I love this town. I have lived here and worked here for over 30 years. I have seen the population grow, the new replace the old, the real estate values increase and the people age.
We are an area with a 'blessed' population and a 'good life.' That is why I find it distressing that we are so torn over the ballot measure and the issue of the Safeco building. I have friends that I love and respect on both sides. It is obvious to me that their minds are already made up … the facts now seem irrelevant. That being said, here is how I see it.
In my opinion, our city leaders, the city council and mayor, like those before them, are doing the best they can for us. They are not paid. They spend countless hours working to do the best they can for the city they love. I have witnessed this for many years and with numerous city council members and mayors. We have elected them to do this job. I know them and I trust them to do the best they can for us. It is for that reason that I support them in their decision and I trust them to make this work for our city. You should, too.
You are being given the choice to keep the Safeco building or not. Vote your heart. I don't care. I would just remind you that every new park, new pathway, new library and new project has had opposition from well-meaning citizens. We forget this as we now show off our wonderful city to visitors and guests … no one remembers the opposition and the grief we suffered getting here. I think we will look at this in the same way in the future. I trust the city leaders to make this right for us. And you know what? If our citizens choose to sell it … we will, and we will move on. This is Lake Oswego.
The ballot measure to limit the city to require a vote of the people for any purchase over $2 million is not a good idea. Property here is more expensive than that. But vote your heart. I don't care. Just be aware that we have elected good people to make these decisions for us. We have a history of working as a city and making us better and better. When I moved here, the city was holding ongoing discussions about the development of block 138. The planning went on for years. Well, it is now the part of town we are most proud of. That was in 1974. You can see that sometimes it takes time. It takes vision. It takes sticking your neck out. Such is life. I say stick it out. You can trust your city leaders and your citizens with vision.
I also know this is a money issue. No one wants to spend more money. Not me, not you. But a good investment is a good investment. Give our leaders a chance to prove that this will work. They are good people.
It seems to me that most of our city leaders and our city organizations are in support of our mayor and our city council.
Who is the opposition? Where have they been when all of the hard preliminary work was being done? I have volunteered in numerous organizations over my time here. I have been president a lot of organizations. I have raised my children here. I have supported the schools and continue to do so.
I love this town. Now I am supporting my city leader friends in this. I know and trust them. You should too.
Regardless, let's get together and get on with it when this is over.
Dr. Dale Rhoney, a dentist, lives and works in Lake Oswego.