Way back in the fall of 1988 I decided to get involved in the general election campaign for state representative in Lake Oswego.

I walked door to door in the Bryant Neighborhood handing out pamphlets, made phone calls throughout the city and even addressed envelopes, all in the hopes of defeating Rep. Judie Hammerstad for re-election. Rep. Judie Hammerstad lost that election and I learned a big lesson. Just don't vote for someone because of his or her party label but learn if possible the true character of the candidate.

That vote was the one vote in my life I wish I could take back. Judie has been a tireless advocate for Lake Oswego and our region for decades. Judie has been a wonderful voice for progress and a real voice for small business. I look at this wonderful village we live in today and thank her for her great leadership moving Lake Oswego forward.

It wasn't that long ago that on a Friday or Saturday night you would almost reflexively head to downtown Portland for dinner. It isn't that Lake Oswego didn't have some great restaurants it was that we had only a handful. Mayor Judie helped lead and was a major cheerleader for the building of Lake View Village, Millennium Plaza Park, Foothills Park, Hazelia Field and many, many other projects.

Judie's leadership, her strong city council and most importantly her strong support from us the citizens brought these projects to life. So many people say well Lake View Village wasn't controversial. It was very controversial at the time. Many people, including two former city councilors, felt that we should keep the quaint look in tact of the 1950s building that preceded Lake View Village. Thank you, Judie, for supporting the replacement of those buildings.

Judie had a vision to have a walking pathway around Lakewood Bay that would become Headlee Walkway. I was vice president of the Lake Corporation at the time the Headlee Walkway was built and it would not have been built without her leadership. Judie had a simple vision. Why don't we have great visual access and a wonderful walkway to tie local neighborhoods to downtown? Thank you for your patient, determined leadership to bring this central connection to downtown and at the same time honor the Headlee family with a wonderful legacy.

I think the No. 1 reason that Judie was such a consequential mayor is she has been a major supporter of small business and by strengthening our downtown and keeping the village feel of our town she has strengthened every business. I won't mention other cities by name but when you drive through Lake Oswego you see wonderful family-owned businesses, many with unique offerings. They have grown and thrived under Judie's watch. Thank goodness we don't have big box after big box. We have family- owned business after family-owned business. Lets remember to support every locally owned business!

Judie, I hope you enjoy your well-earned break. I promise if you decide to run for state representative again I will walk door to door, make phone calls and even address envelopes for you.

Congratulations, thanks and good luck.

Bob Barman is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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