This is an open letter to Mayor Jack Hoffman and the Lake Oswego City Council:
I have been interested in promoting the rights of senior citizens for many years. I was the administrative assistant to the Director of the Convent Care Center of the Sister of the Holy Names for five years and still maintain relationships there. During that time, I noted the problems of seniors, even those who are the members of a religious order.
Later we moved my mother to Oregon when she developed dementia. We went through two 'senior residences,' each of which provided more problems than solutions. We finally found a quality 'home' for her in Lake Oswego, near our house, with caring staff who met her needs until her death. I attended a great number of meetings and read an even larger number of books on aging. I wanted to utilize the knowledge I had gained for the benefit of my city. I volunteered for the Lake Oswego 50+ Advisory Board, interviewed for appointment and was named as the alternate. When a resignation occurred about four months ago, I expected to receive a letter advising me of my official appointment. When that letter did not come, I initiated inquiries as to the status of the appointment. I have learned my appointment will not be made official because Mayor Jack Hoffman has refused to name me to the board.
There is a history between Mayor Hoffman, myself and my husband. Gary and I are the political opposites of Jack Hoffman. We oppose virtually all of his progressive goals for Lake Oswego and have been very vocal and active in that opposition, in letters to the editor, in city council meetings and in our support for fiscal responsibility on the part of the city leaders. We oppose the Sensitive Lands Ordinance (our property is so designated) which places a limitation on the use of private properties as a tradeoff with Metro in order to develop the Foothills District located in a floodplain. We oppose the Foothills Development itself because city funds are being utilized in favor of private development, which we believe will be detrimental to the basic nature of Lake Oswego, converting our beautiful city to be an extension of Portland's South Waterfront. We oppose the wasting of federal, state, and local funds in the study and construction of the Portland to Lake Oswego streetcar whose main purpose is to ensure the Foothills development. Mayor Hoffman is apparently very resentful of our opposition to the extent he will not name me to the board.
There is nothing that I would be able to do as a member of that board that would be detrimental to Mayor Hoffman or his programs. My interest in being on the board was based solely on my interest in senior citizen matters of concern. This endeavor was not political on my part. It obviously is for Mayor Hoffman. I hereby withdraw my name as alternate to the board until such time as Jack Hoffman is no longer mayor of this city.
Gale Gipson is a resident of Lake Oswego.