The Four Who Dot Get It in LO


Remember when the city acquired the Safeco/WEB property in 2006? City councilors at the time like Jack Hoffman said things like, 'It gives the city an opportunity to move forward into the next 20 to 30 years' and 'we need to tell our (ignorant, my add) citizens the complete story.'

Well, guess what: Jack is saying the same thing now about streetcar and the Foothills development. It's truly sad some councilors have learned absolutely nothing from the Safeco/WEB fiasco that we are still paying for, with 50 percent of our investment already lost, more losses accumulating and no long-term way to pay for it.

It's amazing to me how Mayor Hoffman and the councilors who support the investment in WEB -Jordan, Tierney and Moncrieff -also don't get it about streetcar and Foothills. Despite decisive survey results from the Davis, Hibbitts public opinion firm showing (60 to 40) opposition to streetcar, the Four Who Don't Get It continue to arrogantly believe that the citizens are ignorant and need more education on streetcar and Foothills. This, after all these months of city debate, articles in the Lake Oswego Review, fancy brochures on Foothills, promotional articles in Hello Lake Oswego and millions already spent on studies and surveys. It's downright disgusting.

In a nutshell, here are the Davis Hibbitts survey results regarding streecar:

* 36 percent: Don't build it or get rid of it.

* 20 percent: Build it.

* 57 percent: Generally negative to streetcar.

* 26 percent: Generally positive.

* Highest priority, 54 percent: Repair our streets and sidewalks.

And here are the conclusions of the Davis-Hibbitts firm:

* Large majority, 82 percent, feel that some other issue is more important than streetcar, e.g., education, taxes, finances.

* Even within transportation issues, a large majority, 70 percent, feel that other transportation issues are more important than streetcar, e.g., improved bus service, reducing congestion and road repair.

* 54 percent said that maintaining and repairing existing roads was their highest priority.

'Voters in the survey said that restricting additional development so that Lake Oswego maintains its existing charter was the most acceptable.' To me, this refers to the proposed Foothills development.

Could the survey results have been more clear that the citizens oppose streetcar? Are these survey results too difficult to understand? Apparently, yes, to the Four Who Don't Get It.

Does it make sense to waste more time and money on a plan to inform the residents about streetcar and Foothills? The same question goes for the 'advisory' vote in May. And if the vote goes against streetcar at that time, will the Four Who Don't Get It push for another, grander plan to inform the ignorant citizens? My guess is probably. Maybe it will never end, just like WEB!

It's so frustrating dealing with councilors who think you're stupid.

I feel so sorry for the councilors who do get it - Olson, Gudman and Kehoe - but who have to put up with this time and again. Thank you so much for your dedication and perseverance.

Gordon Umaki is a resident of Lake Oswego.