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Council took actions 'detrimental' to West Linn

I support recalling our mayor, John Kovash, and Councilors Mike Jones and Jody Carson.

I do so reluctantly because I like Mike Jones but he has, in my opinion, shown disregard for the best interests of West Linn. Mike was the one that after the initial hearing by the city council, listed numerous concerns about the Lake Oswego-Tigard application and basically supported the work of our planning commission by indicating he did not support LOT’s application. The planning commission is currently not a political body, rather its members are appointed to decide if an application meets our city code.

Mike concurred that they were right and indeed this application had numerous shortcomings even after the addition of the $5 million payment the city was promised. Two weeks later, after stating he had attached “serious conditions of approval” he voted for it with little or no discussion.

Those conditions of approval failed to provide any meaningful difference and both he and Councilor Jenni Tan voted to support the application.

I do not support the recall of Tan. She did introduce a definition of “community benefits” that says our city code must define “community benefits” to include the basically all adjoining communities and I seriously doubt Lake Oswego would allow us to build a major industrial project in one of their neighborhoods if the majority of the benefit was to West Linn. But, she and Thomas Frank were the only ones to oppose our city manager’s intertie agreement which stripped away any benefit from this project.

Kovash has allowed our city manager and his planning department to promote this project and try to shut out the community from participating in the process. I was involved with the original Good Neighbor Committee to mitigate this $250 million project, which is the largest in the history of West Linn.

Our city manager cited an incorrect interpretation of “ex parte communication” and effectively shut out our committee from even speaking to our own planning staff. The abuse was so obvious that when the city finally brought in an outside attorney, the mayor personally apologized to me for his past actions. When I asked for redress he simply stated it was past history. Our city attorney who apparently doesn’t understand “ex parte” is the one who “misled” our city councilors to allow them to violate state ethics law and continues to represent both Tigard and West Linn in this process. 

I have read several articles condemning the recall and they all have one thing in common, not one of those complaining have a working knowledge of why we are seeking the recall. I am not saying those being recalled are not good people but instead, they have taken actions that are detrimental to the well-being of West Linn. Support the recall and, if you do not, please take some time to at least understand the issues involved.

Lamont King is a West Linn resident.




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