Project costs prove hard on seniors
Lake Oswego has resorted to 'water-boarding' its citizens, including its vulnerable senior citizens. Analogy to 'Chinese Water Torture' also applies, as both are methods of using water to extract information from defenseless people. In this case the 'Gang of Four' in City Hall is using water to extract vast amounts of money from defenseless citizens, via the infamous LO-Tigard Water Partnership.
This project, which is expected to saddle Lake Oswego taxpayers with something like $130 million in indebtedness, is not necessary to secure Lake Oswego's drinking water supply into the future. The sole reason for this outrage is the theoretical future water requirements if (Mayor Jack) Hoffman and his cronies can force the Foothills project (LO's version of Portland's South Waterfront) through in spite of overwhelming opposition by LO citizens. Recall this is the project Jack Hoffman actively promotes and votes on in the face of what is (so far) a 'potential conflict of interest.' Of course, if Foothills somehow does proceed, Hoffman's law firm, who represents the developer, will benefit hugely. Since Hoffman is a partner in the firm, he will also benefit. Then, I suppose it will no longer be a 'potential' conflict - but it will be too late for us residents and taxpayers.
You have noted the steep increase in your water bill already - and that is just the start. In a few years, seniors on a fixed income may be forced from their homes because they cannot pay the minimum water bill. As the rates skyrocket, people will continue to reduce water usage: This will reduce revenue to the city that was supposed to pay for the massively oversized/overpriced project. When the debt service cannot be paid due to reduced revenues (due to reduced usage), the city will have to increase the rates even more (or syphon money from other taxpayer-funded services). When the Foothills project is derailed (pun intended given its link to the stupid 'Streetcar'), the revenue/cost equation will be hopelessly out of whack.
It seems unlikely that Hoffman, and his rubber stamp council members, actually expect to get re-elected in 2012, but just in case, it is worth sending a clear message to Hoffman, (Bill) Tierney and (Sally) Moncrieff about the water project, the Foothills, the streetcar, sensitive lands and the Safeco building. That message is no, no, no.
In any case 2012 will allow residents to take back Lake Oswego. In the meantime, you can visit www.commonsenselo.blogspot.comand http://lakeoswegoforum.com/ on a regular basis to get facts to balance the propaganda you get in the (taxpayer-funded) 'Hello L.O.'
Dave Luck, Lake Oswego, is a member of Citizens for Local Accountability (COLA-LO), which operates the above blog.