There is a time to hang onto the past and a time to let it go.

For some Canby residents, May 20 represents one such time to let the past go and look to the future.

Canby residents have an unprecedented opportunity to have a say in Urban Renewal spending. On the ballot is a measure that will either approve the use of urban renewal funds that have already been gathered for a new library-civic building, or cancel the project for the foreseeable future.

As one letter to the right so accurately states, passage of the ballot measure will not increase taxes, nor will defeating it decrease taxes. The money has already been gathered and is waiting to be dispersed – if not for a new library-civic building, then some other projects.

That’s why looking to the long-term future of Canby is key once mail-in ballots begin arriving the week of May 1-5. Canby has been discussing a new library project for a long time and though the fits and starts have left many people hurt or disillusioned at the process, our stance is that this vote is a good time to have an “it’s nothing personal, just business” mentality.

Canby needs and should have a new library facility and consolidation of most city operations in one building. It makes sense from a workflow standpoint and a financial standpoint.

“I’m a supporter of this and really hope the voters will get behind it and say “yes, we want to see a civic-library building happen,” said Mayor Brian Hodson. “When you look at the whole process and what it will do for Canby – the chance to consolidate city operations will save the city money in the long term – we need to seriously look at it. What people don’t realize is that we’ve kept this dialogue going and the council has really been working together to make this project happen.”

We agree with Hodson – the time has come to build a new library and if that project can include the consolidation of city services, so much the better.

Last year’s fiasco of a library project not only was handled clumsily, but it left more than a few scars along the way. People resigned, people pointed fingers and people took the whole thing very personally. While we have no problem with that – people invested in the previous project heavily – we hope that the past will not rear its head to affect the present – and the future. It’s time to put the hurt away and move forward for the long-term betterment of the city. Canby is on the cusp of a new library and civic building, as well as setting a voting precedent within the state.

We support both those concepts and hope voters will say “yes” to Ballot Measure 3-436 and the prospect of a new library-civic building.

Ballots are due May 20.

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