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Ashland City Council tables vote to join Jail Service District

The Ashland City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday night to wait to vote on whether or not to join the Jail Service District. Joining the Jail Service District leaves a new Jackson County Jail in the hands of the voters. It would allow Ashland voters to have a say on whether or not they want a new jail.

Posted: Nov 19, 2019 11:48 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- The Ashland City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday night to wait to vote on whether or not to join the Jail Service District. Joining the Jail Service District leaves a new Jackson County Jail in the hands of the voters. It would allow Ashland voters to have a say on whether or not they want a new jail.

Councilmembers heard from nearly a dozen Ashland residents who all said City Council shouldn't vote on the issue Tuesday night. Many said the current plan does not address mental illness and what's being done to help those suffering with mental illnesses. The Ashland City Council said it would push off the vote for a few more weeks so it would give them time to talk to the Jackson County Commissioners about how that will be addressed in order to go forward in the Jail Service District.

"The message coming from Ashland is I'm not sure they have the votes on the council let alone the votes in the community so taking a couple of weeks to have some of our questions addressed is reasonable," said Councilmember Rich Rosenthal.

"There were obviously some people in the audience who oppose the idea of jail and I understand and respect their opinions but it really comes from a place of an uninformed position compared to what we've been working on the last three years in our county," said Sheriff Nathan Sickler.

Sheriff Sickler hopes the Ashland City Council is able to meet with Jackson County Commissioners in the next few weeks.

Ashland City Council plans to vote on whether or not to join the Jail Service District at its next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 3rd. The Talent City Council is expected to vote on whether or not to join Wednesday night.

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