May 23, 2024

Letter: Vote NO on 15-210 and 15-211

October 3, 2022

Ashland was very fortunate back in the early 1900s to have a group of forward-thinking women initiate efforts to protect our parks into perpetuity. These women are honored by a plaque near the entrance of Lithia Park.

The health of our parks is threatened by two ballot measures coming before voters in November. Ballot measures 15-210 and 15-211 (if passed by the voters) will jeopardize the progress and future stability of our extraordinary parks system.

Some of these challenges are self-created. Some have been fabricated in part by an ignorance of our history, accomplishments and intentions set forth by our founding mothers. Eliminating a democratic process with elected commissioners to manage parks is not a viable solution. Issues of accountability must be addressed by the parks commission. The reaction has been to dismantle the existing system rather than update policies and make the necessary changes that are called for. There is absolutely room for improvement that will continue to occur and is expected.

Shifting management to a city manager will throw the baby out with the bath water. Since we cherish our babies and our water this is senseless.

I moved to Ashland because of our parks. Parks has grown exponentially during those 30 years. My vision for the stability of our parks includes soundly defeating these two ballot measures, passing a levy and then creating a Parks District. This will fulfill the original intentions set forth more than 110 years ago. This will ensure that we can spend our time enjoying our parks and the ginormous number of services it provides our community and visitors.

Please join me in voting NO for ballot measures 15-210 and 15-211. Thanks for what you do to preserve and protect these precious resources and to keep democracy activated in Ashland, Oregon.

Risa Buck


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Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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