Clearly these are not ordinary times for either our nation or for our community. These uncertain times require strong collaborative leadership and wisdom from a mayor. And the wisdom is the ability to take the long view. Whether we as a community focus exclusively on the present, or move forward, will chart our course for at least the next decade.

The 'present' is important. In these uncertain times, citizens are concerned about their financial future and how the decisions our city make will impact them. Businesses are worried about the bottom line; individuals worry about their retirement. The city government needs to take a leadership role in being fiscally prudent. It must manage its operations efficiently and economically.

But we also need to protect the assets, characters and qualities that make Lake Oswego great.

This means moving forward as a community, thinking and acting long term, investing in our future and in our children's future.

Lake Oswego has made great progress in the last 10 years. Our downtown, Farmers Market, Millennium Plaza, parks such as Foothills Park and George Rogers Park, our acres of open spaces in the Stafford area and along the Iron Mountain corridor, our high-achieving schools, and a nationally ranked library all make Lake Oswego a desirable place to live.

To continue this progress, our community needs a mayor who is willing to think and act long term, and who has a vision and the courage to implement that vision.

As mayor I want to keep our community moving forward. In doing so, I will reach out to all, including those with different or diverse opinions. I will forge partnerships with the many community associations and organizations to address the following priorities.

Lake Oswego's downtown is the heart of our city.

We need to continue the revitalization of downtown. We need to quickly advance the Lake Grove Village Center plan, resolving road design and finance challenges. The Lake Grove business area will be a pedestrian-friendly, vibrant center of activity for our community.

The neighborhoods are critical to Lake Oswego's success. We need to protect the character of our neighborhoods while accommodating new families moving here.

Traffic continues to be a challenge in Lake Oswego. We need to consider expanding transportation options, which would include the Portland to Lake Oswego streetcar. In addition, we should seek opportunities for expanded bicycle and pedestrian travel.

We have a new Lake Oswego sustainability board. It is a community-based body whose voice needs to be heeded by City Council. As mayor, my role will help guide the city to become a model for sustainability among communities.

The roads, water, and sewer lines are the infrastructure of our community. The city government is obligated to ensure they are sound. In particular, the sewer interceptor project must be completed on time and within budget. Investments in our roads, water, and sewer are important investments in our quality of life.

Finally, the community needs to move forward as quickly as possible to reach a community-wide business decision on the future of the West End Building.

Together we can continue to make Lake Oswego a successful community that seeks ways to progress responsibly. Together we can make this community better. To that end, I am encouraging all citizens to sit down with me over coffee to discuss these future possibilities. I will be at the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce Building, 242 B St. in Lake Oswego, Saturday, Oct. 25t, 9 to 11 a.m.

I will also be at La Provence Bakery and Bistro, 15964 Boones Ferry Road, on Wednesday, Oct. 29th, from 7  to 9 p.m.

Please join me in conversation.

Jack Hoffman is a candidate for Lake Oswego mayor.

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