Dont look back with regrets
We are fortunate, in that we live in one of the most beautiful small cities in the United States. If you do not agree with this statement, then I suggest you visit bedroom communities surrounding Seattle, San Francisco, Denver and other metropolitan cities, and you will realize that we indeed are blessed.
But the city of Lake Oswego did not become this precious jewel by accident. I first became involved with our city both as a resident and land planner in the mid l970s. I have seen this community blossom into a beautiful flower, through careful culturing and a shared love and commitment by the elected officials and their staff representing our city over many years.
I am sure that those who want to impose restrictions on the city officials to make decisions in the future through the passage of Measure 3-269 have good intentions, but if these same restrictions had been in place over the last 30 years, we would not be living in the city that we now live in. The dollar amount that would have required voters to make the decisions would have been lower, but in any case, we would not have the beautiful parks and open spaces, the attractive downtown redevelopment, the exciting riverfront improvements and many other amenities that make Lake Oswego the special place to live that we now enjoy.
I have spent many hundreds of hours over the years standing before city councils, planning commissions and development review boards in public hearings for projects I was trying to have approved, such as the Kruse Way Corridor and Westlake where thousands of hours of citizen input was given, and professional staff opinions were presented, before the city officials, some elected, some appointed by the elected, made their decisions.
Those who are trying to impose on the city that the voters must approve expenditures of $2 million or more do not understand the consequences of this measure if it were to pass. Have they taken into consideration that in addition to the people that we have elected to office to make these decisions, there are numerous others in their staff, who are intelligent, experienced, and knowledgeable people that advise the city officials prior to their making decisions?
If Measure 3-269 were to pass, requiring voters to make these decisions, it would become a fiasco. One person or group, who is willing to spend the money to advertise their position, no matter how wrong or self-serving, could persuade the voters to follow their instructions, based on the amount of money they are willing to spend, and the number of friends that they can persuade to put up a lawn sign opposing the city's best judgment and sign petitions, even if those accommodating friends truly do not understand the consequences of what the impact would be on our city.
There is much more than the Safeco property involved. To vote yes on Measure 3-269 is a vote stating you do not approve of how our beautiful city has matured over the years and it is a vote of no confidence in the people you have elected to government, and their volunteer committees and their dedicated and hard working staff.
Can you imagine a corporation trying to function if they continually had to go to their shareholders for a vote on every important decision it had to make?
If you are proud of our city and grateful for being a resident in this very special community, show your gratitude and pride by voting no on Measure 3-269, and yes on Measure 3-273. If you do not share this pride and gratitude, then elect people into office in the next elections who represent your views, but please, if you do, do not ask our city officials or your future elected city officials to try to run government by way of media advertising campaigns and decisions made by people, voters, that would not have the background or enough information to be making those important decisions that could affect our quality of life. Let us not look back 10 years from now, and ask, how could we have let this happen?
Nick Bunick, Lake Oswego, is a local developer who was instrumental in developing the Kruse Way Corridor and Westlake area.