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Moncrieff opts out

Macpherson mulls run for mayor; Olson, Tierney are still weighing their options
by:  Sally Moncrieff

Following in Lake Oswego Mayor Jack Hoffman's footsteps last week, councilor Sally Moncrieff has also bowed out of the 2012 city council election.

Hoffman announced Jan. 16 that he would not seek another term. Afterward, Moncrieff said she also won't take part in the race.

'It's the right time for me personally,' Moncrieff said, noting she didn't want 'to make a commitment out to 2017. My youngest son is going to be graduating from high school in 2013.'

She said she learned a lot about the city government over the past few years.

'We're so lucky,' she said. 'I really didn't understand what a talented city staff we have, how well-run our city is and how many services our city provides. I have developed a deep appreciation for all our city does.'

She added: 'I know from our citizen advisory boards that we have many talented and passionate citizens so I'm confident we'll have a strong council ... We have a great community. We have really active volunteers.'

Councilor Bill Tierney, also up for re-election in November 2012, said he hasn't decided on his plans, but he hopes to make up his mind in the next few months, possibly mid-March.

Mary Olson, the only other councilor whose seat is up in November, also mentioned March as a possible deadline for deciding, but she said she isn't in a hurry. Typically, candidates announce their plans in late spring or early summer. They can't even file for the election until August.

On a side note, Olson recently suggested the council start the process of switching from a seven-member body to a five-member group. However, the idea didn't gain traction.

'I was looking at it as a way to be more efficient and more cost-effective,' Olson said this week. A smaller council would cost less: There would be less paper to hand out, less food to buy, less staff time spent responding to individual council members' questions. She also believes meetings would be shorter and would run more smoothly.

The reason to start now, she said, is timing. A charter amendment could go before voters in May, and then only two council positions -including the mayor's - would appear on the November ballot instead of four.

'It's something I've been thinking about for a long time, but I didn't know then that Jack and Sally weren't going to run for re-election,' Olson said. 'I understand why nobody wants to jump on it now, but it will be harder to do it in the future.'

The city's six councilors serve four-year terms and are elected at-large, with those receiving the most votes winning vacant seats. The mayor also serves a four-year term.

Meanwhile, attorney Greg Macpherson, an Evergreen neighborhood resident who has lived in Lake Oswego for more than 10 years and is the former state representative for District 38, said he 'is seriously considering' running for the open mayor's seat.

But he hasn't made up his mind.

'A lot of people in Lake Oswego have been urging me to run for mayor,' Macpherson said. 'I think that's because they see a city council that has become seriously divided on a range of issues. Having represented Lake Oswego in the Oregon Legislature, I have experience bringing people together to find good solutions to complex public issues. I think that experience and skill set could be of good use to the community.'



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