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Lake Grove hosts the candidates at forum

Candidates for mayor and city council in Lake Oswego - all nine of them - will make their first public appearances together next week.

Each will take part in a forum sponsored by the Lake Grove Neighborhood Association Monday at 7 p.m. at the Lake Grove Presbyterian Church, 4040 Sunset Drive.

As the seven city council hopefuls and two aspiring mayors vie for charge of city hall, audience questions will control much of the debate, forum organizers say. Questions from the audience follow a single question to each candidate from the neighborhood association.

None of the questions will be known to candidates before the forum, according to Barbara Zeller, chair of the neighborhood association. Instead, prepared statements by candidates will come in the form of three-minute introductions from each.

The candidates include John Surrett, a former energy executive and restauranteur, and Jack Hoffman, a land use attorney and former city councilman, in the race for mayor. Either Surrett or Hoffman will replace Mayor Judie Hammerstad, who will leave office at the end of 2008 because of term limits.

The seven candidates for city council include Devin Holz, Mary Olson, Sally Moncrieff, Jeff Gudman, Bill Tierney, Russell Jones and Justin Luber.

The top three vote-getters in that race will fill three open positions on the seven-member city council, vacated by John Turchi, Frank Groznik and Ellie McPeak at the end of 2008. McPeak and Turchi will leave office because of term limits; Groznik is not seeking re-election.

Though the forum is part of the Lake Grove Neighborhood Association's annual meeting, it is open to the public. The forum follows basic business for the neighbhood association, which begins at 7 p.m.

'It is completely open to Lake Oswego,' said Zeller. 'Bring your family, your friends.'

Those who attend are asked to frame all remarks to the candidates as questions, Zeller said. Citizen statements about political beliefs or personal perceptions will not be part of the format.