Ashland Mayor Responds to Recent City Hall Events

I’m being asked what I’m going to do in the wake of the recent announcement of Interim City Manager Adam Hanks resignation and the comments assessing blame to other members of council and the mayor’s office.
I’m calling a special meeting for this Thursday at 6 so council can move forward in hiring an interim. I hope we can collaborate. I have some ideas on how to do this. We already have some qualified applicants.

As to the verbal attacks—I’m not being glib when I say I can’t control other’s behavior. The council held a special meeting at the request of councilors Hyatt and Jensen and adopted a Code of Conduct that appears to have been violated. There are no consequences set forth in the code, state law or Robert’s Rules. There are no mechanisms.
Still, my hope is that this will find its way forward with a greater level of professionalism and respect. But I can’t dictate that. I’m responsible for me. I’m not calling anyone out as dishonest or wrong. Everyone has their right to an opinion. No one has a right to their own facts.

Animosity is a feeling not a fact. And it serves no one so far as I can tell.

To say I’m disappointed doesn’t cover it. I opened a local newspaper to find more verbal bashing and assaults from city councilors whom the voters have tasked to work together, to work with me, your mayor. I was so saddened to see it. I don’t know how this is helpful. 

I had hoped we could move forward from the election to enact the will of the people for the good of Ashland. 
I still have hope, but it’s fading with every vitriolic quote and personal attack I read in the newspaper.  I’m especially saddened to see Councilor Graham’s quotes since I thought we were working well together. I had no idea she felt I was not doing a good job.

I am doing a good job. We’re getting the work done, we’re allowing dialogue and I’m continuing to move initiatives forward as prioritized by the People of Ashland. I’m doing this despite being in the minority progressive group and despite clear hostility toward me. But it’s not about me. It’s never been about me and never will be. It’s about what’s best for our community. Comm-UNITY.

I don’t think it’s fair for others to put words in the mouths of Dave Lohman, retiring city attorney or Adam Hanks, who is leaving the City after 30 years of service. How is it helpful? Is it true? Is it kind? They’ve made decisions for their own reasons. I don’t know all their thinking but they have a right to it and to some privacy and dignity. They are people, not political footballs. How hurtful this must be.

Trust in those with good intentions who speak well of our city. We have a beautiful place that could be setting a positive vision for the future. We could work together for an Ashland where we save our water and soil, where we grow great food, where we provide housing for our workers and support living wage jobs and all of us come together for the good of all. Believe in that. 

Let’s not forget who we are and who we can become .

Julie Akins, Mayor of Ashland