The Ashland Chronicle reported that current mayor, Julie Akins, announced she was stepping down from her position as mayor of Ashland. The following statement was released by Julie Akins and was posted by the Ashland Chronicle this morning.
“Fellow Councilors, the people of Ashland and Joe Lessard,
Today I am submitting my resignation, effective Friday, January 27th at the close of business.
I’ve served the community as a volunteer legislator for four years, two years as a city councilor and two years as your mayor. I’m proud of certain accomplishments: Creating the Social Equity and Racial Justice Committee, changing the focus to housing, funding emergency shelter for vulnerable populations, moving our community through the pandemic and the Almeda fire, working toward a sustainable budget and setting an agenda of transparency.
I’ve been honored to serve the people of Ashland as your elected mayor, an honor afforded few, and I have appreciated the support of the people. But it’s important to admit when it’s time and for me it’s time.
I hope I leave behind the understanding it’s possible to be kind and caring but firm and clear.
I would also like to thank my husband Leo who sacrificed so much in order for me to do this kind of volunteerism in our community and toward our shared values. And I look forward to spending more time with him, with my family and in rebuilding my career, which I love. To the people of Ashland: You will see me around and my heart remains open to you.
Take care of each other.
She previously was the News Director at KOBI TV. Akins was also employed as a journalist at the Ashland Daily Tidings and Mail Tribune, prior to being elected as mayor.
Her time as mayor has made several headlines as she has firmly and directly engaged with Ashland City Council members regarding a number of hot-button issues (city employee retention, potential financial audits, budget deficits). After an especially contentious June 2021 meeting, Akins remarked she felt she was being bullied by the council. She also abruptly left the Zoom council meeting as dialog became heated, she did later return to finish out the meeting.
The City of Ashland has released the following statement on their website:
City of Ashland Council and staff would like to thank Akins for her service to the community. Information about the appointment process will be available shortly on the City of Ashland website
This is a developing story, Medford Alert will continue to monitor and update as new information becomes available.