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FIVE LETTERS: Fate of Gladstone library in hands of voters

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Citizens who rallied this year for the proposed Gladstone library worry it will only come to fruition if the city's voters pass a measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.Isn’t it something to hear a politician talk about integrity? I’m talking the case of Judith Ervin, ex politician (Letters, Oct. 24).

Before she resigned however, Judith and her fellow politicians tried to ram the proposed library down the throats of Gladstone taxpayers without a vote. I think she’s confused when she says “the opposition says the ballot measure is not about the library.”

Judith, that was the May vote. This ballot is entirely about the library. It’s $10 million price tag. It’s $506-per-square-foot cost (not modest by any measure) is completely insane. Using taxes we already pay to fund the debt.

Library supporters say we lack integrity. Why don’t they tell the voters that if passed the city (taxpayers) will borrow over $7 million with a total debt of $9.7 million including interest? If passed, the city will use general fund and urban-renewal money—taxes we already pay—to pay off the debt. Gladstone makes up 16 percent of the library district but will pay a minimum of 61 percent of the debt. All of this information is confirmed by an independent CPA. Why don’t they tell the voters? Integrity?

No new taxes. That’s their line. Every time the city doesn’t have enough money to fix some problem because the money has gone to pay for the library—guess what. It either won’t get fixed or your taxes will go up.

As for Mary Accettura wanting us to build the new library, it’s no wonder since she doesn’t live in Gladstone and won’t be part of the 16 percent paying the majority of the debt.

Kevin Johnson

Gladstone

New library or no library!

The current Gladstone library building is deteriorating. It cannot be upgraded, retrofitted, nor expanded either upward or outward.

If the new library in Gladstone is not built, eventually Gladstone will not have a library. Build the new library now or lose everything: the planning money will be wasted, the $1.5 million from the library district will be forfitted, the Webster/Oatfield property will be abandoned, the current building will become unusable and the property on which it sits will be sold.

That’s the way of things.

Peter Montgomery

Gladstone

Long, winding road

Sixteen years ago our family moved from Florida and serendipitously landed in Gladstone. The kids and I walked to the river, garden, pre-school and to the library.

We loved the small-town feel of Gladstone and bought our house here, on Collins Crest. Halfway between the middle school and high school. Until they entered Kraxberger Middle School, our kids could walk anywhere in the city as long as they didn’t cross Oatfield or McLoughlin. They could walk to Max Patterson Park, the library, Ray’s Market, Danielson’s, Figero’s and Blockbusters and up to Cross Park. Living just blocks from the proposed new library site, I would never let my child go there alone because of the location.

Moving the library from the heart of downtown is a bad idea. Moving it to the side of town, well out of walking distance of the population that would most likely need to be able to walk to it, is worse. The future of the old library? The county buying the old library site to put in a detox center. That would be a wonderful compliment to the clinics and relief nursery built where Figeros and Blockbuster used to be. I never envisioned what Danielson’s plaza has become when we were being convinced to support our schools. We were misled about that plan and how expensive it would be and the same play list is being used to sell us a bill of goods on the library.

Most of the library proponents do not realize how poorly thought out this new library plan is. When a forensic accounting report was recently presented to the City Council, they could not refute any of it. You can read the truth about the financing for the new library at SaveGladstone.org.

Save Gladstone had to pay for the audit because city and county officials would not acknowledge the plan could possibly be a bad idea. But the city didn’t even consider that a bigger building will, in the least, require more insurance, janitorial expenses and even office supplies and postage. The city does say it can use 100 percent urban-renewal moneys if they have any shortfalls...which are going to happen because, like a child, they considered the cost of the puppy but not the cost of veterinary expenses and enough food!

Gladstone is not going to grow in population nor does it have the land to bring in large industrial companies like Wilsonville, Happy Valley or Canby and increase our tax base. We cannot, and would not want to, annex our neighbors. We are restricted by our geographic location, and our small, finite size is the charm of living here. As we move into the future, libraries will become more obsolete, and a 20,000-square-foot community center to draw in more traffic, but less business, along Oatfield is a terrible idea.

Gladstone does need to update the original library, update the City Hall and finish the bike trail they started planning a decade ago...the rest of the trail is finished up to Glen Echo and is lovely! An improved Trolley Trail through Gladstone would bring our neighbors by foot and bike to and through our city, it would be good for businesses along Portland Avenue and good for Gladstone tax base. All of these important projects could be finished if we vote no on 3-413. If we vote yes, then we will be saddled with surprise expenses and no improvements to the rest of the city.

Please, help Gladstone keep focused on its future and vote no on 3-413.

Libby Wentz

Gadstone

Measure of civic pride

For Gladstone Measure 3-413 will be a critical vote this November. Gladstone has long needed a new and more usable library.

The land is owned by the city and is dedicated to building a library and nature park on it. Architectural drawings are finished and approved. All the studies for the environment, fire and traffic safety and construction have been accomplished and approved.

Library District funds were approved by voters in 2008 and city property owners in Gladstone and in all the unincorporated areas will still have to continue paying these funds whether the library is built or not.

The money will just not go to Gladstone Library if it is voted down, but will go to another county library. Why would property owners want to jeopardize that? How responsible is that in managing money? The priority should be to keep those funds working in our own community! Jobs in the construction field will be provided, as we await the unveiling of a spacious educational place that will speak well for the whole community of Gladstone.

We have never been denied the right to vote and we still have that right. Vote yes on 3-413 and savor Gladstone’s new library!

Ted and Yvonne Phillips

Gladstone

Library plan wrong

As a candidate for Gladstone City Council Position 4, I am not supporting the proposed new library because it is costs too much and the city wants to move it out of the Portland Avenue core area. Spending $10 million plus for a library when we have other needs such as a City Hall, police station, sewer and fresh water system that are falling apart is wrong.

Also, a forensic accountant who audited the funding plan the city has proposed determined the numbers do not add up. The audit determined If the library is built as planned by the city there may not be enough money left over from the money given to Gladstone to operate the library to help pay off the debt.

Actually, the County Library District readjusted that amount down from $1.3 million to a little over $1.1 million. So please join me in voting no on 3-314.

Neal Reisner

Gladstone

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