Judge, recorder and two parks commission seats uncontested
By Stephen Floyd for Ashland.news
Four candidates for open city of Ashland offices are running unopposed, with a fifth office likely going to a write-in candidate.
Municipal Court Judge Pamela Burkholder Turner and City Recorder Melissa Huhtala are seeking new terms without opposition, as well as Ashland Parks and Recreation Commissioners Jim Bachman and Rick Landt.
Burkholder Turner has been municipal court judge since 2007 after holding the position on an interim basis for 20 years prior. She is an active member of the state bars in Oregon and California, and is also an attorney with Southern Oregon Legal Services. She said the city’s municipal court provides a unique opportunity for some cases to be heard locally, and the court has played a central role in the city’s history.
Huhtala has been city recorder since 2017, and beforehand served as city manager of Talent, an administrative assistant to the finance director in Ashland, and a customer services representative for Sterling Savings Bank in Ashland. She has held a role in municipal administration since graduating from Southern Oregon University in 2008, and said she enjoys her current job because of the variety of tasks it involves.
Bachman is a retired middle school teacher and administrator who was first appointed to APRC in March after longtime Commissioner Mike Gardiner stepped down in January. He said well-developed parks and open spaces are vital for the well-being of Ashland.
Landt has been an APRC commissioner since 2010, following a prior term from 1998 to 2002. He said APRC’s success is grounded in its independence, its donors and the thousands of volunteers who have helped over the years.
A third APRC position is on the ballot, Commissioner Position 4, but no candidate applications were completed and the position is likely to go to a write-in candidate.
Kerry KenCairn, owner of Kencairn Landscape Architecture and a member of the Ashland Planning Commission, filed a candidate application for the position in July, but her application was considered incomplete and was not finalized. However KenCairn said she is pursuing a write-in campaign for the position.