There Are Second Acts: Medford’s New Mayor is a Familiar Face
A year or so ago, Randy Sparacino retired after nearly 30 years with the Medford Police Department, including serving as its chief. This year, Sparacino walked into his new office in Medford—as the newly elected mayor.
During his first weeks in office, the Messenger had a few questions for Medford’s new mayor.
Rogue Valley Messenger: This is an extremely tough time – with COVID impacting businesses and the impact of last summer’s fires. Are you a glutton for punishment? This seems like an extremely tough time to be a mayor.
Randy Sparacino: I am not a glutton for punishment, as I said during the campaign, I am just someone that truly loves this city and want to see it be the best place to live. I agree these are tough and tumultuous times and in times like these we need good leadership and good governance, I am an optimist and I believe that we can grow from these challenges and come out better on the other side.
RVM: A big issue over the past year has been police accountability. You spent nearly three decades as the police chief, but now as mayor, do you feel a different role and responsibility towards “police accountability”?
RS: I know that we have an excellent law enforcement organization with the Medford Police Department; one that is well led and well trained which is necessary to ensure that they continue to be at the forefront of their profession. I will advocate for them to continue the tradition of being well trained and promote the best leaders, however I will also expect that as a department they will be accountable for their actions. That being said, ultimately the responsibility to hold the department accountable falls on the City Manager as the Charter dictates that the City Manager supervises the departments and thus Chief of Police.
RVM: One of the big challenges for Medford has been graduation rates. I understand that the mayor is not the school board, but what do you feel like you can do as the mayor to raise graduation rates for teens in the Medford school district?
RS: You are correct, this particular issue does not fall within the purview of the Mayor but improving graduation rates is definitely beneficial for the City. Additionally, I would like to encourage both the high school and college to continue to increase their delivery of Career and Technical Education. Students from CTE programs will help to provide the foundation to our future workforce.