Saturday, April 30, 2011

Citizen Says Mayor Hoffman's Gang of Four Needs to "get over themselves"

To all COLA LO members,

In a recent opinion piece in the Oregonian a 40 year resident criticizes Mayor Hoffman and councilors Tierney,Moncrief, and Jordan.  The article claims this group ignores citizen input and the core issues in the community.

It is an interesting perspective. Please notify all contacts.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

COLA LO Adds TVCTV WEB Video of LO City Meetings

To All COLA LO Members,

Our blog now includes a direct link to the TVCTV web page for all LO City Meetings.    Members and residents can link directly to the page to review meetings online from their home computer using the blog site.  

The link which includes all Council and budget committee meetings is:

It can be found in our links section below.   We believe this will assist residents in reviewing the positions and votes of council members and committee members throughout the year and into the 2012 election cycle.  

Please notify all members, friends and contacts.   

Citizen Claims "Bait & Switch" on LO Library Funding

In another twist on the funding of the LO Library,  Richard Slaven claims the Council has done a bait and switch with funds from the County levy.   

The article was just released in the LO Review.   It is particularly indicting in its claims.   The article can be found at:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lake Oswego City Council misuses library funds?

To All COLA LO Members,

A resident wrote a scathing review of the City Councils handling of Library funds from a county levy passed in 2008.   It appears the resident is quite unhappy with the method used to fund a $2 million gift to LOSD from the city.  

The article can be found at:

It's important for all citizens to review the facts on this issue and determine if the claims are correct.  Please notify all friends and contacts.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Conflict of Interest Issue - The Full story for Citizen Review (Documents)

To All COLA LO Members,

The ongoing issue of conflict of interest in terms of City Council Members and their vote on the Streetcar continues.    The actual determination and documents were posted on the web by KATU last week for public review.  

Its a delicate issue and reading the documents is important for an accurate assessment of any potential conflict of interest by Councilor Tierney or Mayor Hoffman.      We leave it to individual citizens to make their own determination.  

The documents can be found at:

Katu's original video can be found at:

Its been a touchy issue for Mayor Hoffman given his experience as a councilor voting to acquire the WEB and subsequent investigation.  He has been forced to declare all potential conflicts after the resolution of an issue in 2008.


Its important for all citizens to review the facts on this issue so they can make up their own minds as to what is prudent versus the gossip being communicated around the city right now.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

OPED in the Oregonian says not only too much Government but too many doing the same activities! Is this the issue in Lake Oswego?

TO All COLA LO Members,

In an OPED piece in the Oregonian this week the president of ECONorthwest says not only is there too much government but also too many agencies and districts doing the same activities.   The paper questions the continued viability of these entities given the economic environment and future revenues.

The article can be found at:

Is this the issue with Lake Oswego.   Is the city doing many of the same activities performed by other government agencies and can we afford this any longer?   The city is projected to run a deficit and not be able to afford its 355 person staff in 1-2 years.  LOSD is running a deficit now and has asked the city for $ 2million in assistance.
This is an important topic for all members, friends, and contacts.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

LO Review Article Supporting Streetcar Vote

To all COLA LO members,

The LO Review posted an article supporting the Streetcar vote and an opinion of the events.  

It can be found at

Please inform all contacts, friends,

Oregonian Says Reject Portland School Bonds - Is LOSD next?

To All COLA LO Members,

The Oregonian editorial published this week tells residents to VOTE NO on Portland Public School Bonds but approve the levy for operations.     It's another major change in the traditional support for schools in Oregon.  

The editorial is located at:

How will this impact public opinion in terms of funding LOSD? 

Please notify all members, friends, and contacts.   

LO Streetcar Videos

To all COLA LO Members,

Several local TV stations provided news coverage of the streetcar decision by the City Council on Tuesday.    Here are the videos:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

LO COUNCIL & Portland Council Approve Streetcar

To all COLA LO members,

Tuesday evening the LO City Council approved the streetcar as the LPO in a vote of 4-3 despite overwhelming public testimony against the project.    Today the Portland City council voted for the project 4-1.  

We will be providing links to video and positions over the next few days.  This commits the city to spending funds to move the project forward this year. 

Please notify all friends, contacts, and members. 

Zillow Reports LO Home Values Continue to Decline

To All COLA LO members,

A recent Zillow report shows that LO home values continue to decline year over year by 12.5%   The report is available online at:

A more detailed report about our community is also available at:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Video Shows Mayor Jack Hoffman and Portland Mayor Sam Adams - Agreement on Streetcar

To All COLA LO Members,

Here is a video posted by Sam Adams on the meeting between Jack Hoffman and the Portland Mayor.   

It can be found at this link:

Please notify all members. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oregonian Editorial today BLASTS the Streetcar Concept...Asks LO City Council to Reject the Project...

To All COLA LO Members,

The Oregonian today released an editorial completely denouncing the Streetcar concept in its entirety.   This is highly unusual for the Oregonian staff in a region that embraces light rail projects.

The editorial specifically asks both the LO and Portland city councils to reject the project without reservation.  The article can be found at:

Its an importnat read for all of us.   Please notify members, friends, and all contacts.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Portland Small Business Owner Challenges Urban Renewal Districts

To all COLA LO Members

The Oregonian published an opinion article challenging the value of Urban Renewal Districts in Portland, including South Waterfront.   These districts are used to finance new developments and projects like the Streetcar and Foothills.  

Lake Oswego currently has one major urban renewal district - LORA.  

Several proponents would like to start another district to pay for the Foothills redevelopment.    

Dave Lister seriously questions the value of these districts and removing the property tax funds form use by core services.     Since he is a small business owner and was a member of the City of Portland's Small Business Advisory Council,  it provides for an interesting perspective.

Friday, April 15, 2011

KGW streetcar Report

To All COLA LO Members,

Local TV Station KGW also reported on the streetcar hearing this week.   The video is located below....

LO Councilor MIke Kehoe Questions Pro Streetcar Propaganda Paid for by METRO Taxpayers.

To all COLA LO members,

KATU released a video yesterday on local TV.    The video seriously questions the release of a pro Streetcar flyer to LO residents paid for by METRO with our tax dollars.   

Its an important issue that needs to be reviewed.   The video can be found at:

Its an important video to pass on to all contacts.  

Westside LO Foreclosures very active per RealtyTrac

To all COLA LO members,

Foreclosure activity remains red hot on the west side of Lake Oswego per RealtyTrac.    The ongoing foreclosure activity continues during the spring of 2011.   Detailed information can be found on their site at: Also shows foreclosure activity levels at:,OR/x_map/foreclosure_lt/

It also shows community information and trends

New Opinions on Key Foothills -Streetcar Issues

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the Oregonian published a guest opinion regarding key issues surrounding the Streetcar project.

Former Mayor Judie Hammerstad criticizes the position and opinion of Oregonian writer Anna Griffin  who was against the streetcar in an article:

Please notify all contacts.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

COLA LO Board Member Submits Individual Opinion

To All COLA LO members,

Board Member Gary Gipson submitted an individual opinion article to the LO Review this week.   It is in response to a previous article by a former City Councilor.  

The article can be found at:

The board did not have time to review and approve the article so Gary Gipson submitted it as an individual.   We encourage all members and contacts to review the details of the article.  

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

To all COLA LO Members,

Board Member Dave Berg submitted a guest opinion to the LO Review this week concerning city budget decisions and opportunity costs.   The article attempts to illustrate that decisions have impacts on core city services.  

The article can be found at:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Streetcar Hearing - Well attended and Documented.

To All COLA LO Members,

The PDX-LO Streetcar hearing was well attended with nearly 120 residents providing testimony to the council and several hundred attending the hearing throughout the evening.      Opponents claim 2:1 testimony against the project.  

TV reports can be found at:


The Oregonian reported the details online at:

Please notify all members and contacts and refer them to the web reports on the project.   

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oregonian Drops a Bombshell - State pays the Property Taxes for 1% of homes in Lake Oswego

To All COLA LO Members,

The Oregonian dropped a Bombshell over the weekend after an investigation on State of Oregon and its program to pay the property taxes of citizens.   A true entitlement program this State of Oregon benefit actually pays the property taxes of citizens 62 and older that claim they cannot pay.  

The Oregonian's investigation found that the taxpayers were paying property taxes on homes worth $1 million or more including homes in LO. The records also show the state is covering property taxes on homes in some of Oregon's most desirable locations: 106 in Lake Oswego, 76 in Ashland, 24 in Sisters and 11 in Sunriver, the newspaper said.

The state of Oregon (taxpayers) are actually paying the property Taxes of almost 1% of all the homes in Lake Oswego...  Including this home valued at $1.1 million.

There are 15,500 households in LO so 106 is approximately 1% of all homeowners.  Given the relative value of homes in LO, its likely most of the properties are highly valued including current market price and equity.  

The article can be found at the following online link.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lake Oswego Citizen Questions Use of Library Funds for Schools.

To All COLA LO members,

Lake Oswego citizen David White submitted an article in the Review this week questioning the use of $414K in funds which were originally set aside for the Library.   The council recently voted to increase franchise fees on its citizens (for cable utilities etc)  and also to transfer these funds from the city to LOSD along with the Library funds.  

Councilman Jeff Gudman and citizens have responded to this article as it is an important consideration for the city and its residents, especially Library users.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Streetcar Hearing Scheduled 4/12 at Council Chambers 6pm

The LO City Council will be conducting a public hearing on the "locally preferred option"   on Tuesday evening at 6pm.    Testimony will be limited to 2 minutes per citizen.     Please attend the hearing and notify the council of your preferences.  

Lake Oswego residents Russell Jones and Kathe Worsley also have articles on the streetcar in the Review this week.

As does former Councilor McPeak

The council will vote on the issue on 4/19. 

Please notify all contacts.

Citizens question WEB & Proposed Bond Measure

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the LO Review published several articles with critical questions regarding the budget, WEB, and a proposed Bond measure for a 911 call facility and the possibility it would be located at the WEB.   The articles ask detailed questions about the upcoming budget and key decisions that will need to be made over the next few years.  

Former City Council Candidate Dan Williams article can be found at:

LO Resident Denny Hageman specifically asks why would such a facility be located at the WEB, if we may not retain the building, and have no permanent financing for the WEB in his article:

Please notify all members and contacts as these issues will be important during budget meetings and the November election cycle.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Redistricting Article outlines complaints

To All COLA LO members,

A recent article in the "Oregonian" by Jeff Mapes provides insight into complaints by residents on Oregon's legislative district boundaries.  LO is in HD38 and shares the district with the burlingame area of multnomah county.  A change in 2001 removed rivergrove and added burlingame.

The article quotes our Rep. Chris Garrett's views on the boundary issues and provides insight into potential changes.   We will have more updates on this issue.  

Please notify all members and visit the redistricting web site:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Oregonian Writer publishes scathing indictment of Priorities and Streetcar

To all COLA LO members,

The Oregonian columnist Anna Griffin wrote a scathing indictment of priorities in Lake Oswego last week.   She indicates that jobs should be the priority not massive streetcar projects.   Her article is an interesting treatise on the trade off between urban development planning and the lost opportunity cost in terms of economic development and job formation.

Coming from the Oregonian which usually supports light rail projects its an interesting perspective.   The article can be found at:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Councilor Jeff Gudman Questions Viability of Streetcar in Oregonian

To All COLA LO Members,

Councilor Jeff Gudman submitted an article to the Oregonian this week with additional facts about the proposed Streetcar.    It offers additional insight into the project and its costs.   

The article is a good reference regarding core issues on this project and its eventual cost to residents of Lake Oswego.

It can be found at:

Please notify all members.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Property Taxes Reach the Breaking Point

To All COLA LO Members,

A new article in Bloomberg Business Week indicates that property taxes have reached the breaking point in many counties across the country.    As home prices fall local governments continue to raise property taxes every year despite the reduced value of their residents home investment.   Residents are beginning to revolt and conduct recall campaigns over the tax burden. 

Clackamas County Ranks 153 out of 792 counties nationwide placing it in the top quartile of property taxes.   Data can be found at  this site

The entire article can be found at:

The most expensive county in Oregon is Washington County.   As summarized in the article:

Most property tax paid in Oregon: Washington County

Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes: $2,687
Median Home Value: $296,500
Taxes as Percent of Income: 3.28%

Please notify all members
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