Remember what Lake Oswego was like back in the year 2000?
Can you list the changes in the city since then that have made your life better? Do you take pride in your city?
Regardless of where you stand politically or personally, it is worthwhile to take a moment and acknowledge a group of people who have worked tirelessly to help make Lake Oswego the envy of many other communities in Oregon.
On Tuesday, the city of Lake Oswego will witness a significant changing of the guard as new elected officials take office and four longtime city officials - Mayor Judie Hammerstad and city councilors Frank Groznik, Ellie McPeak and John Turchi - step down. For Hammerstad, McPeak and Turchi, in particular, the departure ends an era of significant public projects. While we are not trying to belittle Groznik's contributions, the eight years in office for Hammerstad, McPeak and Turchi represented a significant era of growth in the city.
All were involved to some degree with many of the Lake Oswego icons that many of us now include in our daily routine, including:
n Millennium Plaza Park - Lake Oswego's 'living room.'
n Farmer's Market.
n Lake View Village.
n Additions to Luscher Farm, including Hazelia Field and the popular dog parks.
n Development of Foothills Park.
n Opening up views of Oswego Lake from the downtown core.
n Purchase of additional open space and park lands.
n Development of pathways and bike paths.
Overall, it's been a good run.
It remains to be seen how one public project - one of the biggest - eventually plays out in Lake Oswego: The West End Building (formerly Safeco) has its defenders and its opponents. It has served as a controversial lightning rod for this council for the past several years.
Still looming are other efforts such as the spendy Interceptor project, the new water pact with Tigard and growth in the Stafford Triangle.
We admire all four of these departing leaders and thank them for their service.
A public celebration will honor them and their replacements on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lake Oswego City Hall, 380 A Ave. The event will begin after incoming Mayor Jack Hoffman and new city councilors Sally Moncrieff, Bill Tierney and Mary Olson are sworn into office.
We encourage Lake Oswegans to attend the festivities and thank all eight people for choosing the often-contentious world of public service.
And to Judie Hammerstad, Frank Groznik, Ellie McPeak and John Turchi, especially: God speed. Thanks for your efforts. Thanks for your successes. Good luck in your futures.