Charter and the Code never envisioned such a situation, and so they did not address it.  I no longer ask for accountability as I have in the past, since there is no use wishing for an impossibility.

Stop defending yourselves by attacking your colleagues.  No one will be censured.  No one will be resigning.  No one will be recalled.  Stop trying to make any of that happen, directly or indirectly. 

So here’s a constructive suggestion: stipulate that every Councilor and the Mayor have at some time, in some way, to some degree, violated the Code of Conduct.  Then move on.  Get to work on the City’s many issues and stop attacking one another.  There is nothing to be gained by this, no matter how you look at it.

In exactly one month we will be without a City Manager AND an Assistant City Manager AND a Finance Director AND a qualified City Attorney.  Filling those positions must be your highest priority.  At the same time, you must continue your normal duties as the Council, appropriating funds, giving direction to staff, voting on Resolutions and Ordinances, approving licenses, making appointments, etc.  It’s a heavy load, but I know you can do it if you choose to.

It is time to end this ridiculous infighting.  Just drop it.  Get on with the business of the City.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dean Silver

//inserted by Sharon