Invest in our schools
Its that time again. You know its here when you see lawn signs popping up all over Lake Oswego and you start receiving calls from Lake Oswego School District phones in the evening. Yes, its the Lake Oswego Schools Foundations annual fundraising campaign! Now more than ever, please join your neighbors and donate to the Foundation.
As the parent of three students in Lake Oswego schools, I contribute to the Foundation because the funds allow the district to hire additional teachers and it is money well spent. The Rand Corporation says teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling. For the Lake Oswego School District, more teachers mean more electives for my middle- and high-schoolers, and specialized reading and math groups at the elementary level.
Our schools are a treasured community asset that we should all invest in. Donating to the Foundation directly affects the number of teachers in our district, and it is the best way you can help.
Fix that leak
Lake Oswego, along with the rest of the nation, observes national Fix A Leak Week from March 14-20.
Fixing leaks is an important part of our overall water conservation strategy. We lose 10-15 percent of our water to leaks every year. That is nearly 300 million gallons.
This costs every household money, and it costs the City money, too. Half of the Citys power bill goes to treat and move water around Lake Oswego. We can all do our bit to save our limited tax dollars as well as preserve our water supply.
I urge everyone to check for leaks and if you find one, fix it. If you visit the Lake Oswego website and go to the section on water conservation, you will find links and contact information to help with leaks and a broad range of water conservation assistance.
Just because we have had a wet winter doesnt mean we can let water conservation slide. Fresh water is still finite and precious. We cant afford to just let it drip away.
Proud to support Foundation
This is my third year living in Lake Oswego, my second year as a proud River Grove Elementary School Raccoon Dad, and my first year volunteering on behalf of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation as a board member. Although our family is relatively new to the area, we now couldnt imagine living anywhere else.
There are many reasons why we love Lake Oswego, but our experiences with the schools here are at the top of the list. There is a long list of elements that come together to bring us the excellence that we have come to expect in the educational experience for our children. In my familys experience, these include amazing PTO/PTA/PTSO groups, an energized can do administration and school board, and a fantastic array of school programs and school-associated programs.
That being said, there has been no greater impact on my daughters educational experience than the energetic, compassionate, innovative devotion of all her teachers.
I am proud to volunteer and work on behalf of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation to support our teachers and be part of a legacy of support that is almost 30 years old. The Foundation is an independent, nonprofit corporation that this year is funding two teaching positions at every elementary school. At the middle schools and high schools, the Foundation is funding teaching positions that instruct math, science, PE, band, health, English, social studies, language arts, ecology and marketing.
With all of the many financial headwinds facing our state and district, there has never been a more important time to strengthen this support. Supporting excellence in teaching will lead to excellence for our students. Please let me know if I can assist you in anyway in your aspirations to support Lake Oswego teachers and our community!
Do citizen concerns count?
It was disconcerting to learn of the City Councils new policy to restrict citizen comment at its regular meetings to just one meeting a month. Letters to the council are accepted, and the City Council website allows for 300-character comments on agenda items. But written communications are no substitute for face-to-face interactions with our local government, and unless public comments and letters are made public on the meetings website, they are essentially hidden from public view.
Perhaps the council tires of hearing from citizens in a public forum and would rather screen communications that may conflict with its agendas. Public comments may be embarrassing, or annoying, or the three-minute time limit per citizen is just time-consuming, or maybe televised meetings make comments a little too public.
Whatever the reason for the change, the move sends the message to Lake Oswegans that their concerns do not matter, or that citizens must be managed through a more cumbersome process. Some people have private access to council members, but the majority still look to open meetings as their place to interact with their government.
In 2012, voters attempted to change the character of the council to one that was hoped to be less elitist and more open and responsive to citizens. Fortunately, in 2016 we have the opportunity to try again. There are four positions open on the City Council: those of Councilors Skip ONeill, Jon Gustafson and Charles Collins and Mayor Kent Studebaker. Together, they represent a majority of the council one that voters can replace again.
Thanks for the help
On March 12, a dozen neighbors and 10 Cub Scouts planted 250 natives trees and ferns in Springbrook Park. Melissa Hanifan brought the Tiger Cub Scouts from Troop 413 to earn their public service award.
A great job planting and the Scouts were really interested in the worms. We were done in less than two hours. Thank you folks.
Paul J. Lyons