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Ashland appoints two new council members

A two story grey building with large windows. A sign at the top of the building reads "city hall"
Roman Battaglia
Jefferson Public Radio
The Ashland City Hall building, across from Ashland Plaza, February 2023

The Ashland City Council appointed two new council members Wednesday night, after multiple resignations earlier this year.

The council chose Jeffrey Dahle and Dylan Bloom for the two vacant positions. A total of 19 candidates applied for the empty positions on the six-member board.

They were left vacant after Council Member Shaun Moran and Mayor Julie Akins both resigned in late January.

“This is not an easy effort when you have 19 applicants for two positions, many of whom showed themselves to be exceptionally dedicated residents to this city," said Council Member Paula Hyatt.

Jeffrey Dahle grew up in Ashland and returned to the city in 2010. Dahle currently serves on the airport and citizens budget committees.

In his application, Dahle said, “I will make every effort to meet the challenge of maintaining that which has historically made Ashland so desirable to both residents and visitors alike while considering updated ideas tailored to a new decade and beyond.”

He added that many of the issues the city faces are the result of federal and state legislative decisions.

Dylan Bloom attended Southern Oregon University with a focus in political science. He left SOU during his senior year to enter the workforce. And, according to his application, he was heavily involved in student government and leadership at SOU.

Bloom wants to represent the younger, working-class community in town.

“My wife and I are working class, we live paycheck to paycheck and live in a small apartment in town,” he said. “I understand more than so many in our local government how it feels right now to be working poor in Ashland.”

Bloom said the biggest issues facing the city are affordable housing and jobs. He adds the city should look to increase workforce housing so more Ashland workers can live in town.

Both appointees will be sworn in at next Tuesday’s meeting, according to Mayor Tonya Graham.

Corrected: March 16, 2023 at 11:35 AM PDT
This story has been updated to correct information about Dylan Bloom's educational background. Bloom says he did not graduate from SOU, but left during his senior year to enter the workforce.
Roman Battaglia is a regional reporter for Jefferson Public Radio. After graduating from Oregon State University, Roman came to JPR as part of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism in 2019. He then joined Delaware Public Media as a Report For America fellow before returning to the JPR newsroom.