There has been quite a turn of events in Gladstone.

Six months ago supporters of building an overpriced library berated the Save Gladstone group for receiving $2,500 from a Lake Oswego contributor. Now those same critics are receiving a $15,000 grant from a foundation on the East Coast, (“Beleaguered city library gets political funding,” May 22). The foundation is operated up by a private publishing company that sells books and other materials to libraries. The money will apparently be used to train supporters how to convince us that we can’t have a good library unless it is operated by the city government.

This has all occurred because of a request from the City Council to get “information only” from a private company about operating the library. The private company currently operates all of the libraries in Jackson County because the county had closed them in a budget crisis. It’s possible this company could save Gladstone taxpayers a substantial amount of money, but no one knows until we do some simple research. All of the libraries in Clackamas County get funding from the countywide library district, funded by property taxes.

The new Gladstone city budget calls for the library receiving $145,000 from the general fund. Six other city-run libraries in the county operate without using any of their general-fund money. $145,000 is money that could be used for vital infrastructure projects including streets, water-main replacement, and ending sewer overflows into the Clackamas River. Maybe it’s just me, but why not use the money to install ADA doors on the front of the current library to make it easier for people with disabilities to enter?

Promoters, including many council members, blew $1.2 million of our tax money on the failed library plan. Should they be getting outside money for the purpose of convincing us who needs to operate the facility? Apparently it’s OK for a private company to tell us we can’t have a private company operate the library.

Isn’t that special?

Kevin Johnson


Scratching my head too...

I’m astonished by the logic expressed by Jeff Molinari in his critique of Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas (“Get the facts on CRC,” May 22).

Jeff’s letter contains several valid points concerning Columbia River Crossing; however his attack on Commissioner Savas and his decision-making process is unfounded. The Columbia River Crossing is an expensive and complicated project compounded by conflicting information and statistics produced by supporters and opponents of the project alike.

One only needs to point to the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010 as an example of why our elected officials should by reluctant to vote before being fully aware of the consequences of their decision.

As Clackamas County residents we should applaud Commissioner Savas’s thoughtful and analytical decision-making process.

Jo Haverkamp

Oregon City

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