Ashland citizens alert
On Tuesday night, the City Council will consider options to spend between $12 million and $19 million on three options to replace City Hall. Not being considered is a $1.4 million estimate to make the current City Hall building seismically safe, an option offered in a consulting study done for the city in 2016. Apparently, only a fancy new mega-complex will do.
But, where will the money come from? One reasonable possibility is floating a bond. Then, we citizens would at least have the opportunity to say yea or nay.
However, we are deeply concerned this money will come from the $42 million in accumulated cash, earmarked for specific capital improvement projects. Over the last few years, Ashlanders have paid increased utility rates and surcharges, understanding they would fund essential CIP projects like a new water treatment plant. It would be a betrayal of voter trust and a breach of sound, honest governance to use those funds for anything else.
This agenda item was announced five days before the meeting, the latest moment allowed under the rules, leaving so little time for citizens to react.
Ashlanders, the stakes are high. This is a pivotal moment. Contact each councilor and the mayor before the meeting at email@example.com to express your disapproval.
Susan T. WIlson
Ashland Citizens for Economic Sustainability (ACES)