Variances weaken codes

I support the West Linn Planning Commission’s rejection of the proposed “Cutting the Red Tape” changes and hope the city council will consider their recommendation carefully.

The truth as I see it is that the vast majority of changes could more accurately be described as weakening existing standards that protect West Linn’s quality of life.

It is similar to any “variance” granted to community development codes — a variance never involves a strengthening of code, always a weakening. It’s all in the label chosen.

Greg Morse

West Linn

Bring pool back with a plan

I am intrigued by the idea of a community recreation/meeting center with an indoor and potentially outdoor pool. It sounds so wonderful, and it might well be. However, Measure 3-432, is not ready for prime time.  

Quite simply, this is a blank check with no formal design and no formal operating budget attached to it. All decisions about the facility design and operations will be made after the ballot measure is approved. This is a recipe for lots of “I’m sorrys” and “we didn’t knows” accompanied by huge unanticipated costs that will go on forever (bond and annual operating costs).

The aquatics committee has been working on this proposal for several years and they are asking us to approve based on “maybes” and “it could bes” instead of a formal plan.

Put this back on the ballot when you have completed your work, until then I’m urging West Linn to vote no on 3-432.

Dean Suhr

West Linn

Many folks seem unaware of charter school

As an educator at Three Rivers Charter School, I am always surprised at the number of people unaware that the West Linn-Wilsonville School District has a charter school in its midst. 

If they do know of our existence, they are often misinformed about our school. We are mistaken as a private school or maybe as the feeder school for the Art Tech High School since it was a charter school. Neither of these is true. 

Visiting our school, you see that Three Rivers hosts students from grades four through eight. They come seeking small class sizes afforded by the only 100 students in the school.  They come for the continuity provided by the staff of 10 adults who walk with them through their five years here. Last, but not least, they seek the challenge provided in our self-developed curriculum. 

With our close-knit community, we counsel our students to self-advocate, to take responsibility and to become the change they want to see. Leadership is expected. Humanities becomes a part of our culture and an understanding of respect and caring ensues. 

Our school retains a reputation of being highly academic, recently advertised through the top rating we received through the state’s report card, our 10th consecutive since the rating system was instituted. In fact, our waiting list each year sports approximately 40 families who would like to join us at TRCS. 

As the WL-WV School Board negotiates our charter renewal, my hope is that they and the wider community recognize the empowered young leaders we have sent into the world the last 13 years. 

Help us celebrate the contributions we make to the larger district, that of quality education. Believing in our motto, “Your life is what you make it,” I am living my dream as an educator of this amazing organization.   

Denise Collins

Three Rivers Charter School teacher

West Linn

It’s the right time for pool

We are writing in support of the city of West Linn bond Measure 3-432 to fund the building of an aquatic and community center. This addition will be good for the whole community — kids, parents, grandparents and other adults. It adds to the already great quality of life in West Linn.

It is our belief that a community that supports its citizens by providing spaces to learn and to grow in fun and challenging ways is a community that fosters healthy and engaged citizens.

Over the years, we have often heard that there are not enough community activities for our youth. While schools provide many activities, more opportunity is needed for all children year round. This is a great way for parents to share in activities.

Parents of our youth are not only role models to their own children, but to every child in the community. Their involvement in schools and in community classes and programs sends the message they want their neighborhoods to be a fun and safe place to live. Active grandparents who remain involved in the community are also ambassadors for healthy bodies and strong minds.

We have the heart and mind of champions in West Linn. We have the support from our citizens as proven by every school bond and levy that has been passed over the years. The possibility of a pool has been much discussed over the years. We believe that this is now the right time and conditions for our community to support an aquatic and community center.

Please join us in voting yes for Measure 3-432.

Roger and Jeannie Woehl

West Linn

Pool would be financial drain

Why are we proposing to build an aquatic and community center in West Linn? The city has several very expensive projects ahead and should address these before taking on more debt.

A bond measure to build a police station was recently approved. The repair of our roads and antiquated water system is another large expense that cannot be delayed much longer. Plans are underway to develop the arch bridge area and make this the gateway to West Linn.

Property taxes are already increasing to fund some of these projects and more money will be required in the future.

The proposed center will be a huge financial drain for West Linn residents. The bond measure for building alone allows for an increase of almost $300 a year for a $550,000 house. Even with individual facility membership at $500 a year, it will run at a significant deficit.

Estimates of losses to be covered have likely been underestimated when compared to other facilities in the area. Expect charges to increase yearly to cover mounting expenses.

The proposal also allows for a lap pool addition, without which most swimming events will not be possible. No costs have been estimated for this expansion. However, voting for Measure 3-432 implies approval for this addition.

Yes it would be great to have this facility, but at what cost.

Brenda Perry

West Linn

Partner with LO for a pool

I have just cast a no vote on the West Linn swim levy. I do not understand spending money on a single issue election. This is a senseless use of taxpayer money.

Neither do I understand expecting a yes vote on an expensive and never- ending tax increase just as citizens will be receiving their property tax bills.

The statements have been made that people from other areas will use this facility.

Why not partner with another area, such as Lake Oswego, to build a pool somewhere along Rosemont Road? This could be a win-win for both communities.

Betty Folmsbee

West Linn

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