Check out the combinations when you are voting
To the Editor:
There are four possible combinations of the outcomes of the local measures No. 3-269 and No. 3-272 on November 6th:
Yes on advisory question No. 3-273 and nNo on charter amendment measure No. 3-269 - maintains the status quo. It means that the public wants to keep Safeco and also wants no public oversight of similar transactions in the future. This outcome will be followed by a bond measure for $20 million.
No on advisory question No. 3-273 and no on charter amendment measure No. 3-269 -means that the public wants Safeco sold but wants no public oversight of future non-essential real estate purchases, leaving the door open for similar situations to arise again. Though No. 3-273 is not binding, the council has said it would heed the public directive.
Yes on both measures means the public wants Safeco kept in public ownership for now. However, No. 3-273 is not binding. The passing of No. 3-269 will trigger a binding vote on Safeco in March 2008 which could overturn the November advisory vote. It also means that the public wants voter approval of similar transactions in the future.
No on advisory question No. 3-273 coupled with yes on charter amendment measure No. 3-269 -sends the strongest possible message to city hall. It means the citizens want Safeco sold and they also want the right to approve future non-essential real estate transactions exceeding $2 million.
Ask yourself why your city government is prescribing how you should vote in these two matters, instead of simply being guided by public opinion.
Change policies at the District field to make them uniform
To the Editor:
We've been hearing a lot from high schoolers to neighbors about Lakeridge's 'second class situation' with its athletics.
I believe that I read somewhere that both teams are not treated equally with regard to the locker room.
I suggest that, since the District field happens to be on the same property as LOHS, that that entire facility should be totally neutralized. No permanent Pacer or Laker signs anywhere. These can be temporarily brought at the time of a game by the cheerleaders or whoever.
Exactly the same locker privileges should be given to both schools at the Lake Oswego School District Stadium and Fieldhouse. With the facility being neutral I believe that the animosity would decrease.
Lakeridge absolutely does not have enough land or distance from neighbors or parking space to even consider a duplicate stadium. The only possibility might be to take over a huge chunk of Luscher Farm.
Look at the details and then vote yes on 3-269
To the Editor:
A letter in opposition to Measure 3-269 used the phrase '... the devil is in the details.' Our argument precisely:
Details our trusted Lake Oswego officials have continuously hidden regarding the purchase, redesign and monthly upkeep and carry costs of Safeco.
Details that are incompletely represented or obscured by creative 'hide the pea' accounting.
Details that should set forth the complete costs of infrastructure and renewal projects our city is facing, instead of the '… small number now, more to come later' approach of suede shoe salesmen.
Details that should be provided to inform residents and invite their input, a trust that should flow both ways, instead of the council's egocentric posture that residents are not capable of making prudent decisions.
Which leads us to the devil of it all - our elected council pursuing its own agenda without input or mandate of the voters they represent, and glibly suggesting it deserves our blind allegiance … how dare we interfere!
But for the grassroots movement of more than 5,000 concerned citizens, our council would have continued down the road with its $100 million community center. Now, only under voter scrutiny, the council professes to embrace the conscience and concerns of the voters but still without plan or commitment, again indicating future wriggle room when the issue is out of the spotlight. Their conduct has been disingenuous at best.
Approve Measure 3-269 to restore our government's accountability and proper fiscal management, and to restore our trust. Vote yes on 3-269, no on 3-273.
It would be a tragic mistake to lose West End Building
To the Editor:
We've lived near the West End Building for over 20 years and applaud the city's visionary move to purchase this valuable property. The building and surrounding 14-acres have amazing potential for public use by Lake Oswego residents. Even though no firm plans have been made for changes to the building, proponents of a forced sale keep trying to scare us to death with unsubstantiated cost estimates. We believe the city should hold on to the property and develop a long-range plan for the voters to approve as it has said it would. Forcing the sale of this unique property would be a tragic mistake. We're voting no on Measure 3-273.
Measure 3-269 also deserves a no vote. It's a bureaucratic nightmare and thinly disguised attempt to 'slap down' the city council for having the audacity to do its job. We believe the city council has the expertise and vision to plan for the future of this community. So many beneficial changes have taken place in Lake Oswego because our council acted wisely to preserve land for public use. Millenium Park, Luscher Farm and Foothills Park are just a few examples.
Just because some people don't like the council's decision to purchase the West End Building doesn't mean we should hamstring our city council on all future land purchases. We don't need more costly elections, and those who are unhappy with their city councilors should exercise their right to vote to replace them. Join us in saying no to Measure 3-269.
Virginia Hensen and Dr. Steve Lieberman
Plenty of reasons to keep Safeco
To the Editor:
If you are one of the few citizens of Lake Oswego that haven't made up their mind on the Safeco building please consider the following facts.
1. Retention of Safeco site keeps options open for a future branch library, swimming pool, 9-11 center, recreation programs, community meeting space, senior services, teen center, indoor playground, park and pathways.
2. Retention of the Safeco site gives us space to house city employees while the serious EFIS siding/mold problem and seismic condition of our city hall is repaired.
3. If half of the 89,000-square-foot building is leased out for five years for $20 a square foot, that will go a long ways to defray the holding costs.
4. Any future bond measure to finance or improve the property will require voter approval.
5. $105 a year in cost for the average homeowner is a good value compared to the cost of acquiring a building and land for these facilities in the future.
Then it becomes 'our business'
To the Editor:
The following is an open letter to Gail Parrick, resident of Lake Oswego:
I strongly object to you using the title: 'Lake Oswego' - along with your name in a letter to the editor and published in the opinion section of the Review.
It is unfortunate that you chose to use the title to credential yourself so that an unwitting reader would think that you represent a consensus of opinion and an official position of the city of Lake Oswego citizens and voters.
As stated, that relationship gives a message that is misleading and totally inaccurate.
What your personal, individual opinion is, and represented as such on any political advocacy position materials, is your right and your business. But, when you use your title, connecting the entire city of Lake Oswego to it, then it is our business.
I have talked to many of my neighbors in Lake Oswego and they are very offended by you taking the liberties you have taken. We insist that you immediately write a letter of apology to the city and also publish it in The Oregonian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Times, Weekly World Report and the Review.
Gail, people should take your lead, (particularly the residents of the Palisades, who you think are 'unwitted') and never, ever, use credentials after their names, be it M.D. (wouldn't want anybody to think one represents all doctors), President of the PTA (people might think you represent all parents and all teachers), or U.S.M.C. (unwitted types might think you represent all Marines).
Local churches support senior housing plan
To the Editor:
On Oct. 1, I presented a letter of support to the Development Review Commission concerning the proposed senior housing development in Lake Grove. This letter was signed by 17 pastors representing the United Methodist Church, two Lutheran churches, the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, two Presbyterian churches, three non-denominational churches and the United Church of Christ -all here in Lake Oswego.
As we testified:
'The neighborhood where this development is proposed is ideal. Every conceivable service is within less than one half mile, the post office and grocery stores are a block or less, with Tri-Met bus service at the corner. Opportunities abound for intergenerational activities with the neighborhood school. The project fully meets all the requirements of current zoning, and will be a positive asset to the Lake Grove community, entirely compatible with its plans for future development.
'We believe there should be many more projects like this to serve a need that will only grow as the population of Lake Oswego ages. There may not always be funding available. There may not always be churches willing to spend countless volunteer hours in planning, development and service to seniors. There may not always be land owners willing to wait to sell the land. There may not always be such an ideal location. There may not always be land zoned to permit senior housing.
'But as Jesus pointed out, the poor, the widowed, the aged we will always have with us (see Mark 14:7). The time for positive action is now.'
I continue to strongly support this effort that will provide much needed housing for seniors in our community no matter what their religious affiliation. I urge others to show their support as well.
Lake Oswego United Methodist Church
Consider what other
people are saying
To the Editor:
Are you confused by the election? Don't know who to believe? Wonder what the facts are and the credibility of each side? If you want some help in determining from sources other than the campaigns, you might want to consider a recent newspaper column and editorials.
The Lake Oswego Review on Oct 18 urges a no vote on the charter amendment 3-269 saying '… no other city has a charter amendment this restrictive.' And further, 'In our opinion, a vote for Measure 3-269 is a vote that will only hurt Lake Oswego in the long run.'
Regarding retention of the Safeco property the Review, in a companion editorial, says 'the Safeco property could become a wonderful asset for the city of Lake Oswego. It has enormous potential and using our powers of future vision, it could become an incredible acquisition.'
The Oregonian, in its endorsement of no on Measure 3-269, referring to 'this draconian spending limit' states that 'this limit would tie the city's hands, hobbling the entrepreneurial instincts that have helped the city spark a redevelopment of the downtown.'
And Oregonian columnist, Rick Bella, sums it up with 'what the Ask Me First PAC wants is akin to killing a fly with a shotgun.' Don't do it. Take their advice.
Vote no on the charter amendment, 3-269 and yes on retaining the Safeco property, 3-273.
Mayor Judie Hammerstad
Measure 3-269 is not about Safeco
To the Editor:
I just got around to reading the 25th edition of your paper. Sam Bennett's article made a serious mistake about Ask Lake Oswegans in paragraph 10.
Measure 3-269 is not about selling the Safeco property, it is about asking the voters to approve or not non-essential spending of sums over $2 million.
Everyone keeps saying that 3-269 is about selling the building. The building is only the catalyst that motivated people to finally attempt to put some control on the city government spending.
Mary R. Franklin
Losing Safeco 'would
be a shame'
To the Editor:
Lake Oswego is a great place for kids who are involved in sports - swimming, softball, lacrosse, soccer, football, you name it. If you care about team sports, you should vote yes on Ballot Measure 3-273 and no on Charter Amendment 3-269.
A yes vote on Measure 3-273 tells the city to keep the West End property. Eventually that site could become a terrific aquatic center or a community center with sports fields, which would be great for our kids and our neighborhoods. The chance to get 14 acres like this is a rare opportunity that we shouldn't let slip through our fingers. Losing this property would be a shame for our kids and our future.
The Lake Oswego Swim Club, the Friends of the Library Board, the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce and many community leaders all recommend a yes vote on 3-273.
As The Oregonian confirmed, no other city in Oregon has such a blanket limitation on property purchases. The chamber of commerce, Three Rivers Land Conservancy, the Lake Grove Business Association and many community leaders all recommend a no vote on 3-269.
If swimming and team sports or a neighborhood center are important to you, then you have even more reasons to vote yes on Ballot Measure 3-273 and no on Charter Amendment 3-269.
Our future vote will determine how the property best benefits our city and citizens. Please vote no on 3-269 and yes and 3-273.
'Purchase was a forward-thinking act'
To the Editor:
I must respond to (Ask Lake Oswegans spokesperson) John Surrett's misinformation concerning the truth about Safeco.
Much of what he stated is, in fact, untrue.
First, no Lake Oswego Adult Community Center classes have been moved to Safeco.
Second, the city (or Metro) will transport any senior citizen to the adult community center or the West End Building or city hall to attend a function. Therefore, there is no inconvenient truth to his erroneous facts.
Third, the Parks and Recreation Department hires people because of user demand. What John called 'this exuberance of program expansion' is commonly known as serving the wishes of the public.
Fourth, the energy expended to travel to Safeco is less than what it took for people to drive all over town looking for the otherwise inconveniently located recreation classes.
As far as water conservation is concerned, the city is using less water than Safeco was when it owned the building. What would you have the city do, let the grass turn brown and die?
It is becoming more and more obvious that you will bend the truth so that you can have your way. The purchase was a forward-thinking act that will allow the future citizens of Lake Oswego to enjoy the same quality of life that you now enjoy. Why cheat our children out of their future?
Lake Oswego City Councilor