December 1, 2023

Judge, recorder, parks commissioner posts currently uncontested

The logo of the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission.
August 16, 2022

Three filings confirmed so far for three positions on Parks & Recreation Commission

By Stephen Floyd,

While three Ashland City Council seats will be undecided until November, a number of other elected offices within the Ashland saw only the incumbents filing for office, though additional candidate information could be published later this week.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Municipal Court Judge Pamela Burkholder Turner, City Recorder Melissa Huhtala, and Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (APRC) commissioners Jim Bachman and Rick Landt had filed without challengers. The position held by APRC Commissioner Julian Bell was being challenged by Kerry KenCairn, but there was no confirmation of Bell’s candidacy Tuesday and KenCairn was running unopposed.

According to Huhtala, additional candidate information may be published after the city receives signature verification by Jackson County for candidate forms submitted by the Aug. 8 filing deadline. As of Tuesday evening, Aug. 16, no new candidates had been announced.

Burkholder Turner has been municipal court judge since 2007, after holding the position on an interim basis for 20 years prior. She is an active member of the state bars in Oregon and California, and is also an attorney with Southern Oregon Legal Services.

Huhtala has been city recorder since 2017, and beforehand served as city recorder of Talent, a administrative assistant to the finance director in Ashland, and a customer services representative for Sterling Savings Bank in Ashland.

Bachman is a retired educator who was first appointed to APRC in March after longtime Commissioner Mike Gardiner stepped down in January. Bachman had run against Bell for a seat on APRC in 2018 and came in second. At the time of his appointment, Bachman was serving on the city’s Citizens’ Budget Committee, but was obligated to resign from this position as he was unable to serve on both boards.

KenCairn is the owner of KenCairn Landscape Architecture, founded in 1995 as KenCairn Environmental Design. She was a finalist in March for appointment to Gardiner’s vacated seat on the commission and currently serves on the Ashland Planning Commission.

Email reporter Stephen Floyd at

Aug. 17 update: Talent city position held by Melissa Huhtala corrected.

Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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