Thursday, December 26, 2013

City Council Townhall in January

To All COLA LO Members,

Next month the City Council will hold a Town hall event at the WEB.     Its an opportunity for all members and citizens to provide input to the council for their 2014 goal setting efforts.  

Most COLA board members attended the initial council session last January  where testimony provided several hours of input from citizens in the community.  

The details on the event are:

                                   Council Open House and Community Reception
Open House/Community Reception 
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Willamette Room at the West End Building
Wednesday, January 8.  

We encourage all COLA members to attend and provide your perspective on the needs of the community.   This event marks the end of the first year of this new council and may impact their agenda for 2014 and beyond.   

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Is Support for the Current Administration Crumbling?

To All COLA LO Members,

It seems that residents continue to be agitated over decisions made by the current city council.   Across the city many leaders are questioning the stance taken by this administration regarding density and development.   Its a surprising time for many who thought they voted in a council that would implement deep reforms in the direction of local government.  

Many are now asking if they were snookered in the 2012 election? 

Letters to the editor continue to pour in opposing the Wizer's development project.   These letters while consistent only represent a fraction of the actual number of citizens discussing the direction of the city at this time.   

Is support for the new administration crumbling rapidly?  Many believe it is and they are worried about the impact on the 2014 election only 11 months away....

Will the direction currently implemented by this council pave the way for 3 new city councilors.    We think it might well do that given the conversation in the community.  

Many residents are unhappy with the positions taken by several members of the council.    It seems the council has become very pro high density development despite running on a platform to the contrary.   

We are also observing the emergence of voting blocks that surprised many.     It seems councilor O'Neill is not the conservative he represented during the election.   Often voting with Councilors Gustafson and Jordan.     That's disturbed many in the community, including his supporters.  

One recent example is the effort to save the Carman House.   It failed the city council vote 4 to 3. Councilors Gustafson, O'Neil, and Jordan voted to save it. Mayor Studebaker, along with Councilors Bowerman, Huges, and Gudman voted to demolish the last remaining territorial house in Lake Oswego.  This is  just a recent example of the current voting block patterns.  

As more key votes are taken there will be a well developed record of positions for voters to evaluate long before the 2014 election.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Citizens Continue to Criticize Administration's Wizers Stance.

To All COLA LO Members,

Last week several citizens continue to criticize the high density proposed development for the Wizer block which has been approved by the city council.   The council has agreed to provide nearly $6 million in financing to the developer.   

Many of the comments can be found at Reader's Letters.

Its an interesting twist as a council and mayor were elected one year ago on an anti high density platform and yet they are approving a project with high density and urban renewal funds.  

Here are some of the comments from citizens:

Waiting for ‘PLOPP’
Two years ago we heard about the streetcar — how great it would be for Lake Oswego. Fortunately, reason prevailed and the city council (decided not to pursue it). Then, last year we heard about the new library — how badly it was needed. Once again, reason prevailed, and “we, the people” voted that one down.
Now, we hear about the Wizer project, otherwise known as PLOPP (Proposed Lake Oswego Pearl Project). Seems like a good idea, right?
Let’s put more than 200 housing units, more than 400 people, 300 cars and 100 dogs — all in a two-block area. Good plan, right?
As I read the letters in the Lake Oswego Review, I have not kept track. However, it seems to me that those against outnumber those for at least 10 to one. (One remarkable argument in favor was “... because we have been wanting to do something for 10 years.” Now, that’s a really great reason to build this monstrosity.
This project definitely needs to be rethought. The Pearl District is great. We do not, however, need another Pearl in Lake Oswego. Not here, not now, not ever.
Syd Dorn

Hope council listens to those opposing high density
With regard to the proposed Wizer development, it would be great if the city council would abide by the majority view of Lake Oswego citizens, a view that opposes high-density living and increased congestion.
Certainly those who desire a high-density environment can move to downtown Portland or any large metropolitan area. I and others find it repugnant when government officials act in a paternal manner, dictating how we must change our living conditions to comply with their more “enlightened” view. 
One of the great things about LO is its unique quality of life. Let’s not sacrifice that wonderful quality in a quest for increased development and greater tax revenues.
Bill Beard

It will be interesting to see if the opposition grows and if it has an impact on the elections in 2014.  Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   
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