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

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