- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
Thanks to all who helped with
the Harvest Festival
To the Editor:
Please join me in thanking the following businesses and individuals for participating in the first annual Harvest Festival, Oct. 31, at Millennium Park Plaza: City of Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department's Special Events Division, Lake View Village, Barry Cain, The Play Boutique, Chuck's Cookies and Coffee, Gert Boyle, Brenda Hart, Whole Foods/Bridgeport, Gourmet Productions, LO MOM's Club, Kristin Bride, city of Lake Oswego Police and maintenance staff, Sur La Table, Accessories From The Heart, Ravena Garden.
Several local merchants and Realtors stepped up to sponsor our highly successful Trick-or-Treat Street: Graham's, Bernard C., Chuck's Cookies and Coffee, Café Marzocca, Wiz Bang Toys, NW Mortgage, Urbane Zen, Lake Oswego Review, Dr. Rhoney and Dr. Dischinger, Windemere Realtors: Kristin Kohnke, Sandi Sheets, Mignon Erwin, Jennifer Noble, Sandi Jernstedt and Shari Newman.
Events like this are not possible without enthusiastic support from local business and community members. Thanks again and we hope to see you next year!
Sewers or Safeco? Residents need to make the decision
To the Editor:
Sewers or Safeco? For many years, Lake Oswegans have been paying a surcharge in their water/sewer bills to build a surplus fund to pay for future mega-dollar repairs on the city's aging sewer system.
Mind boggling, $10 thousand/day in sewer-related public health penalties could be assessed by Oregon DEQ anytime for system non-compliance. The huge repair of the sewer interceptor will be over $65 million and will increase property taxes and water bills substantially.
But, now we know, that the sewer account surplus and other reserve account surpluses in the general fund have been pledged (they cannot be used for their intended purpose) as security for a Wells Fargo Bank line of credit loan ($25.0 million borrowing scheme) to cover the city council's purchase of the Safeco property. The interest on the loan is costing $1.2 million/year and tens of thousands of dollars in lost property tax revenues to city, county and school coffers with the Safeco purchase.
At an Oct. 16 special meeting, the city council discussed 'interim uses' for the Safeco building. The most favored use is to move Parks and Recreation staff offices from city hall to Safeco. Parks and Recreation head Kim Gilmore said that the office conversion would cost (taxpayers) $50 to $100 thousand. Other uses at Safeco include city council meetings, storage of the city's huge art collection, newly invented recreation classes, workout facilities for city employees and hiring a property manager.
A building name change was also contemplated at the meeting. Somewhat tongue in cheek, the mayor quipped that the Safeco property could always be called 'The Judie Hammerstad Vanity Project!' After all Safeco/Community Center was the top council goal (adopted Feb. 21, tenth - third from the bottom).
Meanwhile our sewers continue to age and leak. So in summary, Safeco: new home for city hall offices - $20 million. L.O. sewers - zero. Let's get our priorities and our money back on track and sell Safeco. We didn't vote for it and we can't afford it!
Efforts of both Chris Stutes and
Joe Howley appreciated
To the Editor:
The efforts of these two adults should not go unnoticed this fall: Chris Stutes (Lake Oswego) and Joe Howley (Lakeridge). Both have sons who are seniors on their respective high school football teams, yet both of these men have given their time all fall coaching youth football teams where they have no sons.
The community is benefited by these two gentlemen.
Population vs. the costs
To the Editor:
Elections have been held and decisions made. Now is the time to consider the costs of population density upon Lake Oswego and inter-connected issues.
In brief, the connected issues are: State of Oregon mandates population allotments for Portland Metro Region. Metro enforces state mandates by local population allocations and agreements through the Metro Code (see Chapter 3.07). (When did we and/or our representatives vote on these agreements along with disbursement of transportation funds for projects)?
The streetcar project requires population density to win federal matching funds. Foothills Area Plan provides the acreage for high population density to support the streetcar, thus meeting state mandated/Metro-enforced population densities.
'Regionalization' of wastewater treatment provides an opportunity to justify the decommissioning of the Tryon Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant for additional acreage dedicated to dense population ('efficient') development. Nobody buys a subsidized $2 million condo penthouse with a view of Mount Hood, overlooking the Willamette River next to a sewer plant.
Note several items from above:
First, the streetcar does nothing to relieve congestion on Highway 43 between the railroad tracks and Marylhurst University, or to Palisades Market on South Shore.
Second, the streetcar only provides a motivation to increase Lake Oswego population density to that approaching the Pearl District in Portland. (Is this desired? Can we afford to subsidize this development)?
Third, has anyone in Lake Oswego won the Powerball lottery recently and is willing to donate a $400 million jackpot ticket for the 'greater good' ($200 million cash)? Read Bob Harding's letter of Thursday, Sept. 21, to get an idea of cumulative project costs. This might explain Mayor Hammerstad's (Lake Oswego) and Brian Newman's (Metro District 2) ongoing attempts to pick your wallet for cash to support 'visionary' projects.
Concerned? Mad? Determine your representatives contact information before they find your checkbook. Got money? Regional interests believe its their's first.
Charles 'Skip' Ormsby