Gudman, seeking his second council term, says he's pleased 'with where we're putting our money'

Jeff GudmanNow in his first term on the Lake Oswego City Council, Jeff Gudman has decided that he’s not done yet and has filed the necessary paperwork to run for another four-year term.

First elected to the council in 2010, Gudman says his initial decision to run was based on a “two-fold concern.” He had been sitting on the city's budget committee and “I thought that we were not spending money on things we should be spending money on,” he said, adding that he felt road maintenance deserved more focus.

“Number two, we had all of these major projects in front of us back in 2010," he said, "whether we were talking about the library, the West End Building, operations and maintenance, the North Anchor Project. The council just kept going round and round and not making a decision.

I said, ‘I can help in this process. These are things that are basic and core to the city.’”

Gudman said he's pleased with the direction the city is headed now "as far as where we’re putting our money. We’re putting a lot of money into roads this summer.”

A private investor by day who holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, Gudman estimates he spends between 20 and 25 hours on city business each week.

“I like to go to neighborhood meetings, I like to listen, to just sit in the back of the room so I can absorb,” he said.

Gudman said some of the biggest challenges on the council have involved “the conflict of two or three or four 'rights,'” citing the West End Building as an example. He points out that while the building met many purposes for the city, it is currently underused because the city never really figured out a way to pay for it.

He said it has been an ongoing challenge to balance the desires of the previous City Council and a large citizen contingent that wanted to keep the building with the fact that the building has cost the city more than $10 million in loan and operating expenses — funds that could have been redirected toward the current budget deficit for road maintenance.

“I came down on the side of, we need to sell it,” Gudman said. “Those are difficult issues, when there’s a benefit on both sides of the equation.”

It's a challenge that Gudman feels well equipped to face.

“My parents were civically engaged,” Gudman said. “ I grew up in an environment (where) if you’re in a city, you get actively engaged and contribute to the vitality of the city.”

“My late father had a wonderful saying,” Gudman recalls. “We were in a disagreement one time, and he got a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye and he said, ‘You know what, Jeff? If both of us agree on everything, one of us is unnecessary.’ That statement of philosophy is something I’ve taken to heart and tried to live by.”

Contact Saundra Sorenson at 503-636-1281 ext. 107 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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