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Council did the right thing in appointing Hughes

The Lake Oswego City Council did the right thing on Sept. 24. Lauren Hughes was appointed to fill Mike Kehoe’s vacant council seat. After all, Ms. Hughes was Kehoe’s choice and best suited to represent his views on council. Congratulations to Councilor Hughes.

I followed the appointment every step. I attended all of the council meetings and found the process very transparent and open to the public. We started with 12 candidates going through an interview process with all councilors participating. They first selected four candidates, then two (Ms. Monroe and Ms. Hughes). The process ended in a four-vote majority for Ms. Hughes.

Councilors Jon Gustafson and Donna Jordan, obviously disappointed in losing the opportunity to countermand the vote of our citizens and change the makeup of council, played partisan politics. Councilor Gustafson followed his disruptive, unprofessional rant about “back door” politics with his vote for Ms. Monroe. Councilor Jordan chose to take her ball and go home, abstaining from the vote.

Each of the final four candidates would have been excellent contributors to our city council. But it was clear that Ms. Hughes was well versed in city issues. She is a strong citizen advocate, most particularly regarding sensitive lands, and has been active at council meetings for many years. Mr. Kehoe’s interests have always put our city and our citizens first, above partisan politics, and Ms. Hughes will continue to represent us in that open and honest spirit for the next 16 months.

I was embarrassed by the behavior of Councilors Gustafson and Jordan — embarrassed for myself as a citizen, my city council and my city. Their self-serving speculative poison and divisive rhetoric does not resonate with the honest citizens of this community.

The council did the right thing appointing Ms. Hughes and they did it openly and honestly. Now, perhaps, we can set the partisan politics aside and get on with city business.

Michele A. Thompson is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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