The city of Ashland is asking for help via survey questions for solving the $2 million city budget deficit that we’ve been kicking down the road for several years now. The survey makes various suggestions including most of what follows below. We can do this.
After completing the survey, here are my comments:
1. Allow concerned citizens to actually join the discussion during the budget process. (This one is not in the survey. We actually need to talk to each other.)
2. Reduce and delay planned capital projects as many have suggested.
3. Appropriately outsource and regionalize planning and public safety services. Much has already been figured out for this.
4. Reduce or eliminate subsidies for recreational activities and allow recreators to share more of those expenses. Partner more with schools.
5. Reduce the number of city commissions and allow community groups to take on some of those functions.
6. Please do not raise fees. Ashlanders already have some of the highest utility and service fees in the valley; folks can’t afford to live here.
7. And most importantly, be kind, considerate, and listen to each other.