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City Notes

HERITAGE AREA — The city council last week approved a resolution endorsing creation of a Willamette Falls National Heritage Area and urging Congress to designate the district starting at Willamette Falls, between Oregon City and West Linn, and reaching all the way to Lake Oswego.

The council’s resolution stated that the discovery of mineral wealth in Lake Oswego in part led to the creation of the Pacific Northwest’s infrastructure thanks to local iron mines and smelters.

It also specifies that the only part of Lake Oswego that will be included in the heritage area is the Oswego Iron Heritage Trail. The council previously heard concerns about whether sites managed by the Lake Oswego Corporation around Oswego Lake would be included in the heritage area.

COUNCIL ROLES — The city council last week voted to appoint Councilor Jeff Gudman as council president, meaning he’ll fill the top post when Mayor Kent Studebaker is absent. The position was formerly held by Mike Kehoe, who moved to San Diego last month. The council has not yet appointed anyone to fill Kehoe’s liaison roles on other boards and committees.

ROCKINGHORSE LANE IMPROVEMENTS — The city council last week awarded a contract of up to $187,679 to Otak Inc. for engineering design, permitting and construction management services on an effort to improve drainage on Rockinghorse Lane. It’s the design phase of the project, with funding coming from the 2013-14 budget. The construction phase will be funded as part of the 2014-15 fiscal year budget.

WEATHER STATIONS — The city has a new weather station up and running in Marylhurst. It’s one of six weather stations located throughout Lake Oswego in hopes of creating a grid to obtain and offer weather data, which citizens can use when setting their irrigation systems and public works crews can use for street maintenance purposes. For details, visit ci.oswego.or.us/weather.

GRANTS — The city recently received word it will receive some grants. Metro construction excise tax grant money will help fund a special district plan for Lake Oswego’s “Southwest Employment District,” which includes land designated for industrial and commercial use, according to the city. In addition, the Oregon Department of Transportation reportedly intends to award Lake Oswego a transportation and growth management planning grant for a Lake Grove Village Center parking plan.

COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS — The council last week appointed new volunteer members to various city committees.

Jackie Manz and Gerry Good were appointed to budget committee terms that will expire Aug. 31, 2016.

David Beckett was also appointed to the committee to serve the remainder of a term through Aug. 31, 2014, after the position was vacated by Ron Smith.

Smith resigned from the budget committee and was appointed last week to the sustainability advisory board along with Gary Hanifan and Mary Ratcliff. Their terms will last three years, expiring June 30, 2016.

The action wasn’t without some controversy.

The vote was 6-1 in favor of making the appointments, with Councilor Jon Gustafson the lone dissenter.

He said he was concerned that a similar situation came up a few months back when the council did not reappoint a planning commissioner who wanted to keep the volunteer position. Gustafson said he worried that the only reason for not appointing that person to another term and for not appointing Smith to another term on the budget committee was because those people had chosen to voice perspectives that conflicted with a majority of the city council.

“The value of our citizen boards and commissions is we have a diverse set of opinions,” he said. “If it’s this council’s policy that we only appoint people to boards and commissions that agree with us, that defeats the whole purpose in my mind. That’s what appears to be happening tonight.”

Councilor Jeff Gudman was on a committee that interviewed people interested in the committee positions. He said the problem was that too many qualified applicants wanted the jobs.

“Yes, it is a loss to the committee that the person who had reapplied was not reselected,” he said. But, “I think we will still have a strong, independent-minded committee.”

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