By: Ernie Wren
Previously in the “Around Town” column, questions were presented to the mayoral candidates in regard to past and future campaign promises. After meeting with myself and others, they have provided the following responses to those questions.

Loren Plank

Modernizing the Ashland Swimming Pool

My pledge to modernize the Ashland swimming pool, indeed a vital community asset, is rooted in a collaborative approach. I recognize the pool is operated by the Ashland Optimist Club and surrounded by school district-owned property.

My vision involves working closely with these stakeholders and exploring various funding avenues, including grants, partnerships, and community fundraising, rather than defaulting to new public taxes. Our parks budget challenges are real, but innovative financing and leveraging community support can overcome these hurdles.

Fundraising for the Ashland Skatepark

The initiative to establish a skatepark in Ashland demonstrates my commitment to providing diverse recreational opportunities for our youth. While significant, fundraising for such projects is a long-term effort, involving community engagement, grant applications, and partnerships with local businesses and philanthropies. The journey is ongoing, and I am dedicated to seeing this project through to fruition, enhancing our community’s recreational landscape.

Full-Time School Resource Officer

The proposal to introduce a full-time school resource officer addresses our shared concern for the safety of our students. Previous attempts have faced budget and oversight challenges, which is why my approach emphasizes collaboration with the school district and exploring all possible funding sources, including federal and state grants, to ensure this initiative is sustainable and effective.

Adult Entertainment Events

My commitment is to safeguard our community’s values while respecting legal businesses. I propose working with the city council, community leaders, and law enforcement to develop regulatory measures that balance these considerations, focusing on the safety and welfare of our residents, especially children.

Dorise Slinker


We understand the concerns regarding transparency considering the recent events. While we strive for transparency in all our decisions and actions, in this case, we were legally obligated to maintain confidentiality due to the terms of the settlement agreement.

The non-disclosure clause was included as a standard practice in such agreements to protect the privacy of all parties involved. We regret the inconvenience caused by the sudden cancellation of the public forum, but it was necessary to respect the confidentiality agreement. We remain committed to transparency whenever possible, and we will continue to work towards open communication with our community.

Personal records serve as a comprehensive overview of an individual’s employment history, encompassing all employment-related information collected and maintained by the city. These records form the basis for employment-related actions and decisions, containing a wealth of private and confidential information.

The city is committed to safeguarding the privacy and security of all personnel information and takes stringent measures to protect this sensitive data. This is not an attempt to “hide” anything from the public, but to ensure that the city safeguards the privacy of its employees, and that we abide by the laws governing such information.

Recent election loss of the bond measure for sewer treatment plant improvements

We respect the outcome of the recent election, and while it is disappointing that the bond measure did not pass, we do not believe it necessarily reflects mistrust from the voters towards the city administration.

It is possible that there were other factors at play, such as concerns about the cost or timing of the project and overall voter education. The issues addressed by this bond measures are known issues dating back to 2015. The city is working diligently to minimize the impact of rate increases on our residents.

We understand the financial burden that these increases can have on individuals and families, and we are committed to finding solutions to help offset these costs. As part of our efforts, we have organized numerous educational meetings to provide information and resources to our community.

However, we have seen a lower turnout than expected at these events. We encourage residents to actively participate in these meetings and engage with us in finding ways to address the rate increases. We are here to support you and collaborate on solutions that benefit everyone in our city. We recognize that increasing capacity is not merely an option, but an unavoidable reality that we must confront.

Our city’s growth and changing needs demand that we take proactive steps to expand our capacity and ensure that we can continue to provide essential services to our residents. We are committed to facing this challenge head-on and will work diligently to identify and implement effective solutions that support our city’s progress and maintain the high quality of life our community enjoys.

Increasing business presence in Ashland

Regarding our promises to be more business-friendly and increase the business presence in Ashland, we remain committed to these goals. Our process is streamlined and efficient, which is evident by the numbers of new businesses opened during my term as Mayor. We believe that these efforts will contribute to the overall growth and prosperity of Ashland.

Here is a list:
2024 – Midwest Alarm, Alpha Martial Arts, 503 Collective and Timeless Salon & Massage.

2023 – Robinson-Yager Funeral Home (formerly Robinson Funeral), Abby Harman Insurance, Domino’s Pizza, Mary Jane’s Place, Yummy Yo’s, Bronze Echo, Airport 63 Storage, Cobblestone Storage, Ashland Chiropractic &Wellness, Show Me Apparel, Bell Bank, NAPA auto parts (formerly Car Quest), Ashland Tint & Sounds, Lunar Threads, Southwest Stone, Boone County Journal (changed hands) and Studio 24.

2022 – Total Lending Concepts, Izzy Smith Homes, Dandy Lion, R-Vet (formerly Dooleys), Global Green Insurance, Scooters, Amazon, Rental Supply, Momentum Dance Academy, Taco Bell and Lakeside.

Commercial Buildings coming available: Bauer’s on E Redtail Drive, Selby’s Building, Boone Corner and Larkin Powers development on Liberty Lane, Settlers Suit and O’Reilly’s.