Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bloggers Now Claim "Streetcar lies (and the lying streetcar liars who tell them)"

To All COLA LO Members,

Today with a new estimate of costs on the Streetcar project the bloggers started to provide readers a response.   In Jack Bog's blog he calls the Streetcar a scam and Mayors Hoffman and Sam Adams water boys for the developers.  Its a harsh perspective but one that is likely shared by many residents in the LO community.   We leave it to the reader to make their own determination.

The blog post can be found at:   Streetcar Lies

Our City council voted 4-3 to continue spending taxpayer dollars on the project this spring.   A recent survey showed little support for the project but the council chose to continue spending on the project despite the voter sentiment.    See below for previous posts on the details of each event. 

Bloggers are claiming a profound bias on the part of the Oregonian its recent article on cost reductions for the Streetcar project.   The article can be found at:   Costs Drop.   Its pretty clear this project has become a political football with special interests and that the perspective of local voters is not a consideration unless it can be swayed in favor of the Streetcar.   Several groups are monitoring votes of our City Council in preparation for the 2012 election.  

Both articles  provide for interesting reading.   

COLA LO Board Member Publishes Article on Conflict of Interest Issues & Mayor Responds

To all COLA LO Members,

Last week board member Gary Gipson published an article in the LO Review regarding the ongoing community discussion on "conflict of interest" concerns within the City Council.   The article provides detailed facts given the authors experience as an investigator.    Residents have continued to request that the author look at specific concerns following a review by the state board. 

The article can be found at:  Questions Continue about Conflicts.

Mayor Hoffman responded to the article and several residents have posted comments online.   It provides for interesting reading given the current proposals before the City Council including Foothills and Streetcar.  

Residents are concerned about the impact of "potential conflicts of interest"  and many have asked specific council members to recluse themselves from voting on specific projects.  

So far all council members have participated in the controversial votes on specific projects.   However several have declared "potential conflicts of interest" in blanket statements as required in Oregon.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Data Shows Lake Oswego is NOT Really Growing

To all COLA LO Members,

Recent data released by PSU shows that LO is not growing and calls into question many of the projects and programs currently under consideration.    2010 census data show the population as 36,619 which was only a 3.8% increase over the 2000 census.    The latest data from PSU shows the 2011 population as 36,725 an increase of only 106 residents or 0.29%

Details can be found at the following:  PSU

They seriously call into question the high density mass transit projects being planned for the area as the costs for these projects will fall upon a relatively flat population base of residents.  

It appears that Clackamas County is only growing by 0.5% while LO is 0.29%   This is less than the 3.8% rate of growth experienced from 2000 to 2010.  

It actually appears that the rate of growth in LO is SLOWING.  

Jack Bog's blog brought out the issues this week in a post: Portland Population Growth Slows to a Crawl.

In the post he challenges the sustainability of Portland's strategy and LO is half the growth of Portland!  Its a serious issue that must be considered when evaluating the costs of many of the projects currently being considered by our City Council.    How much can we really afford as our population doesn't grow? 

Placing the cost burden of these projects on a population which is no longer growing only increases taxes, fees, and debt.   Its a key issue in 2012.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oregonian Reports on LO's Largest Capital Project Currently at $230+ Million...

To All COLA LO Members,

Few citizens realize that LO is in the Process of spending over $230 Million on a new water project with Tigard.   It's one of the reasons utility bills are now skyrocketing.   

This past week the Oregonian reported on the project.   The article provides for interesting reading as Utility Bills increase to all residents.   Water rates are projected to increase 25.5% in march 2012 with the approval of your City Council.

Please notify all members, contacts and friends.   

Friday, November 25, 2011

Citizen Claims "Streetcar is Getting Expensive"

To All COLA LO Members,

Another citizen article was published this week regarding the streetcar project.  In the article the citizen challenges the intent of the City Council regarding the Streetcar project and Foothills.   The citizen claims the council is intending to distract citizens and ignore their feedback in the recent survey conducted for the city.

It provides for interesting reading.  In the article the author states:  

"The mayor and his three allied council members are not acting in our best interest and a change in attitude would be refreshing. The council could start off with revisiting some of the suggestions presented by the townspeople instead of pushing their personal agenda."

The article can be found at:  Street Car is Expensive

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Citizen Article Claims Four Councilors Don't Get It!

To All COLA LO Members,

This week a citizen published a very strong article challenging members of the City Council.   The article seriously questions the motives and abilities of four councilors in terms of their approach to ward major projects.   The article reviews details regarding the WEB and Streetcar projects.  

In the article the author states:

"Could the survey results have been more clear that the citizens oppose streetcar? Are these survey results too difficult to understand? Apparently, yes, to the Four Who Don’t Get It."

The article can be found at:  "Four Who Don't Get It"

It seems more citizens are continuing to question the motives and the direction of the current City Council as it spends taxpayer funds on major projects for which there is little support.   This is especially true after surveys indicate that the public is opposed to these projects. 

It provides for interesting discussion and evaluation.   Please notify all members contacts and friends...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jack Bog bloggers claim "Bizzard of Lies Continues" on Streetcar

To all COLA LO Members,

A post on Jack Bog's blog today provides for an interesting perspective.  In the post he claims that now that the streetcar survey is in and that residents don't want the survey, the pro streetcar group is coming back to doctor up the "Liars Budget" on the streetcar.   

Its clear that the City Council refuses to accept the details of the survey where 82% of respondents claimed that the Streetcar was not a priority item versus fixing streets.    The council voted to continue spending money on the project last spring in a 4-3 vote.   

The blog entry can be found at:   Blizzard of Lies   It includes readers comments on the project and article which provide insightful perspective on the history of these projects in nearby Portland.     Please notify all members, contacts, and friends...

Foothills Development Impact on Schools Article Draws Strong Public Comment.

To All COLA LO Members,

An article in the Review last week attempted to address the impact of a Foothills Development project on LOSD.    It provides an interesting perspective but also was a catalyst for strong online comment.    The council last night held a review session on the project and its impact.   LOSD representatives indicated they wanted the city to build as much as possible to increase school enrollment.

Citizens are deeply concerned about the risk of the project and the fact that public funding will be used.   Its a very strong concern in the community and the consultants have indicated that the city will need at least $8 million in "bridge" funding due to the schedule of construction and cash flows.    Citizens expressed concerns about the City taking on the risk of the project.  

The Council Review meeting can be found online at the TVCTV link.  

Councilor Tierney expressed that the Foothills Project and Streetcar are linked and that residents may need to accept Streetcar to get the Foothills Development Project.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oregonian Reports on Streetcar Study

To All COLA LO Members,

The Oregonian reported details on the Streetcar survey last week.   It provides some interesting insight including the public comment on the article.    Once again a KLOG board member supports the project despite the costs and public concerns regarding both debt and operating expenses.   

 The article can be found at : Lake Oswego to Continue.

It provides additional insight into the ongoing expenditure of taxpayer funds on the streetcar project despite the results showing the majority of residents don't support the project.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bloggers Evaluate the Foothills Project

To all COLA LO Members,

Last week in the blogosphere Jack Bog and bloggers evaluated recent comments of the Foothills Development plan.   There were quite a few interesting comments on the validity of claims made by the developer and consultants.   The Blog article can be found at: That Old Black Magic

In the blog post Jack also references a recent DJC article on the project.   That article can be found at:  Foothills. 

Our city council continues to evaluate the project and spend taxpayer dollars to support the initial efforts.   The council and Mayor have stated that Foothills and Streetcar are inseparable and must be linked to make the projects viable.   Cost estimates for the two currently exceed $500 million dollars.

LO Resident and County Commisioner Ann Lininger Tells Residents not to Criticize Public Employees.

To all COLA LO members,

Once again our local resident and County Commissioner Ann Lininger tells residents not to criticize public employees or their agencies and to "praise them".  Commissioner Lininger supported the recent measure 3-388 which would have limited county resident's right to vote on urban renewal districts even though they would pay taxes to support those districts.  

Her article in the Oregonian Fashionable to Criticize  seems to ignore voters concerns about the ever increasing taxes and fees within the county and locally.  It also follows a common theme that tells us its not OK to participate as voters to ensure our taxpayer dollars are well spent.   

After articles in the LO Review supporting Streetcar it seems that commissioner Lininger continues to support the "tax & spend" view in terms of local government while limiting citizens right to vote on tax increases.  

Citizens seem to be told what is acceptable rather than being allowed to vote on their options.   Commissioner Lininger's positions were soundly defeated by Clackamas County voters in both May and November of this year on both the Vehicle Registration Fee and Urban Renewal District approval.   Its valuable information for local voters.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

COLA LO Board Member Discusses City Staff Levels

To all COLA LO Members,

Last week Board member Dave Berg published an article in the LO Review answering questions that were brought to him by several residents over the past year.   In it he discusses the relative level of staffing and costs in Lake Oswego versus other cities.  

Its an issue many citizens are discussing a long with City expenditures and projects.    The article can be found at:  Where's LO compared to other Oregon Cities?.   

Online comments have produced a strong reaction to the topic but have generally been supportive in its attempt to address an issue of concern within the community.    In the article the author cites a specific reference within the official city budget book addressing relative staff growth rates over the past ten years.

 It provides for an interesting review.     Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Friday, November 18, 2011

LO Review Article on Streetcar Produces Irate Citizen Comments

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the LO review reported on the progress of the streetcar project after the recent survey by a consultant paid for by the city council.   The article can be found at: Streetcar stays on track.   The Councils remarks and the article have brought out enormous criticism from residents online.  

The details can be found in the article online.    It seems citizens are quite upset that the council ignores the results of the survey based on their online comments.   Residents were also critical of the review for pulling a previous article but the review has responded to their concerns on line.  

This is very emotionally charged issue within the community as the city council continues to spend taxpayer dollars on the project despite the results of the survey.

Council members Keho and Olson have suggested terminating funding for the project but they received little support from the remaining council members besides Councilor Gudman.     Mayor Hoffman and others are committed to continue spending funds on the project combined with the Foothills plan. 

TV Channel KATU Documented all views on the matter this week including deep concerns about the willingness of local government to listen to its citizens.   THe video can be found at: KATU Streetcar Concerns.

Please notify all members,contacts, and friends.   

Monday, November 14, 2011

City Survey Finds LO Residents Oppose Streetcar

To ALL COLA LO Members,
A survey conducted by the City has identified significant opposition to the streetcar project across its residents.  

That comes as no surprise to many COLA LO members who participated in election efforts over the past two years.  

The survey also finds that citizens want the city to FOCUS back on core services like streets! Also no surprise to many of us.

The irony is that a professional survey firm had to tell the council what most of us already know after participating in the community for the past few years.  

The Oregonian tried to put the survey results in a positive light with an attempt to say more information may sway public sentiment but the survey itself says this is not likely as opposition is quite strong in the community.   

The question now becomes: 

Will the FOUR members of council continue to spend taxpayer money on a project that is not supported by residents instead of focusing on the core services that taxpayers say they require?  

Three of the four council members voting for streetcar expenditures are up for election in 2012.  (Tierney, Moncrief, and Mayor Hoffman).   

The results of this survey combined with the earlier facilities survey last spring provide a clear insight into the community. 

New "Expert" in Town to Help Downtown Revitalization

To All COLA LO Members,

This week in the LO Review and on Jack Bog's blog we were informed of a new expert who will help LO revitalize downtown.   Jack Bog's readers and LO Review readers provided some opinion online.  

The Jack Bog comments can be found at:  More Phrases Were Sick Of.
While the Review article can be found at:  Launching a Downtown Revival.

This all comes at a time when county voters just passed a measure requiring all Urban Renewal Districts to be approved by voters, including substantial changes to Districts.   Although this measure applies only to unincorporated areas within Clackamas County,  its ironic that Downtown Renewal continues full speed ahead without any votes. 

Could this all be part of a Foothills-Streetcar planned effort? 

Time will tell but its obvious that countywide voters are very frustrated with Urban Renewal and Light Rail costs given the economic environment. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Clackamas County Commisioner Ann Lininger Continues to Endorse Urban Renewal Without a Vote Of all Residents.

To all COLA LO Members,  

On Tuesday Residents passed the Citizen Driven Urban Renewal Initiative Measure 3-386 soundly.

This was despite the fact that LO resident and county Commissioner Ann Lininger approved and then supported a competing measure 3-388 designed to confuse voters and limit the vote on all Urban Renewal projects. 

Measure 3-386 passed with an overwhelming majority and now requires that all Urban Renewal projects and subsequent taxes be passed by ALL county residents.  

Commissioner Lininger's comments and her search for additional fees and taxes can be found at the following Oregonian article:   Clackamas Residents Require a Vote.

Once again the LO Review came out against 3-386 and for the commissioner sponsored measure that would limit a vote and once again the effort to limit your vote was defeated by residents.   

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Engineer Says Foundation for Streetcar is Distorted

To All COLA LO Members,

The Oregonian published an interesting interview yesterday regarding an engineers analysis of the Portland-LO streetcar project.   

 In the analysis he argues that the DEIS and certain assumptions on the proposed project are fundamentally flawed and do not incorporate new technology.  

It is one perspective on the project but provides for interesting review and evaluation.   The article can be found at:  Is Lake Oswego Streetcar Distorted?

Please notify all members,contacts, and friends.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oregonian Article Claims Conservatives Gain Momentum in Clackamas County

To All COLA LO Members,

This weekend the Oregonian published an analysis of what may be going on in the county over the past few years.    There are varying interpretations according to the contributors but the consensus is there is deep concern over fiscal responsibility in all areas within the county.   

The Oregonian article can be found at:Conservatives gain momentum

Ironically citizens weighed in on this article including comments on Jack Bog's blog.   Public comment seems to indicate that the issue is not conservatives and that the concern is very broad based.   Jack Bogs analysis and public comment can be found at:  Clackistan Misunderstood.

Much of this also applies to Lake Oswego and it will be interesting to see how it impacts the 2012 election when 3 sitting councilors and the mayor are up for re-election.   There is quite a lot of rumor that several councilors and possibly the mayor may not run again.

The details can be fascinating on this issue so please notify all members, contacts, and friends. 

Citizen Claims "Library being held hostage"

To All COLA LO Members,

Last week a citizen published an article in the Review claiming that the library is being held hostage to both foothills and streetcar development under the city's plans for redevelopment.   The article can be found at: Ransom our library

The article states: 

"Since there’s more than enough TIF to fully construct the library, every additional dollar simply shifts another dollar to lower priority, less voter-friendly items on the city’s wish list. This G-O bond scheme would ransom our library for streetcar and Foothills. It’s a slap in the face to people who have worked so long to bring us a new library and salt in the wound to WEB backers."

It presents an interesting position shared by many residents who are deeply concerned over spending and debt in the city.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oregonian PolitiFact Says LO Resident & County Commisioner Lininger's Claims including those in a Direct Mail piece are False on 3-386

To all Cola LO Members,

It seems we may have a question in terms of recent claims regarding initiative 3-386 and their credibility as communicated by a county commissioner.    

Politifact recently reviewed a claim by county Commissioner and Lake Oswego resident Ann Lininger on citizen driven ballot initiative 3-386.  

In their analysis they clearly state that Commissioner Lininger's claims and those of a recent direct mail piece are absolutely FALSE and misleading to the voters.   False Claims on 3-386 to support 3-388.

This is consistent with the fact that county commissioner's developed ballot initiative 3-388 to mislead voters and oppose the citizen driven measure in a 3-1 vote (savas against).   

Its disturbing given the position and the facts but its consistent with clackamas county commissioners opposing all recent citizen driven initiatives in an attempt to limit county residents from voting on new fees and taxes that apply to ALL county residents. 

There seems to be a basic philosophy to prevent residents from voting on taxes and fees which are often hidden in tax statements.  This was the case with the recent Vehicle Registration Fee proposal which was approved by the commission and then overturned by residents 2:1.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  


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