Eric Hansen declines suggestion, affirms candidacy for council Position 6
By Stephen Floyd, Ashland.news
Ashland City Council candidate Jim Falkenstein has asked voters to support opponent Eric Hansen for an open Ashland Parks & Recreation commissioner position, though Hansen is not seeking the office.
In an announcement Oct. 24, Falkenstein said electing himself to the council and Hansen to Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission Position 4 would be a “win-win” solution to the election.
“Although Eric Hansen is not actively seeking that position, I believe that rather than lose the valuable input of Mr. Hansen at the end of the election, a lateral move to the Park Commission will be the most beneficial to Ashland,” he said.
Falkenstein added he “left messages with (Hansen) all morning just to see how he felt about it but never heard back.” In a statement to Ashland.News, Hansen declined to comment on Falkenstein’s proposal but instead re-asserted his council candidacy.
“I am running for City Council Position 6,” said Hansen. “And for the record, I sincerely do recommend writing in Justin Adams for Parks Commissioner Position 4. Thanks for voting.”
Parks Commissioner Position 4 is open after incumbent Julian Bell declined to file for re-election. Though a candidate application for the position was submitted in July by Kerry KenCairn, the city of Ashland website lists the application as “prospective” and no candidate was listed for the position on the ballot.
KenCairn told Ashland.News her application was considered incomplete due to a signature by an unregistered voter, but she is still pursuing the position as a write-in candidate. When asked about Falkenstein’s endorsement of Hansen for commissioner position 4, KenCarin said, “Someone should ask Eric what he wants.”
When Falkenstein was asked Monday night if he’d heard back from Hansen, Falkenstein said the two candidates eventually did connect and Hansen communicated Falkenstein’s proposal was not acceptable. When Falkenstein was asked if his suggestion to voters was too unconventional, or perhaps even mean-spirited, he said his proposal was quite the opposite.
“I would counter that suggesting all options to voters regarding voting for all great candidates is forward-thinking and democratic,” he said.