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City morale needs mending


Editorial -- 7-17-13

When Mayor Brian Hodson proposed a new library plan at a cost of $15 million during last week's Urban Renewal meeting, the tragic comedy that has become the Canby Public Library project took a new, black twist.

And it was the moment that it became clear that it's time to shelve this project for the time being and tally the human cost.

Whether you believe the mayor gave his word and then went back on it or not, a lot of good people, hard-working people, thought they were taking him at his word after his bold pronouncement at April’s city council meeting.

The resulting demise of the project and the resulting loss of finances that were earned toward it has been a body blow to a lot of very good people in city government and the library community.

They raised funds, they went door-to-door, they worked hard to support a project that was so far along it seemed like a daydream when it came crashing down so recently.

That daydream has turned into a library-fueled nightmare and the people stuck inside it have no other option but to take it. The truth is, they and their incredible efforts have been taken for granted, while they have been deceived, dismissed and thoroughly disrespected in the process of the project’s demise.

As mayor, Hodson now has a duty to stick his nose in the mess he helped create and help sniff out healing and restoration. That’s leadership and that’s what’s needed now.

It is people who are important now, not the project.

The library project had taken on a screwball comedy atmosphere since the November elections behind a mayor who defined the term “wishy-washy” – at least in public. Offering up a new, vastly more expensive library project in the wake of the debacle that has been created seems disrespectful and somewhat whimsical.

The mayor has a mountain of charred bridges he needs to rebuild and a valley of trust he needs to earn back before any thought of another library project moves forward.