Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Friends of Lake Oswego makes its move!

I have mine!
Do you have yours?  

This is what I have been waiting for - the expensive, 4-color glossy mailer from the Friends of Lake Oswego PAC endorsing 2 Democrat candidates for mayor and city council.

City of Lake Oswego
Jon Gustafson for Mayor . Theresa Kohlhoff for City Council

Candidates for our Progressive Majority 
on the Lake Oswego City Council

Visioning a train wreck.

It sounds like a planned takeover of the City Council and the City!  "Our Progressive Majority" is a promise (or threat) to return the city to the gory days of the 2000s when the Hammerstad and Hoffman regimes ran roughshod over citizens in their attempts to bring a Smart Growth, Sustainable culture to Lake Oswego.  The acrimony and divisiveness between this insular group and the mainstream population tore the city apart.  This is that group's attempt to regain power.

So, besides Joe Buck, who is the 4th person on the PROGRESSIVE dream-team council?  (For those who did not receive a mailer, the list of endorsements on the back page includes local politicians Judie Hammerstad, Ann Lininger and Joe Buck.)  I have a pretty good guess who the fourth Council person would be, but what this all means is that these FOUR individuals are declaring that their agenda for the city is superior and any "minority" view is inconsequential compared to their own power and control over city affairs.  This is pure arrogance and should not be rewarded.  

This is dangerous talk my friends.

Playing only to their own crowd would mean more than having a streetcar shoved down unwilling throats - it would mean living in a city where one segment of citizens is at war with another.  This is why local elections are NONPARTISAN.  Small cities cannot withstand this kind of divisiveness and remain whole or be welcoming places to live.  I strongly urge everyone to let your friends and neighbors know that voting for Jon and Theresa would be a disaster that we may never recover from.

The bitterness of the past centered on the density of development planned for Foothills, the Town Centers and Kruse Way, the streetcar to Portland, the codes that allow super-sized developments like the Wizer Block, and the ongoing (will it ever end?) Downtown Redevelopment District that sucks money from our property tax base and funnels it to developers' profits. The sustainability portion includes one of the most restrictive tree codes in the state and a storm water plan that is more burdensome for homeowners.

I have read this advertisement and do not see any details of how the two candidates plan to enact their policy goals, nor how they plan to pay for them.  I also note the expansion of their goals into things the City has never been involved with, nor has the authority to do.  The City Council would be a one-stop-shop for fulfilling all of their dreams, paid for with our money.  

I have seldom seen such blatant arrogance and disregard for the opinions and goals of the community. This "guide" shows the public just how far these two would go if they were elected.  I hope this mailer is distributed widely!  Lake Oswegans are so much smarter than this feel-good, empty drivel implies.

Dissecting the Progressive mind:

"We support a healthy environment with affordable clean water partnerships, investments in sustainability, and reduction of the city's carbon footprint."
"Affordable water partnerships?"  "Invest in sustainability?"  What does that mean?  We do not pay taxes so that a few idealists can satisfy their larger ambitions.

"We are proud to be supported by Lake Oswego's hard working municipal employees and firefighters."
Campaign statements have indicated the candidates do not favor cutting staff if resources are strained due to PERS or other needs. How could these two negotiate an employee contract that is in the best interests of the citizens if their loyalties are compromised?  

"We support increased opportunities for safe after-school learning and sports activities for children, and we share a vision for our future that helps attract more young families to our community."
If parents want to government to pay for this, they can lobby the school district for it.  How about a YMCA?  How does a city attract young families?  As I look around at my neighborhood, I see plenty of young people pushing strollers and such, and more every day as older people die or move out.  The city should continue to provide a safe city with good schools and iit sells itself.  

"We need a progressive vision for Lake Oswego.  A vision that puts high quality parks, public safety and libraries first, protects our open spaces and environment, and maintains Lake Oswego's reputation as a great place to live, work and raise our families."
Putting the library and parks ahead of infrastructure spending (sewer lines, bridge and road repairs, storm water management) is foolhardy.  It's like wanting to remodel your house when the roof is falling in. It's all important, but the city can't function without good  infrastructure.

"As a mother and grandmother, Theresa wants to focus on further housing and transportation opportunities for a wider range of citizens.  Theresa will fight for our city, and ensure that our infrastructure, service and civic needs ar met.
What needs is she talking about?!  What kind of housing opportunities?  Who is she going to be fighting against?  With that Progressive Majority, whatever they want would be a cakewalk. 

I had planned to write about the ambitions of these two candidates as discerned through their own words in interviews and forums.  Through the doublespeak and obfuscation, comes a clear vision of the streetcar, bike paths, cluster housing, increased density in neighborhoods, and subsidized housing.  In short, not happy to be just a suburb of Portland, Jon and Theresa are aiming for Lake Oswego to be a mini-Portland, just "not as dense as South Waterfront."  (Quote by Jon Gustafson.). While I laugh at the mailer on front of me, I put my faith in the levelheadness of the voters to reject these candidates and their partisan, arrogant visions for us.

1 comment:

  1. I believe you got it right. Theresa has talked about housing opportunities for "workers". What is a worker? Is that something different than LO citizens who are currently employed? Yes, it is. In reality workers means low income workers. As well Theresa wants housing for the disabled and elderly.
    Theresa has NEVER done anything substantive in our community before this. Theresa has never served on any City Board or Commission. Why does she now think she is qualified for Council? Because she is a progressive!