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Gladstone puts City Hall, police station construction to voters

Realtor Susan Turner appointed to City Council -


In a busy Gladstone City Council meeting last week, elected officials approved a consultant to recruit their new city manager and chose a process that would hire an outside consultant to recruit the new paid full-time fire chief, a position that had previously been volunteer-based.

Interim City Manager Ross Schultz said that City Council will be discussing what they want in a city manager in an executive session in September, when there will be a separate public meeting for citizens to provide feedback on the criteria for the hire.

Also on Aug. 11, City Council decided on ballot measure language that would allow construction of a new City Hall and police station.

“In order to stay square with the public, voters need to know that we’re wanting to build projects more than $1 million,” Schultz said. “If the public says in November that they don’t want us to spend more than $1 million, then we don’t have a project.”

If approved by voters, Gladstone hopes to build a new City Hall in a different location from the police station. The federal government is requiring that all police stations be seismically safe by 2022, and Schultz did not want to speculate what would happen if Gladstone couldn’t eventually meet that goal.

“It’s going to have to be community outreach until they vote yes, and I don’t want to even say anything else because I think the consequences get pretty dire if we don’t get a new police station,” he said.

Councilor Len Nelson resigned in June over recent political shakeups, and his daughter Planning Commission Chairwoman Tammy Stempel was among the five applicants for the vacancy. Schultz said that the shakeup was typical of any city that is preparing to undergo major building projects after decades of only repairing, rather than replacing its outdated civic buildings.

To fill the open seat on City Council, councilors appointed Realtor Susan Turner, a 54-year resident of Gladstone with no previous experience on a city of Gladstone committee who said that she wanted the opportunity to make the city a better place to live. In her application, Turner said she missed downtown Gladstone being a destination that draws parades and festivals.