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Despite differences, we share common concerns in our city

Congratulations to Lake Oswego Mayor-elect Jack Hoffman and Councilors-elect Bill Tierney, Mary Olsen and Sally Moncrieff. Congratulations to the citizens of Lake Oswego on renewing the local option for schools and passing the library district measure. The funding provided by these measures will continue to keep our schools and libraries excellent.

A good example of this excellence is the Scholars Alliance which brings high school parents together with their students one Saturday a month to develop critical thinking skills and to better prepare for college. Another is the Lake Oswego Reads program held in February sponsored by our library in which the whole community reads and discusses a book together thus opening ourselves to new ideas and different cultures.

We in Lake Oswego are not immune from the national economic crisis and recession. It is important that our citizens, our community organizations, the city and our school district work to support each other in a time of crisis. For example, we all need to support our local businesses, retailers and restaurants during this holiday season as many are struggling due to declining sales. Also, our not-for-profit groups that help those who are needy by providing food, clothing and housing assistance need our support during these difficult times.

I am also hopeful that we in Lake Oswego will continue to reach out to our neighbors and listen and help each other. We may have differing political viewpoints but we all live in the same community. We are high wage earners, professionals, unemployed and those who are retired on fixed incomes. We have multiple generations, young, old and those who are middle aged. We are children, some of whom are struggling in school and need mentors, tutors and just someone to take an interest in their success. We have budding athletes that need good coaches and fans to show up at the games. We are single parents who struggle to meet the demands of jobs and family life. We are grandparents worried about the cost of college education for their grandchildren. We are the retired worried about the declining 401k and the cost of health care. We are of difference races, religions and ethnic backgrounds.

Yet we are all Lake Oswegans and members of this community. Our concerns are valid and our fears are real - at least to us. As we go forward in these challenging times, let us focus on our neighbor and the greater good of our community. Then we can truly say that we have done our part to Keep Lake Oswego Great!

Rob Le Chevallier, Lake Oswego, is chair of Keep Lake Oswego Great.