Saturday, June 30, 2012

Several Articles Provide Insight on City Budget & Priorities

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the LO Review published several articles on the recently approved City Budget for FY 12/13.  

The first article was written by the citizens budget committee chair Kent Studebaker.    The article describes how the perceptions of what is needed in Lake Oswego differ.    The article Perceptions Seem to Differ provide some insight into the inner workings of the budget committee and the history of this latest budget process.  

In the same issue board member Dave Berg drafted an article about the recent budget decisions and what they may mean to the residents of our city.   In the article What does our city budget tell us?  Dave attempts to simplify the budget and describe what the final decisions mean to all of us.   

Both articles provide for interesting reading and some insight into the key issues regarding spending and taxes in our city...

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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

O'Neill Announces Run for City Council

To All COLA LO Members,

This week Skip O'Neill announced he will be running for city council this fall.  

 Many COLA LO board and advisory board members were aware of his candidacy but it had not been formally announced until this week.   Details of the announcement can be found at Skip O'Neill Announces.

Mr. O'Neill is a long time resident and local business owner.   He is also a former official with the Lake Corporation.  

Please notify all members,contacts, and friends.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

City Council Approves Budget 4-3

To All COLA LO Members,

This past week the city council approved a revised budget after a second public hearing as required by Oregon Law.   

In a vote of 4-3 after deliberations the council voted to go against the Citizens Budget Committee recommended budget and increase property taxes.   

There are several articles on the decision including online comments.    They can be found at Approves Budget and Second Hearing?

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

High Density Housing & The Creative Class Myth

To All COLA LO Members,

This week a number of conflicting articles came out regarding two primary tenants of the Urban renewal paradigm.    The first is a blogger article on the the fallacy of the "creative class" that was supposed to create additional economic development in Portland and other "hip" cities.  

The article can be found at:   Fall of the Creative Class.   So the younger families and residents that are supposed to move into high density housing and save urban renewal development either a myth or the trend may be over.  

At the same time an article claims that the high density demographic shift is still in full force and that older residents want to move into condos Development Follows Shift.

At some point the facts are the facts and one has to wonder.   As early as 2009 Portland was admitting that The creative class = no growth in jobs

Another blogger has comments on the actual drivers which seem to remain education not "creative"Creative Class Economics.

WW has made its own take on the jobs picture after a local consulting firm reported that the creative class economic development model was a failure  Future of Jobs in Portland.

Residents have to wonder how this all plays into the Foothills Development project,  the Streetcar, and all the millions in taxpayer funds spent on these projects over the past few years.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blogger Hits Back at LO Housing & "Equity"

To all COLA LO Members,

This past week a local blogger hit back hard at the "spin" of the Oregonian and the ongoing effort to position LO in terms of "equity".     The article can be found at LO Apartment Bunkers for Equity.

Its an interesting perspective on the current city council's direction and the potential impact of the millions spent on foothills and streetcar.  

It seems the full spin machine has been unleashed to attempt to make LO residents feel bad that they live in a very unique community.   Never mind the value of their homes as they consider the spin on "equity".   

Please notify all friends, members, and contacts.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

More Details on LO Real Estate & Prices

To All COLA LO Members,

Zillow has published more details on the impact of council decisions and the published articles about affordability in Lake Oswego.    The latest information is available on the following link:   LO Home Values.  It appears the current policies in the city and ongoing discussions about affordable housing are having a negative impact on home values.  

Over the past year home values have declined 3.8%   Interestingly they have declined more in the 97034 zip code than the 97035 zip code (Lake Grove).  

One has to wonder if all the investment by the city in the downtown area and the ongoing efforts to promote affordable high density development are hurting the area?   Trulia provides additional information on the market Trulia LO Overview .   

All of the details provide very real insight into our community.    Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Oregonian Columnist Talks "Down" Lake Oswego Real Estate with Support of Mayor Hoffman?

To All COLA LO Members,

This week Oregonian Columnist Steve Duin released an interesting article on LO and its Housing costs.    Basically saying that the only affordable housing supported by the community is for senior citizens.  

In the article he supports low income affordable housing being built in our community and obviously the lowering of real estate values.    He claims this will solve the issue of lower school enrollments.  

Duin Claims Mayor Jack Hoffman supports this conclusion and believes in placing the affordable housing in the Foothills Development project.    The ongoing battle to try to force high density low income social engineering on the Lake Oswego community continues.   

And people wonder why there is so much concern over "Portland Creep" ?  
For some time now citizens have been discussing a deep rooted concern that the current city council is focused on lowering property values in the city to expand the tax base by developing  more affordable high density housing.  This plan is combined with bringing the streetcar to make LO more like Gresham and South Waterfront.

This article can be found at LO Housing Attitude.   The thin veil of suspicion has been pulled off this backroom strategy and its not pleasant.   It begins to show the social engineering plans of the political elite toward our community and the consequence in terms of property values over time.   Resident keep wondering why home values in LO continue to decline despite a very high tax rate and cost of local services.   

Its no wonder when potential buyers believe "affordable" low income housing will be coming to town in a community.    Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dan Williams Annnounces Second Run for City Council.

To All COLA LO Members,

This week Dan Williams announced he will run for city council in the fall.  Dan ran in 2010 and narrowly lost to Donna Jordan by a little over 500 votes.   As many COLA members know Dan Williams and COLA endorsed him in 2010, little needs to be said about his candidacy.

Dan is only the second council candidate to announce early in the race but COLA is aware of a multitude of potential candidates and it appears there will be a full slate for the fall 2012 election.  

The announcement was made in the LO Review and can be read at:  Williams Enters.   His website can be found at Dan Williams

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Friday, June 8, 2012

Residents Discuss New Budget & Council Decision

To All COLA LO Members,  

The City Council voted on a new budget this week after receiving the recommended budget form the Citizens Budget Committee.   The council voted 4-3 to reverse the recommendation to leave property taxes flat this year, effectively increasing property taxes.  

Details can be found in several articles:   City Council Overturns Budget and City Council Sends Budget Back.  

Residents testified during the budget process for five weeks during April - May.    It will be interesting to observe the community reaction to the changes and the perception of the council's direction.  

Some comments from the council meeting include:  

Budget Committee Chairman Kent Studebaker and Vice Chairman David Berg told the council the recommended plan resulted from many hours spent analyzing city finances.
“We do not think this is an austere budget,” Studebaker said. “There were no program cuts. We did try to rein in costs in the personnel area by getting an agreement from the city manager to cut personnel costs by $350,000.”
“We believe overall this is a very balanced budget,” Berg said. “It not only provides our residents with relief on taxes, but it also begins to address some of the long-term issues facing the city.”
Berg added that he felt citizens bringing funding requests to the committee generally understood there were limited resources to pay for extra projects like new artificial turf on one of the school district’s sports fields.
Former committee member Dan Williams also spoke in favor of the recommended budget, including the property tax reduction.
“The dollar amount might not be large, but the message is,” he said.

The Council meeting can be observed at the following site LO City Council June 5 Meeting.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blogger Identifies the Next Big LO Project to Increase your Fees/Taxes!

To All COLA LO Members,

This week a local blogger identified the next big major investment project that will increase the debt of LO residents.   Its the Wastewater treatment plant which will be promoted as needing modification or replacement to enhance the foothills project.   

The City currently has $16 million in reserve funds to begin to evaluate the plant but its not enough to address the anticipated plans of the current  council.    

 The blog article can be found at:  LO Pump Station

Some of the online comments are very interesting.    They include:

Yeah, a park that rail mafia member and former Mayor Judie Hammerstad had built and named for herself, in anticipation of her Foothills development and streetcar "vision."
And a vote for Greg Macpherson will be a vote for the return of the streetcar, more urban renewal slush funds for developers, and a continuance of the Judie Hammerstad and Jack Hoffman "new urban" agenda for Lake Oswego. Macpherson was hand picked to run for Mayor by Judie Hammerstad after she deep-sixed Jack's re-election plans because he was on a fast track to losing big-time. Macpherson may have a less arrogant and obnoxious personality, but his policies will be just as detrimental to Lake Oswegans. Count on it. Posted by realitybasedliberal | June 4, 2012 3:22 PM

Sounds to me like LO is being "guided" towards giving up its independence and autonomy to Portland.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Real Agenda - Oregonian Advocates Low Income Housing In Lake Oswego. Now We Know!

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the Oregonian finally disclosed the real agenda behind so many efforts these past few years.   Lake Oswego doesn't have the low income housing that the political elites suggest we simply must have according to the Portland rules!

In its latest article it shows the real agenda Low Cost Housing Shutout amid Riches in Lake Oswego and West Linn. 

Now we know why all the emphasis on streetcar, foothills,  and other projects.  Just to make Lake Oswego like Portland and to lower our property values with high density, low income, section 8 housing.   

The direction is clear and its highly political.  

 More low income affordable housing is the political objective of those pushing higher density development in Lake Oswego and other communities.  Is this the "Dark secret" behind the Foothills project promoted by the Mayor and City Council? 

No wonder the voters in Clackamas County are up in arms over the ongoing political direction of the elected leaders.,   At what point do we have to say enough of the crazy social spin being forced on residents?

Never mind that most of the homeowners bought their homes and worked hard to earn enough to afford to live in the community!  The Fall elections are coming and it will be very interesting to see how voters respond to the social agenda being promoted in Lake Oswego. 

Please notify all members contacts and Friends. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

What's Going On In Clackamas & Lake Oswego - The Blue Perspective.

To All COLA LO Members,

This week Blue Oregon published some insight into how the clackastani revolt is being perceived in terms of partisan politics.  

The article provides some insight from a partisan perspective:   Drinking Tea in Clackamas?.  

The perspective posted on Blue Oregon refers to a recent article in the Portland Mercury Checkpoint Clackamas which defines Lake Oswego and the county as ground zero in the revolt.  

Both articles provide an interesting perspective from a purely partisan point of view. 

What they ignore is the overwhelming number of democrats and independents that are a core part of the clackastani revolt.  Denial is a powerful motivator and it appears the article try to paint a partisan stripe to a truly grass roots movement.    Still both articles provide a unique perspective and insight.

The Portland Mercury article quotes LO City Councilor Mary Olson:

At first, Lake Oswego City Councilor Mary Olson was circumspect about Portland's role in the Clackamas unrest—but then jumped at the chance to slay what she thought was a common misconception."It's not that the old hicks out in Clackamas County are afraid of change. Which is how [critics] portray it," she says. "It's more that citizens are feeling like they don't have a voice."They want to be able to weigh in on some of these decisions like light rail or more density or zoning, or whatever. I'm a good example of that."

Olson, who helped scuttle a streetcar extension to Lake Oswego, is on the front of the next big fight. She's listed as the director of a PAC called Clackamas Rail Vote. The group is raising cash for a September referendum that asks whether voters would like a say on funding for the Milwaukie light-rail line. If voters say yes, a second vote would be held, this time on whether to actually cancel the county's contribution.Like other measures, it's been getting vocal support from the local Tea Party chapter and big checks from establishment right-wing funders like the Oregon Transformation Project PAC and Loren Parks.

But Olson rejected the idea that her measure, or any others, need that help. She says it's about regular people from both political parties being fed up over how their tax dollars are spent."That's why these initiatives are passing by 70 percent. That's why candidates are winning," she says. "The rest of this year is going to be very telling."
Olson also says fears over Portland—and it's prizing of "frou-frou stuff" like rail and bike lanes over streets and potholes—play just a "tiny part" in what's happening. But Olson, who moved from Portland 20 years ago to give her kids better schools and bigger yards, also admits she wants to preserve Lake Oswego's "small-town character."
"We live where we live for certain reasons." But after she retires? "Maybe I'll go back to Portland."

As we proceed into the fall elections its important to look at all perspectives and identify what is best for our city.    We leave it to the reader to identify the validity of the perspectives in these sources. 

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Buford Trial Over!

To ALL COLA LO Members,

This week the Buford case went to trial in Clackamas County court.    The trial lasted three days and a verdict was rendered in the case yesterday.    The Jury found that Gary Buford was innocent of assaulting a police officer but was guilty on the remaining four counts including resisting arrest and related charges.   

Details can be found at the following link:  Jury Finds Buford Innocent.  and at Elderly LO Man.  Updated Oregonian article at Scuffle over Downed Trees

 During the trial many community leaders and residents supported Mr. Buford by wearing " I support Gary" buttons in the courtroom.   One current City Councilor testified on behalf of Mr. Buford.  

Its clear this case divided the community and produced concern over the role of the police department in a unique community like Lake Oswego.  

It further forced citizens to question the value in the tree code and how the city will respond to tree code enforcement situations with its residents.    

The case had substantial overtones of property rights which were not allowed in a criminal case.   

Its a very unique situation which brings out many of the issues of concern to the community of Lake Oswego.  

Citizens will certainly be contemplating what if any impact the case and the history will have on the fall elections.    Mr. Buford was actively critical of the current city council and Mayor.   

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

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