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Lake Oswego voters may decide West End Building's status

Grassroots group files initiative petition to put measure on ballot

A grassroots citizen committee wants to ask Lake Oswego voters whether the city ought to sell its newly acquired West End Building, formerly owned by Safeco Insurance.

The group, which calls itself Ask Lake Oswegans, filed an initiative petition Friday with the city elections office.

If a pending signature campaign puts the measure on the ballot for November 2007, voters will decide whether they want to approve public land purchases of more than $1 million.

The ballot measure is retroactive, dating back to April 1, 2006, just prior to the city's $20 million acquisition of the Safeco building.

If approved, the measure would immediately prompt a vote on whether Lake Oswegans want to spend the $20 million city officials paid for the Safeco building about a year ago.

If voters reject the purchase, the measure gives city leaders 180 days to sell the property.