This is an open letter to the shareholders of Lake Oswego Corporation:
The Lake Oswego Corporation's annual Shareholder Meeting is fast approaching. Many have asked the Concerned Shareholders for guidance on the by-law amendments proposed by the board and on other issues that we face. We hope this letter will contribute to assessment of the issues and the decisions that will be made at the May 23 annual meeting.
What we have accomplished together
We have come a long way over the last three years. Due to pressure brought to bear on the LOC Board by its shareholders, the LOC has changed the way it does business in significant ways and adopted the following recommendations made by the Concerned Shareholders:
n The lake was drawn down this year;
n The LOC has hired a professional lake manager;
n Votes at the last annual meeting were counted by a neutral party;
n There now are term limits for board members;
n All areas of the lake have representation on the board;
n Minutes of board meetings now are being kept and published as are regular newsletters;
n More shareholders are involved in LOC committees;
n Water quality and sedimentation issues raised by the Concerned Shareholders slowly are being addressed and efforts to clean up surface debris have increased.
What still needs to be done
There still is much to be done. The Concerned Shareholders support the following:
n Reinstating reasonable flow of fresh, cold water to eliminate stagnation (algae don't like cold, moving water);
n Reducing reliance on warm, polluted surface water runoff to fill the lake;
n Testing less costly, chemical-free water treatment options and publishing results;
n Holding the city responsible for surface water runoff pollution;
n Dredging as needed to improve navigation and water quality;
n Exploring alternatives to lake closure for sewer intercept project;
n Seeking compensation from the city for any lake closure;
n Instituting secret ballots for elections to eliminate fears of retaliation;
n Allowing all interested candidates to run for board seats and eliminating board slates;
n Disallowing board candidates from serving on the slate selection committee;
n Increasing corporate openness to shareholders by taping board meetings and providing tapes to shareholders within seven days of request;
n LOC committees meeting regularly;
n Avoiding borrowing operating funds.
The LOC Board has proposed three by-law amendments. The amendment calling for legal fees to be imposed on the 'losing' party will further insulate the board from good faith shareholder challenges of improper board action. The board already is protected against shareholder action in large part by the Business Judgment Rule. To further insulate themselves from good faith suits is inappropriate and unfair to shareholders. We urge you to vote 'no' on this amendment.
The other two amendments will increase fees to selling homeowners and to lakefront owners that do not currently own a powerboat. These changes are driven by the substantial increases in the LOC's operating budget. We urge you to attend the annual meeting, listen to the board's budget proposals, ask questions and vote accordingly. You do not have to give the board your proxy in advance and can rescind it at any time before the election.
Finally, we hope you will continue to promote fresh faces for the LOC board. Concerned Shareholders Eric Wishan, Roger Hokanson and Shelley Lorenzen interviewed for the LOC slate this year but once again were not selected. You may write in your candidates of choice on your ballot.
We appreciate your continued support as we work together to improve the management and quality of Lake Oswego. Together we can continue to accomplish so much for the benefit of all. Please do not hesitate to contact us at salorenzenaol.com with any questions or concerns.
Shelley Lorenzen. Lake Oswego, on behalf of Concerned Shareholders of Lake Oswego Corporation.