Fight isn’t over

Why can’t the Wizer Block be more like Kruse Village? Kruse Village is open and airy. The buildings are not the enormous, overwhelming behemoths with narrow walkways between them that the Wizer plan proposes.

To those who say that we should put the fight to save the Wizer Block behind us, I say the fight is not over. They haven’t started construction. Lita Grigg, the mainstay of Save Our Village, and the Evergreen Neighborhood Association are to be applauded for taking the case to the Oregon Court of Appeals. I hope the appeals court pays more attention to “small-scale structures” and “village character” than some members of our own City Council did.

If construction is allowed to go ahead, I doubt I will be visiting some of my favorite restaurants and stores in Lake View Village as often as I would like. The older I get, the lower my tolerance for traffic and parking issues. And to have lunch out in front of Zeppo’s on a lovely summer day, the sun will be blocked by the proposed Wizer structures at 1:30 in the afternoon — in August!

Francie Manning

Lake Oswego

Enough is enough!

I am now saturated after reading the Citizen’s Views from Lita Grigg (“Lake Oswego citizens are still standing strong on Wizer Block,” May 14) and Leslie Pirrotta (“Wizer Block ‘still worth the fight,’” May 14), who are still striving to fight the mighty fight and are now evoking quotations from Churchill and Monroe.

We have become such a litigious society, willing to tie up the judicial system with frivolous lawsuits that are reserved for people who see themselves as society’s Don Quixotes, not for the benefit of the masses but only for their own self-interest and gratification. This current ploy borders on harassment and increased expense for the community, which has already taken all the steps and beyond to comply with the necessary requirements for this project.

Webster states that a “village” is a group of houses and associated buildings larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town situated in a rural area. Opponents’ misuse of the term not only places them back when Lake Oswego was just Oswego, but would suggest that progress has just passed them by.

Jim Price

Lake Oswego

A great tour

Thank you to the Oswego Heritage Council for another wonderful Historical Home Tour!

As the premier sponsor for the fourth year in a row, Cascade Sotheby’s is honored to celebrate some of Lake Oswego’s  finest homes and architectural heritage.  We truly love this community and are delighted to share in its history and traditions.

Will and Fane Fendon

Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, Will Fendon Properties

Lake Oswego

Put Godzilla to rest!

A stranger reading The Review’s May 14 Opinion pages might think a prehistoric Godzilla had woken up from its slumbers and was rapidly descending on Lake Oswego! Two Citizen’s View pieces seemed to tie together the developer of the Wizer Block and the City of Lake Oswego into one giant monster bent on destroying this city.

This community has evolved for the better at the hands of a city government with vision, cooperating with business people prepared to take financial risks and invest in downtown. Lake View Village began that change in 2001, and at the time, some of the same people opposing Wizer thought Godzilla was stirring and annihilation was coming. Turns out the city, in giving 11 exceptions to the code for Lake View Village, built a project that did not destroy the city and is a regional landmark.

The collaboration between the city and the Wizer project developer is not some monstrous conspiracy to destroy the village character of downtown. City Council has resoundingly voted that Block 137 meets the definition of “village character” under the code. The Land Use Board of Appeals has stated that the City’s interpretation of “village character” easily met the required standard of review. My guess is that even if the Court of Appeals considers the opponents latest appeal, they will come to the same decision.

Change done right is not scary. Wizer is being done right. This Wizer project will be built and will be another talked-about Lake Oswego landmark. Opponents can send Godzilla back to his slumbers while Lake Oswego moves forward.

Karen Wheeler

Lake Oswego

Mayor was right

I applaud Mayor Studebaker in his decision to not reappoint Todd Prager to the city Planning Commission (“Mayor’s appointments ignite ‘payback’ debate,” May 21). Prager sued his city and the people that he was assigned to represent, and cost our community in excess of $1 million. And, he lost his lawsuit. That $1 million could have been better used for our schools!

Not only did he lose his lawsuit, he then appealed the court’s decision and further cost our citizens another atrocious amount of attorneys’ fees. (Oral arguments were heard by the Court of Appeals on May 18.) How many citizens of Lake Oswego have sued the city before? I bet not many.

Any retribution against Prager is a result of his tactics and what those tactics have cost our citizens. Mayor Studebaker would have been remiss had he not addressed and dealt with this litigious commissioner. If I sue my neighbor, I doubt that I will be asked to their house for Sunday dinner!

It is one thing to have freedom of speech and voice opinions and not have retribution for your opinion. However, Prager took his opinion too far and sued the city and cost its people $1 million. You don’t sue the city in which you represent its people and not have repercussions.

I am furious that the City Council has any issue with Mayor Studebaker for not reappointing Prager. Prager could have voiced his concerns a thousand other ways, other than aggressively suing the city. I am all for free speech and I fully understand that my position on matters are far afield from many. However, I am not about to sue my city! Prager cost our city over $1 million, and Mayor Studebaker acted in the city’s best interest in not reappointing Prager to the Planning Commission.

Kristy Neubo

Lake Oswego

Loyalty oaths?

Will Mayor Studebaker demand loyalty oaths to the city’s “best interests” before appointing a worthwhile and useful citizen to a city board or commission? Apparently, that’s what’s coming if Planning Commissioner Todd Prager’s non-reappointment (“Mayor’s appointments ignite ‘payback’ debate,” May 21) reflects the mayor’s myopic thinking.

Too bad the front page’s positive article on the annual flower basket distribution and opening of the popular farmers market was seriously dampened by the report on the mayor’s ugly attitude.

Peter Toll

Lake Oswego

Reason for concern

As citizens of a democracy, we should all be concerned about the refusal by the mayor and City Council to reappoint Todd Prager to the Planning Commission last week (“Mayor’s appointments ignite ‘payback’ debate,” May 21). Mr. Prager should be commended for his willingness to invest considerable personal energy, time and resources to protect the public trust in our navigable waters despite intense political pressure.

Not only does stamping out opposing viewpoints violate our basic democratic principles, it goes against basic tenets of effective organizational management. Any management expert will state the most effective teams are comprised of people with different personality styles and points of view.

Citizens like Mr. Prager (and likewise Gerry Good, who has been subjected to efforts to chill his free-speech rights) act in good faith to make our community a better place to live for us and future generations. They should be encouraged and thanked, not treated as enemies.

Jane Hickman

Lake Oswego

Prager decision justified

The City Council’s decision not to reappoint Todd Prager to the Lake Oswego Planning Commission was certainly justified. Even while in his role as a commissioner, Mr. Prager actively pursued a special-interest agenda regarding public access to Oswego Lake.

Additionally, while functioning in an official appointed capacity, Mr. Prager elected to initiate a lawsuit against the very city he represents. Given what appears to be a conflict of interest, it would have been more appropriate for Mr. Prager to have resigned from his official position long ago.

His special-interest agenda has already been costly to Lake Oswego taxpayers, costly to the Lake Corp, and has the potential of negatively impacting property values and tax revenues if his lawsuit prevails.

Eric Allenbaugh

Lake Oswego

A stunning turnaround

Citizens rarely jump up and down with excitement and enthusiastic support when surveyed about their opinion of governments. Local governments are particularly prone to criticism from the residents who live among them — a few years on the Planning Commission and eight years on the School Board taught me that. But the 2015 City of Lake Oswego Community Survey really is the equivalent of a majority of our citizens jumping up and down in support of the actions and decisions of our current mayor and City Council.

Two years ago, a majority of Lake Oswego residents were dissatisfied with our local government; now in 2015, a majority of us have a favorable opinion. Between 2013 and 2015, our satisfaction with our local government went up 11 percentage points. That’s a pretty stunning turnaround, especially in an environment that tends toward an inherent cynicism and mistrust of elected officials.

What is also revealing in the survey is that complaints about how the city manages the budget and our taxpayer dollars dropped by 17 percentage points. In short, a majority think our local government is using money wisely and on the correct priorities.

Of course, there are citizens who are disappointed in the actions of our local officials, and the point of a survey is to gauge that level of dissatisfaction. Today, that feeling of dissatisfaction sits with the few and not the many. A majority of Lake Oswego residents have a very favorable opinion of their city, and on a scale of one to 10, they rate the city an 8.6 as a place to live.

Kudos to Mayor Kent Studebaker and the City Council for their vision. While some still may not be jumping up and down in support, a majority think life in Lake Oswego is good.

Jon Harnish

Lake Oswego

An honorable effort

Ed Hutson was defeated May 19 in his bid for a seat on the Lake Oswego School Board, but he was uplifted by the experience of running and I, among many others, thank Ed for that effort.

His race was cheerful and forthright, free of villainy, energetic and an appropriate effort and expenditure for a school board race. He may not have won this time around, but Ed presented himself to our village with his true attributes and in the future, I’m sure both Ed and the community will benefit from this honorable effort.

Thank you, Ed!

Rick Hendon

Lake Oswego

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