Canceled meeting just latest twist in Gold Hill confusion

GOLD HILL — A town hall meeting called, and canceled, with minimal notice attracted some four-dozen residents Tuesday night to the doors of Patrick Elementary School.

The meeting was called to discuss the future of the city's controversial police department and other issues.

Councilwoman Judi Holdeman, who was to lead the meeting, canceled the event Monday afternoon, stating information necessary for the meeting had not been gathered in time.

Council members and citizens remain divided over whether to keep the city's police department or contract with the sheriff's department for coverage.

A surcharge would be needed to fund the department and the decision not to disband would result in a 50 percent to 75 percent increase in the city's insurance premiums.

Residents who stood outside the school Tuesday voiced concern over the lack of information provided by the city in recent weeks.

"For a meeting that was canceled it was a pretty good turnout," said Gold Hill resident Don Raiff.

"I guess people were wanting some information. ... I thought it was pretty positively favored for the elimination of our local law enforcement here. I definitely think we should go with the sheriff's or we're going to be in way over our heads in debt."

Resident Eleanor Saylor agreed. "There are so many things that are just not right with our city and we're really sick and tired of it," she said.

Councilwoman Jan Fish showed up at site of the canceled meeting.

"A lot of people didn't know it'd been canceled. There were 35 or so people who showed up and they really wanted to talk to somebody, so I talked to them and I listened," said Fish, who has voiced her preference for disbanding the city's police force.

City recorder Mary Goddard said no decision had been made as to whether the meeting would be rescheduled.

Holdeman voiced ongoing frustration with "the entire situation."

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer in Medford. E-mail her at

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