Exclusive: Ashland City Council Candidates’ Answers to a Citizen Survey

            Ted and Susan Hall, who live in Ashland, sent a survey to all the Ashland City Council candidates.  The Halls asked the Ashland Chronicle to post the surveys in a comparison format and to post the surveys sent to them without the comparison.  Following the explanation below is the survey that was sent to all the candidates.

            In the next six posts you will find this:

Ashland City Council Position #1  –  Paula Hyatt, Andrew Card

            Andrew Card’s survey is posted; Paula Hyatt didn’t send answers to the survey.

            There is no comparison.

Ashland City Council Position #3  –  Julian Bell, Kelly Marcotulli, Shaun Moran, Gerardo Padilla

            Kelly Marcotulli and Gerardo Padilla have their survey answers compared.  Following the comparison, their survey is posted as received.

            Julian Bell and Shaun Moran didn’t send answers to the survey.

Ashland City Council Position #5  –  Gina DuQuenne, Jessica Kensinger

            Gina DuQuenne and Jessica Kensinger have their survey answers compared.  Following the comparison, their survey is posted as received.

Thanks to all those who participated and to the Halls for stepping up and asking some pivotal questions of the Council candidates.

Chronicle Staff

Below is a copy of the survey sent to the candidates:

Email Survey questions for Ashland City Council Candidates ——SUMMER 2020 from Susan R. Hall RN and Ted Hall PE

  • The City of Ashland pays 12%  of EVERY EMPLOYEE’S SALARY into PERS. The employee pays 0% into PERS. What is your position regarding this expense to the City?
    • Would you advocate to reduce the City’s 12% PERS expense? YES or NO.
    • If so, please provide your rationale for reducing it and to WHAT %  would you reduce it?
    • How would you re-negotiate the Contract currently mandating the City to pay 12%?
    • If you would NOT  reduce it , please provide your rationale for no reduction.
  • What is your position regarding the City paying close to 95% of City Employee’s Health Care Premium?
    • Would you advocate to reduce the City’s portion of the Health Care Premium expense?
    • If so, please provide you rationale for reducing it and to what % would you reduce it?
    • How would you re-negotiate the Contract currently mandating the City to pay close to 95%?
    • If you would not reduce it, please provide your rational for no reduction.
  • Would you be in favor of FTE Staff reductions in all departments ( while requiring all departments to maintain full services)?
    • If you recommend reducing FTE positions ( full services maintained), please provide your rationale for such action.  
    • Please detail your recommendations for implementing the FTE reductions.
    • If you would not recommend reducing FTE City staff, please provide your rationale.
  • What is your position regarding the critical housing demand for AFFORDABLE housing in Ashland?
    • Please detail what you believe is the responsibility of the City to deal with workforce housing & low income housing as well as shelter for the homeless.
    • If you don’t believe the City should be responsible for providing support, please explain.
    • How would YOU advocate for Affordable housing if you were elected to the City Council?
    • Do you see advocating for Affordable housing impacting the City Budget? Please explain where in the budget can the Council provide more financial support to those organizations that can deal with building and managing affordable housing?
  • Homelessness remains an ongoing issue here in Ashland.
    • In your opinion, how responsible is the City of Ashland for providing support to the homeless population? Please explain.
    • What support would you advocate for providing if you were on the City Council? Why?
    • What support  would you consistently object to providing if you were on the Council? Why?
  • Moving Ashland toward an engaged City Council  and Citizenry.
    • It is not unusual to hear around Ashland that citizens who have engaged with past/present City Councils comment that they have often felt disenfranchised.
    • This can be serious problem to constructive cooperation between Citizens & Officials.
    • The current “ZOOM” style CC meetings increases this sense of citizen dis-engagement as the public can no long present their comments ‘real time’ to the Council.
    • How would your presence on the City Council improve citizen confidence and engagement with the CC?
    • Finally: “What kind of LISTENER are you”?
//inserted by Sharon