A $2 million limitation shouldnt cause the city major problems
In the Sept. 13th issue of the Review there was a letter by Mr. Jack D. Hoffman. I believe Mr. Hoffman should have done some research into how the city was able to buy land in the Stafford Triangle including Luscher Farm, Foothills Park and probably Millenium Plaza Park.
I checked on the city of Lake Oswego Web site to obtain the history of these transactions. I easily found the history of Luscher Farm and I confirmed my opinion that the farm was acquired with the help of a bond issue, which had been voted on by the citizens of Lake Oswego. I believe that Foothill Park and some of the other properties, mentioned by Mr. Hoffman, were also acquired by funds provided by the bond issue that was passed, several years ago, to buy open space for parks. Since bond issues have to be passed by a vote of the people, none of these properties would have been acquired without a majority of Lake Oswego residents approving such a bond issue.
I don't remember how large the bond issue was but I do remember voting on it. Once the bond issue was passed the city was allowed to buy property for the purposes stated in the bond issue as long as the purchases were within the amount of the bond issue.
Having a limitation of $2 million on the city's acquisition of any given piece of real estate would not have affected the purchase of Luscher Farm because the residents of Lake Oswego voted to tax themselves to obtain land for parks.
That is all those of us who favor the passage of Measure 3-269 are asking. If a majority want to vote to increase our taxes to buy the Safeco property that is one thing, but for the city council to charge ahead and pay $20 million for said property is not right. There is no clear understanding as to the cost of converting the building to a community center.
Certainly, it is nice to have, 'beautiful things' as Debbie Craig was quoted as saying at a recent council meeting, but it is also necessary to pay for the sewer interceptor, possibly remodel the city hall and deal with the expense of expanding the water treatment plant.
t would be interesting to know how large an increase in their taxes people like Mr. Hoffman and Ms. Craig would be willing to absorb to buy all the 'nice things,' our present council seems to want or any future council might dream up. If we weren't facing the huge costs of the absolutely necessary expenses that face the City, the cost of the Safeco property and the proposed community center might be acceptable, but the way it was acquired would still be wrong.
The city of Lake Oswego is, the last time I checked, a democracy and not an oligarchy.
I will vote in favor of Measure 3-269 and against Measure 3-273.
John W. Thompson is a resident of Lake Oswego.
Unsigned editorials in the left two columns of the Editorial page represent a consensus of the newspaper's editorial board.
Board members include J. Brian Monihan, publisher; Martin Forbes, Lake Oswego Review editor; Dan Itel, West Linn Tidings editor; and staff reporters.
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