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Thanks to the former council; hello to LO's new mayor, councilors

With the arrival of a new year, there’s a changing of the guard on the Lake Oswego City Council.

We are saying goodbye to Mayor Jack Hoffman and councilors Bill Tierney, Mary Olson and Sally Moncrieff. And with the first council session of 2013, we will see the beginning of a new era when Kent Studebaker takes over the mayor’s reins and three new councilors are convened: Karen Bowerman, Skip O’Neill and Jon Gustafson.

Before we address the future council, it’s appropriate to thank Hoffman, Tierney, Olson and Moncrieff for their service and time dedicated to the city of Lake Oswego. Though they represented divergent points of view, and while neither the Review nor all the citizens agreed with all of them all of the time, there’s no question that each in his or her own way tried to do their best to help the city move forward.

Three of them — Hoffman, Olson and Moncrieff — chose to not run again for city office. Tierney, often considered the swing vote on the council ending in 2012, did run but was not re-elected to the council.

We wish the best for all four of you as you make the move back into your private lives, your careers, your political endeavors or whatever else the future holds for you. Know that you are appreciated for your hard work, your enthusiasm and your dedication and service to Lake Oswego.

Looking to 2013, the group of Studebaker, Bowerman, O’Neill and Gustafson join holdovers Donna Jordan, Mike Kehoe and Jeff Gudman. There’s no question this council will have a more conservative feel than its predecessor. When you look at the makeup, there’s no other probable way for it to play out.

In and of itself, that’s neither good nor bad. The era of big, expensive projects is probably over — or almost over — for now, but the new council must try to address a number of key issues, including but not limited to:

n Hiring a new city manager.

n Figuring out a permanent solution for the West End Building.

n Potentially revisiting decisions on Foothills made in late December by the former council.

n Putting a microscope on some of the big-ticket items facing the city (sewer projects, Lake Oswego-Tigard water pact, tennis center, comprehensive plan update, sensitive lands and others) and determining if they go forward or go back to the drawing board.

n Perhaps weighing in on urban renewal projects like Lake Grove/Boones Ferry Road and the North Anchor project downtown.

n Making a decision about moving emergency responders to earthquake-safe buildings.

n Having an substantial impact on the upcoming city budget.

Our wish for the upcoming city council, indeed for any and all governmental bodies at any level, is for the participants to perform with respect, a willingness to work toward a solution and an understanding that just because you disagree doesn’t mean it has to be volatile.

All of you are in this together. Period.

We thank you in advance for your many hard hours, your patience and your dedication to Lake Oswego. Have an understanding for your fellow citizens, whether they are sitting in front of you in council chambers, near you at a fundraising event in town, by you in your own neighborhood or next to you in council chambers.

Much good can be accomplished if you work together. We know you won’t always agree. We hope you will always treat each other fairly.



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