Residents asked to help set goals for upcoming year and over next six years
By Stephen Floyd, Ashland.news
A town hall meeting called by the city of Ashland on Monday, Jan. 30, will continue as planned without an expected State of the City Address in light of the sudden resignation of former Mayor Julie Akins.
Akins resigned Monday, Jan. 23, effective Friday, Jan. 27, after she was scheduled to deliver the address during the town hall amid broader discussions about Ashland’s short-term and long-term priorities.
These discussions are scheduled to proceed as planned, with no firm date yet for a future State of the City Address.
City Manager Joe Lessard said the City Charter requires such an address be delivered by the mayor after the first meeting in January, but does not require the address to be delivered in January or by any specific date. He said time has been set aside during the Feb. 7 meeting of the City Council for delivery of the address in case by that time an appointed or acting mayor has been chosen, but this date is tentative.
The rest of the town hall meeting will provide opportunities for the public to interact directly with the City Council and city staff to discuss Ashland’s priorities for the 2023-2025 fiscal biennium, as well as longer-term priorities over the next six years. The format will be informal and focus on small group discussions, and allow opportunities for community members to share their own goals with city leaders.
Those who attend will be encouraged to vote on specific priorities using a “dot-voting” system, whereby attendees are given a number of stickers to place on signs representing issues they want the city to prioritize, applying some, all or none as individuals see fit.
The town hall is scheduled for 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St. Meeting details, including a preview of the priorities list, can be found on the city’s website.