We would like to give our full support to the Ashland City Council puyting the Friends of Ashland Parks and Open Space Initiative on the November 2022 ballot. This initiative would dedicate 100% of Food and Beverage Tax Revenue to the Ashland Parks and Recreation with an extension to 2040.
In the past this tax has generated approximately $3 million annually (before COVID-19) and is expected to return to this level as we return to “normal.” It is painfully clear Ashland Parks and Recreation does not have a dedicated funding source and their budget, around $7 million, is being cut and will continue to be cut.
We cannot maintain the services they provide if this continues. As senior citizens this is very troubling to us. A big part of the reason we retired here is the beautiful parks, senior services, swimming pool and North Mountain Nature Center. This makes Ashland a unique and special place to live.
I believe if this is approved it would be positive for the city as the City Council would have the ability to utilize the General Fund revenue for other needs within the city.
We are requesting the initiative be placed on the November 2022 ballot and allow the voters to make an informed decision on creating a funding source for this valuable and necessary service for our community.
As our representatives, we need the City Council to facilitate and ensure this initiative is on the ballot.
John & Cori Frank