Monday, May 27, 2013

Oregonian Opinion May Resonate with LO Voters

To All COLA LO Members,

This week an opinion in the Oregonian by a retired professor provided additional insight into the cost of local government and provided some options for Oregonians.    Given the rising cost of utility rates in Lake Oswego and increasing fees, some of the options presented in the article might appeal to residents.  

In the article Limit the local taxes, the author proposes specific limits that can be placed at the local level in the city charter or the state level in the state Constitution.     Its an interesting concept.  

Rumor has it that certain residents are already considering a charter amendment requiring that increases in utility fees be subject to a vote of residents.   

That would present an interesting quandary for the city given the cost of the LO Tigard Water Project.    Will the charter amendment actually be placed on the ballot?  

Only time will tell.........

All of this comes following the recent election where voters in Clackamas county passed a largely symbolic vote against light rail spending by the county.   Clackamas Votes Down Light Rail Again... 

While the vote was symbolic it continued a theme in the county where voters believed they are being bypassed on key decisions and have passed several ballot initiatives requiring votes for a variety of government activities including vehicle registration fees for bridges, light rail spending, and approval of new urban renewal districts.   

Its clear voters across the county are tired of new fees, taxes, and rates passed by elected officials without voter approval.     COLA will be keeping an eye out for any charter amendment initiatives that may be coming from residents or outside groups so we can clearly inform members.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.    

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Unofficial Results are in for LOSD Board - Some Surprises in the Details!

To All Cola LO Members,

The unofficial results are in and analyzed by COLA  board members last night.    The results prove to be very insightful when looking at the details across the 3 counties that vote for LOSD school board members.   A couple of surprises came out of this unique election cycle when you look at the unofficial results and the efforts of the candidates.  

As expected the Sarah Howell - Kevin Robertson race was the most contested race in this election.    The results show that Howell won 51.63% versus 47.90% or by around 331 votes.   Total votes 8877.

 This race had the highest voter participation rate in the election.    This is likely due to the partisan support received by the winner of the election and a concerted get out the vote campaign.   Howell appears to have won in two of the three counties voting in the election.  This was despite the enormous number of high profile endorsements for Robertson.   

A surprise came from the Wendland-Delaney race.    Under voting occurred in this race with 6% less voters participating in it compared to the Howell-Robertson race.    This may be due to the lack of signage and get out the vote support for the candidates in this race. 

However,  despite the under voting  Wendland received only 100 votes less than Howell!   Showing strong support for the incumbent Chair of the board.    The unofficial results are 53.64% for Wendland and 45.86% for Delaney.    Total votes 8358.

Voters were much less enthusiastic about having an unopposed candidate and often decided not to vote in the Hartman race.    Under voting was 23.42% in this race with 2079 less voters participating in it as compared to the Howell-Robertson race.    6679 votes were cast for Hartman in her election victory.   

Overall the election provides insight into the minds of the voters within the school district boundaries.     Voters prefer races which are contested and despite many concerns the incumbent chair has strong support while the change mandate is still a very real phenomenon in the minds of voters.

With the election of both Howell and Hartman, many expect LOSD to begin implementing changes in direction when a new Superintendent arrives.    Only time will tell how this new board governs the LO School District.

Overall voter participation was as expected with 28% in Clackamas county, 32% in Multnomah, and 30% in Washington county.    

Predictions were exactly for a 28-32% voter participation rate.   

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.     

Sunday, May 19, 2013

To All COLA LO Members,

The LO School District Board election is well underway.  Remaining ballots will be coming into the elections office through Tuesday.    The race for board seats will be very interesting in the closing days of the election.  

The latest information indicates that voter participation rates are climbing rapidly before the final weekend of the election.   It appears there is a strong effort to get the most likely voters to turn in their ballots.   Is it part of a partisan effort? 

Only time will tell but there have been some stunning upsets in LO elections lately based upon what has been perceived as partisan efforts.  

Kevin Robertson and Sarah Howell are opposing each other with very active Internet campaigns (Robertson)  and direct mail efforts (Howell & Robertson).   Its deemed to be the most competitive race in the election right now by many observers within the community.      Sarah Howell has been endorsed by the Clackamas County Democratic Party according to her web site.  

This could be the race that drives the voter turnout this election.    Voter turnout was projected to be low at 28-32% in a mid off year election. 

However it now appears the likely voters are participating at a much higher rate than expected.  

Who will the more likely voters actually choose?   Only time will tell......

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Will Voter Turnout Determine the LOSD School Board Members?

To All COLA LO Members,

The LO School District Board election is well underway with ballots out now for approximately two weeks.    Two seats have opposing candidates and the battle has heated up recently in both races.  

Kevin Robertson and Sarah Howell are opposing each other with very active Internet campaigns (Robertson)  and direct mail efforts (Howell & Robertson).    Its deemed to be the most competitive race in the election right now by many observers within the community.     

At the same time the John Wendland and Karen Delaney race seems rather tame with limited direct mail efforts and very limited signage by Wendland while Delaney has signs across the city.    

The contrasts between the two races couldn't be more stark given the resource levels dedicated to the different campaigns.  

 Many believe Wendland and Robertson have broad support across the community and are the likely winners along with Elizabeth Hartman who is running unopposed.   

However one detail may make a huge impact on the two competitive races.   Voter turnout was projected to be low at 28-32% in a mid off year election.   Rumor has it that some candidates are also receiving partisan support in the LOSD election.  That may make a major difference in terms of who actually votes for the LOSD candidates.   Who will the more likely voters actually choose?  

Only time will tell......

Its important to remember that only 30% of households in LO have school age children and the latest information shows that voter participation is much lower than expected.  

Projections so far are that only 13-16% of voters have cast their ballots in our vote by mail system within the district.    That is quite low for an election where ballots must be in by Tuesday.    

Its certainly an interesting year in terms of elections.    Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Is the Race for LOSD Board Really a Partisan Effort?

To All COLA LO Members,

Last week details began to emerge about the LOSD Board race that were a bit unsettling.

It seems one of the candidates has received an endorsement from a county party and some shenanigans may have occurred to try to influence the election.    Its high drama in Lake Oswego.  

It also appears a concerted effort to discredit the existing school districts security was made by a supporter of candidate Sarah Howell.  She is running against candidate Kevin Robertson for the LOSD board.  

 Details can be found at Dirty Tricks. and KATU Video.

At the same time this candidate has been endorsed by the Clackamas County Democratic Party  but we aren't certain if they have received any funds from the partisan organization.   

Contributions and a summary can be found at Candidate details.  

Its no secret that city council elections have had hidden partisan support and the Clackamas County Democratic Party provided funds to both Councilors Tierney and Moncrieff.   Are they doing the same in the LOSD election without disclosure?   

When will voters get the real story on the local elections?   Its long over due in LO and it now appears that LOSD is no different than council elections.  

We find it disturbing if these details are true.    Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

City Budget May Be Reduced?

To All COLA LO members,

In the past two weeks several articles have been published about the proposed budget for LO.   It's under scrutiny as the costs continue to rise while revenues remain flat.   

Board member Dave Berg published an article last week about the key questions facing all residents:  Budgets Mean Choices while other residents asked not to reduce specific areas Don't Eliminate.   At the same time the media published Major Cuts? and City Considers Cuts.  

All of these illustrate a changing dynamic in LO and one which has been confirmed by the recent community survey 2013 LO Community Survey.   Residents want to ensure the city spends its resources on core services.   

Its a dynamic long in existence but which has only recently been embraced by our new council.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Friday, May 3, 2013

Surprise! New Community Attitudes Survey Confirms what COLA Members Already Know

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the new community attitude survey was released yesterday.    Its a stunning document that confirms many of the attitudes of COLA members over the past two years.  

In general residents have very high regard for LO and believe it has retained its community character in a sea of Portland like suburbs.  

At the same time the opinion of local government has  declined during the Hoffman administration.   

Yet residents state that spending and budgets are a top priority and they are willing to cut city services to balance the budget.  Some actually want the city to cut services and cut taxes/fees at the same time.    Its clear fiscal issues are of primary concern to residents.  

Details of the survey and results can be found at:   2013 Community Attitudes Survey .  the document and summary are good reading for all residents interested in the views of the community at a broader level.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Real Time Analytics