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Construction at City Hall site dependent on May 15 vote; city charter requires votes on potential park locations

Gladstone voters chose to eliminate a city-charter prohibition on using more than $1 million in city general funds for the city's library.

PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Supporters of the measure to authorize a library in Gladstone to be operated by the county gather at Stanley's Corner to celebrate the May 15 election results.Ballot Measure 3-530 passed by a 68.6-to-31.4 percent margin in early returns.

Now the the measure passed, city officials are committed to contributing $200,000 annually to library services out of the Gladstone general fund, with an approximately 3 percent yearly increase tied to increasing property tax revenue over 20 years.

Clackamas County officials plan to operate two new libraries, in the city and in the Oak Lodge unincorporated area just to the north of Gladstone, in a system modeled after Sandy's two-branch system.

A statement signed by Mayor Tammy Stempel, City Councilor Neal Reisner, and members of the Gladstone Library foundation and advisory board thanked the voters of Gladstone for approving the agreement between the city and county for a new library.

"Because of your support this community is getting the library it deserves, which is way overdue," the statement said. "However, the real work has just begun as we now need your participation and input as we move forward."

Map of proposed library location.Stempel said that the city will be seeking involvement from citizens as it begins the design process for the 6,000-square-foot library at the current City Hall location on Portland Avenue. Constructing Gladstone's library was dependent on the successful passage of Ballot Measure 3-530.

"This is a momentous occasion that moves the residents of Gladstone closer to realizing their long-held community goal of a new library," said Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard. "I want to congratulate Mayor Stempel, the members of the Gladstone City Council, City Administrator Jacque Betz and other city staff on this victory, and thank them for all their hard work."

Bernard continued, "This is another example of Clackamas County successfully working with one of its cities toward a common goal. We look forward to our continued cooperation with Gladstone on this project."

"This was a significant undertaking for the council, and we couldn't be happier with the result," Stempel said. We look forward to our ongoing partnership with Clackamas County on this project, in which we will continue a robust public process around the development of the new library."

Stempel continued, "Thank you to the Clackamas County commissioners, County Administrator Don Krupp and all the involved county staff for being such supportive partners and making this goal a reality."

Also on the May 15 ballot, Gladstone voters, by 74 to 26 percent, approved a ballot measure to sell 16475 Main St., a piece of property on the Oregon City side of the Clackamas River. The site has been the source of complaints of garbage and illegal dumping stemming from illegal camping and homeless people on the property. In December, Gladstone officials decided it is not beneficial for the city to be responsible for this property. 

Earth Crusaders-River Of Life Center, a nonprofit that engages youth in local environmental landscaping and training to be tour guides, had been responsible for the property in exchange for free rent for 23 years. The Gladstone City Council voted in 2015 to end Earth Crusaders' lease.

Measures approved by voters in 2016 require a public vote if the city ever intends to sell potential public parkland for private development.

Learn more about the process for constructing new libraries in Clackamas County by visiting

Raymond Rendleman
Editor, Clackamas Review/Oregon City News
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