I have a dream that the city council will not just listen but give great weight to the view of the neighborhood associations. That small special interest group with loud and aggressive spokespeople is not given preferential treatment to the detriment of the homes and families in the neighborhoods (Avamere would come to mind). I have a dream that the city council is committed to representative government and can put aside personal preferences for the good of the community (Safeco comes to mind).
I dream that higher taxes are not the only way to satisfy the vision of improving our city. Other methods of budget restraint could include a smaller budget (not the automatic increases consistently enacted), cost controls that would include a multiple bidding requirement, along with restraint and the prioritizing of projects.
I dream that costly mistakes could be reviewed and modified and that changes would be made by the council. The $100 million estimated for the Safeco community center could be rescinded and those important priorities be reviewed and listed for comments by the citizens of Lake Oswego. Included might be 1. The sewer system, 2. The water system, 3. Road improvements, 4. Park maintenance with new paths and clearing efforts for sitting areas and play areas, 5. Sky bridges for pedestrians to cross busy streets and roads, 6. Annexation of lands in the Stafford Triangle to be used for more sports fields and other uses for our children and residents.
I have a dream that the staff and employees at the city would consider themselves to be facilitators and not obstructionists. This would mean a necessary paradigm shift to improve relations with the public, and that solutions would be the intended result of the challenges before the staff and the citizen.
I have a dream that the council would consider the concepts of our founding fathers that limited government does work, and that elected citizens would only serve limited terms so that new ideas and solutions could be tried, and more residents would be involved in the democratic process. The theory should be that government cannot solve all problems, nor assist every individual, and that individual responsibility must be demanded of our citizens.
It must be a dream, because as I awake, I see the reality of the political atmosphere in Lake Oswego.
John Mills Woodworth is a resident of Lake Oswego.