The passage of 15-210 will not eliminate the “current elected Ashland Park Commissioners” as many opponents state. Passage of 15-210 would not alter how the decisions for the money allotted to parks would be spent. This responsibility would still reside with the five-person Parks Commission. Planning decisions for capital improvement projects, short- and long-term expenditure decisions and maintenance decisions would remain with the elected commissioners. The responsibility for approving expensive expenditures by parks would remain, as it currently is, with the elected Ashland City Council.
The passage of 15-210 will place all Parks employees under the direction of newly appointed City Manager (CM) Joe Lessard. In 2020, Ashland residents opted for the city manager form of government; the city manager is currently attempting to effectively coordinate all city departments to work together to optimize how our city functions. Placing all city employees, including parks, under the CM will provide much needed CM oversight which has been overdue.
Recently, the city’s insurance cost was drastically raised by 30% largely due to lawsuits filed against Parks. It appears that closer supervision and accountability of Parks by the CM would provide an improved method for swift corrections of employee performance if needed.
Save the parks and vote “yes” on 15-210 this November.
Susan Hall, RN