Hoodland Parks petitioners express sadness for community over measure failure
The results are in and certified for the May 17 election, and the effort to form a Hoodland Parks District on Mount Hood has met its end.
As of June 13, Clackamas County Elections are reporting 1,425 votes against to 662 votes for Measure 3-581, giving the effort only a 31.72% approval.
"It would appear that the ballot measure 3-581 proposing to establish Hoodland Park District has not met the required votes to go forward with almost half of the electorate in the proposed boundary voting," said Chief Petitioners for the proposed district Marci Slater, Regina Lythgoe and Bonnie Hayman in a statement on June 14.
"While we are sad that the district did not win the voters' favor, we are not sad for ourselves," they said. "The Hoodland Park District Committee, spurred on by Hoodland Women's Club, accomplished its goal and did so with dignity, professionalism, and grace."
The parks district effort was initiated after Clackamas County made a deal with the Hoodland Women's Club, the initial trustee of the project. The club had until November 2020, according to a memorandum of understanding, to find a use for the site of the old Dorman Center — or else the county would sell the property.
"We set out to find a way to secure and preserve the Dorman Center site property for the Hoodland Communities to be enjoyed by local folks for generations to come. The motivation was purely out of love for the place in which we live," the petitioners said. "The way to do that was to establish a special (park) district in order to secure the land deed from Clackamas County. We followed the state statutes governing the formation of such districts in Oregon, collected the requisite petitions and testified at the requisite hearings. We inspired the community to get engaged in the conversation about the validity of the district. Most people woke up and got excited about this idea some in a positive way and some in opposition, but we were all intrigued. Finally, we put the measure before the voters on the proverbial 'silver platter,' complete with a very competent and talented group of candidates for the board. Then our job was done."
The group's hope was to revive the old community hub as a park and also establish a parks district to help pay for maintenance and creation of future public park lands. The land designated for the park consists of three parcels, all on Salmon River Road. That includes the former Dorman Center at 3.97 acres, 5 acres on the other side of the Oregon Department of Transportation, road gravel storage, and an 11-acre strip beyond Birdie Lane.
The district was proposed to exist within the boundaries of the Hoodland Fire District, spreading from Rhododendron to Summertime Road at Alder Creek and would have allowed people within the park district to use its facilities free of charge.
As an official district, the Hoodland Parks District would have had access to grant funding to create and maintain opportunities for family and community recreation and entertainment.
"Indeed, the sadness we feel is for our community," the petitioners added. "It is a sadness that accompanies an unrealized plan. The community may never have this opportunity again to build something for itself with its own money and its own plan. An amazing, unique and historic opportunity to build something for the future generations of this community, a farsighted plan, has been passed up by the voters."
"Going forward, we will continue to support our community and any plan that includes the preservation of Dorman Center site for the better good of all our neighbors will be supported by us in any way we can."
Though the majority of those who voted opposed the measure, the petitioners wanted to extend thanks to "everyone who helped and or supported this measure." "The volunteers put in many selfless hours of work, ideas, and love of this community" they said.
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