Painting it Gold
Spin doctors are trying desperately to get us to believe that Lake Oswego will be a ghost town without their mega-block development. No vibrancy! The town that wants to live in the past and watch the future pass by. That's just silly, but PR people are paid to spray shiny paint on horse manure and call it gold.
The Kessi website is trying hard to get Lake Oswegans sway the public and the City Council with a petition for people to sign in support of the project. Maybe someone forgot to update the site, but anyone who didn't testify before the DRC cannot weigh in with testimony before the City Council at the appeal hearing, so what good is a petition except to "spin" the heads of the Council who should be looking at legitimate testimony only.
The website also requests the public to write the Kessi group a letter of support and cc the City Council. Again, testimony, including friendly letters on the subject of the Wizer Block, is ex parte communication and not allowed. But what did you expect. Just because you can't officially "testify," why waste an opportunity to try to influence the outcome in other ways? Maybe someone should ask City Attorney David Powell if letters to the council on the Wizer Block constitute ex parte communication.*. If I get more information on that I will let you know and everyone can then flood the Council with their letters and calls. The same rules should apply to all. I hear the City Council already has enough past DRC testimony to wade through that it will take all their waking hours from now until the 22nd to read.
During the appeal hearing, will any of the councilors mention these email contacts, or does it count if councilors only converse with people about the Wizer project prior to the appeal? These quasi-judicial hearings seem pretty messy and political to me. Who can talk to or write to whom and when? Let's see what our Councilors (and City Attorney) do regarding these organized attempts to influence them.
*USC Note: Mr. Powell just confirmed that people who did not testify at the DRC hearing cannot testify at the City Council appeal cannot testify now, and this includes letters and petitions. For the City Council to read and consider sentiments and arguments from anyone other than those who have standing constitutes ex parte communication and is not allowed.