Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Portland Voters May Approve a Water Board. Will Lake Oswego Follow?

To All COLA LO Members,

This past week several articles were published on the upcoming measure that would require an independent elected board to set water rates in Portland.    

The group sponsoring the measure states that Portland water rates are higher than Phoenix and implies its due to improper spending.    

The groups website can be found here: PPWD
Their latest radio ad can be found here:  Water Rates Radio Ad
Details can be found at Water Initiative

Lake Oswego water rates have just been slightly lower than Portland and many residents are up in arms over the high costs despite conservation measures.   Its particularly difficult for residents on fixed incomes.   Recently the City went to a monthly billing cycle and many believe its a means to collect revenues more swiftly to pay for projects.  

Will Lake Oswego residents start a similar campaign?   Only time will tell but its clear they aren't happy accepting massive rate increases over the past 5 years.   Its an issue that been simmering under the surface in our community and may be a force in the election this Fall.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.    

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Citizen Complains about the Cost of Lake Oswego

To All COLA LO Members,

For the past few years many in our community have noticed the escalating cost of living in Lake Oswego.   Its on the minds of many citizens especially those on fixed incomes.

COLA board members have heard this concern from a variety of residents and members.  

This week in the LO review a resident put it in perspective.     Many have wondered how West Linn has risen in several measures above Lake Oswego over the past few years.  

Well one component is clearly described in the article Why are costs in LO higher?:

"Why are costs in LO higher than West Linn?
As a newcomer to Lake Oswego, I find two of my basic living expenses surprising: In West Linn my monthly one-can trash pickup (free recycling pickup) was $7.95 per month. Here it is $29.52, some 271 percent higher. My West Linn monthly water/sewer bill for a single-family home on an acre was $40 per month. Here, in a much smaller house, it is more than $100, some 150 percent higher and rising.Combined, that’s $47.95 in West Linn versus $129.52 Lake Oswego each month.  I knew Lake Oswego was a wonderful place to live, but is it worth almost three times more for water and trash?"

This article should prove insightful to many in the community.  

 Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Did Lake Oswego Dodge a Financial Bullet? New Audit of Streetcar Says Yes!

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the results of a financial audit of Portland Streetcar were released.   It provides a stark reminder of many of the issues discussed during the proposals to bring a streetcar to LO from Portland.  

Much of the concern was about who would actually operate the streetcar, how much it would really cost, and how much of the cost the city of LO would have to pay.    All of which was never really answered by Streetcar's proponents.  

The audit released clearly establishes these issues as being core to the current operations in Portland.   In the article released in the Oregon is the statement:  

The bureaucracy behind Portland’s $251 million streetcar system is "convoluted and confusing," according to a new city audit, and no more money should be spent expanding it until city leaders set clear goals.

The article can be found at:  Convoluted

In the actual audit the auditor claims the "City bears the financial risk"   just as many LO residents believed when the LO streetcar was proposed with total costs exceeding $200 million.   Its a stunning clarification showing the core concerns of opponents to Streetcar were valid.  

The actual audit can be found at Portland Streetcar Audit.    Its clear from this document that LO would be taking on enormous financial risk with the project as proposed under the Hoffman administration and supported by former Mayor Hammerstad.  

While many may say hindsight is 20/20 its very valid in this case and residents should seriously consider what approval of Streetcar may have done to LO financially.   To his credit Councilor Jeff Gudman showed these details consistently in council sessions.  

Please notify all members contacts and friends.  

Real Time Analytics