Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oregonian Article Questions the Streetcar Project

To All COLA LO Members,

The Oregonian published a comprehensive article last week about the Streetcar Project.   It reviews many of the unanswered questions on the project and the political positions taken by local politicians.   

Some of the comments include:

"Yet the project is unlike any in the United States, in both price and ambition, to link a big city and suburb by streetcar. As Portland and Lake Oswego leaders prepare to endorse the project, it remains steeped in unanswered questions: Does privileged Lake Oswego need a streetcar line to Portland? Should a publicly funded transit project be so closely tied to benefiting developers? Does the funding -- which includes the notion that an old trolley right of way purchased for about $2 million will be worth $97 million -- pencil out? Would the project's benefits be worth the price tag"
The article can be found at:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oregonian Editorials - But who is minding LO's Skyrocketing Water Bills?

To all COLA LO Members,

Another editorial in the Oregonian clearly shows the direction and costs of massive projects in Portland and their impact on residents.    This may be the direction of Lake Oswego under the LO-Tigard water agreement and the proposed $230 million investment in the project.  

So who is minding LO's Skyrocketing water bills and their impact on residents?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oregonian Editorials Caution Portland on mounting Water Bills!

To all COLA LO members,

A recent editorial shows the perils of unnecessary investments in water systems in Portland.    The Oregonian clearly takes a position indicating these projects will impact economic development by raising water fees.

Does this show the future direction and impact of the LO-Tigard water agreement on Lake Oswego Residents?  This is an interesting Position for the Oregonian to take.

The article can be found at:

Monday, March 28, 2011

PAC is behind the support for Vehicle Registration Fee Increase

To all COLA LO members:

A new PAC is behind support for the new Clackamas County Vehicle Registration Fee increase which will transfer $21 million from Clackamas County residents to Multnomah county to pay for the Sellwood bridge.

The name of the PAC is:   Clackamas County Citizens for Jobs and Safety.

The details can be found at:

A review of the transaction history shows that most of the contributors are from outside Clackamas County and awith some of the contributors as follows:dvocating for a tax increase on residents to promote a project inside their county.   These include:

1.  Oregon AFSCME                                         $5,000  (Union PAC, Salem)
2.  CH2M Hill                                                    $2,500  (Engineering firm, Portland)
3.  Jeff Cogen                                                 $2,500  (Mult. Co. Commissioner PAC, Portland)
4.  T.Y Lin Int'l                                                 $2,500  (Engineering firm, Beaverton)
5.  CenterCal Properties, LLC                           $2,500  (Developer, Tigard)
6.  Oregonians to Maintain Comm Standards     $2,500  (Trade Union Pac, Portland)
7.  Harper, Houf, Peterson & Righellis                $1,250  (Engineering firm, Portland)
8.  NW Oregon Labor Council                            $1000  (Union PAC, Portland)
9.  Michelle Giguere                                          $1000  (federal lobbyist, Portland)
10. HDR Engineering                                         $1000  (Engineering firm, Portland)

Please inform your fellow members and contacts.   

Monday, March 21, 2011

LOSD is this really an election for change?

To all COLA LO members,

The canddiates for the LOSD board have been finalized according to the Clackamas County Elections Office. We have 3 candidates for the position 5 Director and only 1 candidate for the position 1 Director.  

Will this special election on May 17 bring the required change to the LOSD? Or will it just delay the inevitably difficult decisions that need to be made? Here are the candidates according to the elections office:

Lake Oswego School District
Director, Pos. 1 - 4 Yr. TermPatti Zebrowski02/07/2011Fee 
Director, Pos. 5 - 4 Yr. TermAudrey Monroe02/11/2011 Fee 
Director, Pos. 5 - 4 Yr. TermTamara DiVergilio02/28/2011 Fee 
Director, Pos. 5 - 4 Yr. TermBob Barman 03/14/2011 Fee 

How candidates can run unopposed in such a difficult environment is a common question we hear from members. LOSD need substantive change with a $5-$8 million deficit and it will be interesting to see which candidates call for and advocate real change.

Here is the link to the current board members:

Please notify all members and contacts of the details.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pro Schools = Fiscal Responsibility per Oregonian editorial

To All COLA LO members,

Susan Nielsen writes in a recent editorial that there is a new norm across the political spectrum in regards to being pro schools. The new normal is being fiscally responsible rather than writing a check and hoping for the best.

Its an interesting perspective and worthy of review. The article in the Oregonian can be found at:

Please notify all members and contacts.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

COLA LO Board Member commended in letters to the editor

cTo All COLA LO Members,

COLA LO Board Member Dave Berg was commended for his 3/10 article on "how three R's impact our lives" in a letter to the editor this week in the LO review. The citizen commended him for the details in his article. The text of the letter is below.

Dave Berg is particularly concerned about the impact of expenditures, fees, and taxes on our maturing citizens and the direction of expenditures on large projects which may have marginal benefits to our city. He believes strongly that core services should be adjusted to reflect the needs of a maturing community in Lake Oswego. 

Berg commended for his column

To the Editor:
I was born in Oswego almost 80 years ago, so as an elder citizen, “change” may be weighed more heavily.
Especially when I consider the cost of living in this community and how hard it’s been for younger families to move here. I commend Dave Berg’s citizen’s view (March 10 in the Lake Oswego Review titled) “How 3 R’s impact our lives.”
It was a reminder of how invested Judie Hammerstad was in the WEB decision as mayor. It made me question even more the pro arguments for having a streetcar. I used to work in Portland and the bus ride to and from was always a pleasant part of my day .
I also like Dave Berg’s support of our new city council and thank them, too, for their concern of being responsible to the citizens.
Loeta Moore McElwee
Lake Oswego

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Portland Business Journal article on streetcar

To all COLA LO members,

The Portland Business Jounal issued an article on the conflicting positions at the LO City Council regarding the Streetcar investment. It details out the views of Councilor Olson.

The article can be found at:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

COLA - LO Board member submits guest opinion to the Lake Oswego Review

To all Members,

COLA LO Board Member Dave Berg submitted an article to the LO review this week. The article focuses on key issues of concern regarding preserving our quality of life, given the financial situation in Lake Oswego.

The article can be found at:

Please notify all members and contacts....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Former Council candidate challenges LO on lobbyist decision

To All COLA LO members,

Former Council Candidate Dan Williams who placed 4th in the city council race last fall submitted a scathing article to the LO Review regarding the hiring of a Lobbyist for rail funding when the Schools need more funding. COLA LO endorsed Dan Williams for the council last election.

Dan claims there is a conflict between asking the state for funding of mass transit projects which competes directly with education funding during the legislative session.

The article can be found at:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

LOSD to close Palisades & Uplands Elementary?

To All COLA LO Members,

It appears that the LOSD will close Uplands and Palisades elementary schools and reorganize Bryant. The final recomendation will be decided upon on 4/5/11. The LO review provides a brief summary at:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New article challenges the merits of mass transit in Portland

To all COLA LO Members,

A new article in the American Spectator challenges many of the assumptions regarding cost and benefits of mass transit in Portland. It claims that Trimet has deep finacial issues and that many of the claims are purely marketing rather than facts.

It makes for interesting reading and challenges many of the assumptions regarding the PDX-LO Streetcar.

The article can be found at:

Please inform all members and contacts.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Councilor Donna Jordan votes to spend millions of taxpayers' dollars on the PDX-LO Streetcar.

To All COLA LO Members,

LO City Councilor Donna Jordan once again voted in support of increasing taxpayer $ for a visionary project. The LO review reports that Councilor Jordan voted to continue spending millions toward the Portland to Lake Oswego Streetcar project. 

The total cost of the project, its funding, and the cost to Lake Oswego Taxpayers is still unknown but recent estimates indicate the cost to LO taxpayers could be $33 million or more.  

Articles on the committee approval and details can be found at:

Councilor Jeff Gudman testified against the project indicating that it would compete for funding with other more important projects.   

Please notify all members and contacts. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Former LO City Councilor questions fiscal direction of Lake Oswego

To All COLA LO Members,

Former city councilor Tony Marquis drafted a letter to the editor in the LO Review this week. His comments seriously question the fiscal direction of Lake Oswego and the current city council. He specifically questions the council's decision to provide additional funding to LOSD. His comments are below:

Fiscal reality requires we must live within our means in Lake Oswego
To the Editor:

Scanning a recent Marple’s newsletter the other day at our wonderful library, I noted, according to the source, that Oregon’s total debt ranks first in the nation when measured as a percentage of state revenue.
This resonated particularly because I am astonished, no, dumbfounded, that our city would consider revenue options, waiver of school obligations, or reduction in community programs, to support our school system.

Irrespective of where you stand on the West End Building or the streetcar, it seems that many citizens (and many of whom are older, statistically) who are pushing back on these projects are concerned, at least in part, with an apparent lack of fiscal discipline in the management of our city affairs.
As such, it is incomprehensible and exceeds the boundaries of my understanding that our elected councilors would embark upon city aid to the school district. Have we lost our senses? In my judgment, the school system should have long ago considered a variety of fiscal measures including a reorganization of facilities, now under consideration.
Moreover, it is distressing to see the community pandering to the district management, when cost management appears both tardy and insufficient. Next, we may see accelerated retirements to lock in retirement benefits that all of us can ill afford. Where is accountability?
We are profligate in Washington, have potentially intractable problems in our future state obligations to public employees, and, at our doorstep, deferred maintenance. If we can’t live within our means, what does this portend for our quality of life?

Tony Marquis
Former City Councilor
Lake Oswego

Friday, March 4, 2011

Is the new $230 million (LO-Tigard) water system in trouble? Part IV

There is a new article in the LO Review by a West Linn resident explaining opposition to the project by the majority of West Linn neighborhood residents. It directly challenges the city's efforts to have the neighborhood waive their neighborhood requirements.

How much opposition will there be to this massive project?  The main plan is located in West Linn where opposition seems to be strong per the article?
It can be found at:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cola LO Board member Gary Gipson - LOR article (Facilities Survey)

To all COLA LO members,

Board member Gary Gipson submitted an article in the LO Review this week summarizing the conclusions of the city facilities survey. This survey was conducted by the city with funds allocated toward the WEB operating budget.   

The survey provides a defined view of LO citizens toward priorities. The conclusions came as a surprise to many city council members.

The article can be found at:

Please review the details and notify all members and contacts.
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