Canby mayor excited about Tuesday's results, looks to the next step

Canby Mayor Brian Hodson was pleased with the results of Tuesday night's mandate from Canby voters to go ahead with the library-civic center project. Canby voters emphatically said that building a civic center-library with already-acquired Urban Renewal District funds is fine by them. By a 1,532 to 647 vote, Canby voters gave the URD and Canby City Council permission Tuesday night to pursue the project. “I think that’s a pretty good statement from our community wanting to see us take that next step,” said Mayor Brian Hodson. “When we look at this and how I’m feeling about it – I’m thankful the Council went to the voters. We had people vote and tell us what they think and what they want for our community.” And by a definitive 2.5-to-1 margin, they made it clear that a civic center-library plan was worth supporting. “It’s pretty inspiring to know that we wanted to get their input and they gave it,” Hodson said of the voters. “I really think the City Council has come together over the last six months – we’ve come together with council, Friends of the Library and the library board. I think there’s a real synergy and teamwork amongst all the people involved to see this come together.” Canby City Council will meet Wednesday night and have added an Urban Renewal Agency meeting to the agenda, so some issues may be discussed then, though Hodson said he thinks any real decisions will start to be made at the June meeting. “I think at that meeting (June) we will start to lay the groundwork about what our next steps will be,” said Hodson. “We still have to figure out the land piece, that’s not a totally done deal, yet. I think it will happen. When it does, we’ll start to move into the design phase and figure out how that all comes together.” Once the pieces are in place, Hodson said the Council and URD will seek the input of Canby’s citizens on the design and functionality of the project. “We definitely want to make sure that’s part of the process,” said the mayor. Hodson acknowledged it’s been a long battle to this point, with fits and starts and far too much rancor and animosity along the way. But with a council coalescing into a group that’s working together with the library board and Friends of the Library, credit should go to that effort. “Credit needs to be given to the Council, Friends of the Library and the library board for working together on this,” said Hodson. “They spent a Saturday knocking on doors and handing out fliers to let people know about this vote. We had a lot of one-on-one conversations with people about the situation, dispelling rumors and explaining what we were trying to accomplish. That was an important element of this thing.”

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