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Future of county land uncertain after Park District fails posted on 07/01/2022

When the final numbers were counted by Clackamas County Elections, Measure 3-581, which would have formed a Park District and received three parcels of land on Salmon River Road from the county to develop, failed.

Vote totals were 662 in favor of the district and 1,425 against it.

The effort to form the district, which started before the coronavirus pandemic, included a petition submitted last November that required more than 788 verified signatures, with organizers surpassing that number.

County numbers revealed that 48.79 percent of voters in the precinct where the district was proposed cast a ballot.

In a written statement submitted to The Mountain Times by the district’s three chief petitioners, Marci Slater, Regina Lythgoe and Bonnie Hayman, they expressed their disappointment while pledging to remain a part of the process in hoping that the land would be used for the community’s benefit:

“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. While we are sad that the district did not win the voter's favor, we are not sad for ourselves,” they wrote.

The statement continued: “The Hoodland Park District Committee, spurred on by Hoodland Women's Club, accomplished its goal and did so with dignity, professionalism and grace. 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 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.”

“Indeed, the sadness we feel is for our community,” they continued. “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 (the) Dorman Center site for the better good of all our neighbors will be supported by us in any way we can. Many 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.”

Kimberly Dinwiddie-Webb, Public Information Officer for Clackamas County, noted that the county will hold discussions regarding the future of the land involved with the proposed district over the next year, but no specific timeline has been set.

“We know that the community is curious about these parcels and we will share more information when it becomes available,” she wrote in an email to The Mountain Times.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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