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Good governance doesn't support a double standard

“That’s the trouble with a politician’s life — somebody is always interrupting it with an election.”

— Will Rogers

Our first month with a new council has been an interesting one as our representatives attempt to implement a mandate for change. It gives us a good opportunity to evaluate all reactions.Dave Berg Immediately the minority view (“tax and spend”), which was ousted last November, began a planned effort to undercut the legitimacy of the new council. It started with questioning the validity of the council’s mandate, claiming some were not informed on the selection of an interim city manager and creating drama to tarnish the image of our new council.

That reaction wasn’t healthy because it represents both denial and a manipulative tactic. It clearly represents the disdain prior administrations had for the concerns of our residents. Voters now expect very real transparency and legitimate change. Change without the attitudes which gave us the West End Building, the water partnership, streetcar and the millions wasted in our taxpayer funds.

Most of us want to see our councilors working together to address our “self-inflicted wounds.” Yet many residents have noticed that some representatives are now accusing others of behaviors that those accusers have often exhibited themselves. That level of duplicity deeply disturbs our citizens.

The double standards culminated last month with the leaking of a confidential document to the press. Let’s face it, if many of us did that as an employee, we would be fired immediately. It just shows the latent lack of respect for the citizenry that resides with interests that represent prior administrations. Arguing with the audience at council meetings, disrespecting citizens and manipulating the facts have no place in our Lake Oswego. Why? It distracts from the real issues we face and the ability of the new council to implement positive change in a thoughtful and professional manner.

The Hoffman administration will go down in history as our example of disrespecting citizens and deciding in favor of special interests. It seemed to create distractions only for the purpose of manipulating the public so we ignored its duplicity and double standards. The Hammerstad administration may have made big mistakes, but the Hoffman administration inflamed the public with its disrespectful attitudes and wasted millions. It’s time to end this behavior and truly address our issues.

What is disturbing is that the media jumped on the “drama” effort with a strong bias. After writing a “whitewash” piece on the Hoffman administration, it began openly criticizing the new council in its editorials. That is OK, when deserved, but not once did it strongly criticize the poor performance and disrespect of the Hoffman administration, despite the wasted millions on the WEB, the water partnership and the streetcar debacle. That alone illustrates a very pronounced double standard.

Most of us have no issues with a liberal media, but there is a point when the media takes sides under the guise of objective independence. Despite all of this, our citizens are embracing the council’s new style of open and decisive leadership, while respectfully participating and expecting real changes. Let’s all continue to evaluate, support, criticize, and assist all administrations to ensure they do what’s needed to preserve our community character.

Feel free to visit COLA LO at commonsenselo.blogspot.com or commonsenselo.org.

Dave Berg is a 22-year resident of Lake Oswego and a board member of COLA LO.



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