New Parks & Recreation commissioner appointment expected Tuesday

The logo of the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission.
March 14, 2022

Ashland parks panel recommends Jim Bachman replace Mike Gardiner

By Holly Dillemuth, Ashland.news

The Ashland City Council will likely vote Tuesday on the appointment of a temporary Parks & Recreation Commissioner, following the resignation of longtime Commissioner Mike Gardiner on Jan. 31.

The council will consider voting on one of the three candidates to fill the vacant commission post at their regular meeting. The candidate who is selected will serve as a temporary appointment until November, when an election for the No. 3 Parks Commission seat will be held.

Rick Landt, chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission, told Ashland.news Friday afternoon that the commission unanimously recommends Jim Bachman for the position, and also sent the names of two additional finalists for the council to consider: Kerry KenCairn, a landscape architect and former Planning Commissioner; and Eric Hansen, the owner of Rogue Valley-based True South Solar.

Landt said the commission recommends Bachman due to his active interest in parks and senior services. He attended parks meetings for two years and ran for Parks & Recreation Commission in 2018 but lost, 56-44%, to current Commissioner Julian Bell.

“Our No. 1 goal for this biennium was to secure a funding source that we could count on and he has been on the budget committee for the past two years,” Landt said. “So his background and his interest line up with our goals.”

Landt emphasized that the commission was capable of bringing one solid recommendation to council members, despite council’s requirement for the commission to forward the names of three candidates to consider.

City Councilor Gina DuQuenne said Monday she doesn’t know yet who she’s voting for and wants to hear more from the other two finalists.

“I wish it would’ve been a little more collaborative,” DuQuenne said, “between commission and council. I’m glad we did see three picks of theirs instead of one.”

DuQuenne believes there are some “pretty good candidates” who applied for the role. Eight completed the application process and three selected for final consideration.

She hopes to see more diversity on the commission, including more individuals with new ideas.

“I would like to see more diversity on the Parks Commission, with ideas and new energy and new direction, because to me that’s what keeps us going and keeps us motivated,” she said.

DuQuenne noted that Leslie Eldridge is now on the Parks & Recreation Commission and is glad to see her in the role on the commission, which also has three men.

DuQuenne mentioned Bachman was not chosen during the 2018 election.

“I made a call out and I’m hoping to speak with the other two candidates,” she said. “I would like to hear from the other two.”

For DuQuenne, selecting a new commissioner is not about her or the candidates, but about what’s best for the residents of Ashland.

“I feel it’s important to have the right commissioners,” DuQuenne said. “My opinion and thoughts are that we need to have the right people in the right seats.”

The council meeting, held via Zoom, is due to start at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 16. It can be watched live on Ashland Home Net Channel 9, Charter Spectrum RVTV 180 Prime, or streaming live online by going to rvtv.sou.edu and clicking on the RVTV Prime button.

Email Ashland.news reporter Holly Dillemuth at hollyd@ashland.news.

Share this article

Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.
oregon-cabaret-in-the-heights

Latest posts

SOU awards its highest honor to former Guanajuato governor and his wife

Southern Oregon University President Rick Bailey presented SOU’s highest honor on Monday in Guanajuato to two prominent supporters of the university exchange program between SOU and the University of Guanajuato. An SOU delegation and about 200 guests representing wide segments of the Guanajuato community looked on as the awards were presented to Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, holder of two master’s degrees earned at SOU before he embarked on a distinguished political career in Mexico, and his wife, Francis “Faffie” Romero Siekman, a prime mover behind a scholarship program supporting student exchanges.

Read More >

Ashland Fire & Rescue warns of intensified wildfire seasons

Ashland Fire & Rescue has warned of more intense fire seasons in years to come as local impacts of climate change become more apparent. Division Chief Chris Chambers told the City Council Tuesday, Aug. 2, that coming fire seasons could see an increase in acres burned of between 200 and 400 percent.

Read More >

Birds’-Eye View: An Ashland-based bird conservation organization

Birds’-Eye View: Ashland-based nonprofit Klamath Bird Observatory keeps on eye on bird life in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California. Since birds are a key indicator species and migratory paths from much of the Western Hemisphere pass through this area, KBO data helps inform natural resource management on a broad scale.

Read More >

One Hiroshima survivor nurtures seedling sprouted from another survivor

The 77th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, was marked in Ashland for the 38th year on Saturday. A capacity crowd gathered at Thalden Pavilion, site of an eternal World Peace Flame, to hear remarks and celebrate the planting of a gingko tree sprouted from seeds from a tree that survived the Hiroshima inferno.

Read More >
Rogue Valley Metaphysical Library

Explore More...

SOU awards its highest honor to former Guanajuato governor and his wife

Southern Oregon University President Rick Bailey presented SOU’s highest honor on Monday in Guanajuato to two prominent supporters of the university exchange program between SOU and the University of Guanajuato. An SOU delegation and about 200 guests representing wide segments of the Guanajuato community looked on as the awards were presented to Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, holder of two master’s degrees earned at SOU before he embarked on a distinguished political career in Mexico, and his wife, Francis “Faffie” Romero Siekman, a prime mover behind a scholarship program supporting student exchanges.

Read More>
ashland.news logo

Subscribe to the newsletter and get local news sent directly to your inbox.

(It’s free)