Oregon City voters sent a clear message in last week's election that they want to improve their city's economy and its quality of life.

The successful recall campaign against Commissioner Jim Nicita was clouded by misinformation coming from both sides, but at its heart, this was an election about how best to advance the city's economic future.

Nicita's downfall came as a result of his opposition to The Rivers development, which would have brought new stores, money and opportunity to Oregon City residents.

From the start, most people in Oregon City have wanted to see the type of quality development that The Rivers would represent. In that respect, opponents of the project were misreading the community's sentiments when they tried to block the use of urban renewal funds for that purpose. Why wouldn't Oregon City want to have a shopping center of a scale and quality similar to Cascade Station near Portland International Airport, Bridgeport Village in Tualatin or Gresham Station off the MAX line in Gresham?

The developer of those projects, Fred Bruning's CenterCal, was behind The Rivers proposal. He already has been successful in Portland, Gresham and Tualatin, so why was he greeted with such suspicion in Oregon City?

Nicita and his allies, certainly, had every right to their point of view, but citizens also have the authority to decide if they are being accurately represented. Now that voters have made their decision, we hope the community can move forward in a more unified fashion.

Whether Nicita's recall will do anything to revive The Rivers project remains to be seen. At this point, Bruning has moved on to other possibilities. He said that he's waiting for another invitation from the city before renewing negotiations.

But the election does clarify the community's intentions. Oregon City residents favor quality development and they are interested in creating jobs that in turn support public services that benefit us all. Despite the negativity of this campaign, that outcome should be a positive sign for people wanting to do business in Oregon City.

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