Values of old, new council collide
Oh, poor (city Councilor) Donna Jordan. How you must long for those bygone years when there were no council members asking annoying, probing questions or offering any alternative suggestions or opposing opinions, or demonstrating sound fiscal judgment!
Those silly (Jordan's word), contrary opinions and voices just muck up the works and now delay the rubber stamping of whatever fiscally irresponsible idea, project, or expenditure proposed by the mayor and his three stampers. Now councilors are forced to actually read their packets and justify votes and that's so unfair because, after all, council actions should not be questioned by these icky new people who were elected by those pesky, malcontented citizens!
How dare these malcontents elect new council members that question and counter the half-baked ideas of those who have been running this town for over ten years. I mean, city management decisions have been extraordinarily responsible, competent and fiscally sound, right? Everything was going along just swimmingly until these three interlopers came along. They clearly just represent all the unimportant people in town who you used to regularly dismiss with impunity! Now there's all this, you know, disharmony on the council. Unbelievable.
To set the record straight, Jordan, Hoffman, Tierney and Moncrieff are just as much to blame for any 'disharmony' on the council. In fact, even more so, because of their patronizing, arrogant, dismissive attitudes.
In Jordan's recent opinion piece she writes, 'for 15 years, surveyed citizens of Lake Oswego have voiced their support for a streetcar between our city and Portland.' So what? Now that we know the potential cost, environmental impacts and debunked 'need' should we just blithely go along with the program?
Jordan also doesn't mention the additional $335,000 that Lake Oswego taxpayers will now be forking over to pay for the 'detailed list of conditions to be explored before moving to the much more expensive and involved preliminary engineering phase.' Also, she states that 'value engineering' is 'not unusual.' Well, 'value engineering' is not necessarily a routine occurrence if public infrastructure projects are sized and cost-estimated in an honest and responsible way to begin with.
She snidely, and falsely, asserts that Mary Olson only represents a 'privately funded and professionally organized' contingent of people. There may be such a group in Dunthorpe and they have every right to organize and fund their opposition. The streetcar proponents are well funded and professionally organized, with powerful political support. The professionally organized proponents in Portland, Lake Oswego, Clackamas and Multnomah counties and at Metro have been working together for years on this lame boondoggle, but opponents in neighboring Dunthorpe can't meet with like-minded people in Lake Oswego?
No such 'professionally organized' anti-streetcar group exists in Lake Oswego; there is, however, a very organized, well- funded pro-streetcar group in town called 'Next Stop Lake Oswego.' Prior to the public hearing, this group ran several expensive newspaper ads listing all their supporters, but somehow couldn't get these same 'supporters' to show up for the hearing. Can't blame them; I'd also be embarrassed to be publicly affiliated with this … pork (project).
There is a small 'amateurishly organized' group of anti-streetcar Lake Oswegans, but overall opposition in town is anything but a 'vocal minority,' and growing. That was proven by the results of the 2010 election.
Mona Ellison is a resident of Lake Oswego.