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Jeff Gudman: This I do believe

“I will do my best to make it clear. My convictions are not so much concerned with what I am against as what I am for; and that excludes a lot of things automatically. Traditionally, democracy has been an affirmative doctrine rather than merely a negative one.” — David Lilienthal

Four years ago, I was elected on the premise that “we can do better.” What has transpired in these past four years? Where can we go in the next four?

Where have we been?

• Unfunded annual road maintenance projected over five future years has been reduced from $14.6 million to $8.4 million.

• Funds have been set aside for the replacement of outdated (built 1979), outmoded and not earthquake resistant operations/maintenance center. Through value engineering, the estimated cost of the project has been reduced from $18 million to $13 million. The center can be replaced using existing resources.

• Funds have been set aside for the police/911/LOCOM building replacement. The existing facility is seismically unsafe and undersized, has an inefficient lay out, has a poor work environment and does not reflect technological changes.

• The number of employees has been reduced even as the city’s population has grown.

• Dollars have been set aside in case PERS legislation is invalidated. If the legislation stands, dollars can be used for the operations/maintenance center. If it is overturned, the city has reserves.

• The process to sell the West End Building (WEB) has begun, thereby promising to end the millions of cash-draining dollars that could be used elsewhere.

• Engineering/design work on the Boones Ferry Road project has begun, thanks to the voter-approved $5 million general obligation bond.

• Modifications to the Sensitive Lands program, acknowledged by the Council and management as broken, have begun.

• The proposed streetcar between Portland and Lake Oswego has been halted.

• A citywide debt limit of $250 million, excluding voter-approved general obligation bonds, has been approved.

• A Comprehensive Plan that does not encourage rezoning to higher densities in neighborhoods, has been updated.

• The unnecessary and financially risky Foothills urban renewal district has been repealed.

• A more open and inviting atmosphere for citizen comment has been created.

Where can we go from here?

• The five year projection for unfunded annual road maintenance dollars will be reduced to zero, using existing resources.

• The operations/maintenance center will be rebuilt, using existing resources.

• Police/911/LOCOM will be rebuilt, using existing resources.

• The number of employees per thousand citizens will be at the lowest level in 24 years.

• The WEB will be sold, thereby “freeing up” dollars for core infrastructure projects like road maintenance, surface water and pathways. Programs and services offered at the WEB will be provided elsewhere in the city.

• Phase 1 of the Boones Ferry Road project will be well underway, if not completed, within existing resources.

• The process will be underway for conversion of the trolley line to a bike/pedestrian line.

• Modifications to the Sensitive Lands program, acknowledged as broken, will be completed.

• Total city debt will be reduced even as major projects are undertaken/completed, using existing resources.

• Work will continue to reduce the backlog of surface water capital projects.

This I do believe. It has been a joy to serve these past fours as a member of your City Council. I am asking for your vote to joyfully serve four more years.

Jeff Gudman is a member of the Lake Oswego City Council. He is running for re-election in the Nov. 4 election. This column is a reflection of his views and not necessarily those of the City Council.

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