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Why did the City pay one of the highest awards given to a public employee for the former Senior Manager's civil lawsuit?

What were the changes and impact to the Senior Program?

View the "behind the scenes" documentation in the videos and you decide.

It's not often that the public has the opportunity to look behind the scenes of Ashland, Oregon city government. Accessing public records is time consuming and expensive. Also, when can one hear those in City government answering questions under oath?

A 2019 lawsuit against the City has provided public records and sworn testimonies that give us a peek into how government works in Ashland. The City of Ashland agreed to a $538,000 settlement in a civil lawsuit for whistleblowing, wrongful termination, and defamation of the former Senior Program Manager. (Also, in 2019 a jury unanimously awarded another claimant over $600,000 for whistleblowing.)

The video commentary below looks at the public documents and sworn testimonies from that lawsuit to gain greater understanding of: 1) Ashland's changes to its Senior Program, and 2) the possible reasons Ashland agreed to one of the highest awards given to a public employee in such circumstances. The documentation is provided here so you can make up your own mind. Can Ashland do better?

This non-commercial commentary has been made by Ashland, Oregon citizens whose sole interest is in upstanding and transparent government. Every effort has been made to present content which serves that public purpose.

The commentary is broken up into 16 short Acts for easy viewing. The full video version and playlist are listed last.

1:32 minutes

5:05 minutes

5:36 minutes

5:52 minutes

3:38 minutes

2:36 minutes

4:19 minutes

4:36 minutes

7:08 minutes

3:13 minutes

5:17 minutes

1:28 minutes

4:44 minutes

4:25 minutes

3:16 minutes

3:21 minutes

59:20 minutes

Who Selects? Hiring Ashland's City Manager

In May 2020 Ashland residents voted for a City Manager's position to conduct the City's operations and manage the $300+ million biennial budget.

Selecting who will be Ashland’s City Manager is a critical issue that people should be paying attention to. The City Manager’s job will affect all of Ashland and for years to come. A top performing City Manager can potentially save Ashland millions of dollars ... conversely a lower performing City Manager can possibly cost Ashland millions. Therefore the selection should be done carefully, appropriately and with transparency to the public.

A consultant has been hired to seek applications for the position. (CORRECTION: a consultant has not yet been hired.) The next step is crucial: the screening/selecting of applicants for further review by the City Council and Mayor.

Who would be best to screen the applications obtained by the hired consultant? ...the City's Human Resources or an independent expert in the field?

An example of the City’s Human Resources screening of job applicants is shown in the video “Who Selects?”

It involves the hiring of the new Senior Program Superintendent in 2018. The sworn testimonies describing this process were obtained during a 2019 civil lawsuit against the City of Ashland.  

Watch “Who Selects?” and then contact the City Council and Mayor, and your local media. Tell them what you think.

Transparent, open, public discussions result in better decisions and strengthen communities.