I've been a resident of Lake Oswego since 1986. Back then, folks were still picking mushrooms out of the field that is now the Westlake Neighborhood.
There were only a few commercial buildings along Kruse Way and Meadows Road, and a good many of them were nearly empty. And downtown Lake Oswego looked pretty run-down.
Things look different now, and many of these positive changes are because of the dedication and hard work of the mayor, the city council, the city administration and city staff we've had over the past eight years. City Manager Doug Schmitz left about a year ago, and in January, Mayor Judie Hammerstad will retire, because of term limits. The city council will also see new faces.
It's time to say 'thank you.'
The city of Lake Oswego has had unprecedented growth and stability these past eight years. The number of successful projects has been stunning.
Included in this list would be:
n Establishment of the Farmers' Market, which has added a much neededvibrancy to the city.
n Millennium Plaza Park, which provides a perfect setting for many local events.
n Improvements to our existing parks system, and the development of new parks including Foothills Park, the wonderful new dog parks and Hazelia Field on Stafford Road
n Numerous downtown beautification projects, including the median-strip landscape plantings throughout the city, the Headlee walkway along the lake, and the 'Gallery without Walls' artwork around the city.
n The 'Lake Oswego Reads' program, developed through the Lake Oswego Library.
n Continued open space acquisition.
n Creation of a public-private partnership, for the development of the southwest corner of State and A Streets (Lake Vew Village)
n Purchase of the West End (Safeco) Building, which, despite all the controversy surrounding this property, will, in my opinion, prove to be one of the more astute long-range decisions by the mayor and city council and will benefit future generations of Lake Oswegans.
Residents of the city of Lake Oswego have been most fortunate to have had a progressive, forward-thinking mayor, city manager and city council, backed-up by a dedicated city staff, for these past eight years.
This city looks and feels like a first-class place.
I think it's time for a warm and hearty round of applause.
Charles Oldham is a resident of Lake Oswego. He served for two years as chair of the Lake Oswego Planning Commission, has been president of Lake Oswego Rotary and Board President of Portland Audubon Society.