Wednesday, May 20, 2015

City Council Votes Against Reappointing Planning Commision Member

To All COLA LO Members,

Last night the city council voted against reappointing planning commissioner Todd Prager.  The selection committee recommended that he be reappointed but Mayor Kent Studebaker overrode the recommendation on the council agenda.   Many questioned why the mayor recommended moving forward with an alternative that conflicted with the selection committee.

The agenda item can be found here 5/19 Council Agenda item 7.1 and the video should soon be available where the Mayor explains that he did not believe Mr. Prager had the city's best interest at heart Council 5/19 Video.

The mayor went into some detail citing that the lawsuit against the City of Lake Oswego in which Mr. prager is a plaintiff was not in the best interests of city.   A recent article on the details can be found here Lake Access Lawsuit.   The Mayor also mentioned that the City of Tigard was considering an ordinance that would require appointed members to resign if they were in a lawsuit against the city.  

No doubt this decision will involve controversy.    Councilors Gustafson and Buck argued that Mr. Prager had a constitutional right to his opinion and even if he disagreed with the city that did not disqualify him from being re-appointed as  a planning commissioner.  

Councilor Bowerman voiced a strong level of disagreement with Councilor Gustafson's recent social media posting about the decision by the Mayor not to recommend a reappointment.    Its clear the Mayor took a firm stand recommending against reappointment because he believed the lawsuit constituted a conflict of interest.

What many have forgotten is that in the last act of his administration Mayor Hoffman overrode the entire recommendation of the selection committee to appoint 3 members to the budget committee Collins-Manz-Berg  on 12/18/2012 and tried to stack the budget committee with 3 entirely different appointees to influence the future direction of the city.    This was supported in a 4-3 vote (Hoffman, Tierney, Jordan, Moncrieff)  for the move against a vote by Councilors Kehoe, Gudman, and Olson.    NO reason whatsoever was cited by then Mayor Hoffman for voting this way and Councilor Jordan claimed she felt overwhelmed by the other members of the selection committee when she decided to vote against her own recommendation.  

So its clear precedent has been set in this area.    The vote last night was 3-2.   Councilors Gudman, Bowerman, and O'Neill voting for the recommended appointments and Councilors Buck and Gustafson voting against it.   The mayor abstained and Councilor Manz was absent.  

It will be interesting to see how this action is reported in the media.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Will the WEB Be Sold?

To All COLA LO Members,

Over the past few weeks our community has learned that the city had received 11 bids on the WEB.   After nearly a decade of paying for a building that largely sat empty it seems the city has viable buyers.    The details of the bids have not been disclosed to the public.   However multiple sources are now telling us that the majority of bids are viable and that the city has contacted the bidders for follow up efforts.

Its fair to say that three separate administrations have not been able to justify the expenditure of purchasing the WEB at $20 million and the additional capital investment required to convert it to any reasonable use over the years.    At the same time the property has been removed form the tax rolls reducing the revenue to city government.   The expenditure on the WEB alone exceeds $1 million per year in costs to the city.    That does not include the costs of the programs it houses or the capital investments required to maintain it.

Over the past few weeks an initiative has been circulating to keep the WEB as some residents realize the sale is now very viable.    We have been told its being supported by former members of the Hammerstad administration.   The question is why?   Over nearly an decade no administration has provided a viable answer for the WEB.    Its simply too expensive to maintain or convert to any use.  

Unfortunately it appears a major political effort is underway to try to keep the WEB.

So who is driving this effort?   Why would the city keep an asset that has drained in excess of $10 million in taxpayer wealth so far?   Many of us are wondering if the supporters understand the cost of the WEB to the community.    How much could we do with the $10 Million?  The answer is a lot.  

Are supporters of the former Hammerstad administration covering their tracks?   Time will tell but it surely doesn't make much sense.  What will the current Mayor and City Council do to protect the taxpayers?   Will the city slide back into the massive debt accumulation of the past? Can the city afford to improve infrastructure if ti keeps the WEB?   These are all questions on the minds of the voters.    

Please forward to all friends, colleagues and supporters.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Updated Election Results

To all COLA LO Members

Here are the updated election results for our City Council:

A preliminary calculation (as of today) for both Clackamas and Washington counties showed:

Jeff Gudman  - 8760
Jackie Manz  - 8503
Joe Buck  - 9573
Matt Keenen - 5752
Ed Brockman - 3292

Please notify all members, contacts and friends.    

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

COLA Endorsed Candidates Win Again!

To All COLA LO members,

Last night's election proved to be very insightful once again.   The votes are now in across all 3 county elections offices:

Jackie Manz will be a new city councilor.  
Jeff Gudman will return as city councilor.

Both of these candidates have been endorsed by COLA over the past two elections.

Joe Buck will be a new city councilor.  

A preliminary calculation last night for both Clackamas and Washington counties showed:

Jeff Gudman  - 7992
Jackie Manz  - 7759
Joe Buck  - 8731
Matt Keenen - 5206
Ed Brockman - 2975

Congratulations to the winners.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Council Candidate Interviews & COLA Endorsements

TO All COLA LO Members,

The Oregonian published our 2014 City Council Endorsements in early  October.  Their article also provided explanatory information on COLA and background information regarding the endorsements.

Board member Dave Berg was interviewed by Oregonian reporter Michael Bamesberger regarding COLA's activities, its perspective, and the COLA endorsement process.

The article in the Oregonian can be viewed at:  COLA Endorses

Videos of candidate interviews can be found at:
Jackie Manz
Matt Keenen
Jeff Gudman

And Our COLA Channel COLA Interviews

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Major Conflict Of Interest in The City Council Race?

To All COLA LO Members,

Our board was recently advised that some of the endorsements for candidates in LO may include significantly undisclosed conflicts of interest.

Its a shocking revelation that may surprise many residents if verified.

It appears that one local blogger has discovered a significant issue:

 In for a Wild Ride discloses major conflicts of interest in an endorsement of candidate Joe Buck.  

COLA has no idea if the details in the bloggers post are true but we refer our readers to the link above.   Usually organizations must disclose their conflicts with any endorsement.    If this was not done it may be of concern to voters.
Once again we refer our members to the post on their blog for their own evaluation.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ballots Begin to Trickle In to County Clerks Offices!

To All COLA LO Members,

As the November election ballots arrive there are two sites that are important for citizens to observe:

Multnomah County Election Returns  and Clackamas County Election Returns

These two counties make up 99.99% of Voters in the city of Lake Oswego.  

Clackamas is by far the most representing well over 90% of  residents.    So its returns are critical to the candidates.

But Multnomah may decide which candidates are elected in close races..  

As of Yesterday both counties are showing 10-11% of ballots have been returned by voters.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

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