Mailing campaign called 'deceptive'
To the Editor:
A slick mailing tells us that the Safeco purchase is going to cost the owner of a $300,000 home only $105 per year.
But that ignores the fact that the city bought a costly fixer-upper on which they plan to spend an additional $85 million to provide us with things like big indoor pools, indoor running tracks, rooms for yoga exercises and the like, and then charge us to use certain facilities to help pay the operating costs. If user fees do not bring in lots of money, heavy costs will fall on the taxpayers in addition to paying off large bonds. What a deal!
Another deceptive mailing claims that the Safeco property has increased 12 percent in value in one year, but they forgot to deduct the interest paid, the interest income lost, and the lost tax revenues, which bring the so-called gain down to about the rate of inflation.
They also neglected to mention that the city paid a premium of 20 percent above its own appraisal of Safeco's valuation in the first place. Nor will they admit that inflated property values can go down in a recession, which some people think is overdue.
Sound off - no matter how you vote
To the Editor:
Children behave - it's better to be seen than heard. If you can't say something nice, it's better to say nothing at all. This teaching is at the core of 'silent majority' behavior. So what is different this time regarding citizens sounding off about local ballot issues?
Studying this week's Lake Oswego Review, ballot issues pros and cons, it is immediately apparent that the usual suspects are supporting the status quo. That is, the usual coalition is supporting the current city councilor's West End options. From the council to the chamber to certain neighborhood association officers, they are again, all lined up. Many of these individuals wear multiple hats in our community. Their service is to be commended, but this alignment smacks of a persistent singular mindset.
It may come as a surprise that not all members of these associations, organizations and groups march to the same drum. Citizens not heretofore in the mainstream of local politics are sounding off. This is much more than a casual 'I don't have any children in school so why are my property taxes so high?' commentary. Reason prevails here and one simply writes a check.
However, with the West End issue, taxpayers sense an excessive over-indulgence. So excessive that the silent majority is not so silent this time. A good thing.
Whether you're for or against these measures, please vote. Your opinion is important!
Noel R. Wolfe
Wonderful world is
To the Editor:
I've lived in Lake Oswego (and Dunthorpe) for over 50 years.
I have lived at Oswego Pointe Apartments for over 18 years. I have friends who have a long tenancy here as well. Oswego Pointe is conveniently located to many services, such as the Adult Community Center, library, post office, churches, banks and cultural attractions. This is why we choose to live here.
I was dismayed to learn that the US Bank building is being vacated and imminently scheduled to be demolished. The city/we bought the property in 2002 for over $2,250,000. I had been told that the city also wants to buy the Lakeshore Motel and tear it down. Both 'tear downs' are for the purpose of a 'park.' A local developer owns the theatre and the restaurant complex next to the bank. This plan envisions that these will also be demolished. We have loved the Lake Theatre and often park at the U.S. Bank Building.
This whole scheme is beyond comprehension! Too much of the city is becoming a park. The city hopes to close the First Addition library, adult center and move them and city hall to the Safeco site. This is dismaying and unwanted. Our wonderful world, the heart of Lake Oswego, is evaporating before our eyes.
Please vote yes for Measure 3-269 so that we can have a say about this. Vote no on 3-273 (Safeco).
'Fix and pay for the imperatives first'
To the Editor:
I can't stand it anymore; I must voice a simple straight forward opinion and view on measure 3-269.
Let's think about this fabulous town. It is beautiful and vibrant; and we are blessed with a magnificent community. We have wonderful open space and gathering places/parks. And yes, we have excellent schools.
We don't have an effective sewer system (an expensive fix); we don't have an adequate water supply system (another expensive fix), and we have a Lake Oswego School Local Option vote coming to us November, 2008. The Local Option funding is critical to the continued success of the schools at all levels.
We need to fix the big imperatives right now - the sewer, the water, and we need to maintain the excellent schools. We don't need to be purchasing, maintaining, and growing into a $1.5 million per acre (14 acre) piece of property right now. There will be other opportunities down the road if the citizens choose to have a community center. The key words - 'citizens choose.' Let's fix and pay for the imperatives first. A community center is a great idea - when the time is right. The time is not right.
I urge a yes vote on Measure 3-269.
Nothing in life is
To the Editor:
I am troubled by the inaccurate information that the 'Our City Our Future' (opposition to the citizens initiative, 3-269) is disseminating. In the two debates (Fusion and League of Women Voters) Debbie Craig, claimed that the streetcar project would be 'free.' She also said that urban renewal was paid for by developers, not taxpayers.
I am old enough to know that, in life, nothing is 'free' especially when government is involved. We all know that. Should a streetcar project come to town, we taxpayers will have to provide 'matching funds' to qualify for funding from the 'federal government'. In order to get streetcar money, they require that Foothills (over 15 acres) must be totally redeveloped and provide 40-60 housing units per acre. Foothills is in a 'flood plain' and it is doubtful that a great number of houses could be built there. Also, the city has been put on notice by the property owners/developers that they won't do anything about developing until the sewer plant is closed and moved.
The 'Ask Lake Oswegans' materials very accurately show all related costs for all these relationships. My property tax statement says that we pay for urban renewal bonds to the city. I think that the opposition to 3-269 doesn't have its facts straight. Vote yes on 3-269.
Molly P. Mikolaitis
We don't need the
To the Editor:
Ouch! I just opened my property tax bill! Soon we will be faced with continued escalating property taxes to fix the aging sewer intercept (necessary), to revamp the water supply system (necessary) and possibly even to pay for the Safeco property/improvements (not necessary).
Unfortunately, we didn't start a rainy day fund years ago for the aging sewer system. Water conservation is a nice idea, but that won't alleviate the need to fix the city's water supply system.
What we don't need is an expensive city building for our Parks and Rec Department/potential future community center, paid for through property tax increases and annual membership dues. That sounds more like a private athletic club with membership dues on top of taxes.
In addition to the escalating property taxes for the required sewer and water infrastructure improvements, please also consider the significant loss … of revenue to the city coffers from lost property taxes at the Safeco site if the property is retained by the city.
Join me in voting yes on Measure 3-269, giving citizens a voice in future city real estate acquisitions. And vote no on Measure 3-273, allowing the Safeco property to be sold so that it can again provide revenue to the city through property taxes.