Ashland Alderman Explains Recurring Turmoil

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ASHLAND- Second Ward Alderman, John Hills, doesn't deny the City of Ashland is experiencing turbulent times.

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Hills spoke with Mayor Gene Rhorer Thursday after Rhorer decided to keep his job. Rhorer had been filling the position for three months but announced his resignment Wednesday. Hills told KOMU 8 News Rhorer took his job back after an outcry of support from the community.

"When you lose a police chief and you lose a city administrator and you lose the attorney that's been there for a long time, that leaves your mayor wearing about four hats," Hills said.

He said there are a lot of things the city must tend to, and with five city leaders resigning in the past five months (not including Mayor Rhorer), all the responsibilities fall on the mayor.

Previous Ashland Mayor Michael Jackson was offered a retirement package from his position at Kraft Foods.

Hills said when Mayor Rhorer took the position as Mayor Pro Tem, he wasn't thinking in terms that one day he would be mayor. He was happy being Ward One Alderman, and he stepped up to the plate and took the responsibility of moving the city forward, according to Hills.

Hills said with public service comes sacrifice and people don't realize the amount of sacrifice they're going to have to endure when they serve on city government. It becomes too much for some people. It's better to resign and turn the job over to somebody who is willing to do the service for the community, according to Hills.

"Originally he thought that the stress was going to be such that he needed to focus on his work and his family, he reconsidered," Hills said.

He said it's wonderful when someone steps down from a position with city government and the community comes forward and tries to prevent it.

"It's uplifting because when things are going good people are happy and they don't really say anything, but when they're going bad, that's when you hear comments from the community," Hills said.

Mayor Rhorer submitted a letter of resignation on Wednesday and within 24 hours, withdrew the resignation. Hills said the letter was never formally accepted, so Rhorer was reinstated.

Mayor Rhorer did not return our phone calls for an interview. Hills said the mayor is busy and wants Ashland residents to know, "we are going to move this city forward regardless of the turmoil."

"We're going to do whatever it takes to make this city once again successful and proud," Hills said.