ashland.news
December 1, 2023

City Government

City Government

City regulation of public camping up for review

City restrictions on where a homeless person can sleep outside are up for discussion at the Ashland City Council study session starting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6. Meeting materials sent to council by Acting City Attorney Doug McGeary talk about the city making an effort “to strike a balance between recognizing the unique challenges faced by the homeless population and safeguarding the integrity of our public spaces.”

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City Government

New Ashland emergency shelter opened Wednesday

Residents slowly began moving in Wednesday, the first day of operation for Ashland’s new emergency shelter. Everyone moving in that day spent the night before sleeping on sidewalks or in their cars. This would be their first night in a climate-controlled space with the luxuries of a refrigerator, a microwave, a coffee pot and a cot to sleep on. 

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City Government

Ashland Parks & Rec contends with ethics complaint, budget error

Ashland Parks & Recreation is a frequent target of budget hawks, who have sharpened their claws over a recent ethics complaint and an almost $1.7-million budget error. Leslie Eldridge, who started as parks and recreation director over two months ago after the resignation of former Director Michael Black, recently helped uncover the error in the capital improvement projects budget, which will likely lead to scaling back or delaying projects.

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City Government

Special meetings set Thursday, Friday to home in on city attorney choice

The Ashland City Council will hold an executive session from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to conduct city attorney interviews, according to an agenda posting. The council will hold a second executive session from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, followed by a business meeting from noon to 1 p.m. open to the public, according to the post. Both are billed as being about selection of a city attorney.

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City Government

Ashland mayor: ‘Time to transition’

The city of Ashland issued a public statement Saturday afternoon pointing to the need for stability and change as the reason for City Manager Joe Lessard’s departure. His “departure from the city” was effective Friday, Oct. 27, but he remains on paid leave until Jan. 31, 2024, at which point he will accept a one-time, four-month severance payment.

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City Government

Capital improvement project budget shortfall up for discussion at Ashland Parks & Recreation study session Wednesday

Ashland Parks and Recreation Commissioners will discuss issues from a budget shortfall to the health of salmon populations at a study session meeting to be held via Zoom Wednesday, Nov. 1. The budget for fiscal year 2023 has been reconciled after the ending fund balance for the year was originally projected to be $5.6 million, then discovered to be $4 million. Some line items in the budget are already committed to critical projects or fund transfers that can’t be altered.

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City Government

City officials decline comment on city manager departure

City officials remained tight-lipped Wednesday ahead of a special meeting of the Ashland City Council on Friday on “Termination of employment … City Manager Resignation,” according to a public notice posted Tuesday morning. Joe Lessard has been city manager since Jan. 3, 2022.

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