Our board was recently advised that some of the endorsements for candidates in LO may include significantly undisclosed conflicts of interest.
Its a shocking revelation that may surprise many residents if verified.
It appears that one local blogger has discovered a significant issue:
In for a Wild Ridediscloses major conflicts of interest in an endorsement of candidate Joe Buck.
COLA has no idea if the details in the bloggers post are true but we refer our readers to the link above. Usually organizations must disclose their conflicts with any endorsement. If this was not done it may be of concern to voters.
Once again we refer our members to the post on their blog for their own evaluation.
This weekend COLA crews began distributing our endorsed candidate flyer. COLA members volunteered to distribute the flyers throughout Lake Oswego as we do every election.
Members were warmly greeted by residents eagerly looking for answers on the candidates. More as the COLA effort proceeds through the election.
Any members who desire to volunteer their time should contact an existing board member for training and assignments. COLA has been enormously successful in the past several elections with a well defined strategy for reaching voters throughout Lake Oswego.
To All COLA Members,
This week rather late in the cycle several groups announced endorsements.
COLA board members attended several of the candidate forums throughout the cycle to observe candidates including last night at the Lake Grove Neighborhood Association forum.
Listed below is a summary of endorsements from local groups:
COLA has Endorsed Matt Keenen and Jackie Manz.
The remaining endorsements released this week fall into a pattern consistent with the historical views of each organization.
LOCAL this week endorsed Matt Keenen, Jackie Manz and Jeff Gudman (with conditions).
The LO Review Endorsed Jackie Manz, Jeff Gudman, and Joe Buck.
The LO Chamber of Commerce endorsed Jeff Gudman and Joe Buck.
Its an interesting mix of endorsements but many are now saying that Matt Keenen, Jackie Manz, and Jeff Gudman appear to be the most qualified candidates.
At the candidate forum last night the overwhelming support was for those candidates that wanted to retain Lake Oswego's community character and were against high-density development. It became apparent that two candidates were well aware of the pitfalls this direction could produce in Lake Oswego.
Let's see if this view of preserving community character translates into votes in November's election.
Board members believed Jeff answered our detailed questions with the perspective of an incumbent city councilor.
The questions asked by our board members were difficult, driven by our core values, and we believe we received direct answers from Candidate Jeff Gudman. He was endorsed by COLA in the 2010 election. Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.
The COLA board met with all candidates for city council this past weekend. After several days of discussions and deliberations the board has formally decided upon its endorsement for 2014.
A media release was issued this evening by the board. The text of which is located below.
Please review and notify all members, contacts, and friends.
Citizens for Local Accountability (COLA-LO) again
offered all candidates for the Lake Oswego council in 2014 the opportunity to
respond to a set of questions related to the core values of our organization
(Fiscal Responsibility, Core Services, & Property Rights). As
in 2010 and 2012, COLA-LO has selected the candidates, whose responses best
aligned with the core values. The interviews of the candidates who chose to
participate will be, as in prior years, available for viewing on the COLA-LO
In the 2014 election the COLA board has decided to endorse
Manz and Matt Keenen for City Council.
Jackie Manz has a
strong background in not only resolving community issues as a Neighborhood
Association leader but also on the Citizens Budget Committee (CBC) in Lake
Oswego. This experience gives her the
skills required to immediately be effective as a city councilor. She has been a strong proponent of fiscal
responsibility while also ensuring that Lake Oswego retains its exceptional
community character. Candidate Manz committed to the board she will
be a long term resident of Lake Oswego and present after her term to be held
accountable within our community.
Matt Keenen has a
unique background in policy issues and expertise in transportation issues. He graduated from LOHS and has seen the
changes in our community. He understands
the issues our community is facing and is not only a strong proponent of
property rights but is also very aware of the fiscal issues facing our
city. He represents a fresh view of
the younger residents of Lake Oswego with his informed background on
transportation and economic development.
The board believes his policy experience, advisory board experience, long
term residency in Lake Oswego, and his business experience will allow Candidate
Keenen to immediately be effective on the council.
COLA –LO was formed in 2009 and our endorsed candidates have
won 71% of the open positions on the Lake Oswego council in the past two
election cycles. This represents a
dramatic shift toward “good governance” within our community and is the core
mission of our organization.
board is deeply committed to “good governance” at the local level through
promoting our core values. Contact any board member for additional information.
The COLA board met with all candidates for city council this past weekend.
The interview group included not only the board but also several guests who attended sessions on both Friday and Saturday.
Responses from all the candidates were insightful and provided more than enough information for attendees to review and assess the qualifications of the candidates. The COLA board met in executive session immediately following the completion of all interviews Saturday afternoon. It reviewed the notes from the interviews and obtained/evaluated the views of our guests. COLA expects to release its endorsement for the 2014 elections next week to the media.
While a much more detailed article can be found in the LO review City Council Approves Wizer Block.. the article presents various perspectives and statements made by individual councilors.
The community rumor mill is abuzz about the impact this vote and the positions of candidates will have on the outcome of the 2014 election. This vote has certainly made the election more interesting for Lake Oswego.
Many are now wondering "what is next, another streetcar project?"
The COLA board has scheduled to interview all candidates for city council next week 9/26-9/27. Four of the five candidates have already confirmed attendance. We anticipate all candidates will be interviewed to ensure members have the opportunity to review the positions of everyone running for city council.
Board members and Advisory board members will be present during the interviews. The purpose of the interviews is to allow candidates to clearly communicate their values and their platform to the community.
As in the past two election cycles we intend to post the interviews on this blog for members and the community at large to review. COLA televised interviews in 2010 on TVCTV and posted interviews on the blog in 2012. This allows the community to review the positions of candidates at their leisure.
Feel free to contact any board member with questions regarding the interview process, schedule, or posting to this blog. We anticipate that COLA will announce its endorsement decision after a formal vote by the board in mid October.
There were startling revelations this week as the FIVE candidates began to release their views on the key issue impacting our community. Some of the revelations weren't that at tall and others seemed to be very enlightening.
The Positions of the Candidates can be found in an article in the LO Review last week at City Council Candidatesexcerpts are included below..........
For example councilor Jeff Gudman refuses to answer questions on Wizers. While he establishes his priority on infrastructure spending. On sensitive lands he says basically "he is working on it".
Candidate Ed Brockman supports the Wizer development as the type of development needed for millennials. At the same time he mentions a quick fix for tree grove requirements and sensitive lands.
Candidate Joe Buck supports the Wizer development. On property rights: "We need to ensure the rights individuals have to be masters of their property are protected insofar as it affords others their reasonable right not to be unduly impacted by the actions of those individuals.
Candidate Jackie ManzOn the Wizer Block: "I wholeheartedly support East End redevelopment as a compact retail district. However, while I appreciate the passion behind the current Block 137 project, the scope and scale are out of in sync with the village characteristics of the neighborhood.” Candidate Matt Keenan says the Wizer block should conform to the small commercial element of the East End planning district. On spending priorities: "“I think that transportation in Lake Oswego is under a lot of pressure, in terms of regional perspective, to invest in multi-modal transportation. In other areas of the region, I don’t disagree with it. But Lake Oswego currently does not have a whole lot of money, and we do have a street system that needs to be repaired and maintained. So putting our resources toward maintaining our streets should be the number one priority. Combined the positions of all FIVE candidates present a mixed bag for the voters this fall. It will be interesting to see which issues are critical to the voting public in 2014. COLA will interview all candidates this month and provide the board endorsement as it has in the past several elections. Stay tuned..... Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.
There are five candidates for three open council positions this fall. Board members contacted the city and confirmed it today.
The five Council candidates are:
2014 will represent a very interesting mid term election for the council. Many believe citizens will either confirm the redirection mandate of the 2012 election or voters will once again redirect the council.....
The primary question is has this council met its commitments when elected in 2010 and 2012?
Only the voters will provide the answer to this question....
No doubt all the candidates will be actively campaigning come September 2 after the holiday. We encourage ALL members to contact and engage ALL the candidates for this election.
Once again the COLA board members and advisory board members will interview all the candidates and make an endorsement for the election as we have done in 2010 and 2012.
The COLA board has been advised of new city council candidates who will file this week. We will update all members on the council race and the respective candidates next week as more information becomes public.
It appears that the race will become much more competitive once all candidates formally announce.
The LO review published articles on both Jeff Gudman and Jackie Manz who have formally declared. Details can be found at Gudman and Manz.
More to come.......
Please notify all members,contacts, and friends.....
This week the LO Review was flooded with articles from citizens supporting the decision of the DRC on a 3-2 vote against the proposed Wizer development. IT was an interesting show of support by a broad number of residents in the community.
While at the same time at least one resident believes that the debate had lead to a Balanced Project.
While COLA has taken no position on the project its clear that members and a large group of residents have strong views of what needs to be done. The debate has continued over the entire summer which tends to be a calm season in local politics within Lake Oswego.
Its clear that citizens are deeply concerned about this project which requires $5 million+ in taxpayer funding to be completed. The Funding will be through the LORA Urban Renewal District.
Its now likely that the City Council will hear the appeal of the project in September-October just before the election of three new city councilors. Stay tuned...
Please notify all members, contacts, and friends....
This week the LO Review published an announcement that the developers intend to appeal the DRC vote (3-2) in opposition to the project. This means our City Council will make the final determination on the project. It will be an interesting situation given that the council voted in favor of the LORA development agreement to spend $5 million in taxpayer funds on the project.
“What you should be able to count on is predictability” ...not here buddy- our crazy NIMBY/COLA/LOCAL crowd is as unpredictable as they come. Why would anyone want to do business in LO, with rabid loons like Sengenberger, Cassidy, Berg, Gibson, and Akermen screaming at you?
Board member Gary Gipson clarified the COLA position:
Jane: Screaming? Really. I've never seen any of the people you name screaming at anyone. Quite the contrary on the Progressive side of the coin. COLA has not personally taken a stance on the Wizer development and I doubt it will occur. What we are witnessing is a division of the former coalitions in town, many switching camps regarding Wizer's. That will lead to an interesting election this year. The SOV contingent for the most part have been in the fiscal responsibility camp. I could see them withdrawing their support from any incumbent running for reelection who votes in favor of the development as it now stands. It is the hot topic of the year and different from former issues in that some former members of LOCAL support it, and a few members of KLOG oppose it. After all our correspondence, I would have thought you could spell my name by now, but you still hide behind your alias mask.
Its an interesting twist on the entire high density issue in Lake Oswego. It seems the City Council will make the final decision in September or October.
This week the city of Portland has published an interactive map of its 20 year comprehensive plan and the transportation elements. It provides interesting insight into the minds of the Portland Planners. Much to the chagrin of many in LO one project appears again. You got it right the Streetcar!
The map proposes a streetcar line to Johns Landing which we all know is just a phase away from the old Portland to Lake Oswego streetcar proposal that wasted millions in taxpayer dollars.
Many in the community believe that the proposed Wizer development in Lake Oswego is the anchor to justifying light rail to Lake Oswego. Its clear here in this publication that the Portland planners are certainly looking like that may be the case, despite recent revelations by the city of Portland auditor that streetcar is fraught with problems.
Here is a quote from the article:
"Streetcar and light rail: The city's map includes three potential streetcar routes headed by the Bureau of Transportation. There's an $80 million extension through Johns Landing, a $70 million extension to Hollywood along Sandy Boulevard and a $65 million extension along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Killingsworth Street. Beyond that, the map still accounts for a $300 million light rail extension to Vancouver, even though the Columbia River Crossing is supposedly dead." The interactive MAP can be found at : 2035 Plan. All of this disclosure is occurring at the same time the community debates the proposed Wizer block development. Please notify all members, contacts and friends.
This week the public continued its open debate on the redevelopment of the Wizer Block, It seems citizens are actively engaged over the historically slow summer period. The LO Review included many letters describing individual views on the proposed development.
Its becoming increasingly apparent that the development may play a substantial role in the election this November. Even local developers are coming out against the project as being too big for the neighborhood and the city. This article provides some perspective on this trend Shifting Vision. This comes on the heels of an earlier article written by Barry Cain who developed Lake View Village and is now working on the Kruse Village development. In his article Design a Project That Fits he outlines some concerns about the proposed project.
Its interesting that two developers who have done substantial work in the community are publicly expressing some concerns about the size of the project and its impact on the community and the Village concept. While these views don't represent all of the community they certainly represent an informed view from those that have actually completed projects which many believe have defined Lake Oswego.
Several citizen articles discuss concerns about the project:
So its clear no matter what position the DRC and City Council take they will offend a significant portion of the population in Lake Oswego. It will be interesting to see the positions of the candidates this fall on the Wizer development as they will have a profound impact on the outcome it now appears.
While COLA Members strongly support property rights its clear this development has the community deeply engaged and concerned. Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.
Last week residents observed a highly unusual event. One of our city councilors recused themselves from a vote on the TSP and had their attorney testify for them before the city council. It was a highly uncomfortable and unusual event in Lake Oswego.
COLA had several board members and members observing the council meeting all of which were surprised by the course of events. It seems even the City Council isn't informed about how plans may impact their own properties unless staff is repeatedly asked for disclosure!
That doesn't hold well for a core COLA issue - Property Rights. Every citizen should be concerned about this given the situation that took place at last Tuesday's council meeting.
Many residents are using this as a classic example of poor management that embarrasses the city and some wonder if it was an intentional lack of disclosure. Quite a few community leaders have found major issues with the TSP - Transportation Systems Plan being proposed by the planning department.
Many are wondering how this error and the lack of disclosure could have gotten past the new City Manager Lazenby early in his tenure.
More to come and the 6/30/14 council meeting can be viewed online at LO Streaming Media. Look under the TSP Agenda item and public testimony.
The ongoing battle over the Wizer block continues this summer unabated by Lake Oswego's traditional "Summer vacation" from the issues. Historically residents have reduce the discourse during the summer on contentious issues in the public forum. This no longer seems to be the case with the ongoing debate over "high density" and the Wizer block development.
Despite being in a city with road construction and new development in all areas citizens continue to vigorous debate the Wizer development. While the developer Sticks to his vision many residents are either proponents No Armageddon or are vigorously opposing Where's the Beef? the project.
Many are asking why the community continues to debate the issue over the summer and does this portend of a deeply divisive battle in the fall election? This certainly appears to be the case as three council positions will be up with only one incumbent up for reelection.
Its notable that only one existing councilor as been reelected in the past two elections (Donna Jordan). While many thought the consternation in the community was over will this issue bring it back? Time will tell but this certainly has to be on the mind of Councilor Jeff Gudman who is up for reelection in 2014. It took him four attempts to be elected in 2010. Will this be the issue that defines a make or break in 2014 only four years after being elected?
Many in the community believe that the discourse and some of the intensity of the debate are due solely to the hired political professionals employed by the developer. These include both Len Bergstein and Elaine Franklin who were both instrumental in the anti streetcar effort two years ago.