The article last week (in the Lake Oswego Review) concerning Lake Oswego voters' overwhelming defeat of Measure 3-295 contained further proof of the blind arrogance of the Lake Oswego City Council.
First, the council assumed voters would not see through the scam that the bond measure would only add $105 per year to your taxes: Assuming you can still find the referenced $300K house in Lake Oswego, the total cost, after the additional needed funding to actually do anything useful with the Safeco building, would be multiples of the $105 oft cited. Add this to the bond issues carefully timed not to be on the ballot at the same time (including the sewer by-pass) and the tax hit on the average homeowner would be four figures.
Upon defeat of the measure, Councilor (Donna) Jordan was quoted as saying: 'We have reconciled to the fact that people didn't want to pay for this right now for a lot of reasons.' If Jordan and the others had actually listened to the citizens of Lake Oswego, they would know we do not want to pay for this folly 'right now' - or ever. Ugly truth is that if the council had done the right thing in the first place, and asked the taxpayers if they wanted to blow $100+ million (total cost) on a building with no identified use, this whole circus would have been nipped in the bud. But they didn't ask, they squandered $20 million of our money (plus $1 million per year interest) on this debacle. If they had any semblance of fiduciary responsibility, the building would be sold and losses cut.
In case you still have any doubts about the (lack of) integrity of the Lake Oswego City Council (and Mayor) on this matter, recall that the building was acquired after a public threat of condemnation (eminent domain). Given that this is a process reserved for 'public need' and the council cannot, after all this time, even come up with a decent public 'want,' I am surprised Safeco is not seeking legal action. Perhaps the council so overpaid (with your money) that Safeco is fine with it all.
In addition to the original $20 million appropriated by the council for this debacle, and the $1 million per year in interest, taxpayer should remember that while the council plays around with this deal, a major piece of real estate is off the tax rolls.
Do not miss an opportunity to tell the council and the mayor to sell the Safeco property and restore some semblance of sanity to our city.
Dave Luck is a resident of Lake Oswego.