Former city councilor, planning commissioner both supported plans for controversial library

Gladstone City Councilor Judith Ervin has resigned after 20 years and won't fill out her current term through 2012.

A longtime supporter of Gladstone's effort to build a new library, Ervin came under fire and was asked to recuse herself because she had attended more events related to library planning than any other city councilor. Saying she could separate her previous advocacy from an analysis of the city's land-use codes, Ervin joined in the unanimous vote approving the plans, which continue to be dogged by petition drives.

'Some will no doubt feel it is because of recent events however this is not the case,' Ervin wrote in a resignation letter. 'I had put off acting before now hoping for an improved medical situation and hoping to see many pending city issues to completion. That was not to be.'

Ervin's mother died in August at age 104, and the Library Board started a memorial fund in her honor.

Ervin said that she felt she's made a valuable contribution in her 30 years of volunteer service.

'I have enjoyed my time on council and each member of the team has become a trusted friend,' she said. 'I also acknowledge and appreciate the support and loyalty of the department heads, staff and the city's volunteers.'

Gladstone Planning Commissioner Matthew Green-Hite has also resigned and also voted in favor of the library plans. He said his resignation was irrelevant to current city issues.

Green-Hite will be attending graduate school in Seattle, so he would have missed the rest of the Planning Commission meetings this year.

City Administrator Pete Boyce said he will recommend at the City Council meeting Sept. 13 that Gladstone advertise the vacancies in the city's newsletter, which comes out at the end of the month. That would give a short timeline for the council to receive and review applications in time to interview candidates at the next meeting Oct. 12, but Boyce said he expects appointments by the end of the year.

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