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Councilors, mayor should step down


Being sued is a terrible thing! Our four West Linn City Councilors on the front page of (the April 25) Tidings being sued by the very residents they were elected to represent is sad indeed. I wonder if they felt similar to the residents on Mapleton who were served last year and threatened with being sued because Lake Oswego-Tigard wanted the covenants on their property that stopped LOT from building a new industrial plant in their backyard removed. Note I said a new industrial plant, this is not a remodel. Every part of the existing plant is being demolished and an entirely new plant is being constructed next to it prior to the existing plant's demolition. This is being constructed in an earthquake “red zone” with a high probability of future seismic activity in an area consisting of massive amounts of liquefiable soil that will turn into soup in the event of an earthquake. This was likely not the best place to put this, but LOT said the land in Foothills was too valuable and this location was convenient for them. No serious alternative site evaluation was done and this has been well documented.

The battle over the new water treatment plant for Lake Oswego and Tigard is not over yet and some of our own city leaders have totally ignored the citizens of West Linn and refused to listen to our concerns. All seven members of our planning commission condemned LOT’s land use application because it failed to comply with codes and our city council overruled them, not specifically on codes, but on a supposed cash payment that is to be made sometime in the future. The city council failed to ask a single question during the hearing and our mayor seems to have never taken his eyes off the clock, strictly limiting each speaker to three minutes and moving the process forward as quickly as possible. The mayor began each session warning about ex parte communication and toward the last, when he felt threatened by a tie vote, he committed ex parte communication himself, which delayed the process. I personally made numerous attempts to work with our city on this project and was stymied by our city manager, who has appeared to vigorously support Lake Oswego over the concerns of the people who pay his salary.

In a previous letter to the Tidings, I asked for the mayor to step down for conduct unbecoming a mayor. I now ask the remaining three council members who support this project to also consider stepping down due to their apparent inability to follow the rule of law regarding open meetings, which is the reason for the current lawsuit.

Lamont King is a West Linn resident for more than 50 years and former member of the Good Neighbor Committee.