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As a councilor, questions on cost, payment would be key

by: Submitted, Jeff Gudman

I'm running for Lake Oswego City Council and asking for your vote because I care about protecting Lake Oswego's quality of life.

I want to work with each citizen, to develop collaborative, financially sound solutions to the challenges our city faces. These challenges include building the Lake Interceptor project on time and on budget, continuing the work of the downtown redevelopment plan, successfully implementing neighborhood plans, resolving the West End Building/Safeco building purchase and successfully navigating the impact of changes in the Stafford Triangle.

To do these projects successfully requires a person who is an independent thinker and a team player. Mayor Hammerstad and former mayor Klammer have described me in the same way… an independent thinker and a team player.

I have lived in the Portland metropolitan area all my life and in Lake Oswego since 1976. My undergraduate degree from Pomona College is in economics and I have a master's in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. I have worked for start-up companies, medium-size companies and Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to my business career I have been an active member of the Lake Oswego community. I have served as the chair of the Lake Oswego Budget Committee, chair of the Lake Oswego Shuttle Transit Advisory Committee, a member of the Lake Oswego-West Linn Aquatic Facility Task Force, a member of the West End Building Steering Committee, a member of my neighborhood (Holly Orchard) board and a past chair of the Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition (LONAC). What I will bring to service on the council is not only an active sense of community but a very strong financial background.

Every project and program that comes to the council has its merits and supporters. As a member of the city council it is my obligation to the citizens to ask the following two question about each project or program. First, what is the project going to cost. Second, how is the project going to be paid for. My service on our city budget committee and my lifetime of financial experience has shown that we can prioritize our spending to avoid needlessly raising taxes.

I have the necessary experience and leadership skills needed. I understand we need effective leaders who will seek reasonable, common-sense solutions. I will listen and be open to new ideas and different viewpoints. But above all will be my respect for each and every citizen of the community, whether we agree or disagree on any particular issue.

Over the last several weeks it has been my pleasure to participate in a variety of forums with my fellow council candidates as well as meeting many of you at football games, soccer games, the grocery store, your home and around our city. I have been gratified by the graciousness shown by each person I have met and the willingness to engage in conversation about our city.

I am asking for your vote this election and for the opportunity to be of service in a thoughtful, respectful and fiscally sound way.

Jeff Gudman is a candidate for Lake Oswego City Council.