Recall agenda: What's best for Gladstone citizens
Kevin, it wasn't just Nancy and I, but all of Gladstone that didn't get what it wanted on the library (Opinion page article: Kevin Johnson, "Library Foundation no longer runs City Council," Feb. 22). We had hoped to have a new library, one under construction; sadly we have only a lawsuit.
The recall was talked about and planned for a long time before the election, before any of the candidates decided to run. I realize it's easy to ignore all that's happened and try to put blame on selfish personal reasons, but even you know that's not true.
You and your cronies keep crying foul on the accusations against Councilors Steve Johnson and Kim Sieckmann but offer nothing other than blanketed accusations and nothing specific so you can be proven wrong. Perhaps if you visit our website at recallgladstone.com, you may find some answers.
Councilor Johnson was pushing the county to invest in a sewage incinerator that has never been approved in any country with environmental standards. Do you really think people want what they flush down the toilet burnt just across the river? Smoking certain things may be legal now but bodily waste is not one of them. You are right, I wasn't at those meetings. Gladstone sent Steve Johnson and he failed to represent us, just the same as he did in the liaison to the Library Board.
The library issue has always been spoken of as if it were just a Gladstone issue, but we were working with the county on a new library for the Clackamas County library district. The benefit to placing this library in Gladstone to our residents was clear; now that will most likely never happen. Do you honestly believe that forming a library committee with 35 people and only three of them from outside Gladstone was fair to the Oak Lodge residents? Section 2.2 of the IGA with the BCC (Board of County Commissioners) states "fair representation of the non-incorporated residents within the library district." Oak Lodge made up 70 percent of the library users in the district. The county didn't give us the $1.5 million, because aside from wasting $1.19 million and having nothing to show for it, we didn't do what we agreed to do. Repeating theme with the county, Steve Johnson was the liaison to both the wastewater management board, and the library.
With regards to the "privilege tax" you said, "The fees will be used for ROW maintenance of our failing infrastructure. Roads, sidewalks, curbs and underground city utilities will benefit. This is also the route lots of other cities are taking."
The council has not earmarked that money for anything other than the general fund. Seems that finding out you can part residents from our money — and jumping through all those hoops to dip into our pockets — someone might have ensured these would be spent on what you claimed they would; they did not. Where are the new sidewalks from money collected to this point? My estimate in that Gladstone has collected over $158,333 since its implementation. Where are our new sidewalks? Maybe you could point out a dirty shovel that's turned some dirt in the name of infrastructure improvement? That money has all been collected into the general fund and has done nothing to help those it burdens.
Are we the people just supposed to believe that the City Council members don't even know if a park is a park? It's apparent that some who sit on the council think the people of Gladstone are stupid. Why else would they lie to the people about trying to sell one of their parks? Councilor Sieckmann tried to mislead the people of Gladstone in recommending they vote against the parks measures in the 2016 election.
I particularly like how you seemingly bash Save Gladstone while you were the second largest contributor to that group. You donated $5,318.33 to Save Gladstone, the Johnson family total was $7,201.63. Some of the very council members you donated funds to get elected, appointed you, Kevin. That does sound a little shady to me. What about the Ross Schultz connection and companies he has connection to that have received our tax dollars without open competition as the law supports?
City board appointments are also being manipulated in favor of political control by Johnson and Sieckmann. Libby Wentz, who also wrote a letter to the Clackamas Review, was appointed to the Planning Commission. The Gladstone Municipal Code clearly states that members shall be appointed based on their qualifications, not affiliations. Libby Wentz was one of the least qualified candidates. She was affiliated with the Save Gladstone bunch and even campaigned with Steve Johnson during the election. Please explain to the residents of Gladstone how someone with no experience in zoning or building beat out people with decades of experience in those fields?
You are right, Kevin, I do have an agenda. I want what's best for the people of Gladstone, not for me or my friends. I'm sick and tired of being squeezed harder just so some politician can have more of my money to waste on frivolous endeavors.
I'm embarrassed to watch how some on City Council treat the residents they are supposed to serve. The residents of Gladstone deserve better.
Bill Osburn is the chief petitioner for the recall campaigns against Gladstone city councilors Steve Johnson and Kim Sieckmann.