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OC mayors urge 'no' vote on Measure 3-407


This measure does NOT help Oregon City and that’s why we’re voting ‘No’ on 3-407

As mayors of Oregon City, we all struggled to bring jobs and economic vitality to our city. It was tough competing with other more prosperous communities and it remains tough to build a solid economic base today—especially in our blighted areas around the mill and landfill.

This measure would further disadvantage Oregon City.

It WILL add more red tape to an already complicated process and scare away businesses like Cabela’s who are interested in creating jobs. Unfortunately, this measure will further cement Oregon City’s growing reputation as an unfriendly place to do business.

This measure...

Will NOT stimulate our economy

Will NOT encourage job creation

As Oregon City mayors, we all support and encourage public participation in urban-renewal projects, but holding expensive special elections on a project-by-project basis is NOT an effective way to make public policy and will certainly put Oregon City at an economic disadvantage once again.

This measure is NOT about your right to vote. You already exercise that right when you elect representatives. This measure is designed to hurt Oregon City’s current and future economic opportunities and stop growth.

Businesses have many choices when deciding where to locate a new or expanding job site. Defeating this measure will demonstrate that our community values economic vitality and welcomes new business that benefit Oregon City’s unique and historic character.

We care about Oregon City and its future. We stand in opposition to this measure because it WILL hurt our city for years to come.

To ensure a bright future for Oregon City, please join us in voting ‘No’ on 3-407.

Doug Neeley

Alice Norris

Dan Fowler

Ron Thom

Ken Mitchell

Oregon City mayors

Citizen bravery exemplified

Several weeks ago I wrote a letter to the editor (“Ruling in Hunt v. Crocker,” Sept. 18).

During the next week I received 11 comments from customers. During the bridge reopening weekend I received countless comments regarding my letter.

My letter said in essence that Oregon City was being controlled by a handful of people. The comments I received were surprising to me they said things like, “Wow, you sure are brave,” “Good for you” and “I wish I had the courage to speak out like you do.” I even received a comment from the mayor suggesting I was starting rumors.

This reinforced my belief that there is indeed a group of people who want to continue running the city for their own monetary gain.

When I read the editorial from Kathy Roth (“Let city voters decide,” Oct. 17), I was so proud of her. Someone from the “inside” telling us it is okay to let us vote instead of leaving everything up to a chosen handpicked few.

I believe Kathy is the brave one. I also believe that the “powers that be” will certainly be trying to get her recalled next.

Sandra Gillman

Oregon City

Churchill for City Council

Scott Churchill as a member of the Milwaukie Planning Commission has shown himself to be a person of sharp mind and intellect. He is not afraid to ask the difficult questions of staff and others, and to expect full and detailed answers. As part of the Planning Commission he has played a major role in shaping the new residential standards currently being debated by City Council, along with numerous other projects over his five year tenure on the planning commission. He is also the chair of the task force working towards the expansion of our library.

He has a vision for Milwaukie to ensure that as our city develops, our quality of life is improved and not diminished. He sees it as important to connect the two halves of our city, by building pedestrian connections to bridge Highway 224, and creating walkable and connected neighborhoods. He wants to make our neighborhoods safer and to see the quiet zones on the railroad crossing completed. He believes small business should be encouraged to grow, not just in our downtown area, but across the whole city.

I know Scott Churchill will be a worthy asset to our City Council who will listen to the citizens and work hard to make sure their opinions and concerns are heard and heeded. I have no hesitation in endorsing Scott Churchill for Milwaukie City Council, and look forward to working with him on our council.

Dave Hedges


Don’t waste your vote

About a year ago most of us voted to recall Commissioner Jim Nicita, mostly because he was holding up the development of the landfill and the possibility of a Cabela’s.

Now Nicita and his cronies are back at it, trying to block development and jobs in Oregon City. This time they’re wrapping their plot in a bogus “right to vote” banner. This sloppy charter amendment measure was crafted by the same guy we just kicked out. Doesn’t he get it?

We don’t want more government red tape, we want a fair shot at getting a Cabela’s in OC. Don’t waste all the work we did on the recall. Vote NO on measure 3-407. Let’s get to work!

Rex Parks

Oregon City

Rockys got my vote

Over the years, I’ve become acquainted with Tim Powell and Rocky Smith Jr., the two men vying for Position No. 2 on the City Commission. They’re both good caring men, actively involved in our local community.

It was Rocky who won my vote at the candidates’ debate. I appreciate his willingness to listen to the citizenry, and to evolve in his understanding of local issues. Tim, on the other hand, seems sure he can convince us that building a “destination” shopping mall on the unstable, polluted Rossman landfill is a great idea. I’m sorry, but there really are a sizable number of us, who don’t share that vision, and don’t want to see our unique area get gentrified.

Also, I wonder if Tim is too closely allied with Dan Fowler? The former mayor seems to hold a good deal of sway in local planning. I want a commissioner who represents me and my neighbors, not developers and speculators.

We’re currently faced with unprecedented global problems. We can’t ignore them and continue on with “business as usual.” Fortunately, when it comes to solutions, we’re ahead of the curve here in Oregon. We’ve made principles of sustainability a part of government at every level. And we’re learning to inhabit our region in a gentler way.

That means using the resources we’ve got right at hand. Revitalizing empty storefronts, rather than building new ones. Maintaining our existing infrastructure. Localizing our economy with homegrown businesses based in natural commerce. Educating our youth to see the big picture.

Rocky Smith may not represent all my hopes for Oregon City, but his deep roots here are likely to help moderate his views, and his creative nature is a plus in changing times.

Janine Offutt

Oregon City

You probably know

You probably know what a bond is - how the rates are set, how they’re bought, sold and repaid, how they can be used.

You probably know what Oregon City’s bond rating is and our total bonding capacity.

You probably know the difference between revenue bonds, municipal bonds and general-obligation bonds.

You probably know that these bonds are paid back right out of your pocket through property taxes.

You probably know that, because of how they’re paid back, these bonds must be approved by a vote of our citizens.

You probably know that urban-renewal bonds are very different from these bonds.

You probably know that urban-renewal bonds are not paid back out of your pocket.

You probably know that urban-renewal bonds are only paid back by the increased property taxes of the developed property in the urban-renewal district - by those properties’ owners.

You probably know that without an investment, there would be no improved value to a property - particularly one that is difficult to build on.

You probably know that with this improved value, those increased property taxes and payroll taxes of the jobs created will fund your city police, your fire district, your library, your schools.

You probably know that negotiating a multi-million dollar urban-renewal project can take years of work.

You probably know that having every citizen vote on all such negotiations is a time-consuming, inefficient and prohibitively expensive process.

So you probably understand why other prosperous cities do not burden their citizens with requiring them to vote on urban-renewal bonding. It’s just bad business. Please join me and vote no on Measure 4-307.

William Gifford

Oregon City

I’ll hold my head high

With an important election just a few weeks away, many voters in our community are receiving campaign mail and watching television ads. As a candidate for state representative, I’m running because I want to improve our schools and get our friends and neighbors working again. But as someone who’s new to politics, I believe there’s an important difference between talking about policy differences and partisan mudslinging. I learned this lesson when my opponent launched TV ads claiming I own a multi-million dollar apartment complex that I don’t pay taxes on.

The truth is my father and I built a modest apartment complex decades ago that I now own with my wife and it is valued at $290,000. I have also paid all my taxes. The apartment complex on TV being used to smear me was pulled out of thin air by my opponent’s campaign. It certainly hasn’t been easy running my business. When the housing market collapsed, so did many businesses that depended on a healthy real estate market. In fact, a lot of my friends in construction trades simply couldn’t make it. And as you know, many developers and builders had to file Chapter 11, or go completely out of business. There have been times when taxes had to be paid late, which is unfortunately common for any small business owner during these tough times. But I always pay my taxes in full, with interest.

Obviously, it is embarrassing that our personal financial history is being used against my family in this campaign by Brent Barton, even if the information he is broadcasting is incorrect. But what I can tell you is that I can hold my head high knowing we were tough enough to make it through this recession and come out stronger than ever before.

I didn’t enter this race to begin a long career in politics. I’m running to serve my community, where I’ve lived, worked and raised a family for most of my life. This recession has been hard on many families, including my own, but I will take this perspective to the Legislature if our community calls on me to serve.

With campaign season at its peak, I suggest closely watching negative political ads. It’s hard to tell who is using lies, and who uses facts, but I hope I have been able to clear up some misleading information about me.

Steve Newgard

Jennings Lodge

Support Gladstone’s new library

A visit to the existing facility will quickly demonstrate the need for a new library in a new location.

Since 1988 there have been a series of professional studies each reinforcing the need for expanded facilities and services at the small inadequate Gladstone community library. (All reports are public documents and available for review.) The public has participated in repeated town halls, surveys, forums, and committees consistently coming to the conclusion that Gladstone’s service area would best be served by being a regional library. The county has stated it no longer should be giving direct library service. The Oak Lodge library will close when the new Gladstone library opens its doors. The service population for Gladstone will jump from 20,000 to 49,000. The well-designed and modest, yes, modest by Oregon Library Association standards, library will welcome all patrons in the area and district. Funding will be balanced by the taxes already assessed for the library district and paid by the residents of the district. There are no new taxes needed to build and operate this new library.

The opposition says this ballot measure is not about the library. It is time for the opposition to exercise some integrity! It knows upgrading water and sewer infrastructure will have great cost - to you! Petitioning the Federal Court to change its ruling regarding the use of the proposed library property will come with expense — to you. Constructing any facility other than the library on that property will come at great cost - to you! When the opposition says “It’s Your Money,” that’s what they’re talking about! They don’t share that information. Integrity - lacking by the opposition.

There is no estimate how long the existing library can continue to function in its current condition and location. Daily it serves more people than any other public building in Gladstone. It is not earthquake safe. It is not accessible by those with special needs. It does not have adequate parking. It has five (or is it seven) different heating and cooling systems. It is riddled with mold. There is inadequate shelf space for the materials the public wants, and the list goes on. The question remains: How long can it safely continue to serve the public?’

Yes, ballot measure 3-413 is all about a new Gladstone library and the patrons it serves. It has earned your support. Vote yes 3-413. By the way, integrity means “soundness of and adherence to moral principle and character; honesty.” Random House Dictionary. Unabridged Edition.

Judith Ervin


Dismayed by the Gladstone library fund

The city is putting the library up for a vote. They have publicly disclosed more information than in the past such as using General Fund money to repay the construction loan. Depending on what plan the city uses to repay the loans, $1.71 million to $2.28 million will come directly out of the city of Gladstone’s general fund. Yes, it is in the explanatory statement. City general-fund money will be used to repay the construction costs.

In the explanatory statement, notice the double asterisk (**) “Amount will vary.” Last year the county gave $537,000 to operate the library. The library could not operate on that amount; the city had to use over $200,000 to subsidize library operations. This year’s operating costs are budget to be over $800,000 with no increased revenue. As far back as my research went the library has never operated for the amount of the county contribution.

The current $800,000 library operating budget is for a 5100-square-foot building on less than one-fourth of an acre. The proposed building is 19,000 square foot, almost four times the size of the existing library. The library will sit on 4 acres of the property, 16 times the size of the existing property. The purposed operating funds for the new library are $1.32 million, or only 1.65 times more. The city expects to save $300,000 out of the operating expenses to repay a portion of the construction costs. This leaves only $220,000 more than the existing budget.

The city is asking you to believe a building, which is 400 percent larger and property 1,600 percent larger, can be operated with only 22 percent more money. This is where the double asterisk (**) in the Voters’ Pamphlet comes in. If they cannot operate a building 400 percent larger with only 22 percent more money, they will have to take more money from the general fund and or the urban-renewal fund to repay the loan.

The city has been planning for a new library for the last 13 years. How much money has been set aside for this project? None. How many grants has the city applied for to build a new library? None. There has been no extra money in the budget in the last 13 years. In fact, the city has moved several positions that normally were paid out of the police budget into the special levy in order to fund city hall repairs. If the library cannot operate on the measly 20 percent increase, prepare for more cuts in other services in order to repay the construction loan.

There has been an independent audit of the purposed new library budget and debt repayment plan. See the complete report at savegladstone.org/uploads/FINAL_Gladstone_Library_Analysis__1_.pdf the report states, “however the city’s future economic outlook, a closer review of the library fund budget, and the city’s future capital cost requirements cause concern that this plan may not be feasible.”

This is not a good financial decision for our city. Vote no on 3-413.

Kim Sieckmann


Outside interests

It was reported that the Oregon Transformation Project’s PAC, based in Lake Oswego, donated $2,500 in hopes of helping the group trying to stop Gladstone from building a new library. It’s interesting that OTP, located in Lake Oswego, is giving money to stop building a new library in Gladstone, but it is not opposing the Lake Oswego library measure (Voters’ Pamphlet). Check out the website for this library.

Hmm..... OK for Lake Oswego to have state of the art facilities for seniors, kids, etc... but not for us on our side of the river?????? OK for Lake Oswego to have a fantastic building, amenities and benefits, but not for us on our side of the river???

Aren’t you glad that OTP has OUR best interests at heart? Just imagine if they treated us the way they are treating fellow Lake Oswego residents!

Jane Sprando

Oak Grove

Yes on 3-413

Once again we see the “Save Gladstone” signs pop up all over Gladstone. What are they saving Gladstone from now.? The Save Gladstone people assured us that the measures they advocated for in the May primary, were not about the building of a new library, well, I question their veracity.

I am not a citizen of Gladstone, I live in the large unincorporated area of Clackamas County, but the Gladstone library is “my” library. I pay into the county library district through my property taxes and I want my taxes to stay in the Gladstone library. I do not want my tax money to go to any other library in the county. If 3-413 does not pass, and the city of Gladstone is unable to build a new library, my tax money and the taxes from all the taxpayers of Gladstone will go to another library, is that what you want?

Please vote yes on 3-413 and urge your neighbors to also vote yes. Let us keep our tax money here, so we can reap the benefits of the taxpayers in Gladstone and Oak Grove.

Mary Accettura

Oak Grove

Im for Newgard

This letter is to express my support for Steve Newgard for state representative in House District 40.

Steve has lived, worked and raised a family in our community for many years. As a small business owner, he knows what it takes to create jobs and grow our local economy. As a state representative, he’ll work to make Oregon’s tax and regulatory environment more competitive. He’ll also support education and workforce development programs to help Oregonians gain the skills they need to succeed.

Let’s grow Oregon’s economy and put our state back on track. Join me in supporting Steve Newgard.

Susan Hewson


Business alliance endorses

The Oregon City Business Alliance is committed to attracting, building and keeping new businesses in Oregon City.

After reviewing the resumes of this year’s candidates (see video statements at vimeo.com/51360960), the OCBA has endorsed Tim Powell and Carol Pauli for City Commission. Our board believes Tim and Carol best reflect the organization’s values and commitment to building a vibrant business community in our city.

To end economic stagnation, Oregon City needs leaders who will send a welcoming message to prospective businesses. Carol and Tim are committed to doing just that.

Both candidates are longtime residents that have spent years volunteering in their communities. And, both are strong business advocates who know how to make decisions and move an organization forward.

For a healthy economy and jobs, the OCBA urges a ‘Yes’ vote for Powell and Pauli.

For the Board of Directors,

Blane Meier, President