Elect a “Both/And” Leader for our Ashland City Council: BOB KAPLAN

By Elisabeth Zinser

“The combination of attributes and experiences Bob brings to the race doesn’t come along often. And, we need him now.”

Bob Kaplan leads with an orientation to achieve ‘Both/And,’ rising above the ‘Either/Or’ mentality that sows division. He favors decision-making that pushes past previously perceived ceilings set by ‘either/or’ assumptions. His ‘both/and’ posture recognizes synergies among aims too often perceived as competing when their pursuit can lead to more robust strategies for progress in the short and long term. He will be an effective advocate for near term policies that build resilience for our business community while advocating the unprecedented commitments to actions needed for climate mitigation that, for the most part, will reap delayed rewards, calling upon us to be persistent, humble, and patient.  We need both. 

He has the experience, knowledge, and temperament to help the Council foster our City’s economic advancement with thriving businesses, alongside progressive, well-researched steps to minimize human impacts on our environment and climate, on a timeline that can be embraced by business and residents within their means. He will focus on a plan that recognizes existing financial constraints while aiming for the long-term goals with affordable steps along the way.

Factored firmly in Bob’s aspirations are his commitments (1) to support our most disadvantaged citizens to achieve security in housing, food, and readiness for training and jobs, (2) to forge bold strides in equity, diversity, inclusion, and race relations, (3) to foster collaborations among government, business, education, and social services, and (4) to listen to and serve the Council’s constituents. 

Bob’s readiness to help guide the future of our City with these commitments is seen in his resume of extensive accomplishments as well as by listening to him speak his vision and hopes for Ashland. He has provided fiscal and policy guidance for municipal and national governments. He serves on Ashland Citizen’s Budget Committee, the Climate Policy Commission, and the boards of OHRA and our Ashland Food Co-op. Bob ‘walks the talk’ of his priorities on environment, economic development, and social progress. 

We have a relatively new City Manager and Council model, still on a learning curve in differentiating roles and responsibilities to create a strong working relationship. Bob understands local government systems through credible research and his personal and professional experiences. His expertise and collaborative style will be a significant asset for all his colleagues as the new model continues on its path to smooth functioning for the people of our City and neighboring communities.

Bob has my vote. I’m glad to add my voice to encourage your consideration of this outstanding candidate for our City Council. We have an impressive slate of candidates in this election. They all deserve our respect and gratitude for running for these seats.  That said, the combination of attributes and experiences Bob brings to the race doesn’t come along often.  And, we need him now.

Elisabeth Zinser is a retired university president, community volunteer