Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Councilor Gudman Discusses Maintenance

To All COLA LO Members,

City Councilor Jeff Gudman published his opinion on key maintenance issues last week in two articles.   In the articles he discusses some of the current needs within the city and how maintenance is suffering due to the city's expenditures on other projects.  

The articles can be found at:

Focus on More Maintenance  and Maintenance Matters

In the articles Councilor Gudman lists specific projects that have suffered because of the focus of the council on visionary projects and studies like Foothills and Streetcar but there are many more examples.  

The articles provide for interesting reading and establish some priorities. 
Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

COLA LO Board Member Challenges Water Bills

To all COLA LO Members,

Last week Board Member Dave Luck published an article in the LO Review challenging the cost of the largest capital project in LO's history,  the LO-Tigard water partnership.   In the article he claims that the cost of the project and current water bills is a an unfair burden on our senior citizens.  Essentially a regressive tax without a vote of the residents.  

The current projected cost of the project is approximately $230 million with a 30% possible increase and LO share is at approximately 50%.  This would require another $155 million + in debt be issued by the city which would be added to our water bills. 

The article can be found at:  Project costs prove a burden to our Seniors
This project which is the largest capital project in the city's history was never voted on by the residents of Lake Oswego similar to the WEB building and other projects.   Most citizens do not realize it even exists or that the potential costs will hit them in future years.   The council has consistently insisted that no vote on this project is necessary and approved expenditures without a vote.  

Former mayoral candidate John Surrett also wrote about this project in 2010 in an article in the LO review.  The article can be found at:   Take another look

The details of the project can be found at LO Tigard Water Partnership

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clackamas County Candidates are Announcing!

To All COLA LO Members, 

The race for the Clackamas County Commission is now in full swing.   There are a number of candidates filing for the county commissioners race with 3 county commissioner positions open in the 2012 election. As many citizens know there have been several ballot measures this year regarding taxes, fees, and spending within the county.

Last week former State representative Tootie Smith announced her candidacy for commissioner.  

At the same time the appointed commissioner Jamie Damon who was not elected by the voters has announced her candidacy for the position after deliberations on her potential for being elected.

An article on the announcements was recently published in the Oregonian:  Commissioner Candidates

This has been a tumultuous year for the county with several citizen ballot measures being established by county residents.    The county voted strongly to reject a registration fee to pay for a bridge in Multnomah County in May and another initiative is on the ballot in November.    The current commission has strongly opposed voter input on major issues.   This has caused citizens to qualify their own ballot initiatives.  

Recently the commission has decided 4-1 (Savas against) to place an opposing ballot measure on the November ballot regarding Urban Renewal districts and voter approval.    The 2012 election will determine the majority opinion on the Clackamas County Commission.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Clackamas County Commisioners Place Competing Measure on the Ballot against Citizen Intitiative

To All COLA LO Members,

Last week County Commissioners voted to place a ballot measure on the ballot in November which directly competes with the citizen ballot initiative recently approved for the Ballot by the County Clerk.    The Citizen measure requires a countywide vote on all Urban Renewal projects in the unincorporated county areas.   

County Commissioners voted to compete directly with the citizens measure and limit the need for a vote on all Urban Renewal districts.  Only Commissioner Savas voted against placing a competing measure on the ballot.  The remaining commissioners all voted to place a competing measure on the ballot which may only confuse county residents and negate the impact of the citizen driven effort to limit Urban Renewal districts without countywide voter approval.  

County Commissioner Ann Lininger voted for the competing measure with the other commissioners and is a resident of Lake Oswego.  This continues a trend of her supporting expensive projects like the streetcar and limiting voter approval of these projects.  She supported this project and the ongoing effort in a recent article in the Lake Oswego Review.   Lininger says Streetcar is right for LO.

 There have been a number of articles in blogs and in the press regarding the county commissions resistance to any citizen lead ballot measures which would limit taxes and the ongoing diversion of public safety funding due to Urban renewal districts and tax increment financing.  

Most of the articles show that the county commission is directly intending to compete against citizen initiatives and the drive for more voter input.

Details can be found online at: County Commissioners Compete with Citizen Ballot Measure

Monday, September 12, 2011

Citizen Disputes that Foothills is not about Politics

To all COLA LO members,

Last week in the LO review a citizen responded to two earlier articles regarding the foothills project and the sensitive lands ordinance.   The citizen claims that the foothills area should have been designated sensitive but was excluded by offsetting it with regulations in our neighborhood back yards.   Its a very serious claim and one that should be evaluated by residents. 

The article states:

The “sensitive lands” program is about working the system to ensure that areas of economic interest to developers and the city can be more easily developed. This is being done at the expense of many private residential property owners, resulting in loss of equal rights and loss of home value due to the “sensitive lands” permanent land use restrictions. Backyards are being treated like community nature preserves and homeowners no longer even have the simple freedom of landscaping their backyards without city oversight while more environmentally significant areas closest to the largest bodies of water are densely developed. This “trade” has to end and all private residential property owners should have their rights restored.

It can be found at:  The Politics of Foothills

Please notify all members, contacts and friends.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Portland Streetcar Fare less no more?

To All COLA LO Members,  

An article in Portland Afoot indicates that staff has recommended a hike in the streetcar fares and PULLING OUT OF THE FREE RAIL ZONE.  It seems streetcar needs more revenue and may not be able to afford the fare less square concept.  This comes after TriMet pulled buses from the fare less square after many years leaving only rail as fare free. 

This provides interesting insight into possible scenarios with the LO-Portland streetcar project.     Many have claimed that operating expenses will be an issue over time.    This move may or may not confirm this. 

The article can be found at:   Streetcar Free no more?

Please notify all members, contacts and friends. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Our Oregon" group challenges Clackamas County Citizens Ballot Measure

To all COLA LO Members,

The Oregonian published an article on Friday indicating that the group "our Oregon"   filed a challenge with the Secretary of State regarding the validity of signatures for the citizen driven ballot measure that would require a vote for any urban renewal district in Clackamas County.   Our Oregon Challenges Citizens Signatures

The challenge appears to support a NO VOTE position regarding urban renewal districts and questions the validity of the petitions signatures.  details on the organization can be found here:  Who is Our Oregon

Jack Bogdanski's blog has an update on the issue and the activities at the following link: Jack BOG on Our Oregon and Urban Renewal Measure

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

COLA LO Board Member shows "Where the Growth is in Lake Oswego"

To All COLA LO Members,

Last Week board member Dave Berg published a guest opinion article in the LO review.   In the article he tries to show citizens where the growth is in LO.    Where expenditures are in relation to the size of the city and past budgets.    The article provides interesting insight which may challenge the perceptions of residents.    It provides interesting reading for future evaluation.  

The article can be found at: Where is the growth in LO?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Clackamas County Urban Renewal War is heating up

To All COLA LO Members,

As many of you know a ballot measure requiring a county wide vote for all Urban Renewal Districts and changes to the districts has qualified in clackamas county.    The ballot measure is being strongly opposed by county government.   So much so that the county commissioners are now drafting a competing ballot measure without the full voting requirements incorporated in the citizen sponsored measure.  

Many citizens in the county are asking what is this all about?  According to several articles including one in Jack Bogdanskis blog its about light rail projects and bringing Portland high density development to suburban cities within the county.    The ballot measures proponents are rejecting light rail projects and tax increment financing which pulls away funds from critical services like public safety.  

Here is the latest from Jack Bog's blog:The real story on County Urban Renewal Ballot Measure.

An earlier article showed the details of how the county was hiring highly compensated Portland based legal firms with strong ties to urban renewal to question the validity of the citizen driven ballot measure.   It presents some insight into the conflicts arising over the ballot measures.  County hires Portland Legal Firms to challenge Citizen Ballot Measure

All of these details provide interesting insight into the special interests involved in both light rail and urban renewal.    Will these come to Lake Oswego?  
 Maybe they already have in Streetcar & Foothills.   Only time will tell but once again with these projects there is no VOTER APPROVAL. 

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