ASHLAND Ashland’s municipal government structure will remain the same.
Tuesday was the deadline to submit 1,700 signatures on a petition that, if successful, would have put on the 2019 ballot a proposal to turn Ashland’s government from what is known as a manager-commission plan to a mayor-council, or “strong” mayoral format. The latter would have given the mayor at City Hall significantly more power over hiring and firing and budgetary decisions.
Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones said as of Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. the required signatures for the petition to be successful were not submitted. Tuesday represented the deadline.
The petition filed by five Ashland residents at the end of June.
“I am pleased it (the signatures) wasn’t filed,” said Mayor Steve Gilmore. “I firmly believe in the type of government we have. We have a very effective city manager and an excellent commission. Ashland is being well served.”
The five people who filed the petition were Ann Brown Perkins, Elizabeth Steele Jackson, Pamela Bird, Michael Perkins and Glendon Lee Stanley. City Commissioner Matt Perkins is the son of Ann Perkins and the brother of Michael Perkins.
Matt Perkins said people want change at City Hall but that change doesn’t have to happen via the petition.
“It’s something that is fine either way,” said Perkins. “We have a government that has been place for over 50 years and a lot of people want change. I think we are making progress to make the change people want to see whether there is a petition or not.”
Gilmore also said they he wasn’t in favor of the change for a city the size of Ashland.
Ann Perkins couldn't be reached for a comment.
Gilmore also believed in order to keep a strong government the voters must stay in touch with the people they elect. He encouraged community members to run for office, so they can keep a strong government with strong leaders in those positions.
“I think we have a good government in place, and we will move forward just like we always have,” said Perkins.
Ashland will continue operating under a manager-commission plan and the change will not be placed on the ballots.
“I think the mayor-city manager plan has served Ashland well for many years, and it is the best option for us,” said Gilmore.