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Gladstone voters spar as votes loom

On Aug. 14 I attended the Gladstone City Council meeting. The first item on the agenda was the Carleton Hart City Hall Building Renovation Update. I am writing this letter to tell the city of Gladstone citizens how embarrassed I was at how unprofessional Councilman Walt Fitch was in his questioning of the principal architect responsible for the update, along with his egregious lack of knowledge in regards to the commercial building process.

His comment regarding his remodeling friend’s ability to walk up on the roof of our city hall, and with a pad of paper in hand, write up a proposal and sketch up what needs to be done, was an eye opener. It became obvious we have a council member who clearly believes that city business can be handled on the back of a napkin and a handshake!

Maybe the problems we are facing today, with our infrastructure collapsing around us and public buildings with safety ratings of zero, is because of decades of other leaders handling our critical decisions in the same manner. I am embarrassed by the behavior and lack of respect shown by our council. I would ask that in the future council people remember that they are sitting up there as representatives of our city, as a professional extension of our city administrative staff, making decisions that are in the best interest, and the majority desires, of our citizens.

I would urge that the City Council properly vet any future appointments to confirm they are knowledgeable on what it takes to make the decisions needed as a council person, and that they are capable of the decorum we expect of those representing our community and our needs.

Tammy Stempel

Gladstone

Facts about new library

Building a new library will not increase your tax bill. It will be paid for by the Clackamas Library Funds, and 14 or 27 percent (depending on the debt structure) of urban-renewal funds. Over a period of 20 years, approximately $15.4 million of urban-renewal funds would be available for city projects and only $2.5 million would be used for the new library.

Fact: Urban-renewal funds can be used in urban-renewal areas (mostly surrounding the city) only. Only a few pockets within the downtown area are in the urban-renewal area. Only 1 percent of the city can be added to the urban-renewal area yearly.

Fact: Gladstone will pay approximately 25 percent of the total cost of the library. The county will provide $2.5 million upfront and about $1.5 million per year from the Library District will pay for operations and debt payments.

Fact: The Clackamas Library Fund windfall for Gladstone to build a new library will disappear if the library is voted down in November.

The new library will improve the livability and desirability of the City of Gladstone and improve the intrinsic value of your property.

Only a new library can accommodate futuristic library needs. Repairing and upgrading our present 50-year-old library would require condemnation of homes and businesses within the city block where it is located. The expense of this would be prohibitive as the county contribution would not be forthcoming and new taxes would be required.

Why are we voting on the new library again? Because the measures passed in May require the city to place the library on the ballot.

Approving the vote to build the new library in November is a one-time golden opportunity for Gladstone. It will not occur again anytime in the near future, if ever.

Beth Oetken

Gladstone

They want it, they don’t need it

George Orwell said, “As of the truthfulness of news, however, there is probably more suppression than down right lying”. A vocal minority of uninformed city officials and new library supporters are running a false information campaign to trick voters into voting for a new library.

To understand the city propaganda, you need not look any further than the Gladstone’s 2010 and 2011 Library Progress Reports sent to the Oregon Library Association. Here is irrefutable evidence that new library supporters have been busy casting a web of deception about a new library. There are nine questions about library efficiency, services, circulation, maintenance repairs and facility needs in the progress reports. The answer is yes to eight out of nine questions, which gives our current library a good rating of 89 percent. Question #9 reads, “Does the library have a written long range strategic plan that addresses facility needs?” Answer, No. The ninth answer is false. It should be a yes, which would give the existing Gladstone library a score of 100 percent.

Apparently, you can’t support the new library and tell the truth at the same time?

The city spending so far: $1.1 million on a “new” library, including architects, design plans, building contractor, oppose citizen Measures in May, sponsor another Measure in November—if that isn’t a permanent long range plan to address library facility needs, tell me what is?

Some things you can believe. There is nothing wrong with the existing Gladstone library. The Gladstone city council has a lot of explaining to do. Don’t let city leaders do your thinking for you.

Please vote no on Measure 3-413.

Rose Johnson

Gladstone



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