Thursday, May 31, 2012

Councilor Mike Kehoe Publishes Election Opinion in Oregonian

To all COLA LO Members,

Lake Oswego City Councilor Mike Kehoe published an article this week regarding the upcoming elections in November.    It asks voters to pay close attention to the actual actions of candidates rather than the election cycle "spin".  

The article provides an interesting perspective form a sitting city councilor.  

As many residents know COLA LO endorsed Mike Kehoe in the 2010 election.  

In the article Councilor Kehoe states:

As elected officials, I believe that we are given the privilege of serving the citizens, while carefully listening to their valuable input and desires. Unfortunately, in my nearly two years on council, some have stated that their belief is that we are elected for our vision and for the ability to go forth and manage the city as council desires. This council has been more divisive than any that I recall, but in my opinion this is because some on council have resolutely refused to listen to the citizens and simply continued to pursue their own agendas.

A misnomer sometimes stated by local officials is that we must have development to increase tax revenues to meet our growing city costs. As a businessman, I find this type of statement completely at odds with reality and common sense. We cannot grow our way out of an expense problem. We can, however, manage our budget more carefully and focus on city essential services — the true duty of government — rather than continuing to find new and exciting projects we can claim are the duty of government.

The article can be found at:  Voters should pay close attention.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Clackamas County Sheriff Roberts Says Light Rail Brings Crime

To All COLA LO Members,

Just as many residents know too well it seems our county Sheriff in public testimony believes light rail and its impacts brings crime to the community.   

This comes as no surprise to many residents of Lake Oswego as it was a major issue when the Streetcar was proposed and opponents cited ongoing statistics showing a 56% increase in police calls at Clackamas Town Center.   Light Rail Crime , Crime Train , LO Crime Train , Metro Response on Crime Train , Light Rail Crime Stats

Now Sheriff Roberts has publicly made his views known in testimony before the clackamas county commissioners.    IN his testimony Sheriff Roberts stated: 

I am neither in favor, nor opposed, to the expansion of mass transit — provided that sufficient resources are made available to ensure the safety of the public. However, the budget implications of this decision [to fund the proposed MAX line] concern me deeply............
After making do for years with innovative cost cutting — as well as reductions in the training we provide for our deputies and other measures — last year we had to eliminate 18 FTE and had our first layoff in more than a decade. Having twice voted to support a public safety levy, this is clearly not the direction the citizens of Clackamas County want to see for their Sheriff’s Office.
The construction of the Orange Line may well be a worthwhile public project. However, it does not exist in a vacuum — moving ahead with light rail will mean moving backwards on public safety, and likely other basic services to county residents.
I urge you to recognize that the initial planning for this project was developed years ago, when the local and national economy were much stronger. Since then, our economic situation has deteriorated drastically, and so I urge you to take a fresh look at whether or not this project is still in the county’s best financial interest before the full-funding grant agreement is signed.

Ironically readers will not find this statement or any significant reporting of the issues in the Oregonian or other newspapers.    We cannot say why but many imply its counter to the dominant party line in Portland.   Given the statistics and recent experience its hard to see how the politicians can continue to promote massively expensive projects without voter approval.   Sheriff Sides with Clackastani Rebels

At the same time the Clackamas County Sheriffs Department has been overwhelmingly supported by County residents.   In the November 2011 Election voters supported a public safety level to fund the sheriffs office with a 75% approval rate.   Election results Measure 3-378.

This came at the same time voters in Clackamas County overwhelming rejected other measures and the direction of county government.   Its clear the Sheriff has substantial support in the community.

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Citizens Irate Over Lawsuit?

To All COLA LO Members,

This week as it was announced that a planning commission member is suing the city of Lake Oswego and indirectly its residents, citizens began to weigh in with their opinions.  

It appears that residents aren't too happy that an appointed member of an important board can file a lawsuit against the people they are representing.   

One citizen posted online this week:
Me, my husband, my neighbors that I have spoken with, and even my kids in high school who overheard us talking, have all said the same thing- "how can Prager sue the very people that he has been hired to represent?" How can Mr. Prager legally, morally or ethically sue the people that he was appointed to serve? Conflict of interest is an understatement here!For Mr. Prager to ask for a jury trial to inflict the maximum amount of pain and cost against the defendant (us tax paying citizens of Lake Oswego), and then for Mr. Prager to accuse the city that he works for of gross misconduct- say what? Mr. Prager openly trespassed onto private property and took a swim from a city banned location from a City owned Park and then boasted about breaking and violating a Park Rule and he wants to be held in high regard as a trusted council member with a great amount of power, while exposing his character of openly boasting about breaking "his" City's Rules? This aside, Mr. Prager then has the audacity to sue his constituents, and we should all stand by and have this kind of an immoral individual represent our interests? Ethics and morals have no place in Mr. Prager's vocabulary. Mr. Prager certainly cares nothing about his constituents’ desires or wishes and he has no regard for the City of Lake Oswego's rules. Mr. Prager needs to be brought before the state and before an ethics committee for his egregious actions. Mr. Prager scares me and I don't trust a thing about this man. What is his true agenda? I think that Mr. Prager wants public lake access, so that he then can outlaw power boats on the lake because it would become overcrowded and unsafe, so that he can then have his personal rowing club for him and his buddies, at a huge cost to this City and its citizens. Mr. Prager has already exhibited that he doesn't care what the citizens of this fine City care about or think. Mr. Prager is a loose cannon and he is extremely dangerous. Why is Mr. Prager not being ticketed $1200 for his boasting about his trespassing into the Lake from prohibited Park access? Why is Mr. Prager allowed to still be a representative of the citizens of this City? This is a conflict of interest to sue the people you were appointed to represent. What a joke!!!  "Bring Prager before the State on Ethics Violations"

Some details of the lawsuit can be found at LO Lawsuit - Lake Access . Access.  and also Federal Lawsuit..  We leave it to the readers to make up their own minds on the merits of the arguments and the public comments.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Willamette Week Reports Lawsuit against City of Lake Oswego and its Residents is "Pro Bono"

To All COLA LO Members,

It appears that the lawsuit brought by a planning commission member is "pro bono" per the WW this past week.   So the city of LO will pay legal expenses to defend itself while the planning commissioner sues the city with a "free ride".    Citizens continue to ask is this a conflict of interest?

Its an interesting circumstance worthy of review.  The article with details including the suit can be found at:
Heads to Federal Court.  

 Its an important issue as Lake Oswego now has appointed officials filing lawsuits against the entire community on somebody else's dime!  

At what point does this situation demand action?  

Clearly the community presented a unified position as did the city council over this issue.   We leave it up to the readers to decide what is appropriate and if the actions of those involved represent conflicts.  

The article mentions both Mayor Jack Hoffman and Councilor Bill Tierney as being contacted to discus the lawsuit.   Many believe Mayor Hoffman actually invited a lawsuit with his comments over the course of the discussion on lake access.   That may not be a common opinion but its certainly being mentioned within the community.

It will be interesting to see how vigorously the city defends itself and its residents over the course of the situation.  

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

Friday, May 25, 2012

LO Planning Commisioner Sues City of Lake Oswego!

To All COLA LO Members,

This week a member of the planning commission filed a lawsuit against the city of Lake Oswego to open up access to the Lake. 

After the planning commision, City Council, and citizens agreed on the issue and against his original recommendation to consider public access last year, the commision member disagreed and filed the lawsuit.

Details on the lawsuit can be found at:  Federal Lawsuit against City by Planning Commisioner and City Faces Lawsuit.   

Bloggers are now also picking up on the issue with interesting comments online by residents:   Oswego Lake Access

Residents are already questioning how a sitting member of the planning commission can sue the city and the potential conflict of interest.   They are also questioning who is to blame for the situation given the community agreement on the issue. 

We leave it to the readers to make their own decisions.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends on this important issue.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

City Council Proposes Bond Measures & Considers Selling Lake Access Park Lands

To All COLA LO Members,

Last week our city council approved placing two bonds on the ballot this fall.   One was for $14 million to pay for a new Library as part of the North Anchor project downtown and the other was for $ 5 million to start the process of implementing the Lake Grove Village Center Plan possibly under a new Urban Renewal district.  

The council voted 5-2 to place the bonds on the ballot.   It will be interesting to see how the ballot measures perform at the ballot box.   COLA LO will take a position on the measures.   LO Ballot Measures 

At the same time it appears the city may sell park land it owns on the lake to the Lake Corp.    There is a lot of speculation on the motivation of this decision and it will be discussed at a future council meeting.   The details of the announcement can be found at Council Selling Park Land?  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blogger & Public Think LO Review "Shut Down" Public Comment

To All COLA LO Members,

In a recent post a local blogger is asking what has happened to the online comment and public opinion section of our local newspaper.  

The blogger provides some interesting theories as do the online comments from the public.   What's Up with the LO Review?

Several members of the community have commented that they believe the LO Review has shut down the online opinion section due to pressure from our local public officials and special interest groups. 

Do we have censorship right here in Lake Oswego?

Its an interesting theory worthy of further review.   Notably the online comments in the above blog post all mention the fact that the online opinion section and public comments were ceased just before the primary election and some key issues within Lake Oswego. 

Its no secret that the bulk of online comments were often not very flattering in terms of citizens views regarding this administration.   That fact lends some logical credibility to the theory claim many of the interested parties.  

We leave up to readers to decide what has actually happened to the local press ately.   Readers can always contact the editor and publisher and ask for the facts.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blogger Comments on Councilor Moncrieff Award

To All COLA LO Members,

This past week a local blogger recognized Councilor Moncrieff for her award as part of the comprehensive plan effort.    As many know LO is going through a multi-year effort to update its comprehensive plan at a cost of approximately $1.2 million.   

The award was presented by the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association.  

While the conclusion of the local blogger may be subject to review we thought it was important to bring the news to our members.    The blog post can be found at Streetcar Mom Blog.

It's ironic that all this comes at a time when its becoming ever more apparent that the streetcar isn't dead with the recent Portland Mayoral results and the photo of Mr. Williams on stage with one of the winning candidates.     

We leave it to the reader to make their own conculsions.   

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

North Anchor Project Draws More Public Comment

To all COLA LO Members,

Last week the LO Review published an article on the city efforts to continue to move forward on the North Anchor project.    It was an interesting article updating citizens on the efforts under LORA.   The article can be found at:  City Inches Forward

Ironically the online public comment was strongly against the city's efforts as citizens expressed concern over the debt, direction, and the lack of a public vote on the efforts.  

As one resident states online:  

They keep piling it on. The debt I mean. Doesn't anyone on the council get it? We don't NEED what they are proposing. STOP SPENDING AND BORROWING BEFORE YOU BREAK THE BACKS OF LAKE OSWEGANS!   "Not buying it!"

Its an interesting issue and we leave it to individual residents to decide their views on the project and its impacts on the community. 

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Clackamas County Election Results are In (with some surprises)

To All COLA LO Members,

Clackamas County Election Results are in and the results provide some surprises with a clear direction overall.   The details can be found at the County Clerks election results page County Election Results.  

 It seems one decision has been made and two seats will have a runoff with distinct candidates in the Fall.   this provides county residents with another opportunity to identify the direction of the county and the priorities. 

  1. Martha Schrader won a seat with 51.9% of the vote beating Jim Knapp with 30%.
  2. John Ludlow with 28.7% will face incumbent Charlotte Lehan with 26.7% of the vote.
  3. Tootie Smith with 35.1% of the vote will face incumbent Jamie Damon with 36.2% of the vote.  
The fall race for the county commissioner's seats will provide some interesting insight into the mindset of Clackamas County voters.    The Oregonian provides a perspective on the race in a recent article Clackamas County Divided.

Thanks to all the COLA LO members that participated in the election by submitting their ballots or volunteering for a candidate's campaign.   

It appears voter turnout was approximately 35%  Please notify all members, contacts, and friends...

More Proof Streetcar isnt Dead

To All COLA LO members,

Last week former City Council Candidate David Jorling published an article in the Oregonian supporting light rail and lambasting opponents of light rail in clackamas county.    In the article he labels opponents as "obstructionists" .    In the article he states:

"In Clackamas County, a vocal group of obstructionists, significantly funded by an industrialist from Nevada, Americans for Prosperity and some wealthy citizens of an unincorporated enclave in Dunthorpe and Riverdale, are stopping transit projects from being done. They will spread their opposition to Washington County so it can join Clackamas County in a race to the bottom.

We must reject these obstructionists and move forward with transit alternatives. Our economic health depends on it."

Mr. Jorling ran for city council in 2010 and placed last in the voting.   It was fairly clear the voters rejected the ideas presented in his campaign but rumors persist that he is considering another run for council.   We suggest all members read the article to gain more insight into the opinions presented Rail Opponents Threaten.

Its clear the 2012 City Council race will be vital to the long term direction of Lake Oswego.    We encourage everyone to stay informed.  

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


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vote Today - County Race is Important

To All COLA LO members,

Please ensure you have mailed your ballots as of last Friday.   If you have not voted or completed your ballot, call a COLA board member who can pick up your ballot and drop them into a drop box.  

Members may also deposit ballots into a drop box themselves.  There is a drop box located at the Library 706 4th Street  Lake Oswego, OR 97034 (Main Number: 503.636.7628).

The latest estimate is that the turnout for this election will be in the 40-45% range which is one of the lowest in history.   Lowest Turnout in Modern State History.   That means every vote will be critical to teh outcome.   

The oregonian reports that the Clackamas County Commissioner's races are a highlight of this election with a strong battle brewing amongst amny candidates for different seats.   This is critical to LO residents as there is a potentail for change in the fall election.   Spectators Guide.

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


COLA LO Board Member Publishes Budget Article

To All COLA LO Members,

Last week board member Dave Berg published an article in the LO Review on budget issues and feedback he has received from the community.    The article can be found in the 5/10/12 issue of the Review.   Unfortunately the LO Review is not posting Opinion articles on its blog site LO Review Opinion any longer.  

As many residents know the opinion online was very active but mysteriously its now disappeared as the election approaches.  

 Several members have questioned the reasons for this decision? 

 However the text of the article can be found below.   Please notify all members, contacts, and friends...

Citizens now realize what Lake Oswego can really afford?

“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.” - Will Rogers

Last year I wrote an article with the following statement:  “the new council will be making difficult decisions in the next 1-3 years which will be harder if we keep doing things the same and expecting the outcome to change”.  I cited all the projects on the table, their cumulative cost of  $200+ million, and that the cost of these projects exceeded $12,900 for every household in the city!     

This statement received a lot of public comment and began a community discussion about priorities.   It’s a healthy discussion and has been insightful.   Not only in how much agreement there is on core priorities but also how little understanding there was on actual city spending.  The more we inform the community the more a strong consensus is evident.  

We now know what the city can really afford.   How?   Last month our city manager released a budget  message which is realistic and reminds us of the difficult decisions ahead.  Basically the budget document says that general fund revenue is not growing while the cost of labor is growing significantly.   Much of that expenditure growth is outside our control,  unless we are willing to reduce our city staff.    I have written extensively on the size of our staff,  but reductions in staff, are not the only answer  to our situation.

Why?  We need to stop spending our general funds on projects which aren’t required.   That not only saves expenditures but also gives us the flexibility to preserve our core services.   I don’t think citizens in Lake Oswego want to cut our police or fire personnel.   I do know they certainly don’t want to cut our maintenance personnel and watch our streets degrade any further.   So it’s time to eliminate the “nice to have” political  projects and refocus on the “must have” core services. 

Unfortunately that just doesn’t seem to be as politically appealing as the “visionary concepts” that have cost us millions lately.     Especially when considering the fact that needing those wasted millions to preserve core services has been politically ignored for years.   We will continue to see the cost of this misdirection well into the future. 

Beware of those that ask for tax and fee increases to preserve everything under “services”.   That’s a philosophy we have observed for the last decade and it’s a bankrupt strategy.   In this philosophy, the term “services” is often used and its purposely generic. Why?   It doesn’t force us to identify our priorities and allows  the political establishment to implement a do everything “tax and spend” approach.   The bottom line is that’s not effective, other than in growing local government, until we can no longer afford it.  

When I asked “how far the millions for the Foothills study, Streetcar, or the WEB could go toward core services”  many recognized the true cost of those decisions.  We should have allocated those funds toward building our reserves and funding core services.   Unfortunately that’s what we really could afford rather than wasting them on special interests.  It’s time for a change.

Thank you for all your comments and please continue to call or email at    Our community needs your views and solutions. 

Dave Berg is a 21 year resident of Lake Oswego and a board member of COLA LO. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Portland Survey Shows Voter Priorities?

To All COLA LO Members,

In a recent survey Portland residents overwhelmingly told local government that they want their City Council to focus on core services and stop spending in specific areas. 

In a response that was very similar to the Streetcar?transportation survey Streetcar Survey voters are illustrating a strong set of priorities which does not conform to the direction taken by their elected representatives.   

The details can be found a new article in the Oregonian this week Portland Should Fix Streets

The results were insightful in that residents favored reducing expenditures on light rail and bike lanes which is a direct rejection of the current direction in both Portland and Lake Oswego.   

It seems the voters have a clearly defined set of priorities.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

County Commisioner Candidate Contributions are Surprising

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the Oregonian reviewed Orestar reports and provided its readers with some insight on the campaign contributions to candidates for the Clackamas County Commission. 

Several candidates have raised substantial sums from large donors in this primary.  

It all leads to the inevitable question of how much influence these donors will have on the candidates that eventually win the election?  

The article can be found at Commissioner Candidate Contributions

We leave it to individual readers to make up their own conclusions from the data.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends. 

Blog Claims Oregonian "Harsh" on County Candidates

To All COLA LO Members,

This week a blogger posted a critique of the Oregonians recent articles on County Commissioner candidates and their backers.  Its an interesting point of view given that the "Clackastani Rebellion" seems to be in full swing within Clackamas County.  

The blog post can be found at Rebels in Harsh Spotlight.and refers to the article Splits Clackamas County.

We leave it up to readers to make their own decisions on the two perspectives.    One thing is clear is that the citizens in the county are not happy with the commission at this time. 

Please notify all members, candidates, and friends.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

To All COLA LO Members,

Is the Clackamas County Commission moving toward a more conservative stance?  

That's the subject of a recently released article in the Oregonian.   It seems the Clackastani rebellion is in full swing with residents demanding more responsible representation and a greater focus on key areas of concern to residents.   Its an interesting change within the county but its driven by broad level bipartisan support. 

The article can be found at Commissioner races give county a conservative tilt.

The Oregonian also reported over the weekend that a particular PAC is heavily involved in the election and is actually splitting Clackamas County Conservative voters.    Splits County Conservatives.

Whether all of this is true or comes to fruition will be known after the May 15th election results are determined by the voters.   In any case its clear that Clackamas County is becoming a political "hot spot" for the area.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Sunday, May 6, 2012

To all COLA LO Members,

The race for Clackamas County Commission continues to heat up with the Oregonian recently publishing a list of the candidates and the issues involved.  

Ironically in a non-partisan race the Oregonian provides party associations and and details on PAC support for only a narrow set of candidates.   The details can be found at Cooperation at Stake.  This is interesting  since the Oregonian endorsed Savas as Chair but then endorsed a sitting commisioner and Martha Schrader.  

The blogs are also providing some input on the thoughts of local voters as seen in Clackistan.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Blogs & Online Comment Continue to Question Foothills Project

To All COLA LO Members,

This past week a local blog seriously questioned the viability of the Foothills project.   The details can be found at The Other Zombie.  

Basically the blog is suggesting that local elected officials just wont let a bad project die.  Citizens are wondering how much more this project will cost them from there general funds in  a time when roads need some serious improvement. 

Additional information and public comment can be found at Council Moves Ahead.   It seems the public at large is not happy with the ongoing effort and expenditures.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

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