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Theres a change in the guard over at Palisades

by: Sam Bennett,             
Sally Moncrieff was elected chair of the Palisades Neighborhood Association executive committee. She promised increased participation.

Last Thursday's meeting of the Palisades Neighborhood Association went exactly as planned.

More than 100 neighbors turned out to elect 17 officers and executive committee members. The winners expressed confidence about working cooperatively and improving communication.

'We want to work for the betterment of our neighborhood,' said Sally Moncrieff, new chair of the neighborhood association committee.

But this was no ordinary election. Many of those who came to the meeting wanted a chance to right a wrong, to have an election they said they were denied three weeks ago.

At that time, then-board chair Paul Ostroff postponed the election - infuriating a group who had come to the Lakeridge High School Rotunda Room that night, with proxies in hand, to be elected as new members.

As tempers flared over Ostroff's decision, police were called to keep things from spinning out of control.

Moncrieff, along with PNA member Bob Barman, demanded another chance to be elected and the date was set for June 28.

At last week's meeting, two Lake Oswego Police officers stood in the corner of the packed Lake Oswego Municipal Golf Course clubhouse as the 100 or so neighborhood members filed in.

Compared with the previous occasion, last Thursday's meeting was orderly, as Joe Hertzberg of Decisions Decisions mediated the process.

Each candidate had two minutes to make his or her case.

David Feathers said he is dedicated to 'making Palisades the place it has the potential to be.'

Feathers said Palisades is a compassionate neighborhood, and he noted that when he recently lost his parrot, others helped.

'I could hear people calling for my bird,' he said. 'People here come together over a pet.'

Mike Hall, one of the candidates who came back a second time for a shot at representing area 11 of the neighborhood, wore a sign that said 'full' on his chest.

'Full representation, full inclusion, and full awareness by the 1,547 households is important,' Hall said.

All 17 incumbents were replaced, including Ostroff, who missed the meeting because he was in Chicago.

For Barman, who now represents area 1, the outcome was satisfying.

'The process was really friendly and reasonable, and that's what Palisades is all about,' he said. 'All I wanted from the beginning was a process where the entire neighborhood could come together and elect whomever they wanted.'

He said his priorities will be moving ahead with the neighborhood's 20-year plan and neighborhood zoning and sewer issues.

'Our responsibility now is to make sure everyone gets involved in the neighborhood,' he said.

'Our main agenda is to increase participation, improve communication of what's going on in the neighborhood and utilize area managers,' said Moncrieff. 'I want residents to know that, by virtue of living in the neighborhood, they have a choice and a right to voice their opinions.'

The board's executive committee meeting will be at 7 p.m. tonight at Moncrieff's home, 2643 Rivendell Road. A general board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. July 19 at Lakeridge High School, at the association's annual Fun Day at the track.