Dont be fooled again by council
I have spoken to many people recently who feel like they were fooled into believing that voting for the King Council in West Linn in November 2004 would make things better. Unfortunately, this city council with Norm King as mayor and Michele Eberle, Michael Gates and Scott Burgess as council members has made these same people stop and think again.
During the past 22 months, the city of West Linn has been diminished. The current city council has violated their oath of office and the trust of the people. Their majority has done so in a number of ways.
Although never even mentioning it during the campaign, annexations became No. 1 on the political agenda of this council. They even granted sweetheart deals so that landowners didn't have to pay the usual application fees.
This cost the city tens of thousands of dollars of greatly needed revenue. And we will be paying as taxpayers for the approximately $15,000 of system development charges that do not get paid by the developer for each house built on each annexed piece of land.
They also violated the single subject law by lumping multiple annexations together on one ballot. A judge was brought this case by a senior citizen of West Linn, but he ruled narrowly only on the title of the measure and not on the real issue of the violation of the single subject law.
They have not been as forthcoming as they should have been about the embezzlement, which occurred during three administrations, including their own, and is currently over $1.4 million.
They have asked the planning commission to recommend that $191,000 be spent on a new water master plan which is unnecessary. The current plan was revised in 2004 and is designed to take West Linn through its build-out. If there were truly any water storage issues in West Linn then they should immediately impose a building moratorium. But a new plan equals a way to get water to the Stafford Triangle so that the developers who have been quietly buying parcels there can build.
They broke the law when they allowed a water pipe to be placed in Wilderness Park without the previous vote of the people, which is a violation of West Linn's charter (the equivalent of our Constitution).
They have recently asked the planning commission to do a very dirty deed and recommend that the citizen's right to de novo appeal hearings be taken away. De novo is Latin for 'anew' and means to start over in the legal sense.
Presently we citizens have a right to bring new evidence and new testimony to our appeals before the city council. Changing this would require an amendment to the Community Development Code. Why would the people of West Linn want to lose this right in the land use decision process? We wouldn't, of course. We, the people, have been very successful lately in our presentations to the planning commission and city council. This fact has apparently not gone unnoticed by the development community.
By and far, the worst thing this council has done is to turn their backs on the senior citizens of Willamette Cove. These people include WW-II veterans and their widows. They were promised that this would be the last residence they would ever need to purchase. But now they are being evicted. The council could have helped to arrange a bridge loan or they could have passed resolutions similar to those passed by both Wilsonville and Bend, but instead they tabled this issue.
Don't get fooled again. Don't vote for these people. We have been diminished by their actions and inactions.
Please vote for TOPS: Tripp-O'Connell-Pryor-Sommer
Roberta Schwarz is a citizen of West Linn.