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Surrett would make a 'dynamic' mayor

To the Editor:

John Surrett would make a terrific mayor. His laser-like intelligence sees to the heart of any complex issue, he listens with an open mind, he's frank, honest, and dedicated.

Why should we back John Surrett? Before city council decided to buy the Safeco Building, scores of people flocked to city council meetings hoping to learn. Because those carefully controlled meetings permitted only a few minutes to ask questions or state concerns, squelching open dialogue, many of those attending convened public meetings at a local church where everyone was heard.

John Surrett arrived as an interested citizen and emerged as a natural leader. He shared his deep knowledge of the challenges Lake Oswego faced. He asked: 'What are the long-run implications of council's behavior for everyone living in Lake Oswego?'

He urged action and collaborated with others to form a group called 'Ask Lake Oswegans.' The central aim of 'Ask Lake Oswegans' was to tell the public about the council's great power to spend money and to give people a chance to curb this power.

Thanks mainly to Mr. Surrett's hard work, Lake Oswego citizens had the chance to vote on whether they wanted to limit city council's spending power.

Do you really want business as usual - as it has been done under the current mayor and by a council to which Mr. Hoffman belonged? Or do you want a dynamic leader of exceptional courage, integrity and forthrightness who will listen to you?

Elaine Johnson

Lake Oswego

Garrett would serve us well in Salem

To the Editor:

This November, voters must decide who will represent District 38 down in Salem - Republican Steve Griffith or Democrat Chris Garrett.

Given that we face issues of economic uncertainty, schools that are in need of proper funding and a fragile environment to care for (to name just a few), we need someone with both knowledge of the political process as well as a strong compass with regards to our needs.

Chris Garrett is the man for the job. He has already proven his ability to work on legislation that positively affects our lives - from protecting our environment, providing ways to obtain more school funds, and helping to secure proper health care for Oregonians. Given that, it's no surprise that he is backed by a litany of respected organizations and regional leaders.

In these times, it is wise to go with what works. Chris Garrett has already proven that he's capable of improving the lives of residents of District 38. He's a hard worker, and has inspired ideas. Imagine what he could accomplish as our representative. We should elect him, and give him the 'legs to run' down in Salem.

Kevin D'Haeze

Lake Oswego

Take 'a deep dive into the numbers'

To the Editor:

I am impressed with the high quality feasibility analysis and project plan for the new sewer interceptor.

The coverage in the Lake Oswego Review and the Lake Interceptor Website educated me, but I can't help but hear that nagging voice 'how much is planned for cost overruns?' Forecasting a $100M project is a big job. A job well done would hit that number +/- 10 percent. Big projects are hard to estimate, so do we have solid contingency planning? The OHSU Tram started out at $17 million, but came in at $57 million; the Chunnel started at $8 billion and came in at $21 billion.

When I read the sewer interceptor 'is the biggest public works project ever undertaken in Lake Oswego and among the most complicated sewer projects in the world. '(LO Review: A lesson in physics: Why will LOIS actually work? Sept. 18), I get nervous - is it $100 million, $125 million or better yet,$300 million. I looked for financial information about the $100 million and found only this information, 'Given current cost estimates, a 20-year revenue bond would increase the sewer portion of utility bills by 10 percent a year from today's average of $326 to $768 in 10 years' (http://lakeinterceptor.com/background.php ). Add these utility bill payments, with tax increases for the West End Building that are coming and my new taxes to pay for the $700 billion Wall Street 'opportunity,' and I know our taxes are going to be much higher, but how much? My goal in writing this letter is not to be divisive, but to see if we can do a deep dive into the numbers, if we have not already done so. Transparency into the forecasting process and planning for cost overruns will help us all go in with our eyes wide open. There is no guarantee we won't have overruns, but at least people can feel comfortable that those leading the project forecasted and planned as best as possible and we can support them in a successful execution of the project.

Jennifer Clark

Lake Oswego

Hoffman would be a strong mayor

To the Editor:

With no hesitation I support Jack Hoffman for mayor of Lake Oswego.

Jack and I served on city council together for six years. He brought to the table unrelenting questions, diligence and an impressive extent of research - both pro and con -regarding myriad issues we deliberated, a keen and patient ear for opinions whether pro or con and sound reasoning for his decisions.

Jack would not allow the council to ignore the question, 'What are the unforeseen consequences of the decision we are making?' His delving into issues went far beyond the reach for easy platitudes and pandering. At all times, Jack was a champion for what would be best for Lake Oswego. Detractors could say that because he did not vote their way that he wasn't listening. Quite the contrary, Jack was an incredible listener, and probed and weighed opposing viewpoints.

Lake Oswego does not, cannot live in a vacuum in this region. Jack's experience on the Metro Policy Advisory Committee and as chair in 2005 saw him working with the communities in the entire Portland metropolitan area. His contacts with those in regional and state governments, community activists and organizations, professional individuals and businesses local and region-wide have all given Jack the kind of knowledge and expertise to lead our community in addressing the pressing issues of today and tomorrow.

Exceptional leaders recognize the destructiveness of negativity, and instead reach for the tremendous value of regional and local partnerships, enrich and preserve the environment for future generations and tap the expertise and passion of its citizens.

Jack is this exceptional leader we need as our community's next mayor.

Gay Graham

City Councilor, 2001-2006

Lake Oswego

LO would be lucky to have Gudman serve

To the Editor:

I have known Jeff Gudman for six years through his role as a volunteer to Oregon Swimming (OSI). OSI is the governing body for the USA Swimming Clubs (Club Swim Teams) in the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Jeff is a member of the OSI board of directors and volunteers as a meet official at many swim meets throughout the state of Oregon every year. OSI has several thousand members and is the best- run youth organization I have come across. I have been involved in many other youth organizations in my life and OSI is the most effective and financially solvent I have seen.

Part of the reason for OSI's success is the contributions of Jeff Gudman. I have not always agreed with Jeff but he always brings a solid position to the table that has been well thought out and is what he believes is the best for all the members of OSI, not just a few.

Lake Oswego would be very fortunate to have someone with Jeff's skills and experience on our city council especially in these times of financial chaos.

Bill Wiley

Lake Oswego

Obama is worthy of our support for president

To the Editor:

Both presidential candidates are being criticized for avoiding the question about what they would have to defer or give up in their domestic agendas in light of the current financial crises.

During the first debate, Obama responded that the budget implications are not yet known, though any plan must ensure the American taxpayers recover their investment, and then some. McCain had no response.

It occurs to me after watching the debate and reading The Oregonian this morning that Obama is the only candidate with a domestic agenda. McCain, like his predecessor, has none. This very simple distinction is important.

McCain has no domestic agenda. He cares passionately about our soldiers, including veterans, which I applaud, but he is blind to the most pressing issues on our homefront: Jobs, environment, health care, Social Security and education.

McCain represents a continuation of Ambush Economics. We cannot afford another four years of trickle-down lies and international callousness. Follow your conscience, vote for Barack.

Scot Siegel

Lake Oswego

Surrett qualified to be Lake Oswego's mayor

To the Editor:

In reviewing the Sept. 18, Lake Oswego Review, I noticed a blog following an article by Mayoral candidate Jack Hoffman. That blog included two quoted comments Mr. Hoffman made while he was on the city council.

Specifically, 'Councilor Hoffman … saw the School Foundation demanding more of the school board and the superintendent as more and more wealthy families moved into Lake Oswego and gave large donations to the Foundation; a situation he believed would get worse rather than better. Councilor Hoffman speculated that the schools in Lake Oswego, which were 'semi-private' now, would become almost exclusive in 10 years.' http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/calendar/councilmtgs/documents/012006retreat.pdf .

These comments demean the residents who have given their hard-earned dollars and tremendous support to both the Foundation and schools. What would Jack have us do, redirect those donations and taxes into unneeded projects like the Safeco purchase or a community center … projects which he actively supported as a councilman?

In reviewing John Surrett's history of activity within this community, along with his current campaign literature, it is clear that he is fully committed to supporting the future of our schools and the Foundation. Additionally, John is qualified to deal with the expensive infrastructure challenges confronting our city. I plan to vote for him as mayor. I encourage each of you to read the minutes contained in the above URL and to conduct additional research of Jack Hoffman's record. These and other minutes reveal a lot about Jack Hoffman's views about public contributions and government project management.

Robert Eidson

Lake Oswego

Hoffman has the right background for mayor

To the Editor:

This letter is to strongly endorse Jack Hoffman for mayor, an endorsement in which my wife, Virginia joins.

This judgment is based on our 57 years of residence in Lake Oswego, during which time I had the privilege of serving one term as city councilman and two terms as mayor - which convinced me that it is crucially important that a mayor have had experience on council before assuming the responsibilities of mayor.

Jack Hoffman meets this vital test - his two terms as councilor prove that he is knowledgeable about all city departments, their functioning, requirements and budgets.

His career as a land use attorney puts him in a unique position to understand the statutory legalities as well as financial limitations of city government.

As a resident of First Addition, Jack Hoffman is well acquainted with this town's loss of affordable housing as well as more than half of our historic houses.

Jack Hoffman's experience in city service gives him a clear picture of our city infastructure and a forward, measured look at our future.

Jack Hoffman has earned and should receive our votes.

C.Herald Campbell

Former Lake Oswego mayor

Lake Oswego

Support the library measure on ballot

To the Editor:

I grew up in a community too small to support a library, so my love of books was fostered by a high school English teacher who introduced me to my school library and good reading.

As fate would have it, my life with my family was itinerant for many years, and each time I found myself dropped into a new and unfamiliar situation, the first thing I did was locate the library. It gave me a sense of connection with a new community and activities for the children while we became oriented.

When we settled in Lake Oswego - now some 38 years ago - we chose a place within walking distance of the library and have availed ourselves of almost every program it offers. A central resource becomes even more important in uncertain economic times when our ability to provide our own resources might be challenged.

It's hard to imagine how different my life might have been without libraries, nor how it would change without them now.

No question about how I will vote on the Clackamas County Library District measure on the November ballot.

Margaret Ward

Board Member, Friends of the Lake Oswego Library

Lake Oswego

Garrett gets our vote for state rep

To the Editor:

Some slogans - be they marketing or political - have a message that just sticks in our mind. In this historic election cycle, there are two that come to mind: 'Just Do It' and 'All Politics Is Local.' These phrases seem applicable to the importance of filling in the entire ballot when we vote on Nov. 4.

It has been reported that approximately 39 percent of voters did not vote down their ballot in the Primary Election. Ballots were submitted incomplete, leaving choices for state, federal, and county candidates blank. The reasons appear to be due to a lack of information. This is puzzling because I believe we have one of the best public broadcasting stations in the nation with OPB. Our local newspapers do a respectable job reporting on local issues and forums are held for the public to attend. Campaign literature is abundant, and research via the Internet is easy. After some time spent a voter will have the necessary information to cast a vote.

It is in this regard we support Chris Garrett, for state representative in House District 38.

Not only are his educational qualifications and experience working (for) the Legislature impressive, he supports the three basic issues - adequate funding for education, health care and the environment.

We invite you to check out his Web site: www.chrisfororegon.com and learn more about why Chris Garrett is the best choice to represent us in Salem.

Rosie and Craig Stephens

Lake Oswego

Vote for Sally Moncrieff for Lake Oswego Council

To the Editor:

I highly recommend that you vote for Sally Moncrieff for city council.

I have worked with Sally Moncrieff on the Lake Oswego School District Foundation and I also know her through her work with the Palisades Neighborhood Association. I live in the Palisades Neighborhood.

Sally is a true professional. She is thoughtful and thorough with her decision-making process. She listens to people and helps bring about a consensus. One of her strongest qualities is her leadership ability. She is diplomatic and inclusive.

I strongly recommend that you vote for her for city council. She will make an excellent city councilor.

Katy Barman

Lake Oswego

Richard Seals will be missed in Lake Oswego

To the Editor:

It is with mixed emotions that I read in last week's Review that Richard Seals, finance director for the city of Lake Oswego, will be taking a similar position with the city of West Linn.

While on a personal level I am pleased for Richard Seals and his new job, it is with no small amount of regret that future councils will not have the opportunity to benefit from his skills and knowledge on a ongoing basis.

To put it simply, Richard Seals has been an outstanding public servant for the city of Lake Oswego. He has been a key part of the city's attainment of an AAA bond rating (which means lower property taxes) as well as guiding the city to multiple national awards in recognition of the openness and transparency of the published budget. In addition, he has been scrupulous about his presenting of material concerning the various issues facing the city.

Good luck to you, Richard. You will be missed.

Jeff Gudman

City Council candidate

Lake Oswego

Surrett is more than a one-issue candidate

To the Editor:

Eric Meyer's letter in last week's Review implies that John Surrett is running for mayor of Lake Oswego on one issue - Safeco. That is not true!

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Mr. Surrett has attended about 90 percent of the city council meetings for more than two years and has participated in public hearings on a wide range of topics including: Funding the sewer interceptor, the now-torn down US Bank Building, the joint water agreement, etc. I know! I have attended many of those meetings. John's remarks are all in the public record. Jack Hoffman has not been there, which begs the question: 'Where were you Jack?'

Also, John has weighed in on issues through letters to the editor and citizen's views, in his campaign literature, on his WEB site (http://www.surrettformayor.com/ ) and in appearances at public forums for several months. These include: Keeping Lake Oswego affordable, support for our schools, maintaining the quality of our neighborhoods, and balancing economic development and growth management within our city. It is all there for anyone who has an objective interest to review.

When throwing stones, Mr. Meyer, you must be careful not to drop them on your own foot, as you have unquestionably done in this case!

Full disclosure: I support John Surrett for Mayor. 'Fuller' disclosure: Eric Meyer supports Jack Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman wants to run away from his statements as a councilman for eight years and to 'reinvent' himself as his election material shows. Vote Surrett for mayor.

Carolyne R. Jones

Lake Oswego

Obama brings 'hope for the future of our country'

To the Editor:

I am a 14-year-old freshman in high school. I'm not old enough to vote but if I could I would vote for Sen. Barack Obama.

As a teenager, I feel disheartened by what I hear on the news and read in the paper. I question the president's leadership and decision- making abilities. Our country is stuck in a costly war with no end in sight and now we are in an economic crisis.

Our past decisions will greatly impact the future in a negative way. As I've watched our country dig deeper and deeper into its problems, I wonder if these issues are being handled with my generation in mind. What are our country's values, power or people? Money or innocent lives? $720 million is spent each day to fund the war in Iraq. I can think of 720 million better things to spend our money on daily.

This money could be spent on education, health care, housing and tackling world poverty and injustice. That is why this election is the most critical election yet.

We need a president who can make necessary changes and lead us in a new direction. I am confident Barack Obama will do that.

I like his positions on improving education, ending the war, providing health care for all, and financial accountability. Barack Obama is the best candidate for president in 2008.

Please vote because there is hope for the future of our country, and his name is Barack Obama.

Anna Engstrom

Lake Oswego

Diversity is important in the city council race

To the Editor:

My fellow Lake Oswegans, as a candidate for city council I am very concerned about the direction the city is taking in regards to Safeco and the pending sewer project.

But I am also concerned about the lack of diversity in our city government. I believe in order to faithfully represent a diverse community one's government must also reflect that. Born in Korea, I would bring instant diversity and a new outlook for progress that has been lacking in our city council.

We have a great opportunity on the national stage, but we also have that here in Lake Oswego as well. Long after sewer lines and Safeco buildings come and go there will still, and always will, be a need for diversity.

Devin Holz

City Council candidate

Lake Oswego

Gudman is good for the neighborhoods

To the Editor:

Lake Oswegans are fortunate to have the opportunity to vote this year for Jeff Gudman for city council. We have known Jeff more than 10 years and think he is eminently qualified to serve on the council.

While Jeff is fiscally conservative, he is dedicated to the neighborhood association movement in this city. He has been a leader in the Holly Orchard NA and has been active in the Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition for many years, serving as chair for several years. We have been impressed with his willingness to come to the table without having made up his mind, thereby listening and making considered decisions after hearing all points of view. In the past, he volunteered his time to the city by serving as chair of the budget committee and working on transportation issues. He is not a newcomer to the Lake Oswego political scene.

Jeff offers neighborhood residents a clear choice to vote for a neighborhood supporter.

Matt and Sherry Finnigan

Lake Oswego