Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Is Portland leading the way for Lake Oswego again?

To all COLA LO Members,

It now seems that Portland continues to show us what will happen in Lake Oswego.   

Over the weekend the Oregonian published an extensive article outlining the deterioration of streets in Portland.   Moreover the article shows that there are minimal plans for repaving streets in the city of roses. 

 In the article the Oregonian states:

The bureau has other priorities, such as $900,000 to build 13.5 miles of bike routes, $665,000 to add eight permanent employees to oversee streetcars, $200,000 for Rose Festival prep work and $15,000 to help sponsor a "Rail-Volution" conference in Los Angeles. Just last week, the City Council redirected $250,000 from the current transportation budget to buy fancy planters and streetlights for the downtown retail core.

As many community leaders know the Rail-Volution conference is a favorite of our current Mayor and council members who attend it regularly.    Often consulting with Portland Mayor Sam Adams and following his lead with directives from Metro and others.  

Ironically citizens are complaining extensively that Lake Oswego's streets are in declining in quality rapidly.   This is after the City has spent over $1 million on Streetcar and other related projects.   

 Its seems once again that the current administration is following in the footsteps of greater Portland. 

The insightful article on the problems with Portland can be found at:   Why Cant Portland Pave its Roads.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Planning Commission Meeting Update

To All COLA LO Members,

The planning commission held its meeting last night regarding public access to the lake and including this issue in the comprehensive plan.    The meeting had standing room only attendance with overflow into the corridors and hallways of city hall.

Over one hundred citizens signed up to testify before the commission.   During the testimony it became obvious that by a 25:1 margin the public supported not opening the lake up to public access.    Citizens expressed deep concern about public safety, real estate values, privacy,  and property rights.   

It was noted that the Mayor and several city Councilors attended the session and listened to the testimony.  

Increasingly the public asked "who is really supporting this approach to our lake?"  Testimony also focused on the divisiveness that continues to permeate the direction of the issues that are coming to the forefront within Lake Oswego.  

Its an ongoing area of concern within the community.     Many are asking who will bring the community together after the divisive issues that do not seem to conform to the expressed needs of its citizens.   Only time will tell.

Please notify all members, contacts and friends. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Citizens Challenge Planning Commission Member

To all COLA LO Members,

Citizens have begun to challenge the assertions of a planning commission member in a recent LO review article.   
Many in the community believe that by embracing the public access question both the planning commission and this administration have needlessly challenged the property rights of LO residents.  

In an online statement a resident writes:

"You, as Chair, should have quashed newbie Todd Prager's sortie into this in the beginning. If this goes forward, it is a huge expense for attorneys both at LO and LOC level. You heard from the Council that they do not want to pursue this. This particular subject has been driven top-down, contrary to the spin you are attempting. There are already thousands of households qualified (see the LOC website for map) to join an easement. Please admit the mistake and drop this inane effort that is outside the Planning Committee's charter (above). Land use, repeat, land use is your charter. We do not have extra money to spend on large law firms fighting this to the highest courts"

The lake access issue continues the ongoing concern within the community over the direction and priorities of the current administration.    Its of growing concern to citizens.  The original article and comments can be found at:   Lake Access

Another resident states:  

"Last quote of note from Gustafson is “For anyone concerned that this has been a top-down driven policy question, let me assure you it is not.” If you are buying that, there is this bridge I would like to sell you… Somehow citing the “citizen advisory committee” provides no comfort knowing the history of stacked decks in such “committees”.
If anybody is seeing large groups of Lake Oswego citizens campaigning for access to this private lake, would they please photograph the groups and publish the shots in the Review? I seemed to have missed the grass roots effort on this (as opposed to the “top-down” effort Gustafson assures us is not the case."

It seems citizens arent buying either the need for this issue or that it is not coming from the administration with a "green light".   Many are waitng to evaluate the planning commission meeting on the 27th.   

Friday, February 24, 2012

Planning Commission Member Says Lake Access is not a "Top Down" issue.

To All COLA LO Members,

This week in the LO Review one of the planning commission members published an article on Lake Access. 

The article can be found at: Public Process.   In the article the member states the following:  

"For anyone concerned that this has been a top-down driven policy question, let me assure you it is not. The volunteer members of the citizen advisory committee and of the planning commission have been working diligently to ensure that all citizens have the opportunity to influence and to be involved in this public planning process."

Its another piece in the puzzle that is of concern to so many citizens within our community.   Let's see if this statement resolves concerns within the community that the Lake access issue is policy driven from the top.  Only time will tell.

Attendance at this weeks council meeting showed the level of concern within the community and the direction on this issue. 

Please notify all members contacts and friends.   

Citizen Challenges Residents to "speak their mind" and Confronts The City Council

To All COLA LO Members,

 This week the LO Review published an insightful article by an active resident challenging us all to voice our opinions and participate in the public process.  The online comments varied but when challenged the citizen directly confronted the Mayor and City Council with a specific example.  

The article Citizens Need to Speak  provides a unique viewpoint. 

The author commented online providing the following details.  

On February 13th Mayor Hoffman met with PRAB,SAB,HRAB and NRAB representatives and agreed to table bringing Lusher Farm into the UGB at this time until the Master Plan has been completed. On February 22nd Mayor Hoffman reneged on this "promise". A complete double cross.
This behavior is what divides our city- not three honest forthright councilors voting for common sense and fiscal responsibility.

This perspective is unique and we urge all members to review the article and make their own conclusions.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

PR "spin" continues on the Lake Access Issue

To All COLA LO members,

The PR spin has begun in an attempt to dilute the issues involved with the Lake access.

 The LO review posted a story this week describing the council session and statements made.  

 They include:  

In our actions, the city has essentially been neutral,” he said. “We have worked to maintain the status quo.”

Hoffman said he can’t control whether a different entity sues Lake Oswego Corporation, which took over lake control from Oregon Iron & Steel decades ago. But if that does happen, he hopes to keep the city out of the crosshairs.

“The only definitive answer on whether Oswego Lake can be accessed by the public and to what measure will come through expensive litigation, and that’s not what I’m about as mayor,” Hoffman said. “I do not believe it is in the best interest of our community for this city to be a part to any expensive, community-dividing litigation.”

Many in the community believe that the Mayor is actually inviting litigation by his statements rather than closing the door on the issue and addressing it with the planning commission.     

Online comments and blogs reflect this and question the motives.   

Details can be found in Status Quo.    The LO Review also published a story this week indicating that the City owns property which would give the public access to the lake.   Is it public?  

Oregonian articles on the issue can be found at Lake Oswego - Public Access.

Its becoming clear though that by not taking a firm position,  this administration is actually taking a position on lake access and "green lighting" the planning commission's efforts which many see as a personal agenda.    Details can be found in a variety of blogs and online comments. 

Let's see how this all evolves but its another divisive issue facilitated by the administration.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mayor supports the "Status Quo"?

To All COLA LO Members,

Last night the mayor changed the City Council Agenda quickly and went into a long meandering comment period about supporting the "Status Quo" regarding Lake acccess.  

The revision in the agenda effectively prevented more than 100 attendees from making public comment on the issue.  Many in the audience also noted that there were 3 LOPD officers in the audience.  Something that has not been common in our community but very prevalent since this administration took office.  The reasons why are a source ongoing debate.  

This was an audience of concerned citizens that packed city hall and flowed over into the outer hall area with a streaming video monitor.   May were observing to hear the Mayors comments about ongoing scrutiny of his decision to support the planning commisions comments on lake access. 

It became obvious to anyone attending that this issue was of deep concern to many in the community and the public once again was quite disturbed by the approach of this administration.    In the end though the comments left many in the audience asking "so what is the status quo?".  

What does that REALLY mean given the record of this administration?

The mayor clearly has said he is going to support the planning commission addressing the issue of public acceess to the lake as part of the comprehensive plan and many are waiting to see the outcome of this effort. 

It seems destined for a legal challenge and many beleive the city will be drawn into the legal challenge eventually wasting taxpayer dollars.  Many in the community beleive this issue is actually a personal agenda rather than being a priority that should be a part of core services. 

We urge all citizens to review the webcast when it becomes available on TVCTV at this link.  LO Council Meeting 2/21/12.   

See if you walk away with the question, "so what is the status quo?".

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lake Access Issue - Citizens Place Responsibility on the Mayor.

To All COLA LO Members,

The recent announcement that the City Council will take up the Lake Access issue as an agenda item has drawn substantial public comment from residents.   

The article link is posted below.  
Online comments are squarely placing the responsibility for this issue and the divisiveness within the community on the Mayor.  

Lake Access Floats  As one citizen states:

“If there is litigation, and I don’t know if there will be … I’d be concerned the city might be dragged into it,” Hoffman said. “At this point, I don’t anticipate the city being a primary defendant if someone were to file a lawsuit asserting the waters of Oswego Lake were public.”
If the mayor was REALLY that concerned he would let Todd Prager go! The mayor put Mr. Prager in his position and it is clear to me that Mr. Prager is abusing his role on the Planning Commission for his own personal ideology. What possible benefits would come from opening up the lake (even if one could) to all of the public? I think the citizens of the city are privy to the facts, and that the mayor has a bigger role in this than he wants the public to believe.

In another viewpoint an article published yesterday provides additional information with a position that the lake should be open only to LO residents who pay a fee.   The position can be found at:  Public Access

We expect to see much more controversy over the issue as the Council and others become involved.  Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Monday, February 20, 2012

City Council to Give Public Access to the Lake a "Green Light"?

To All COLA LO Members,

Well today its been annoucned that the city council has placed the lake access issue on its agenda for its meeting on Tuesday!   Since Mayor Hoffman controls the agenda its pretty obvious that there may be another agenda in play.   

Its just another highly divisive issue thats been taken up by the planning commision and driven by this administration.   

The announcement was brought to us by members reading the LO review online today....Lake Access Floats to the Agenda

In the process its again alienating another large segment of the Lake Oswego community, namely Lake Corporation shareholders and owners of easements on the lake.     At the same time its also pandering to a larger population that either wants access for free or sees the opportunity for large legal fees through litigation of the issue.   If the city doenst say NO its effectively a "Green Light"  under the Hoffman administration.   

At what point will the community just say enough?    Does this sound like another sensitive lands program behind closed doors with most just being awaken to the issue?   At what point does the interest of individual property owners become a core value of this administiration? 

We are receiving a number of emails and calls from members regarding the issue and their concerns over the ongoing direction of the city.  

Is this a "lame duck" program of the Hoffman Administration?  We are being asked this question by members and community leaders.  

It's a sad statement on the ongoing direction and leadership in the city.

Please notify all members, contacts and friends.   

Oregonian Poltifact Takes on the Lake Oswego Corporation?

To All COLA LO Members,
Once again the Lake Access issue comes under scrutiny by the Oregonian political staff.    This week after a prominent leader of the Lake Corp stated that people could gain access to the Lake by buying homes for $150K the Oregonian decided it was news worthy enough to question his credibility.  

 The simple statement made by community and lake corp leader Doug Thomas Lake Access was:
“We’re not exclusive,” he said. “There are homes for sale on and around the lake right now for under $150,000 that anyone is welcome to buy.”
The Poltiifact article can be found at Really Get an LO Home for $150K?

While in the end the article rules it is half true, its a blatant attempt to invigorate the debate on public access to the lake which is being promoted by special interest groups.   Because the Oregonian decided condos were not homes they rated it half true rather than full true.  

At what point do special interests and political positions overcome journalism?  A Condo is not a home for somebody that wants Lake access?  Is the intent here really to stoke the fires of controversy regarding lake access or just to verify the general nature of a statement?  

We leave it to the readers to decide.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

Blogger discovers that Urban Planning Blog is coming from Mtn Park?

To All COLA LO Members,

In one of the strangest situations of memory it appears that an Urban Planning blogger is using a Mtn Park IP address to post negative comments and take political positions.  

This was discovered by blogger Jack Bogdanski over the weekend.    

The blogger who posts to Urban Planning Overlord has posted many degrading comments regarding the Bog Blog.  So with some research it was discovered that the blog posting is coming from an IP associated with the Mtn Park HOA as reported by Jack Bogdanski.  

Here is the bloggers posted position on our old friend the Streetcar
 A good idea ruined

Since many of our members reside in Mtn Park, it might be informative to review the Bog posting here:  UPO is in Mtn Park

Online many comments are speculating that the author of the blog is actually a city employee within the planning department.    In any case both bloggers take well defined positions involving issues which will impact the city.  

We thought this information might be of interest to members.    

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Is Clackamas County in Full Revolt?

To all COLA LO Members,

This week a column in the Oregonian posted that Clackamas County is in full revolt against the edicts being forced upon them by elected officials and METRO.   

It seems that Lake Oswego is part of a much larger effort todirect our elected officials focus and their decisions toward good governance.   

Much of the effort has been centered on light rail and mass transit projects but also on fee/tax increases without a vote.   

The article can be found at:  Grass-roots Rebellion?.

While residents in Lake Oswego have been deeply frustrated by the current administration, it seems other cities have encountered similar problems.  

The article provides for some interesting reading and quotes LO City Councilor Mary Olson who is stepping out of her Council role to sponsor a petition drive against light rail without a county wide vote.

The results of the petition drive can be found in the Oregonian today at the following:  Set for September.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

Lake Access Issue - Will the Planning Commission Force a Legal Battle?

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the LO review reported on the recent planning commission efforts to promote public access to the Lake.   

Despite overwhelming oppostion by Lake residents and others it appears the planning commision will continue to move forward with the agenda.    

Its clear that the issue is very divisive within the community and Lake residents will challenge any attempt to promote public acceess.   

However the planning commision continues to move forward with a defined agenda on addressing the issue within the comprehensive plan and also possibly zoning the lake itself for the first time.    One has to wonder what the real agenda is here in terms of taxpayer resources and staff time.   

Many now believe that the agenda is dedicated toward special interests and promoting a legal battle which will drain taxpayer funds from the city.    Naturally the special interests and attorneys will benefit from such a battle at the taxpayers expense.

At what point do personal agendas begin to conflict with community interests?   Thats becoming a question many in the community are now asking as they see an ongoing battle over personal property rights with appointed officials and city staff once again moving in the wrong direction.    Given the disheartening level of divisiveness over the direction of this administration, its becoming clear that this issue may actually galvanize the community.  

The article can be found at: PLanning will Dive Into Lake

Please notify all members, contacts and friends of this critical issue within the community......

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Portland Blogger says "No Streetcar, Why not a Bike Path?"

To All COLA LO Members,

A local Portland blog has posted a concept that many in the community have been asking for several years.   Why waste $2 million in streetcar expenditures?   Why not use the effort and the studies to create a bike path on the right of way to Portland?   

What a novel concept.   Why hasn't our City council considered or addressed the issue after spending millions of taxpayer dollars?   Could it be that they don't want to develop a bike path as it would interfere with their long term intent to resurrect the Streetcar?    That's been a common rumor in the community.

However the post ion the blog has some merit and is a good one for many residents to review.   It can be found at:  No Streetcar Means a Bikeway?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Planning Commision Continues to Entertain Public Access to the Lake.

To All COLA LO members,

This week the Planning Commission continued to entertain the concept of opening up the Lake to Public access despite the recommendation form a work group.   

Its becoming clear that this is another highly divisive issue within Lake Oswego and that resolution may require legal action costing taxpayers and draining resources.  

The Oregonian published details of the meeting this week and it can be found at LO Planning Commission Pushes.   Its clear this issue may also be part of another personal agenda which distracts the community.  

Let;s see where this all goes, but its clear that the issue has become a focal point in 2012.    What is also clear is that the issue has been given a "green light" by the current administration.   

Please notify all members, contacts and friends. 
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