Charter Review Committee
Ashland City Band
Sub Committee Member: Kate Culbertson
ISSUE STATEMENT: Should the City Band remain in the Charter?
The Ashland City Band traces it roots to 1876. The Ashland Brass Band came into being that year and its influence in the musical life of Ashland appears as part of an article in the April 14, 1877, issue of the Ashland Tidings. In 1890 the band numbered about twenty musicians. By 1961 the band was up to about sixty-five members and in the 1990's had reached into the mid eighties. In 1938 the city of Ashland approved a .6-mil levy to support the band. Presently the band has three members who have performed with the ensemble in excess of fifty years each.
ARTICLE XXI - City Band
Section 1. At the time of making the tax levy for general City purposes each year, the Council shall cause a careful estimate to be made of the money required for the purpose of a City Band for the ensuing year, such estimate shall be presented and considered with the other items in the annual budget and there shall be included in the general levy for the ensuing year not to exceed six-tenths (.6) mills on the dollar for such band requirements, which fund, when collected, shall be deposited with the City Recorder, subject to the order of the Council.
The Article XXI above, is in fact no longer relevant due to Measure(s) 47/50. According to the City Finance Director, the Band is funded under Central Services/Finance Department, from the General Fund. Each year it receives a couple of percentage points increase, currently totaling $57,500. A portion of this is for the director and the remainder for music, rehearsals and performances. The appropriation is set by ordinance of the Budget Committee. There is no connection between revenue source and expenditures. Band expenditures have never been questioned.
In the past few years, surveys have put the band in the top 3 choices in citizen priorities.
PROS & CONS:
1) Remaining in the Charter would ensure that the Band remains as an Ashland institution unless a vote of the citizens determines otherwise.
2) The Budget Committee or the Council could remove the funding source - i.e. a small group of appointed or elected officials. They (or other citizens) might argue that the Band should be self-sufficient.
1) Council should be able to determine budget items as appropriate to the times and tax dollars available and not be bound by the Charter.
Consulted were the Band Board of Directors (5 present) and Lee Tuneberg.