History of this Office

Ashland began its history as a city in 1874. During the first ten years of Town Government, the people elected Trustees, who then elected a President for the Board of Trustees. In March of 1885, a new Charter was granted creating a Mayor-Council form of government.

With the incorporation of the City in 1874, Charles K. Klum became the first elected Town Clerk. He was followed by R.K. Sutten and A.V. Gillette. In 1882, the title of Town Clerk was changed to City Recorder.

From 1882 until 1970, the City Recorder and the City Treasurer positions were held by two separate officials. A charter revision in 1970 combined the offices of city recorder and city treasurer, transfering all the duties from treasurer's office to the recorder's office. At that same time, the election period was extended from two to four years.

Since 1885, there have been fifteen City Recorders. In Ashland's history, only three women have held the position.

Gertrude Biede Easterling
Gertrude Biede Easterling

Gertrude Biede Easterling was the first woman to hold elective office in Ashland, serving as City Recorder from 1918 to 1933. After leaving her position, she became the only woman Treasurer in Ashland's history, serving from 1937 until her retirement in 1954. Mrs. Easterling was a valued member of the community until her death, at age 108, in February 1998.

Nan Franklin was appointed to the City Recorder's office when her predecessor, Joseph M. Butler, retired before the end of his term. Mayor Gary Prickett made the appointment. Mrs. Franklin was well-acquainted with City business, having worked for the police department before moving to finance, and then to the Recorder's office. She was Recorder/Treasurer from 1977 until her retirement in 1994.

Barbara Christensen was elected City Recorder in 1995. As a native Oregon Resident, she enjoys serving the City of Ashland as the Recorder, Treasurer, and Elections Officer. Mrs. Christensen belongs to the following professional organizations: Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA); Municipal Treasurers Association (MTA); Oregon Association Municipal Recorders (OAMR), serving as president, Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association (OMFOA), serving as Board Member; the City of Ashland Audit Committee; Soroptimist International of Ashland; Ashland Rotary Club; Ashland Elks Lodge; and the Association for Information Management Professionals.

She received in 2005 the "First Freedom Award" from the Greater Oregon Professional Chapter Society of Professional Journalists who recognized individuals for extraordinary strong efforts to preserve and strengthn the First Amendment.

Just as the Mayor and Council is elected, so too is the City Recorder. Elections for the City Recorder/Treasurer are held every four years. The Recorder is charged with the duty of maintaining the City's records, and thereby its history.

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