Mayor, council races set with 9 candidates filing in Lake Oswego
- Lee van der Voo
- Lake Oswego Review - News
The filing deadline for candidates in Lake Oswego elections has passed and seven city council hopefuls plus two aspiring mayors will now vie for charge of city hall.
Three current members of the Lake Oswego City Council will end their terms of service in December: John Turchi, Frank Groznik and Ellie McPeak. Mayor Judie Hammerstad will also leave office.
Hammerstad, McPeak and Turchi are ineligible to run again due to term limits. Groznik has announced he will not seek re-election.
With four of seven positions open, a majority of the Lake Oswego City Council hangs in the balance. Officials in the Clackamas County Elections Department estimate this year's presidential election will draw an 88 percent voter turnout by Nov. 4.
In Lake Oswego, voters will choose more than just fresh faces when ballots are cast. They also will choose a new direction for city leadership.
In a community that became bitterly divided following the purchase of the West End Building in 2006, 'change' is more than just a buzz word for the presidential campaigns.
Candidates here have been quick to identify themselves as old and new voices in city politics. Three of the candidates in upcoming elections played a role in 2007 elections as members of the Ask Lake Oswegans, a political group that formed to try to force the sale of the West End Building and ask for voter approval on similar purchases.
Mayoral candidate John Surrett and city council candidate Mary Olson were part of the Ask Lake Oswegans effort. Russell Jones, also a city council candidate, publicly supported the group's bond measure though he never joined its membership. Now that the Ask Lake Oswegans have disbanded, all three are working to establish themselves in a campaign that promises to be about more issues than those that first galvanized the political group.
Other candidates have also seized on a message of change and are working to distance themselves from leadership styles that failed the current administration.
In an election where those varying political styles will come to bear on a number of critical issues, Lake Oswego's voters are on track to learn more.
Neighborhood associations, the Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition, the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce and political groups all are rolling the welcome mat out to candidates at annual meetings, forums and other events designed to flush out the range of political ideas in the election.
Citywide, local people are aiming to choose candidates who can best oversee construction of the city's one-of-a-kind floating sewer pipe in Oswego Lake and resolve the fate of the West End Building.
But a range of other issues also affect smaller areas of the city.
Barbara Zeller, chair of the Lake Grove Neighborhood Association, said that neighborhood continues to struggle with loss of privacy, narrow setbacks between old and new construction and the lot sizes associated with residential infill.
Voters there, she said, 'are really concerned about how these candidates will creatively address, or redress, the problems confronting folks.'
In Holly Orchard, where infrastructure is more than 20 years old, Laura Miles, chair of the Holly Orchard Neighborhood Association, said mobility is at issue as residents age.
'We have sidewalk issues and tree issues and a lot of the funding is being focused on other areas,' said Miles.
The Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition 'is very much focused on neighborhood issues, neighborhood planning and quality of life,' according to Carolyn Krebs, who serves on the coalition's executive committee.
Business owners, meanwhile, look for candidates friendly to business and interested in promoting economic growth.
As all of those groups gear up for civic forums in the next two months, organizers say they want to learn more about the choices in this year's elections while giving Lake Oswego residents a chance to sit in.
* The Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce will host a breakfast forum for candidates Oct. 7 at 7 a.m. at the Oswego Lake Country Club, 20 Iron Mountain Blvd.
* The Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition will hold a candidates forum Oct. 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way.
* The Lake Grove Neighborhood Association will host a candidates forum Sept. 15 at the Lake Grove Presbyterian Church, 4040 Sunset Drive.
* Palisades residents can also hear from candidates at their annual meeting, set for Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at Stafford at Avamere, 1200 Overlook Drive.
* Holly Orchard has also invited some candidates to speak at its annual meeting Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way.
Reach the candidates
(This article has been modified to clarify details about the Ask Lake Oswegans group and to correct an email address for one of the candidates.)