The city of Ashland has been on an unsustainable spending track for at least the last 10 years. While nothing in Ashland has changed over that time (Ashland has always been a tourist town and owned its essential services), our city budget has increased almost 100% versus a total inflation of 17.5% (Bureau of Labor Statistics) during the same period.

Our elected officials have maxed out on property taxes allowed by state law, ballooned our utility bills to the point now where households pay a base fee of $1200 per year before using any water or electricity and approved a $250 million capital spending budget for the next 20 years seriously affecting affordability.  At the same time, tourism has peaked, our business community has languished and yet our elected leaders continue down the same unsustainable path.

Some blame irresponsibly high city employee salaries and benefits but the real problem is our elected officials have sought easy solutions to pay for all city services instead of doing the hard work of prioritizing them in our budget. As a result, we all have been forced to pay needlessly more. We face an ongoing structural fiscal deficit which, if left unabated, will result in a financial crisis for the city.

Numerous attempts were made by citizen members of the Budget Committee to make changes that would alter the trajectory of spending and tax increases, but their pleas were ignored by the City Council members of the Budget Committee.  In fact, two citizens members of the budget committee resigned in protest over this blatant refusal to seriously consider constructive changes that would bring about fiscal discipline in our budget.  In addition, one of the Councilors commented that 85 – 90% of Ashlanders either do not understand or care about what s going on financially in our city.

As a result, Ashland Citizens for Economic Sustainability (ACES)* was formed by, Garrett Furuichi, Shaun Moran, David Runkel, Susan Wilson and Ken Wilson with a goal of informing and educating Ashlanders about the perilous financial state of affairs in our city.  Since that time, our roles have expanded and to almost 1000 Ashlanders.  Some of us are subscribers, donors, researchers, writers and other contributors all trying to make sure Ashland is on sound fiscal footing so that, as our name says, we can ensure the economic sustainability of our city.  We have been focused on telling you the truth of what is really happening in our town. Sadly, our elected officials have not held up their fiduciary responsibility to be good stewards of our tax dollars. ACES is here to let you know what they are doing.

Please browse the sections of this site shown at the top of the page for more information on topics that relate to the financial issues facing the City of Ashland. For ideas on how you can join our cause please read here.  For more information, submission of an article or to be placed on our mailing list please contact us at: Aces

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* Aces is registered as a Political Action Committee with the Oregon Secretary of State and is supported by the citizens of Ashland

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