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Portland isn’t the only city with Charter woes

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From the Ashland Mail Tribune, April 27th:

Rift: Proposed charter changes are dividing Ashland

Charges that the town’s crown jewel, Lithia Park, and its municipal water could be sold to private interests have cast shadows over a three-year-long attempt by city officials to adopt a new, modernized city charter.

Saying it shrinks the democratic process, opponents are also urging thumbs-down on another ballot measure that would give the city manager, not the mayor, the power to hire and fire department heads.

Ashland residents will vote on the changes in the May 15 election.

The changes have been sold to the public as streamlining and modernization, but they allow privatization of our water,” said opponent John Fisher-Smith. “It’s not about streamlining, but rather privatization and centralizing power.

The revised charter, which takes the form of a much shorter “model charter” advised by the League of Oregon Cities, removes language that is now covered by state or federal law or should be put in city ordinances, said Councilman David Chapman.”

Full story here.

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