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West Linn City Council has no leadership

The city councilors of our city should be leaders; insuring the short- and long-term viability of West Linn. The city council leadership over the past year has, in my view as well as many others, been totally lacking and irresponsible. I do not make this charge lightly; here are three issues over the past year where I believe there was an absence of leadership:

1. You supported the action of the negotiator/city staff to obtain $5 million from the Lake Oswego-Tigard water project. It was suggested that we also negotiate an override on future water sales LOT may make over the next 60+ years. I have conservatively projected their minimum additional revenue will be in the $350 million dollar range — just adding a 3 percent surcharge to excess water sales would have brought West Linn an additional $10 million. Yet the current affected residents and businesses will receive little additional help for lowered home values and interrupted business.

2. You recently admitted an ethics violation, due according to the hired attorneys as “miscommunication” between you and them. This is the same firm with advertised expertise assisting Oregon cities that represented West Linn before, during and after the $4 million embezzlement saga. It seems strange when expertise in city affairs misses audit reports (aka the comprehensive annual financial report) for three years. On your watch it appears to be “business as usual.”

3. Finally, we come to your vote on approving the ballot for (measure) for the $24 million pool complex. In testimony it was pointed out the North Clackamas pool complex was losing over $700,000 annually, not the $125,000 published in the consultant’s report. Also for the WL pool to show a smaller annual loss, the preparers had to “build” revenue, so 49 classes were scheduled weekly; that’s eight hours a day, six days a week. This “trick” reduced the projected loss but removes significant available open swim time. To use the aquatic center, the average WL family will pony up over $1,000 per year between paying for the bond, the annual operating deficit and the fee to join the center. There are dozens more negative issues with the pool proposal.

By the way, if you believed the ballot measure was flawed, you should have cast a “no” vote; that’s leadership. If you, as leaders, believe adding back school days with additional tax money is more important than a $24 million pool complex then you should have cast a “no” vote, that’s leadership.

Mike Taylor is a West Linn resident.



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