ASHLAND, Ore. -- Three Parks and Recreation Commissioners are facing a recall today. Ashland voters will have until 8 p.m. to decide the fate of Jim Lewis, Mike Gardiner, and Rick Landt.
Recall comes after concerned group of community members disagreed with changes brought about by the commissioners to the Ashland Senior Center.
Back in January, the Parks Commission approved a set of recommendations that included the dismissal of senior center manager Chris Dodson. The recall says Ashland Parks and Recreation Commissioners "continue to mismanage their $9 million annual budget, seriously threatening sustainability of the city's general fund." The complaint also goes on to argue the commissioners mismanaged personnel, ignored pubic input, under-publicized meetings, and other grievances.
"We need a commission that will respond to the community in a cooperative partnering way," said Support Our Seniors member, Avram Chetron. "We've demonstrated again and again the level of wrong-doing and it really adds up to incompetence in office. They are irresponsible with our money, they are dismissive of our opinions. They do not plan and do actions without any thought..."
NewsWatch 12 reached out to all three commissioners facing a recall. Only Mike Gardiner has responded so far saying he did not have any further comments on the matter.
Gardiner along with the other two commissioners have statements of justification. One section of Gardiner's says, "We commissioners have managed our city-approved budget with careful diligence. There is no pending threat to the city general fund either by audit, by city administrator reprimand, or by city council action and to broadly suggest otherwise is flat wrong."
Each commissioner has offered a statement of justification of why Ashland residents should vote no. To view each commissioner's full statement of justification and the reasons why certain community members started the recall, click here.