New councilors, returning incumbent Tonya Graham sworn in for four-year terms
By Stephen Floyd, Ashland.news
The Ashland City Council welcomed two new members Tuesday, Jan. 3, with the swearing in of councilors Robert “Bob” Kaplan and Eric Hansen following their victories in the Nov. 8 election.
They were joined by incumbent Councilor Tonya Graham, who won a second term Nov. 8. Kaplan and Hansen succeeded former councilors Stefani Seffinger and Stephen Jensen, respectively, who declined to seek reelection.
The meeting was both-feet-in for the freshmen councilors, as discussions about zoning and land use policies pushed the meeting past the 9:30 p.m. cutoff mark, including the council’s unanimous decision to overturn the Planning Commission’s denial of an application for a commercial development at 165 Water St.
The meeting ran out of time amid discussions about an ordinance that would make it easier for developers to build duplexes on land zoned for detached single-family dwellings. The council was presented with citizen testimony about the impact the ordinance may have on developers’ ability to meet strict street design standards and officials chose to save this and remaining agenda items for a later date.