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Bowerman: 'Clarity is the start point of great action'

The general objective of city government is clearcut. The six candidates for city council have similar objectives of keeping Lake Oswego great, but we have different methods of getting us there. Speaking for myself, I want to ensure that the city provides core services well and leads toward an enduring vision for quality of life. Soak up what candidates say and vote for the ones whose methods you trust to best reach that objective.Karen Bowerman

I respect your input, your wallet and your property rights. As former dean over a school of business in higher education, we were recognized as one of the top 18 in the world for innovation despite declining budgets because I led with clarity in order to achieve strategically.

Clarity is the start point of great action. From time to time, the council needs re-direction on what is really important in keeping Lake Oswego great. City council needs re-direction not because of a shortfall of good projects, but because we need a more systematic approach for city development. I would contribute to council for understanding limitations on taxes and fees, and can be trusted to develop fiscally responsible methods for success. I would help council respect all citizens and their property rights because that is a council to be trusted for communicating effectively with Metro, rather than acquiescing that Lake Oswego is not in the driver’s seat. In contrast, a council does not bring long-term prosperity with the majority supporting every bond measure rather than finding funds that do not require additional taxation, creating new urban renewal projects that reduce tax dollars available to support public schools, reactivating the half-billion dollar streetcar to serve density in Lake Oswego’s population, and promoting a regional agenda of high-rise, high-density housing infill.

One key to long-term prosperity is cost of living. The cost of living, which is rising in Lake Oswego, is symptomatic in lack of population growth. Outsiders, including young families and businesses, recognize Lake Oswego as a vibrant city ... with high taxes and fees. Whereas Lake Oswego’s population grew at 5 percent annually during the 1980s and early 1990s, we now anticipate growth under 0.2 percent annually while Oregon as a whole continues to increase at 1.4 percent annually (source: Adopted Budget 2012-13). The objective is ensuring that cost of living does not escalate for our current citizens, or for the businesses and young families we attempt to attract. Skyrocketing water/utility rates need not be accepted as either “inherited” or as a given.

Some candidates attribute a stable school system to lack of city amenities funded by taxes. With steady population, school enrollment is in part cyclical with 234,200 students ages 5 to 9 eventually displacing 10- to 14-year-olds now numbering 244,013. One way to continue attracting young families is to keep taxes and fees under control. This I support. Another is to continue dedication to unquestioned quality. Students from outside Lake Oswego School District boundaries that do not have an approved interdistrict transfer agreement from their resident school district may then continue to request paying tuition. This excellence I support by the city maintaining its assistance to our schools.

Dr. Seuss said that with feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose. For new direction focused on Lake Oswego, please vote for Karen Bowerman for city council.

Karen Bowerman is a candidate for Lake Oswego City Council.