Foothills framework plan causes concern


Something like 100 people attended the Foothills Framework Plan Open House. Other than (Mayor) Jack Hoffman, a few 'imports' and the considerable number of other folks who stand to benefit financially from this monster of a project, it seemed everyone I spoke to was leery of or outright against the project.

The representatives from Williams, Dame and White were very slick and polished - think Robert Preston in 'The Music Man.' Almost every question they fielded was met with 'That is a great question' - and then no meaningful answer. A question about mitigation of flood plan encroachment got a 'We are studying many options' (none were detailed). A question about the six (maybe more) story flattop buildings on the renderings being totally out of character with Lake Oswego (was met with) a 'Well, what would you like to see?' A question about how all this would be funded was responded to with the indication that there are multiple options (again, none of those were detailed).

That last question about funding is of particular concern given that a certain group in city hall seems to think it is a good idea to spend our taxpayer money on studies for a project that will likely net private firms massive financial gain. If this is such a great idea, why is Williams, Dame and White not spending its money on the study work? It is worth reminding folks that the support from city hall is driven by Jack Hoffman. Hoffman is a partner in the law firm of Dunn Carney Allen Higgins and Tongue, which counts among its clients Williams, Dame and White. If this project mores forward, there will no doubt be considerable legal work that will fill the coffers of Dunn Carney: As a partner of the firm, this will be of considerable benefit to Hoffman. At this point, apparently since the project (and the flow of money) is still in the future, what seems like an obvious conflict of interest to most of us is considered to be a 'potential conflict' - so Hoffman continues to promote and vote on things related to this project.

Oh, a reminder that Hoffman's law firm's clients include Oregon Iron Works/United Streetcar, as well as Gerding-Edien and OTAK, Inc. (both of whom have interests in property involved with the streetcar)? The streetcar dabacle is driven by Foothills.

Can this whole thing stink any more? Sadly, the city council will spend, under control of Hoffman and his (council supporters) a lot more of our tax money before we can remove them from office in 2012. What a tragedy for the fair city of Lake Oswego.

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Dave Luck, Lake Oswego, is a member of Citizens for Local Accountability (COLA-LO), which operates the above blog.