PRIORITIES, VISION and VALUES
2023-2025 Biennium Budget
VISION AND VALUES
In the summer 2022, the Ashland City Council adopted Vision and Value Statements for the City. The statements are the foundation for biennium aspirational goals, as the City plans for each budget cycle and sets strategic initiatives for achieving goals.
In January 2023, the Ashland City Council will begin the process of formulating aspirational goals for the Fiscal Year 2023-2025 Biennium. This was a community process, achieved through a series of public participation opportunities:
- Public meetings (held hybrid, with in-person or virtual public input options)
- Opportunities to share opinions throughout the process
VISION STATEMENTS for Success:
- Ashland is a resilient, sustainable community that maintains the distinctive quality of place for which it is known
- We will continue to be a unique and caring city that stresses environmental conservation, fosters artistic expression, and is open to new ideas and innovation
- We will plan and direct our efforts to fulfill this Vision for the long term with a constant view toward being an open, welcoming community for all with a positive economic future
VALUE STATEMENTS for Success that Support the Vision:
- Community affordability, including in available housing and childcare
- Belonging through mutual respect and openness, inclusion and equity
- Quality of life that underpins the City's economic vibrancy
- Environmental resilience, including addressing climate change and ecosystem conservation
- Regional cooperation, including in support for public safety and homelessness
- Respect for the citizens we serve, for each other, and for the work we do
- Excellence in governance and city services
- Sustainability through creativity, affordability and rightsized service delivery
- Public safety, including emergency preparedness for climate change risk
- Quality infrastructure and facilities through timely maintenance and community investment
On October 4, 2022 the Council received the summary findings from a Fall 2022 survey conducted by a team of Southern Oregon University researchers on community attitudes toward alternative city spending cuts and/or fee increases intended to balance the city budget. The survey received a 25% response from mailing to the City’s 10,766 utility household addresses. The survey results showed a wide range of opinions without an overwhelming majority for any of the specific policy change or service cut alternatives presented. Generally, the respondents identified maintaining the quality of life aspects of City programming with the exception the City Council and City Manager would find a way to balance the sources and uses of funds. The respondents also expressed support for citizen involvement and volunteerism.
On January 30, 2023, City Council held a townhall and together with the citizens of Ashland worked to identify priorities/objectives for the City for the upcoming 2023-2025 Biennium budget process and the next six years. Small group discussions took place between citizens, staff, and Council. A list of seven PRIORITIES with 32 OBJECTIVES for the City were presented at the meeting and in person voting took place. Citizens were each given 12 voting dots to prioritize their top choices out to the 32 objectives presented. Voters could spread their voting dots or cluster them on one or more objective. In total we had 293 in person voters, with over 300 folks of all ages in attendance. Simultaneously, online dot voting opened on January 30 and continued through February 3. In total, there were 151 online voters, who were presented with the same 32 objectives and 12 virtual voting dots. In addition, public comment was garnered both in person and online from January 30 to February 3.
On March 6, 2023, the City Council hosted a roundtable discussion with elected and appointed officials of Ashland’s key economic support institutions. The roundtable participants identified three key next steps the participants could take together that would benefit Ashland’s citizens, businesses, and visitors:
- Establish a Partnership to Build the Ashland Brand – this collaborative partnership is for marketing Ashland for tourism and potential business relocation opportunities.
- Establish a Partnership to Establish a University District Activity Center – this initiative is to jointly plan potential future development of a University District that would diversify the City’s economic base and support SOU by enhancing Ashland’s student life experience.
- Establish a Partnership for Affordable Childcare & Early Childhood Development – This partnering effort is to plan potential advancement of childcare or early childhood development options for Ashland residents.
On March 21, 2023 the City Council adopted the following priorities for the 2023-2025 biennium budget:
- Wildfire risk reduction and CEAP execution
- Economic Development including development of eco-tourism like trails, ensuring city processes such as planning are supportive of attract new business and supporting those already here
- Affordability including attainable housing and review of our rate structures for progressiveness in their livability
All with the underlying supporting principles of equity access and strong supportive city services with a customer service focus.