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Council urged to replace Kehoe with Hughes

I support the appointment of Lauren Hughes to replace former Councilor Mike Kehoe. Ms. Hughes received Mr. Kehoe’s public endorsement, citing her strong background in business, volunteer work and broad knowledge of many city issues.

Because Mike Kehoe believes that Lauren would best represent his views and governing philosophy, and since I agree with that assessment, I encourage the city council to respect Mr. Kehoe’s endorsement and the voices of almost 10,000 people who voted for him.

The divisive “sensitive” lands issue is one of the council’s top five goals/action items for 2013 and includes a proposal to Metro that would remove “sensitive” lands restrictions from private back yards by adding 200 acres of public land. Of the two remaining candidates, Ms. Hughes is clearly the most knowledgeable about this problem, and she will be a tremendous asset in helping the council achieve this goal.

In addition, for years she has regularly attended council and various other city-related meetings so she is well-versed on the key issues and goals facing the council, as well as many other projects and programs for which the council is responsible.

For citizens who were unable to attend or have not viewed the Sept. 10 council meeting, allow me to recap the farcical “interviews” of Ms. Hughes and Ms. Monroe conducted by Councilors Donna Jordan, Jon Gustafson, and Skip O’Neill. These three councilors engaged in a concerted smear campaign against Ms. Hughes. She was repeatedly and disrespectfully pummeled with dismissive and accusatory questions from Jordan, Gustafson, and O’Neill, and their subsequent vote “rationales” were laced with derisive insinuations and false characterizations of her motives and qualifications. Jordan was overtly hostile toward her.

Candidate Audrey Monroe had clearly been coached beforehand and provided with answers to the softball questions then conveniently lobbed to her by Jordan, Gustafson and O’Neill. Lauren Hughes was dismissively portrayed by these three councilors as being a “single issue” candidate, which is demonstrably false, while the only “issue” for which Ms. Monroe is being promoted is school district activism. She stated that she’d just “recently” viewed some council meetings online and looked up some issue on the city website ... (Memo to O’Neill, Jordan, and Gustafson: Our city government and the school district are two separate and independent entities. Furthermore, every current city councilor supports our schools without reservation, as does Lauren Hughes since she has children enrolled in them, so what precisely would be Ms. Monroe’s indispensable contribution to the council?)

Jordan even stated that Mike Kehoe was elected solely due to his work with the schools foundation. I suspect that Mr. Kehoe and the almost 10,000 people who voted for him would strongly disagree with this gross misrepresentation.

Unlike the unethical, underhanded and disrespectful behavior from Jordan, O’Neill and Gustafson, Mayor Kent Studebaker and Councilors Jeff Gudman and Karen Bowerman behaved in an ethical and honest manner by simply explaining their desire to respect Mike Kehoe’s endorsement of Ms. Hughes as his replacement while also respecting the will of the thousands of citizens who voted for him. Oddly enough, they somehow managed to perform this responsible and necessary parliamentary expression without unfairly and needlessly diminishing Ms. Monroe’s qualifications or her motivation to serve on council.

Mona Ellison is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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