In Chris Schetky’s column on the two views of Lake Oswego depicted by the candidates for city council and mayor, she stated: “Candidates holding the first view love Lake Oswego as it is, and attribute the city’s current award-winning quality to the use of careful planning, plenty of citizen involvement, judicious use of bonding capacity and responsible fiscal management.” I thought it kind of her to present our side first, though the part about bonding capacity did raise questions. Then I discovered she was not describing the candidates endorsed by COLA-LO and LOCAL, but the candidates endorsed by KLOG.

She spoke of renewal bonds as if they are free money designed to fund the visions of forward thinkers in our community. She stated some candidates wished to do away with all consultants (wrong, they want to maintain a transparent list of those utilized). She stated we didn’t believe money should be spent on anything but essential services (wrong, only that core services be first since they ensure our safety and well-being).

She said we consider taxes to be a burden rather than an investment. We consider spending tax money to be a fiduciary duty of our elected officials to preserve and protect our community. Taxes (plus franchise fees and utilities) can be a very heavy burden, especially in our current economic climate. Taxes should not be considered as an investment by anyone. The idea of investments brings with it definite risks, something that should not be foisted upon the populace. You only need to consider the West End Building to see how that can turn out. 

Although Lake Oswego does have a Triple A rating, so did the United States until a short time ago. Lake Oswego debt is growing, threatening our economic stability. COLA-LO and LOCAL don’t have far different views from KLOG on what they want for Lake Oswego. They just believe it should be achieved through thoughtful processes including the entire citizenry in the planning rather than just the rather small group directing the city the past 12 years leading to the divisive and heated controversies under Jack Hoffman’s term as mayor.

Greg Macpherson’s column in the same Lake Oswego Review edition stated the city races are supposed to be nonpartisan. He said “forces in LO” are determined to make the local election partisan. The Republican Party hasn’t donated funds directly to candidates. The Republican website hasn’t listed the affiliations of elected officials as was done in pointing out Jack, Sally, Bill, and Donna are Democrats. I’m not condemning these actions. But Mr. Macpherson talking about such “forces” is as divisive as the tactics of the man he seeks to replace.

Please visit the websites of the various candidates for mayor and councilor. You will see some lists of supporters heavily rely on the same individuals who back the current council majority. During discussions of sensitive lands, the streetcar and the Foothills project, they were the individuals describing their opponents as the vocal minority and promoting their own ideas as enlightened and their opponents’ views and concerns as short sighted.

The only pathway (and not one utilized only by bicycles and pedestrians) that will lead us back to a united and healthy community is the one taken in electing candidates not tied to the two previous city administrations.

Gary Gipson, Lake Oswego, is a board member of COLA-LO.

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