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Readers' Letters

Measure 3-410 can only apply to future contracts

If the voters of Clackamas County pass Measure 3-410 on Sept. 12 (which I surmise they are likely to do), they would be well-advised to note that it cannot be applied retroactively to invalidate Clackamas County’s contract to help fund the Max Orange Line.

Article I, Sec. 10 of the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, states: “No State shall ... pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts...” Clackamas County is an arm of the state of Oregon.

Furthermore, Article 1, Sec. 21 of the Oregon Constitution states, “No ex-post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts shall ever be passed. ...”

In other words, no initiative can legally be employed to invalidate an existing contract. If Measure 3-410 was attempted to be used in this manner it should be struck down as unconstitutional. It can only apply to future contracts.

Roger Hennagin

Attorney and former Lake Oswego City Councilor 

Tierney endorsed for another council term

Confucius said, “Settle one difficulty and keep a hundred away.”

Please join me in voting to select leaders who will disengage from the past and focus on calibrating this community toward the next phase of growth. If we are going to ensure that our cumulative neighborhood values are prioritized above the visions wafting from the Metro Thinking Salon, we will need those leaders whose depth goes beyond disagreement with the past.

I am endorsing Mr. Bill Tierney for city council because I feel he is a critical inclusion for an effective council body sure to have some new faces. Having spent many years on the city’s development review commission, Bill is your reigning subject matter expert on the comprehensive plan, development code, its application and the complex process of adapting both to present a posture that serves and protects our cumulative neighborhood goals and values.

Scott Bullard

Lake Oswego

League urges ‘no’ vote on Measure 3-401

The League of Women Voters of Clackamas County urges your no vote on Measure 3-401, titled “Voter Approval of County Resources for Public Rail Transit.”

You have already received your ballot and you must vote by Tuesday, Sept. 18. The league believes this is a complicated measure with far-reaching and unintended consequences.

This measure will not allow a vote of citizens on public rail transit, even though that is the title of the measure. Clackamas County could not use any “county resources” including public funds, staff time, etc., for the financing, design, construction or operation of any public rail transit system without voter approval. It would be impossible for the county to come up with any proposal to be voted on because no county resources can be used.

This measure does not adequately define “public rail transit system.” Therefore, it would apply to existing railroad tracks and more. No money could be spent without voter approval. This would have widespread consequences.

This initiative exceeds the Oregon Constitutional requirement that initiatives are to be legislative. It will impact the general administrative and executive functions of governing the county. For this reason we believe it would likely be declared unconstitutional.

These are all important reasons to vote “no” on Measure 3-401.

Joan Batten

Action chair, League of Women Voters of Clackamas County

Lake Oswego

Luana Luther

President, League of Women Voters of Clackamas County

Clackamas County

Can emergency alert be made less intrusive?

Last night (Sept. 5) we were contacted by the automated Lake Oswego Emergency Alert Message System.

First, at 10:20 p.m. we were awakened when the house phone rang. Then, I received a text message and cellphone voicemail, my wife received a text message and a cellphone voicemail, and I received an email all advising of a missing person, suggesting we should check around our property.

Then at 11:54 p.m. we received the same number of waking contacts advising all clear. I understand the importance of this system, particularly in the case of an active shooter or a natural disaster, for example. Though I feel for the concern over a loved one gone missing, this was way too much.

Ridge Taylor

Lake Oswego

(Editor’s note: Leslie Taylor, Lake Oswego Police Department’s communications manager, responds:

“The Lake Oswego Police Department and its communications division (911) appreciates the input we received regarding the CodeRed activation in the Marylhurst area on (Sept . 5). We carefully consider activations trying to balance situational needs, the safety of the public in general, the safety of any individual, the value of any assistance or directions that could be provided by/to the public, the time of day, etc. We are working to improve our process for using the system and recognize that there were some problems encountered in both the technical and operational use on (Sept. 5). We certainly apologize for any unnecessary alarm the alert may have caused.

“The system uses the reverse 9-1-1 database, including traditional phone numbers along with allowing citizens to register multiple alternative devices for contact.  If all your devices are registered, the system will attempt to contact each of those devices. If one of those methods is better or fewer calls are preferred, you are able to manage your preferences when registering at.ci.oswego.or.us/citymanager/code-red-emergency-notification.” 

There’s too much on the council’s agenda

In a nutshell, at a time when I believe there is too much on the council’s agenda, I hope these issues will help us focus during the campaign season and encourage candidates to detail their specific goals, objectives and intentions:

  • n Ensure the streetcar corridor is land-banked. This is not the time to pursue it, but down the road (excuse the pun) it will become invaluable. If it can serve as a pedestrian/bike corridor for the foreseeable future, so much the better.
  • n Reset the library project, as the proposed site is simply inappropriate. Move the library to the West End Building, which we own and has ample space and parking (and set it on the first floor for those of you who suggest the building can’t handle the bearing load).
  • n Sell this parcel, at Second and State State, to a willing developer for retail/commercial/residential.
  • n Move the city hall and all city services to the West End Building. Sell that parcel, too, for the same purposes. These two properties can generate much-needed income and provide east end core infill, a goal consistent with community objectives.
  • n Scale back the Lake Grove project, which is too ambitious and expensive. We can dress up the corridor and make some traffic improvements for a great deal less than proposed. (Why does government tend to overreach?)
  • n Shelve the Foothills plan indefinitely and focus on infill on the west side of State Street, including the above parcels.
  • n Address basic community needs: services, maintenance and environment. For example, as a very minor issue, but to illustrate the point, we don’t even seem to be able to maintain much-needed solar speed indicators on lower South Shore Boulevard.
  • n Lastly, the city should be at the table with its neighbor communities to help guide the process with Metro; withholding city services is, alone, not constructive engagement.
  • Tony Marquis

    Lake Oswego City Councilor, 1978-1982

    Lake Oswego

    Williams offers ‘sensible solutions’

    I am very impressed by the thoughtful, practical, sensible solutions offered by Dan Williams, candidate for Lake Oswego City Council. His no-nonsense leadership is rock solid. Dan’s financial skills, community experience and consensus-building ability will move our city forward in a positive way, showing respect for citizens.

    Dan demonstrated a real knowledge of city operations and funding during his recent term on the Lake Oswego Citizen Budget Committee. He successfully fought to have city council reinstate the fire department’s EMS coordinator position from budget cuts.

    Dan is a family man who still finds time to solve community challenges. Dan founded NeighborLink (neighborlinklo.com), a nonprofit transit program for Lake Oswego seniors. When others said it was couldn’t be done, Dan brought together a volunteer group to face the challenge. NeighborLink operates a 14-passenger lift-equipped shuttle, privately funded, thus taking no money from our city.

    At a time when seniors needed it most, especially with TriMet cutting service to Lake Oswego, Dan found a way to get it done. Bravo!

    We are fortunate to have a man of Dan’s caliber offer his service on city council. Dan earns our thanks and our vote.

    Tana Haynes, MD

    Lake Oswego

    Help re-elect Councilor Tierney

    I’m voting to re-elect Bill Tierney to Lake Oswego City Council. As a fellow city councilor, I have had the opportunity to see Bill in action, every Tuesday evening for the past 3 1/2 years.

    Bill always listens to every citizen testimony, reads every e-mail and listens to his fellow councilors before making a decision. Bill comes to every meeting well informed on the issue at hand. Bill is truly independent in his voting and is a dedicated consensus builder constantly looking for solutions that all parties can support.

    After nearly four years of serving with him on Lake Oswego’s City Council, Bill has earned my trust and my respect through his actions. Bill has earned my vote. Please join me in re-electing Bill Tierney to Lake Oswego City Council.

    Sally Moncrieff

    Lake Oswego City Councilor

    Thanks extended to LO firefighters

    We would like to commend the Lake Oswego Fire Department for its prompt and efficient response to a fire last weekend on our Lake Oswego property of 33 years.

    Heartfelt thanks to an amazing passer-by who called this in and to the firefighters who put the fire out.

    A yard fire (apparently ignited in an area of dense ivy, bark and cedar trees) was extinguished before it reached our home just a few feet away. No one was home at the time. We are proud that our taxes help to fund this department.

    Nell Babcock

    Lake Oswego

    LOCAL announces candidate endorsements

    On Sunday, LOCAL (Lake Oswego Citizens Action League) sponsored a well-attended candidate forum in which all the candidates participated. The forum was the final step in LOCAL’s candidate vetting process.

    We endorse those who best reflect LOCAL’s values. They are:

  • n Mayor:    Kent Studebaker
  • n City council:  Karen Bowerman, Skip O’Neill and Dan Williams
  • Kent Studebaker has new ideas, actionable plans and a clearly stated vision of leadership. As chair of the Citizens Budget Committee, his record clearly reflects our LOCAL values. He does his homework on local issues and will devote the time needed for this important job. Kent will give citizens a voice and take a strong stand for Lake Oswego’s interests. 

    We have concerns about mayoral candidate Greg Macpherson’s regional focus and lack of local involvement. If elected, Macpherson plans to continue on the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). Macpherson seems ready to yield to Metro on important issues like sensitive lands and urbanization of Stafford.

    Bowerman, O’Neill and Williams bring a valuable depth of knowledge from multiple perspectives. They are all deeply involved in the community and are committed to serving the citizens.

    Be an informed voter. For more on the candidates, see  LOCitizens.com.

    Ron Smith

    LOCAL director

    Lake Oswego Citizens Budget Committee member