Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Meet the mayoral candidates

Two are vying for the mayor's seat Nov. 6


Two candidates — Kent Studebaker and Greg Macpherson — are facing off for the mayor’s seat this November.

The race is nonpartisan, meaning political party affiliation isn’t a factor, though it does sometimes influence the ideology of decision makers. Mayor Jack Hoffman is not seeking re-election. The candidate receiving the most votes Nov. 6 will take over his position in January and will serve a four-year term.

In last week’s edition, we featured city councilor hopefuls’ responses to a questionnaire. Today we bring you responses from the candidates for mayor.

Greg Macpherson

Greg Macpherson

Age: 62

Job and education: Employee benefits lawyer at Stoel Rives LLP. A.B. from Harvard University; J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center

Political philosophy: “Fiscally responsible advocate for high-quality public services.”

Neighborhood you live in: Evergreen

How long you’ve lived in Lake Oswego: 11 years

What role should the city play with local businesses and economic development?

The city should collaborate with business to promote the continued economic development of Lake Oswego. It should identify projects that will enhance the community and recruit investors to undertake them. The city should provide strategic public improvements necessary to the success of great projects, as it did in developing Millennium Park and constructing the parking garage in the middle of the Lake View Village shops.

How should the city prioritize spending on infrastructure and other projects?

City spending should first assure that infrastructure the public relies on daily, such as sewer, water and streets, is in good shape. It should then invest in projects that deliver other important services, including the library, police and fire protection, and parks and recreation. Beyond these services, the city and its facilities play an important role in enhancing the great cultural life of Lake Oswego, such as staging the Farmers’ Market in Millennium Plaza Park and placing art works on sidewalks around the community.

What should the city’s role be in regional issues such as planning for transportation and urban growth?

Regional transportation planning and adjustment of the urban growth boundary are Metro functions. Lake Oswego leaders should advocate with Metro and with transportation providers, like ODOT and TriMet, for planning decisions that will enhance our community. For example, bus service to the west end of Lake Oswego is inadequate for both residential neighborhoods and the office buildings along Kruse Way and Meadows Road. The city should work with TriMet to press for better bus service.

What’s one project the council tackled that you wish had turned out differently, or what is a project you feel turned out well? What went wrong, or what worked out well?

In retrospect, the acquisition of the West End Building (WEB) from Safeco was unfortunately timed, coming when real estate prices were at their peak. But like the family who bought a home that is now underwater, we must look forward and not back. On the positive side, the property at the WEB is very well located for a new building to hold police and 9-1-1 services as well as for other public uses.

The city council faces a number of looming issues and potential projects. What should it deal with now, and how? Which should be priorities for later?

The city already has a number of large and complex projects on its agenda, such as the upgrade to the water plant. It should focus primarily on making sure those projects get done well, as the city did with the sewer line under the lake. City hall, the South Shore Fire Station and the maintenance facility on Jean Road all need to be replaced. But with increases in sewer and water rates already straining household budgets, those facilities are priorities for later.

What should voters know about you?

I believe it is important that we restore civility to the civic life of Lake Oswego. Conflict within our city council could make it harder for us to continue attracting educated, talented and dynamic people to the community. It was my honor to represent Lake Oswego in the Oregon Legislature for three terms. In that service I developed positive relationships with legislators holding very different viewpoints. I believe I can restore civility by applying to city government the skills I developed in the Legislature.

How would you facilitate council meetings to ensure all council members feel like they are treated fairly and that voters feel represented?

As mayor I would set the agenda for city council meetings so that issues have the potential for bringing council members together whenever that is possible. When members disagree, as is inevitable some of the time, the process should be evenhanded and respectful. The mayor should respond to disruptive conduct by the public in ways that defuse conflict and make citizens of all perspectives feel they have the opportunity to participate.

Kent Studebaker

Kent Studebaker

Age: 67

Job and education: Retired; former Marine; Louisiana-Pacific corporate law; former small-business owner. Graduated Lake Oswego High School; B.A. in economics from University of Oregon; J.D. from University of Oregon

Political philosophy: “None partisan. I support the person and issues not a party.”

Neighborhood you live in: Bryant

How long you’ve lived in Lake Oswego: 27 years

What role should the city play with local businesses and economic development?

Lake Oswego must regain an attitude of good customer service, project an image of being “open for business” and show businesses that we are a willing partner. Jobs are created when new and existing businesses have assurances that the planning and permitting processes are streamlined and delivered with an attitude of “how can we help?” Businesses and employees locate where there are efficient, effective city services that result in lower taxes and utility rates, accessible transportation systems and safe, affordable neighborhoods for employees and their families.

How should the city prioritize spending on infrastructure and other projects?

First and foremost, our city government has a responsibility to do an exceptional job of providing fundamental services (police, fire, streets, parks, maintenance, 9-1-1 call center, etc.) that contribute significantly to the livability and safety of Lake Oswego. Currently, a dozen costly projects are in the pipeline for implementation, bringing our projected debt load up to $371 million. These projects need to be reevaluated to determine their total financial feasibility and reprioritized through listening to the citizens, engaging in periodic town hall meetings and surveys, including key stakeholders on advisory committees and providing bold leadership to live within our means.

What should the city’s role be in regional issues such as planning for transportation and urban growth?

Lake Oswego is not an island, nor is it a shy suburb of Portland. Metro and the state must be made to understand that we are a regional partner with a strong voice. Our city can and should influence activities over which we have control. Many Metro planning, transportation and property rights decisions are within our jurisdiction, and we should exercise that jurisdiction to our benefit and not merely cave in. We should not hesitate to use our legal options to challenge the state and Metro if our citizens, working with city government, decide that their actions are overreaching.

What’s one project the council tackled that you wish had turned out differently, or what is a project you feel turned out well? What went wrong, or what worked out well?

The streetcar project did not turn out well. This project was neither cost-effective nor efficient. A majority of the population opposed it. However, the majority of the city council pushed the project until the costs were in the millions of dollars. Only then was the project put on the shelf. It went wrong because this was not a priority item for anyone but a portion of the city council, and the majority of the council refused to listen to its citizenry. Unlike the sewer project, which went very well, there was no substantial citizen involvement or buy-in.

The city council faces a number of looming issues and potential projects. What should it deal with now, and how? Which should be priorities for later?

Three issue areas should be dealt with immediately — water project financing, city management, public safety. The current water agreement costs with Tigard have mushroomed. The project and agreement need to be reevaluated in terms of assumptions made and costs that will be paid by our citizens. The most important management decision is hiring a permanent city manager. For public safety, the police/9-1-1 and maintenance facilities must be improved to ensure our first responders can respond to all emergencies and natural disasters. Other issues and projects should be prioritized in a strategic plan for the next two to five years.

What should voters know about you?

I graduated from Lake Oswego High School, practiced law, served as a Marine, ran a small business, I’m a long-term resident and chairman of the budget committee. I’m passionate about Lake Oswego and decided to run for mayor because I’m concerned about the financial direction of city government and our ballooning debt. I’m deeply committed to protecting the rights of citizens and want Lake Oswego to progress to a dynamic future in a fiscally responsible way that preserves its character. I play mediocre golf and I’m an avid reader.

How would you facilitate council meetings to ensure all council members feel like they are treated fairly and that voters feel represented?

The council’s job could be much easier if we simply ensured that every commission, board and advisory committee represented a true cross-section of all sides of the issues facing our community. Differences of opinion would be worked out at the committee level and compromise proposals to the council would result. We would insist that advisory bodies strive to incorporate citizen input and clearly state why if they cannot. The council will follow the same process. I will lead the council by encouraging issue resolution through compromise, thereby getting away from the “I win, you lose” style of the current administration.




Local Weather

Cloudy

40°F

Lake Oswego

Cloudy

Humidity: 100%

Wind: 8 mph

  • 26 Dec 2014

    Partly Cloudy 46°F 39°F

  • 27 Dec 2014

    Rain 45°F 39°F