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Readers' Letters

Couldn’t this money be better spent?

Wow! Our “fiscally conservative” Lake Oswego mayor, Mr. Studebaker, just spent $15,000 a month to hire a consultant — and campaign supporter — to be our acting city manager, even though the town already had an acting city manager. Brazenly circumventing standard practice, he didn’t even bother putting this item on the posted city council agenda; it was an add-on.

This will cost our community $180,000 a year. Are Mr. Studebaker and his fellow “fiscally efficient” city council members now planning to cut public safety, library or other department positions or services so they can balance the budget?

No doubt they will tell us at their next meeting that “we” need to “watch every dollar” and eliminate unnecessary spending. Wouldn’t this $180,000 have saved at least a few positions or services?

Are these types of furtive fiscal maneuvers the future for our city council?

Richard Slaven

Lake Oswego

(Editor’s note: Tom Coffee’s contract for interim city manager will pay him $15,000 a month through July 12 with an option to extend the contract on a monthly basis for six months after that. Coffee is not receiving health insurance or contributions toward retirement pay.)

Lee would do outstanding job as GOP chairman

Recently, Clackamas County Chairman John Lee announced his intention to seek the ORP Chairmanship. It is a challenging position with responsibilities for over 785,000 registered Republicans. His task is to focus Oregon Republicans on winning elections.

John has been active in Republican politics for over 10 years. He has been a Clackamas County activist for over six years. He was my vice chair for four years. He was ORP Credentials Chair for four years. Currently, he is in his second term as Clackamas County Chair. John has boundless energy, experience and a focused agenda. I left him with the strongest Republican organization in the state, and money in the bank. He has added to the strength of the organization, and doubled the money. Election results for Clackamas County in 2012 were impressive. The Lincoln Day Dinner was sold out in 2012.

Chairman Lee will do an outstanding job. With the support of the Oregon Republicans, Oregonians will see a decidedly different 2014 election. If James Buchal is elected vice chairman, Oregon will have one of the strongest Republican leadership teams in the United States. I wish him the best, and will gladly serve him in any capacity.

Tom Devanney

Lake Oswego

Former chairman, Clackamas County Republican Party

‘Abandon idea of a new tennis center’

I am a resident of the Rainbow Terrace development where the Lake Oswego tennis center is currently located, and am also a member of the board of the Uplands Neighborhood Association, to which Rainbow Terrace belongs. The apparent desire of the city to build a new tennis center and close the current tennis center has raised some concerns within the UNA, and particularly within Rainbow Terrace.

I took a poll of the residents of Rainbow Terrace on the supposition that the current tennis center would be closed according to the currently stated desires of the city. Specifically, I asked the residents to select from among the following options:

1) City sells the property for development

2) City incorporates property into Springbrook Park

3) Keep the tennis center as is

4) Other

With 45 households in Rainbow Terrace, I received 21 responses with the following results:

17 — city incorporates property into Springbrook Park

4 — keep the tennis center as is

Secondary choices were as follows:

3 — city incorporates property into Springbrook Park

7 — keep the tennis center as is

As one resident stated, “eight residences makes no sense” within the confines of the present tennis center. Not one resident opted for development of the property. The overwhelming feeling of Rainbow Terrace is that, if the current tennis center does not stay, then the city should incorporate the property into Springbrook Park from which it was originally carved out.

Based upon the 2009 “Golf-Tennis Feasibility Study,” which shows 7,240 LO resident users out of a total of 24,775 users, I hope the new mayor and city council will seriously reconsider the decision by the prior administration, and definitively abandon the idea of a new tennis center. Such a new tennis center certainly is not needed to serve the needs of Lake Oswego resident tennis players.

Frank Gray

Lake Oswego

Lack of a response proves surprising

I would have thought that John Surrett was no longer capable of surprising me, but how naive I was.

Less than three months after writing (a column) in the Review insisting that Lake Oswego could not afford to make two modest expenditures for a stoplight to protect children and for the support of our community’s library, he responds with a deafening silence to Kent Studebaker’s making one of his pals city manager in the dark of night and giving him $15,000 of our money every month.

Where’s your lofty rhetoric about fiscal responsibility now, John?

Eric Meyer

Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego has a ‘sweet deal’

They’re a clever lot, these Lake Oswegans. This LOT group leading the campaign to expand Lake Oswego’s water treatment plant in West Linn is a good example.They have come up with a clever scheme to underwrite the costs of water in their city and pass the costs along to others, in this case handing off a big chunk of the costs and all of the inconvenience, environmental and safety risks and property value encumbrances to the citizens of West Linn and the good people in the neighborhood where the plant is located.Lake Oswego has a suitable site for locating a water treatment plant in the Foothills section of their own city. But, they also have a “sweet deal,” an existing water treatment plant located in a residential neighborhood in West Linn that could be expanded to provide far more treated water than their city will ever require in the foreseeable future if the expansion is allowed.If LOT could persuade the good people of West Linn to allow them to expand that plant then they would be free to put the site in their Foothills section back on the tax rolls and sell the excess high-quality water they can process in the West Linn plant at market prices to surrounding communities essentially in perpetuity — a steady income stream to subsidize Lake Oswego water users. How cool is that?Wow! What a sweet deal! West Linn gets nothing, but has to bear the costs of environmental and safety infrastructure to support the plant. West Linn has to bear all the future expenses associated with moving heavy trucks carrying industrial materials and chemicals to service the plant on residential streets. West Linn residents bear all the long-term costs and inconvenience and receive nothing, nada, nyet, in return.

Peter Lang

West Linn

S&H invites public to meeting

S&H Logging would like to reach out to our community by beginning a series of monthly, public informational meetings, which will include question and answer sessions regarding the composting and mining operations at the southwest corner of Borland and Stafford roads. We welcome any and all interested parties.  

The first meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 5:30 p.m. in the Courtyard Room at Rolling Hills Community Church, 3550 SW Borland Road, Tualatin. This room is off the main entrance courtyard.

Our goal is to create a lasting relationship between our longtime, local family business and the community that we have supported and served for -more than three decades. We hope to encourage open dialog, which will allow us to hear the concerns of our neighbors as we continue to develop our business. 

We are very sensitive to the fact that this has prompted heated discussion. We hope that we can find common ground between S&H and the community.  Please understand that we may not immediately have all the answers to your questions, but that they will help direct our inquiries as we proceed forward. We are committed to being a good community partner and a champion of our shared environment. 

As this will be the first of many meetings we would like to be as prepared as possible. Your attendance as well as your questions, comments and concerns are important to us. Please RSVP your intention to attend, as well as any priority questions, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The content of the many letters submitted during the design review appeal hearing will form the basis of our first meeting.

We genuinely look forward to hosting this event.

The Stroupe family and the S&H team

Tualatin

Council, let WL residents have their way

Is the city of West Linn governed by, for and with the will of the people? The common good is not represented in the process of deliberation by your (our) council.

It matters not about access, noise, etc., as these are very local concerns. What matters is the will of the people of all West Linn. There is a time-tested, valid means of learning collective will: the vote!

Only a few could attend the meeting — we have young children, work long hours and have other pressing responsibilities.

Not only are we all left out of these meetings, but our concerns are ignored. Is this a democratic way?

We live here, work here and really care. If you care, please let us (we, all the people) have our way.

Patrick Maharg, M.D.

West Linn

Three issues at heart of LOT project

I have attended the hearings, read the documents and listened to the arguments by the representatives of Lake Oswego and Tigard for why this project should be approved. I have also listened to the representatives of the neighborhoods and residents of the city who will be affected by this massive construction project. In listening to these arguments there is a tendency for the details of the project to obscure the three central issues that are at its heart.

First, Tigard wants to pay less for its water than it currently pays for Portland’s Bull Run water. There is plenty of water available. Tigard wants cheaper water.

Second, Lake Oswego wants additional water to develop the Stafford area, an action that directly contradicts West Linn policy.

Third, the cost and negative impacts on the Robinwood neighborhood and homeowners, as well as disruption of Highway 43 to the residents and businesses of West Linn, are severe and long term. The reasons the project should be denied are well documented by Norm King and others.

The West Linn Planning Commission got it right by unanimously denying this project. I urge every member of the West Linn City Council to do the same.

Robert E. McCarthy

West Linn

A couple of timely questions for the city

Mayor Studebaker stated on Jan. 24 he had previously informed all council members of his intention to hire Mr. Coffee.

1. Do all council members concur with this statement?

2. Why was it necessary to replace the acting city manager? Could he not fill the role until a permanent manager is vetted and hired?

(This seems to be) an ill-omened way to begin a purportedly more open and transparent administration.

James Radda

Lake Oswego

‘Council members take note‘

Regarding the city council document leak, Councilor Donna Jordan, the leaker, said, “You can put ‘Mary had a little lamb’ and mark it ‘confidential.’ It doesn’t make it confidential.” She’s right. Most city-level documents are made confidential to protect some employee’s privacy and reputation or some deliberative discussion that is not intended to have an immediate result. Unless a confidential document is protected by law, any council member is welcome to divulge it to the public.

Confidentiality is a way to have a provocative discussion within the group and be able speak freely. Donna Jordan has communicated clearly to the rest of the city council. She has essentially told them, “Unless you agree with me, I will attempt to undermine you. I have no interest in maintaining trust within the group.”

Council members take note. Donna Jordan cannot be trusted. You will need to either draw her into the circle or cut her out of the conversation. Otherwise, she will poison your deliberations.

Tom Maginnis

Lake Oswego

Winter, that cold time of the year

It is cold as cold can be,

Frost is frozen to every tree,

If a snowflake falls we wait,

And hope for another winter like we had in 2008,

When snow was dumping on the ground,

And hot cocoa and smiles were passed around,

When school was not spoken of for weeks,

And every child had rosy cheeks,

Someday that will happen again,

All I ask now is when, when, when!

Ava Seyle, age 12

Lakeridge Junior High

‘I suggest that everyone calm down’

There have been a lot of letters and newspaper articles accusing our new mayor of not being open and transparent when choosing a new interim city manager.

David Donaldson was appointed interim city manager in 2012 with a one year contract that was due to expire in February 2013. Mr. Donaldson was hired by Mayor Hoffman and the council following discussions that took place in private. There was no public hearing or input for this action and none required.

Prior to the Jan.15, 2013 council meeting, Mayor Studebaker informed all city councilors, both verbally and in writing, of his proposal to hire Tom Coffee as interim city manager to replace David Donaldson and return Mr. Donaldson to his prior position of assistant city manager.

Tom Coffee was hired in a 5 to 2 (Jordan/Gustafson) decision in open televised session, after discussion amongst all councilors.

Unquestionably, Mr. Coffee has the experience and credentials to be interim city manager.

I suggest that everyone calm down and let the city council do the job (it was) elected to do.

Change can be hard but Mayor Studebaker and the new council were elected to change the direction of the prior councils and restore a focus on Lake Oswego. They pledged to:

Prioritize local needs

Restore fiscal responsibility

Refocus on essential city services

Preserve local community character

Respect all citizens and their rights

There is a lot of work to be done and the mayor and council need the support of city staff and the community to do what they were elected to do.

Kathe Worsley

Weed, Calif.




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