Skip to comments.Ashland to pay counselor $37,000 to counsel the council (Moonbat council, LOL!)
Posted on 10/01/2007 10:16:50 AM PDT by jazusamo
ASHLAND The fractured Ashland City Council found something its members can agree on. They need help.
The city has hired a counselor to help the councilors learn to work together and restore some civility to their interactions.
Rick Kirschner, an Ashland naturopath who has written several books about the art of persuasion and human relationships, will meet with the council later this week in the first of a five-month series of therapy sessions.
Taxpayers will foot the $37,000 bill.
The councils cry for help was highlighted last month when Councilman David Chapman told Councilman Eric Navickas to shut your f mouth during a discussion about council rules.
Chapman said he was frustrated with how the session was progressing. He said the issue has taken them more than a year to debate with little progress.
I just lost my temper, Chapman said. Hes lost his temper with me before. We kind of take turns.
Navickas acknowledged losing his temper in the past, but said, I cant think of a time in a public meeting where Ive used that strong of language towards another councilor.
Councilman Russ Silbiger said he hopes the upcoming counseling sessions will improve things. Could it be any worse? he asked. Anyone watching any meeting can see the divisions.
Ashland City Administrator Martha Bennett said the $37,000 is money well spent if it means restoring civility to the council.
It may seem like a lot of money, she said. But if the council doesnt function, the city doesnt function.
But the cost seems excessive to many of the people who have commented about the news on the Web site for the Ashland Daily Tidings newspaper. Some questioned why the contract wasnt put out to bid, and others wondered if the sessions violate open meetings laws.
This is absolutely, positively the LAST STRAW! wrote one poster. Why should we taxpayers foot the $37,000 bill for therapy? If these people cannot get along like adults, then they shouldnt be in these jobs.
Hello, Ms. Bennett. This is Moonbat City, OR. It hasn't functioned for years.
It will work. They'll stop fighting with each other for as long as it takes to destroy this pinhead.
Why must the poor taxpayer be the ONLY slug who gets punished for the bad behavior of others?
If these “uncivil servants” need help, they should buy it on THEIR nickel.
Wouldn’t it be cheaper and far more productive to simply fire the jerks who are incapable of conducting the city’s business in a professional manner?
Or let those two go outside and “duke” it out?
How can these folks who didn’t learn what most of us learned in kindergarten learn now?
What a joke. When the bell, book & sandal crowd moved north up I-5 from CA in the 60s they started at the State Line and this community was one of the first contaminated. If the leaders of this town had their way there would be no normal industry in Southern Oregon just people selling homemade crafts to each other and a little homegrown herbs.
Maybe I missed something; I just assumed that these councillors were ELECTED by the PEOPLE.
That's the answer but you have to remember this is the most liberal town in OR and that's saying something.
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Oregon Ping List.
“Act like grownups. Use your inside voice. Where’s my $37,000?”
You assumed right, this is a reflection of the majority.
You know the City is dysfunctional when we can not even get fountains working; the duck pond clean and weeds have take over the sidewalks along N. Main-— not to mention the laundry list of failures/needs like hooking up to TAP. It is obviously no one is left who knows how to run a city. We have filed legal actions at every turn, exhibit no cooperation with our neighbors and waste millions on failure without the courage to correct our own mistakes. The only hope left is an election or recall!
on and on - ashland - October 1st, 10:21 AM
Not sure who made the actual choice to hire THIS guy, but I can see the first sessions bickering over who the counselor is.
Both our kids graduated from the college there. They are conservative, it was a long four years for the both of them.
Give me a break. These people are obviously not leaders. Save the taxpayers some money and kick them out along with their phony baloney therapist.
For a conservative considering early retirement in the Medford area, what locations would be less infested with leftists? I’d prefer to like my neighbors.
“The city has hired a counselor.”
I was wondering about the choice, too. Who, exactly, decided this should be a no-bid contract? For a five-figure award? Given to a marginally credentialed (but locally connected?) ‘naturopath’ awardee?
These ‘councilors’ aren’t just childish fools; something smells about this. Or, perhaps that’s ALL they are. Either way, they should be turned out. If I recall my Oregon civics lessons correctly, that State was one of the first to have the Right of Recall — the good citizens of Ashland should use it.
My friend used to be a restaurant consultant. He told people “Don’t do it. That’ll be 100 grand, please.”
I live in the great state of Oklahoma, and you are welcome to retire anywhere here. No state has 2 better senators representing them than we Okies have.
A favorite old joke: A mechanic (or plumber, or other workman) comes out. He listens to the malfunctioning machine, then reaches down to his tool belt and pulls a hammer. Three taps, and the machine is back to normal.
The mechanic then presents the client with a bill for $50. The client is indignant. “I’m not paying you fifty bucks! You just tapped it three times with a hammer! You’ve got a lot of gall, asking fifty bucks for that!!!”
The mechanic calmly nods, takes back the invoice, and hands it back to the client. The revised version reads:
TAPS WITH A HAMMER: 3 @ $0.25
KNOWING WHAT TO TAP: $49.25
Medford is conservative, as is Grants Pass, where I and several other Freepers live.
If you want anti-government neighbors, Wolf Creek and Cave Junction have them in spades...
For a wonderful, small-town feel, you can’t get better than the city of Rogue River.
Eugene is far more liberal than Ashland.
Ever been to the city library? Ever been to the summer marketand seen the wiccans, dopers and topless hippies?
Ashland has its share of those types, but it also has some ranchers and old-timers from the good ol’ days.
My Grandmother graduated from Southern Oregon Normal in 1908, by the way, and she graduated from Gold Hill High School in the 1800’s!
We have a bunch of her stuff to the Jacksonville museum...
I wonder which of the councilor’s relatives or friends this bloke is... Nice paycheck for five days work...
UPDATE FROM THE SHRINK!
This should make the citizens happy to spend their $37,000 on this. LOL!
October 2, 2007
Conflict resolution for council defended
By Robert Plain
Ashland Daily Tidings
After being lauded by MSNBC, interviewed by USAToday and bombarded with comments from residents, Ashland City Councilors and their counselor are saying “it’s not therapy.”
“It has nothing to do with therapy,” said Dr. Rick Kirschner, who is working with city councilors on how they can better work with one another.
“I’m not here to analyze why people are the way they are or work through childhood issues or relationship issues or make them better human beings,” he said. “Those are therapy outcomes. It’s about conflict resolution and leadership.”
An author and naturopath as well as a life coach and public speaker, Kirschner also teaches communication skills to people working together in professional environments. Although this is his first city council, he has worked with the Ashland School Board and several large companies and institutions, such as NASA, Heineken and Starbucks.
He has already made some preliminary assessments of the council.
“I don’t think the council has a functional process for dealing with the city’s business,” the Ashland resident said. “There is lot of misunderstanding among the members and I think that plays out in the way business of city gets done. They spend an unbelievable amount of time together. It’s astonishing what a great service they are giving to the community.”
He will meet with the entire council for the first time this weekend. He has already begun talking with individual councilors for a process that will take five months, an unknown amount of meetings and time, as well as $37,000 of the public’s money.
City Administrator Martha Bennett, who called it “communication skills training” said the money for the training is coming from the council’s budget. A press release on the city’s Web site said, “Under Ashland’s municipal code the contract with Dr. Kirschner is exempt from the competitive bidding process due to his unique set of skills, background and experience.”
This is the second time this council has spent money on such activities, according to Bennett. In January, they hired a company from Eugene for what she called a “team-building session” for $7,600 for a day and a half of sessions.
Councilor David Chapman, who swore at one of his colleagues at a recent council meeting, said he hopes the sessions with Kirschner will help the council communicate with each other more effectively.
“A lot of us are not very skilled at this,” he said.
In a prepared statement, Mayor John Morrison said, “I believe that once we complete this training, the Citizens of Ashland will benefit. Citizens will see stronger leadership, better teamwork and increased cooperation in conducting city business without compromising the individual councilor beliefs and political passions.”
Ashland Daily Tidings link
"Dude, take a hit and chill out."
Ashland being the capitol of Californigon, you’re probably right.
Rick Kirschner is for real, but that doesn’t mean that the Assland city council is.