Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The New Agenda for a 2013 Council? (part one)

To All COLA LO Members,

Now that the election is over the community is wondering about the agenda for the new council. 

Lets take a look at what the candidates have told us during their interviews and more importantly what the voters have told the candidates!

There were two bond measures on the ballot this election and they received the most voter attention.

Voters stunningly defeated the library bond measure by 16%   More voters voted on this measure than any other item on the ballot.   Clearly the voters said no to not only more property taxes for a library but also to a library in a public/private real estate development partnership within an urban renewal district.   

So clearly the voters voted against both new taxes and urban renewal.    These two items will likely be at the top of the agenda for the new council.  LO added two new urban renewal districts last July for foothills and lake grove.    Will the new council unwind these districts and stop spending valuable taxpayer funds on them?  We think its very likely.   

At the same time the voters very narrowly passed a bond measure for Boone's ferry road improvements.    It passed by only 3% or 640 votes.    The proponents of the measure sold it as "safer streets"  for the area.    Unfortunately the measure was only $5 million and will likely not improve the streets but be spent on engineering.   

The narrow passing of the street measure shows that voters are leery of new taxes even for a core service like street improvement.   They support street improvement, especially on the westide, but they want the city to use its resources to accomplish improvements.  

So its very likely that the new council will have street improvement as a major agenda item but only using existing general funds to pay for the improvements.   We expect the new council will increase street improvement efforts by  transferring funds from other areas or doing more with less.
Given that the new Mayor has said that he plans to develop a strategic plan for the city with the new council its likely it will include both streets and redirecting urban renewal efforts.    The majority of the newly elected councilors also seem to favor less urban renewal by the city and more private development.  They also have all stated that roads are a critical function of the city.  Given this approach its likely that the new council will also focus on reducing the burden/regulations on business and attracting more private development in Lake Oswego.  

So more road work, less urban renewal, and attracting private development may be on the new agenda.    More to come in future posts........

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Election Results Provide Insight - Final Details

To All COLA LO Members,

The Official final election results are in from the county clerk.  

The details are providing some unique insight into the voters and their participation in the 2012 election.    The facts are very interesting when all the information has been gathered and analyzed in what may become one of the most unique elections in Lake Oswego History.  

Here are some basic insights.  

  • Kent Studebaker won the Mayoral election 9904 votes to 9751 votes (+153 votes) but lost in Multnomah county.  He won in both Clackamas and Washington county.  

  • Karen Bowerman won the popular vote for council with 10,358 votes and received 10.77% more votes than Skip O'Neill  who came in second.  

  • More voters voted for Mayor than for City Council this election! 

  • Many voters only voted for one or two candidates and chose not to vote for all three open council positions.

  • The most popular local issue on the ballot?  The Library bond measure was soundly defeated and had more voters participating than any other issue.

  • The second most popular local issue on the ballot?  The Boones Ferry bond measure had slightly less voters than the library bond and it narrowly passed by 640 votes.   

A detailed review of the election results clearly shows that residents are deeply concerned about their taxes and the direction of the community and its leadership. 

 It will be interesting to see how the new council addresses this communication from the voters.    Will it embrace the concern or will it continue the direction of past administrations?    Only time will tell but its clear the residents are watching and voting!

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Is the Mayor Elect a "Conservative" or Just Trying To Do a Better Job?

To All COLA LO Members,

This week Mayor Elect Kent Studebaker provided insight into his administration.  He did this through an interview with the local Oregonian reporter.  

It provides some insight into his plans for the city over the next four years.   

While COLA prefers the term fiscally responsible the Oregonian often uses the term "conservative"  for anyone or any group that doesn't advocate increased taxes and spending in local government.  Unfortunately they use this term in the article but its rejected by the Mayor elect.    

The article can be found at:   Meet LO's New Mayor.  

In general the comments on the article  are quite positive from residents who see Mayor Elect Studebaker as a welcome change in the community.  

These include comments on another popular local blog :  Changing of the Guard in LO.

Please notify all members, contacts and friends.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

COLA Board Member Article Describes the Election

To ALL COLA LO Members,

This week COLA board member Dave Berg published an article in the LO Review.   

The article follows up on an article he published two years ago after the 2010 election.     It describes the outcome of the 2012 local election and also what it means to many voters in Lake Oswego.  

2012 was a transformational election for Lake Oswego with bond measures both failing and narrowly passing.   The major event was fiscally responsible candidates winning a majority of the open council positions.  

The community will be evaluating the effects of this change in 2013 and accountability will be a major emphasis over the next two years.  

The article can be found at:   City continues its return to Good Governance.

Please inform all members, contacts, and friends.    

Friday, November 16, 2012

Is it Already Time for the New Council?

To All COLA LO Members,

The outgoing council continues to make decisions on water rates and utilities despite  its "lame duck"  status.   The majority of the council will be replaced in January after the recent election.    Residents are wondering why this council feels the need to raise rates and extend contracts despite the fact its been effectively voted out of office?

This past week the council in a 5-2 vote extended a 10 YEAR contract to allied waste for garbage services,  two years before the contract was due for renewal.   The prior reason stated by the vendor was they would rather deal with this council than the new one.    Bill Tierney received a contribution from allied waste during his run for council but effectively said there was no conflict of interest.  

Details can be found at Council Renews Allied Waste Contract.

The council is also discussing increasing waste water rates again and raising as much as $70 million in fees to support additional investment in the city's waste water system.    This come at a time when most of the new council members were elected on platforms to address the ever increasing water rates in the city.   

Its clear this council is not concerned with the residents strong feedback that water rates are now unacceptable.    Details on upcoming waste water rate increases can be found at Council to increase water rates?  

Residents are wondering if these are the last gasps of an administration trying all it can to raise fees, utility rates, and charges on a city before it leaves office?

Please notify all members, contacts and friends.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Unofficial Results of LO Election Provide Insight into the Concerns of Lake Oswego Residents

To All COLA LO Members,

The county clerks are still updating the election results as of yesterday but the unofficial final results are done.   A closer look at the  vote in Lake Oswego gives us deep insight into the election and the decisions by voters. 

In the mayors race:

              wac               mc                 total
Kent Studebaker 9161 2 627 97901520.78%
Greg Macpherson 8921 0 717 9638

It appears the final tally will show Studebaker winning as mayor elect by 152 votes or by 0.78% of the total.    A very close race indeed.  

In the council race:
                                             cc                wc         mc                          Total      Pct                  Above    
Karen B.951227361025020.35%1012
Skip O.8700538923818.34%17
Jon   G.86132606922118.31%625
Bill T.  80322562859617.07%667
Dan  W.7436493792915.74%2803
Terry  J.4766360512610.18%
 4705932955036016787 voted

In the council race Karen Bowerman overwhelmingly won the council election, while Skip O'Neill and Jon Gustafson followed closely near each other in total votes.    Far fewer residents voted in the council election than for mayor.    A close estimate is that approximately 2600 residents voted for mayor but under voted in the city council election.   

So where did all the voters go?

The answer is THE BOND MEASURES!


More residents voted on the Library Bond than any other aspect of this election locally.  

  • Almost 2000 more residents voted on the library measure than our MAYORS RACE! 
  • Almost 5000 more votes voted on the library bond than the COUNCIL Race.  

Its clear that residents of Lake Oswego are more concerned about their taxes/fees than anything else in terms of this election.  

That is something for the new council to think about over the next four years.   

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.    

Sunday, November 11, 2012

No Wonder Clackamas County Residents ousted the Incumbents!

To All COLA LO Members,

The Oregonian continues to report that the two Clackamas County commissioners  that lost to conservative candidates refuse to concede.

 Its just an other in an ongoing pattern of behaviors that supported the newcomers running for county commission.   

It contrasts dramatically with the LO Mayors race where the candidates conducted themselves admirably despite a very tight race and conceded when the outcome was obvious.    Its clear there are different codes of conduct amongst different types of candidates.  

The details can be found at:  NO concession from Chairwoman.  Its unbelievable that this outcome would come as any surprise to anyone following county politics.  After multiple measures passed from citizen initiatives and the majority on the county commission tried all they could to subvert the will of the voters and refuse them the right to vote.  

Lets just say the conduct was despicable by any standard and the voters recognized this completely.    That's why both Charlotte Lehan and Jamie Damon were ousted decisively despite partisan efforts to rally the base.  

Its a good lesson in what happens when you disrespect the voters and do all you can to subvert their requests.  

Its time for these representatives to say goodbye.    Hopefully the new commission will show a different management style and set of priorities driven by voters.    If they don't we all can now see what happens at the next election cycle.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Macpherson Graciously Concedes!

To All COLA LO Members,

As many of you may already know shortly after COLA published a public request for the candidates to agree on the outcome for the betterment of the community, Greg Macpherson conceded the race to Kent Studebaker....

Its good to see such a close election end with two gentlemen shaking hands and moving on toward respective endeavors.  

While there were distinct differences of opinion its clear these two gentlemen fought a very tough battle and ended it on the right note.  

Congratulations to both candidates for their efforts.  

Details can be found at Macpherson Concedes and Mac Concedes.    The Oregonians view can be fount at Studebaker Narrowly Beats Macpherson.

Please notify all mebers, contacts, and friends.   

Friday, November 9, 2012

Its Over - Time for the Mayoral Candidates to Call It for the Betterment of the Community!

To All COLA LO Members,

Today we consulted various experts and officials and the race for Mayor is unofficially over.

The votes have been counted and all counties have reported.    There are some provisional ballots in the county but they aren't enough to change the outcome is the common opinion.   

Its time to call it unofficially.    Will the Oregonian call it?   Will the candidates call it?  Its time everyone.....

The latest details are close to final at this point.  There haven't been any substantive changes for days as the county clerks processed the ballots.   

There are no further updates until Tuesday at 5pm so its effectively over.  Will Macpherson concede?   Or will he finance a recount?   Nobody knows but its time to call it for the betterment of the community.  

The best part of this race was we had two candidates that acted as gentlemen despite any differences in their viewpoints.   Lets keep it that way and show the voting public they can expect more from their elected officials...

Its time gentlemen

The latest details are below:   

Candidate                    Clackamas     Wash   Multnomah   Total      Difference 
 Total votes  19,408



Library Bond Soundly Defeated - Is This a Rejection of Urban Renewal Districts?

To All COLA LO Members,

As of yesterday it appears the Library Bond Measure will be soundly defeated and rejected by the voters of Lake Oswego.   

In another stunning rejection by the voters the plans of the current administration have received feedback.     Voters in both Clackamas and Multnomah Counties overwhelming voted no on the Library Bond despite a huge investment by the the Yes LOPL PAC to support the measure  YES LOPL PAC Summary.

LO voters have been very leery of the entire "North Anchor" project and the massive expenditures to lease and purchase property in the area.   Many West side residents felt under serviced by a library located far from the population center of Lake Oswego which  is now near the Kruse Way and Boones Ferry intersection.  

Despite these concerns the current administration pushed the bond measure to support its public/private property development agenda.  

Well the voters have spoken loudly.  

Yes - 8740      42%
No - 12064     58%

More to come as the vote is finalized but this outcome has been determined already.   A new Library as proposed in its Downtown Location was soundly rejected Library Proposal.

Please notify all menbers, contacts, and friends.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Will Greg Macpherson Spend Remaining $16K On A Recount?

To All COLA LO Members,

Today the community is asking itself if candidate Greg Macpherson will spend his final $16K of an enormous level of $52K in contributions to support a recount of the Mayoral election?  

The details of his campaign contributions and expenditures can be found at Greg Macpherson Contributions.    It appears he continues to receive overwhelming support from partisan interests outside of Lake Oswego as reported in the Oregonian.  

Are Jack Hoffman and Judie Hammerstad advising him to finance a recount of the election?   Would this preserve their legacy?  Would it preserve a defined agenda of special interests in Lake Oswego?  

The community is waiting on the decisions and they know the players.   The community wants to know as it appears that the current election will go against Macpherson by under 200 votes in a race which is projected to have voter participation rates over 80% 

Is this a stunning rebuke of a defined agenda that went undisclosed during the election?   The Oregonian published a story which clearly disturbed the voters Only the final results will tell.  

Lake Oswego hasn't seen this level of high drama in many years as the outcome of the election continues to be in flux with Multnomah county reporting this morning and clackamas county this afternoon.   

Will Judie Hammerstad force a recount?   Or have the voters said enough?  Are the wasted millions in taxpayer funds on the WEB, Streetcar, and other projects coming back to haunt the partisan politics of the past?   

How can a political neophyte with limited financial support defeat a professional politician and former representative?  

The facts are stunning in Lake Oswego as we wait on the final results.    In any case it now appears even if Greg Macpherson were to win he will experience a council that has a majority of fiscal conservatives and which saw the majority of its incumbents ousted in the past two elections.   

It's high drama as the voting public awaits the final count and the possible ouster of the political elite in Lake Oswego.    Will there be an enormous change of the direction of the city to account for the mistakes of the past including a $22 million dollar purchase of the WEB and an additional $8 million in expenditures over the past few years?   

Only time will tell but its clear that voters aren't supporting the past in a majority.   

Will lake Oswego follow the direction of Clackamas County in rejecting partisan expenditures which waste taxpayer funds on special interests?  Only time will tell.  

Watch the vote count and the process as  it proceeds.

Will the outcome change? Nobody knows ....Its a stunning set of events that has the community on pins and needles as the final count comes from our county clerks.   

What a surprise!  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Recount in the Mayor's Race?

To All COLA LO Members,

Rumors are flying throughout the city of Lake Oswego.     As most of the votes are now counted and Mayoral candidate Kent Studebaker holds a narrow lead over Greg Macpherson of under 150 votes, many are now believing that a recount will be requested! 

The margin of victory if held at this level would be under 1% and even though Oregon election law only mandates a recount if under 0.2%, a candidate can initiate and pay for a recount on either a partial or full recount basis.   

Will a recount be requested?  Will the final count sway the outcome?   High drama in Lake Oswego today as a stunning upset may be in the making in the Mayoral election.   

Who will win the Mayors seat and who could ask for a recount?  

Greg Macpherson or Kent Studebaker?

Will Jack Hoffman & Judie Hammerstad be consulted?  

Who will be consulting Jack Hoffman and Judie Hammerstad? 

Will Portland's new Mayor elect Charlie Hales step in to assist?

Only time will tell but the community is anxiously awaiting the outcome and signs in this powerful battle of local politics...

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

Bowerman, O'Neill, and Gustafson Win!

To All COLA LO Members,

Karen Bowerman has won the popular vote in the LO City Council race with a stunning upset of an incumbent councilor Bill Tierney.  

 The Oregonian has called the race for LO City Council with COLA endorsed candidates Bowerman and O'Neill receiving the highest number of votes in Lake Oswego.   To his credit Jon Gustafson surprised many with a strong showing placing third in the race just slightly behind Skip O'Neill.  

Newcomer Skip O'Neill seems to have done exceptionally well in his first race with the second highest vote tally.  

The latest update on the race can be found at LO Election Results.  More information form the Oregonians local reporter can be found at LO Council Race.

Once again two relative newcomers overwhelming have won the 2012 election. This is the second election where COLA endorsed candidates won 2 of 3 city council seats up before the voters.   Its clear that citizens are demanding a change in direction from prior administrations.   

The 2013 City Council will now have a majority of fiscal conservatives on the council with at least a 4-3 margin.    Its generally agreed that Kehoe, Gudman, Bowerman, and O'Neill are fiscally responsible.     The remaining two councilors Jordan and now Gustafson have generally supported the "Tax & Spend" direction of prior administrations.  

Another stunning upset may be in the making as Kent Studebaker is narrowly beating out Greg Macpherson for Mayor of Lake Oswego.    That race is too close to call but for many the tight mayors race shows the level of community concern over the past direction of the previous administrations.   Many believed that the overwhelming fundraising and partisan backing for Macpherson would have given him a clear cut victory in the election.    The results are showing something entirely different with approximately 150 votes between the two candidates.  

More news as the race continues to unfold in Lake Oswego.......

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

VOTE TODAY - Williams, Bowerman, and O'Neill. Kent Studebaker for Mayor.

To All COLA LO Members,

Last night the COLA Call Banking team continued operations and contacted hundreds of residents who had not voted yet in this critical election.    Please remind your neighbors to vote and drop their ballots in the official ballot box at the LO Library.   

Lake Oswego Library706 4th St., Lake Oswego
Phone: 503.636.7628
Mon - Thu 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Fri, Sat 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sun 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

COLA will have monitors at the official drop site today to observe voters dropping their ballots.   If you are unsure if your ballot has been received you can contact a board member who will search the database to assist you.  Your ballot must be dropped in the box tonight by 8PM.

Its important for all of us to contact our neighbors and friends to ensure voter participation is the highest in history as this election will determine the future of our community for the next decade.    

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.    


Friday, November 2, 2012

Signs of WBO Candidates Being Stolen by those in opposition to Williams, Bowerman, and O'Neill !

To All COLA LO Members,

Throughout the past three weeks COLA Members and volunteer staff have been monitoring the sign placement of the endorsed candidates and their opponents.

 We have documented an increasing frequency of planned and coordinated removal of signs for Williams, Bowerman, and O'Neill  throughout this period.     

We recommend that if you observe any individual removing signs from private property you contact the LO Police Department immediately with a description of the individual on their non-emergency line 503-635-0238.   

COLA Members and friends have actually observed individuals destroying and removing signs from PRIVATE PROPERTY.    Candidates and COLA Volunteers have graciously just replaced the Signs often only to see them removed repeatedly.   

Yesterday the LO Review printed a letter to the editor from one self declared offender:  

"Sorry for letting politics get out of hand
I stole political candidate yard signs from a neighbor’s private property. The signs were for city council candidates Skip O’Neill, Dan Williams, Karen Bowerman and mayoral candidate Kent Studebaker and a sign for LOCAL, the citizen action group.
My actions were not only criminal but even more importantly, my actions interfered with the First Amendment rights of a fellow citizen to freedom of speech and their right to express their political views even though they may differ from mine.
For these actions, I sincerely apologize not only to the person from whom I stole the signs but to all of my fellow Lake Oswego citizens."


Please notify all COLA Members, contacts, and friends of these desperate attempts to interfere with our fundamental right to free speech and vote!!!!!


Ballots Must now Be Dropped at the Library Ballot Box!

To All COLA LO Members & Friends,

Please note that ballots should be dropped at the Ballot Box at the LO Library.  This is very important to ensure your ballot is counted by Tuesday in this critical election.    THE COLA Call Banking Team is now notifying all residents of this situation.  

The ballot Drop site is:  

Lake Oswego Library706 4th St., Lake Oswego
Phone: 503.636.7628
Mon - Thu 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Fri, Sat 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sun 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

COLA will have members observing the ballot drop site and the counting of the vote in Oregon City.    Please ensure your vote is counted by dropping your ballot at the Library Drop box.   

COLA Members continue to be calling voters and distributing endorsed candidate information throughout this election cycle to ensure our endorsed candidates receive support.  

Feel free to contact any board member to volunteer to assist in our efforts.    We are grateful for the overwhelming support we have received these past two weeks.   
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