Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oregon Ranks #2 in Nation in Food Stamps. 1 in 5 Oregonians

To All COLA LO Members,

A recent article in the Huffington Post illustrates the impact of the last recession on Oregon and Lake Oswego.   The article shows that Oregon is #2 in the nation in terms of percentage of population using food stamps or 1 in 5 Oregonians.    Its a dramatic statistic for a small state like Oregon.   Oregon a Food Stamp State?

Ehow has details on the qualifications for Oregonians: Oregon Trail -SNAP.

Its unknown how many residents require Food Stamps in Lake Oswego but the LO farmers Market accepts the Oregon Trail Cards and provides tokens to be used.   LO Farmers Market and Food Stamps

Recent data regarding poverty levels shows the following:

Residents with income below the poverty level in 2009:
Lake Oswego:
Whole state:
Residents with income below 50% of the poverty level in 2009:
Lake Oswego:
Whole state:

Read more:

In 2009 the LO review published an article on the increasing demand for assistance.  LO Review on Food stamps and Assistance.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Water Partnership Article attracts Board Member Comments.

To All COLA  LO Members,

A recent article by a Director at the city tries to make a strong case that the LO-Tigard Water Partnership is absolutely required as an infrastructure investment.    It argues that the $100+ Million investment by the City is a good project based on its merits.    

The tone of the article which questioned the current residents concerns over spending drew comment from two COLA LO Board Members last week.   The author states that conservation is insufficient to address the issues of the partnership and the factors driving it.  

LO Residents once again do not vote on this the largest capital project in the history of Lake Oswego.  The costs of the project are built into our utility bills and the reason water rates are increasing approximately 25% annually.   These rates are establishing a reserve fund to prove to the bond market that LO residents can be taxed sufficiently to support the bonded debt necessary to support a $100 million+ project. 
Lake Oswego rate payers are complaining about the increases  in utility rates at the same time resident water conservation is increasing.  There has been a well defined reduction in water use among residents as their water bills increase
The article including online comments can be found at:   Water Partnership

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oregon State Revenue Reduced by $200 Million - Economy starting to decline?

To all COLA LO Members and Friends,

no Kicker in this "recovery?"
The Oregon state economist reduced his forecast of revenue by $200 million for the next biennium.    The revision is the first of the next budget cycle and shows that Oregon's economy is beginning to trend downward again although the economist attributes the revision to pessimism by businesses.

measure 66/67 did not solve the issue more people/businesses
just left Oregon for Washington.
 This may be the first sign that Oregon is heading back toward recessionary territory and reducing the tax revenue at the State level.    It provides a potential early indicator of budget issues at the state level and possibly the local level here in Lake Oswego.    LOSD is dependent upon State revenue for its funding and last year asked the city to provide $ 2 million in supplemental funding.

What is the next solution to this economic adjustment? 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Benefits of Foothills"article draws online criticism from residents.

To All COLA LO Members,

A recent article by a local resident and community leader attempts to establish the benefits of the Foothills Redevelopment plan proposed by the city as a public-private partnership.    The article attempts to reframe the argument for development as being for senior citizens and allowing them to sell their homes and move to the newer redevelopment area.

The project is part of the LORA agency and uses public funds for financing and pre development studies that come from property taxes within  the districts area.   Spending and projects are not subject to ballot measure voter approval by LO residents.  

The article has drawn strong criticism from residents online as many fear the project will become another South Waterfront disaster like in the City of Portland.  This project was driven by concepts from Portland's redevelopment effort including the Streetcar. 

The article can be found at: Benefits of Foothills Redevelopment.  Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Local Economist says "We can Save LO Schools"

To All COLA LO Members,

Local LO Economist Bill Conerly claims new legislation approved in the current legislative session will give us the tools to save LO schools.    In his article he cites the needs for specific actions which will attract students from other districts to LOSD under the newly passed legislation that allows students to transfer between school districts.  

It makes for interesting reading  and evaluation by all taxpayers in LO.   The article can be found at Save Schools in LO

It's excellent reading for all taxpayers in LO. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

City Councilor Says "its time to sell"

To All COLA LO Members,

Once again Councilor Jeff Gudman has published a detailed article with a specific plan for addressing the WEB building and the massive loss on this investment since the city purchased it without a bond measure as a "unique opportunity" in visionary projects with the approval of Mayor Hammerstad and then Councilor Hoffman.   In  the article Councilor Gudman presents a very detailed plan which deserves further review.  
The article can be found at:   Time to Sell the WEB

As we all know the Web was purchased for $20 Million and now has a value that is nearly half the original purchase price.    The bank has also forced the city to begin paying principal on the loan after many years of interest only payments.   The bank is now dictating terms to a city with a AAA credit rating!   Yet Councilors still want to issue  hundreds of millions more debt on other projects!

We leave it to individual members, contacts and friends to decide the merits of the approach.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Citizen Questions Why the City Overpaid for Lacey's Property.

To all COLA LO Members,

This week in the LO Review a local citizen wrote in asking why the city overpaid for the Lacey's property and they cite the county assessors RMV - Real Market Value in the letter to the editor.   It makes for interesting reading when you review the City's response. Interesting that the city again pays more than RMV for a property.    The article is below and can be found at: Why pay so much for Lacey's

Does this sound like the WEB all over again?   We leave it to the readers to decide as we proceed to the 2012 elections.  

Article Text

Question raised about city’s payment for Lacey’s property

To the Editor:
Why did the city of Lake Oswego agree to an option to buy the Lacey’s property for $2.35 million when the Clackamas County Assessor’s office places its true market value at $835,816?
Ruth Hamilton
Lake Oswego

Editor’s note: Christine Kirk, the public affairs manager for the city of Lake Oswego, responds:
“The Clackamas County Assessor’s Real Market Values are derived from a complex sales analysis calculation and rarely match actual sale prices. For example, 500 First St. sold for $2.1 million in 2006, when the Assessor’s Real Market Value was $760,470. The Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency Board approved the two-year option price for 500 First St. considering a number of factors: 1) the corner property is a pivotal parcel for assembly of a First Street North Anchor site for a mixed-use library project; 2) the current owner paid $2.1 million for the property in 2006, and was unwilling to sell it for a loss; 3) the owner agreed to forego a pending private long-term lease.

“For more information, such as the Feasibility Studies and North Anchor Acquisition Plan, please go to Also, see Clackamas County Assessment and Taxation Frequently Asked Questions at”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Citizen Article states "Library Opportunity Awaits Us" but draws critical comment.

To All COLA LO Members,

Last week a citizen article identified several opportunities in a new library facility.    The article presented details on which facilities and services could be improved in a new library and the new services that might be considered.    It presents interesting reading and some solid ideas.   

Ironically the article drew critical comment online because of the method the city is choosing to use to finance a new library under LORA the redevelopment agency which uses "tax increment financing".    Several residents object to this method and prefer that the Library be financed as a stand alone facility with a Bond Measure on the ballot.   LORA financing does not require voter approval.  

It seems the community is increasingly leery of debt levels and the ability of the council to make investments outside the voter approval/ballot initiative process.  

While the community supports the Library, it seems that residents prefer voting on major capital investments rather than allowing the council to approve them without voter input.   

The article and online comments can be found at:   Library Opportunity

Please notify all members, contacts and friends.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Resident Says we can disagree but do so with respect! Article draws the ire of residents with strong memories.

To all COLA LO Members,

This past week in the review resident Lynn Hennagin the spouse of former city councilor Roger Hennagin (who lost his council seat in the 2010 election) submitted an article in the LO Review.   In the article which can be found below the author suggests we aren't investing in the communal interest and suggests residents who disagree with local government decisions should do so with respect.

This brought out the ire of several residents who remember that while on Council and in the Lame Duck session last year, then Councilor Hennagin was not very respectful to opposing views per online comments.   It provides some insight into the ongoing frustration with residents who believe they are ignored in the public process and feel they are being told to shut up and sit down by local officials and special interests.

The article and online comments can be found here: We can disagree
Please notify all members, contacts, and friends of this important discussion between residents.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Resident Says City of LO is Devaluing Our Property!

To all COLA LO Members,

An article by an LO resident this week claims that the City of LO is devaluing all of our property.    The article provides an example where the city council says one thing and then does another when purchasing property.   In the Article Bob Thompson states that the city claims it does not devalue property with its ordinances and then when buying a property claims the restrictions on property do not justify a price.   The author specifically cites an exchange with Councilor Donna Jordan on this contradiction.  

Could this be one reason LO property values continue to decline?

Are the city's land use restrictions arbitrarily reducing our property values to promote other projects?  Its an interesting concept worth further review.

The article can be found at:  Visit Site - City Ordinances Devalue Property
To see a video where Councilor Jordan admits this visit the web site in the article: 

Please notify all contacts, members and friends.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

LO Resident Questions the Transparency & Full Disclosure of Luscher Farms Plan in Oregonian Article

To All COLA LO members,

A local resident published a very critical article regarding the transparency and disclosure of Luscher Farm Plans and the actions of local city management.   The article has been published online in the Oregonian.   In it the author who is a member of the "Friends of Luscher Farm"  group states:

"Mr. Mayor, Members of the City Council, Mr. City Manager: the citizens of Lake Oswego deserve full transparency and complete disclosure before going forward with LAMP."

In the article the author questions the code of conduct in the city and actions taken which appear to be a manipulation of the process by officials including non-disclosure of actual intentions related to the disposition of the Luscher Farm complex.   .  

Please notify all members, contacts and friends.    

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

High Density Urban Downtown May Not Be Supported by Actual Trends.

To all COLA LO Members,

Jack Bogdanskis blog cites new data that may refute the premise that boomers are moving to high density mass transit urban areas like the Pearl, South Waterfront, and Lake Oswego with Foothills-Streetcar.   The blog provides data from a new study that essentially says Boomers are working longer and living in suburban areas or low density cities.   

The details can be found in Biggest Boomer Towns

What does this say about the proposed investment in Streetcar and Foothills?   Is this model valid or viable given the actual data presented by the study.   

We leave it up to members, contacts and friends to make their own conclusions.....

Comments form Jack Bogs blog can be found below:

The boomers are coming -- not

Here's an interesting study. It shows that by and large, the boomers aren't retiring to downtown condo towers. They're staying in the suburbs, or moving to sprawl in the southern half of the country:
An analysis of those who were 55 to 65 in 2000 and 65 to 75 in 2010 reveals an even stronger anti-urban bias, with an over 12% drop in city dwellers. Since these folks are far less likely to have kids at home and more properly retired, this cohort’s behavior suggests that aging boomers are if anything less likely to move to the cities in the next decade. Indeed, if boomers do move, notes Sandi Rosenbloom, a noted expert on retirement trends and professor of Planning and Civil Engineering at the University of Arizona, they tend to move to less dense and more affordable regions. The top cities for aging boomers largely parallel those that appealed to the “young and restless” in our earlier survey. The top ten on our list are all affordable, generally low-density Sun Belt metros.

It appears that the density dreams of the Portlandia planning cabal are not going to be fulfilled by an influx of blue-hairs to our rainy, gray city any time soon. You have to wonder who the heck is going to ride that eastside streetcar.

Read more:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Business Owner Questions Enforcement Practices in Ideal Portland

To All Cola LO Members,

Last week a downtown business owner shed some light on enforcement practices in relation to downtown Portland businesses.   Its a unique perspective that provides us with some insight into how ideal the environment is for a Portland business owner trying to increase employment.

The article can be found at:

It provides for interesting reading and a potential future for LO based businesses in the area.  Especially if LO follows the Portland model like many on the current council prefer.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Local Business Owners are Afraid to Speak Out Against City Plans

To all COLA LO members,

A recent article in the LO Review describes what many residents already know.   Local business owners are deeply concerned about spending in Lake Oswego and the city's growing plans to acquire more property.   In many cases the city plans to acquire the property in which these owners lease and operate their businesses.   

The new article just touches the surface of this deeply rooted concern in the community.     It also describes some of the comments made by council members showing an anti-business bias or preference.    It makes for an interesting read and touched a core concern in the community.  What is perceived to be a latent hostility to those that do not unilaterally support the plans of the city.  


The article can be found at:   Business Owners Afraid to Speak Out?

Friday, August 12, 2011

City Of LO commits to 2 Year Lease of former Laceys property at $135,000 per year to investigate North Anchor Project Potential

To All COLA LO Members,

The city announced this week it has entered into a lease/option agreement with the owners of the former Lacey's at 500 First st.   Its cost will be approximately $135K per year to the taxpayers as the City looks at the potential for the North Anchor urban Renewal project in downtown Lake Oswego.

Early comments on the article are strongly negative on the spending level without a specific plan in place to identify what will be redeveloped and how.

 City Spends $135K a year on Vacant Lacey's Property

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fiscal Responsibility Article Published by Board Member

To all COLA LO members,

This week board member Dave Berg published an article in the LO review on fiscal responsibility and what may be needed in Lake Oswego.     Its a second article in a series of three articles outlining some of the issues in the community in terms of fiscal issues and expenditures given the relative size of the city and its growth over the past ten years.   

the article can be found at:   Fiscal Responsibility

please notify all contacts.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

LOCAL Resident & Neighbor Strongly Criticizes Sally Moncrieff for her Support of TAX Increase

TO All COLA LO Members,

This week a local resident and Neighbor of Councilor Moncrieff strongly criticized her for her vote in supporting the franchise fee (tax) increase.     They also committed to working against her in the upcoming 2012 election after expressing strong discontentment with her positions and support of the tax increase.   The resident claims that Sally no longer represents their neighborhood but other interests and has not voted as expected for their interests.   Its a uniquely strong rebuke and Sally's response is included in the article.    In it she justifies raising fees as LO fees are less than Portland's in her opinion.  

Is this the beginning of the events in the 2012 city council race?  Only time will tell but it presents an interesting dynamic after the announcement by Sam Adams last week and Councilor Moncrieff's strong support for Adams' policies including the streetcar and others. 

Please notify all members contacts and friends.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

BIG Changes in City Council Assured? (For both Portland and Lake Oswego)

To All Cola LO Members,

A recent article in the Oregonian illustrates the major changes coming in 2012 for both Lake Oswego and Portland.    Portland Mayor Sam Adams a strong supporter and friend of Jack Hoffman has announced he will not run for reelection due to strong opposition and candidates opposing Portland's policies.    This is especially true after recent announcements by auditors on the city's finances.   

Lake Oswego Mayor Jack Hoffman will loose a strong supporter as the 2012 election nears.    Lake Oswego will elect 3 Councilors and a Mayor in 2012 effectively representing the majority on the Council.    Mayor Hoffman has faced similar opposition due to policies over the past two years including fee/tax increases, sensitive lands, conflicts of interest, lack of consideration for dissenting public opinions, and expenditures on major projects. 

In a recent article he comments on the effects of the changes in Portland:   Jack Hoffman comments on how Portland City council will effect his plans

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

LO Residents Publish Letters in LO Review Supporting New Wal Mart Grocery Store

To All Cola LO Members,

Last week several citizens published letters to the editor expressing their disagreement with a previous letter to the editor articlel in the LO review regarding the potential for a new Wal Mart Grocery store on the old Natures site.   The articles expressed what they believed was an elitist and uninformed bias in the previous article.   Residents also indicated that the community not only needs the jobs but also the opportunity to purchase food at lower prices.  

The Wal Mart decision has been a very hot topic in online blogs over the past two weeks after the decision was announced in the press.   

The letters can be found at:  Letters to editor support Wal Mart
The original article can be found at the bottom of this page:   Wal Mart is not what our community needs
Original announcement can be found at: Its Official

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