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Lake Oswego readers weigh in on upcoming City Council and mayor electoral races.

A view from just outside LO

Dear Editor, I have lived most of the past 36 years in or near Lake Oswego. We currently live in the City of Rivergrove, across the street from the LO city limits, so we will not be able to vote for LO mayor and council positions. Still, Lake Oswego is near and dear to our hearts, as we shop, dine, recreate and volunteer in Lake Oswego. My business is in Lake Oswego. 2 of our children attended LO Schools, and our 3rd is currently attending Rivergrove (online). I have been very involved in several LO organizations, including the School Foundation, Chamber, Rotary and Lakewood Center.

I think LO is extremely fortunate to have 8 high quality candidates running for Mayor and Council. While I don't get to vote, the outcome is important for me because of our strong ties to LO. I feel we need balanced, principled, and collaborative voices on the council. I think John LaMotte, Aaron Rapf, and Rachel Verdick best fit the qualities that I believe are essential for moving our wonderful city forward. Whatever the outcome, I hope that the new mayor and council will work in a balanced and collaborative way in addressing the needs of all of our community.

Mark Birge


Rapf will listen to everyone

Our Lake Oswego City Council positions are nonpartisan. As a Democrat, I ask you to ignore the partisan political games that professional politicians are playing. Instead, focus on whose experience and outlook will make them an excellent City Councilor. The choice is clear: Aaron Rapf. Here are just a few reasons why I'm voting for Aaron Rapf.

Aaron is the most qualified City Council Candidate. He serves on the Lake Oswego Budget Committee and knows the ins and outs of our City budget. Aaron has been endorsed by the Chair of the Budget Committee and most of City Council for this reason.

Aaron Rapf has a parent perspective and understands the challenges that Lake Oswego families face today. Like many, he and his wife are balancing work and remote schooling for their children. As a volunteer soccer coach, Aaron understands the need for athletics in our community. He is committed to our parks and fields and safe routes to school.

Aaron's inclusive manner is unmatched. He meets with everyone. He listens and learns from everyone. And then he thinks outside of the box and comes up with solutions.

You can go to Aaron Rapf at to learn more about him. Please join me in voting for Aaron Rapf for Lake Oswego City Council!

Kim Hudson

Lake Oswego

Rapf has right priorities

As a parent of two elementary school children, I ask you to join me in voting for Aaron Rapf for Lake Oswego City Council.

Aaron's philosophy is that the safety, security, and well being of all residents should be the priority behind every City budget, particularly as it relates to children.

As a father of two elementary school children himself, Aaron understands that our city should not only provide safe areas to wait for the bus, our community should also encourage them to walk and bike to school by giving them safe routes to do so.

Aaron also understands the value of sports and recreation for our children's mental, social, and physical development. As a member of the budget committee, Aaron advocated for funds to support our parks and fields and will continue to be a proponent of youth activities on City Council.

Please vote for Aaron Rapf for Lake Oswego City Council!

Sumana Kossol

Lake Oswego

LaMotte will bring everyone to table

How fortunate is our city to have John LaMotte willing to serve as our mayor!

Councilor LaMotte has decades of experience as a City Planner. He is trained and experienced in inclusivity and consensus building. For many years, John has been working with people around the country to bring positive change to their cities. He did this by encouraging residents, businesses, and civic leaders to have a voice in the future of their communities. John LaMotte invites everyone to the table.

During John LaMotte's four years on City Council, he has been a collaborative community builder and shared his knowledge with our city. He has received both an award and the mayoral endorsement from the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce for being, "practical, mediational, and believing good business and good community can coexist and benefit everyone."

We have one outstanding mayoral option on our ballots this fall: John LaMotte, an experienced, inclusive, strategic visionary. Let's elect John LaMotte!

Mary Jo Day

Lake Oswego

Fireside will give voice to all people

At this vital time in our city's story we need leaders who understand this moment is bigger than just them, it is about ALL of us. We must embrace our past to inform our present as we look forward to our future. We must have strong policies in place to support all of Lake Oswego. We must elect Melissa Fireside to LO City Council!

Melissa's policies include funding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion under a Chief Equity Officer and forming a DEI board of underrepresented citizens that will inform our City Council. Melissa wants to ensure our fire department remains fully funded and safe for the workforce and community. Above all, she wants to ensure that our government shifts from being inaccessible to being driven and influenced by the voice of the people.

Melissa has shown up for years behind the scenes and in influential positions throughout our city and county. People know her, have seen her work ethic, trust her ethos in the political realm, and are confident that she will always show up prepared to do the work. LO needs a dedicated leader focused on making everyone's lives better — VOTE Melissa Fireside for LO City Council!

Kira Wehn

Lake Oswego

Rapf will focus on LO's future

Aaron Rapf is a person who focuses not just on the now but on a Lake Oswego in years to come. He's prudent about taking care of what we currently have but also has a long-term approach. He thinks strategically, gathers solid information, and then makes decisions based on good facts. I sincerely appreciate his concise work on the LO Budget Committee. Having gotten to know Aaron, I can honestly say he is an independent thinker who will serve all of our Lake Oswego community.

Being a city councilor takes teamwork, listening, understanding the big picture, and often difficult decision-making. Aaron Rapf is up to the task and would serve with humility, knowledge and care. I look forward to serving with Aaron and having him as a part of the council team that helps take a post-Covid LO into a robust, welcoming, safe and sustainable future for everyone who chooses to be part of this great community.

Councilor Jackie Manz

Lake Oswego

LaMotte's dedication is unmatched

Join me in voting for John LaMotte for Mayor of Lake Oswego!

What do City Councilors, Neighborhood Association Presidents, the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, the President of the Lake Oswego Veterans Memorial, former School Board Chairs, business owners, former Arts Council Presidents, planning commissioners, and a parks advisory board member all have in common? They all support John LaMotte for Mayor of Lake Oswego!

John LaMotte has worked so hard for this city over the past four years on City Council; not just for one part of the city but for all of Lake Oswego. You can go to and see the vast array of Lake Oswego residents that support John. They all know what I know: that John LaMotte will be an excellent mayor for Lake Oswego. His dedication to this city is unmatched.

Please cast your vote for John LaMotte!

Becky Nicoli

Lake Oswego

Mboup is wise, principled

I was pleased to see Mayor Kent Studebaker's letter endorsing Massene Mboup for the Lake Oswego City Council. While I've had differences with the Mayor on some policy issues, I do think he has always had the interests of Lake Oswego residents at heart, and I appreciate his recognition that Massene Mboup has been an upstanding and an outstanding member of our community who will serve the city well. Massene listens to his neighbors, is attentive to their concerns and is judicious. He has business acumen in a field in which Lake Oswego has a huge investment, education, but a field that has not been adequately represented among most Councilors with business backgrounds. His election will be crucial in the current situation in which COVID has impacted our educational institutions and in the planning that will be necessary in collaboration between city and school officials in the foreseeable future. I have known and worked with Massene for nearly 4 years, and I find him to be one of the most principled people ethically, and one of the wisest people in terms of being able to engage constructively across a wide range of political positions, that I have ever met.

Don Wayne

Lake Oswego

LaMotte, Rapf will prioritize citizens over agendas

Fellow Citizens,

I urge you to get involved in decisions being made here in Lake Oswego during this election. Educate yourselves on issues facing OUR community, as they are what directly affect our lives.

One of these issues is the "Bridge Project" from Oak Grove to Lake Oswego. The addition of this roadway is an expensive proposition (up to $80mil). There are other ways to address the access challenges we face. Improvements to Hwy 43 should be considered, along with better access to Tri-Met into LO. Additionally, are safety and traffic improvements at Stafford and Child/Johnson roads. The accidents that occur along this roadway are plentiful and tragic. How, in good conscience, can we throw significant money at a new bridge when we have current opportunity areas that can be addressed?

I genuinely question what this project would add to our community?

In closing I again urge you to support LaMotte for LO Mayor and Rapf for LO Council. Both of these candidates are highly qualified, experienced in finance and planning backgrounds, and NON PARTISAN!!! LaMotte and Rapf are THE candidates who are running to serve the citizens, not their own political agendas. Isn't that refreshing?


Katie Chrisman

Lake Oswego

Rapf will prioritize what matters

As a native Oregonian and a 14 year Lake Oswego resident I enthusiastically support Aaron Rapf for Lake Oswego City Council. I have four children in Lake Oswego public schools and have volunteered on city, school and athletic boards and committees and Aaron understands what a special place Lake Oswego is and why many of us have chosen to raise our families here. Aaron wants to serve on City Council so that he can work hard to make Lake Oswego better. He wants to enhance our city but not change what is unique and great about it.

Aaron understands the priorities of Lake Oswego residents; excellent schools, a vibrant business community, parks, and safety and security for all. Those are what draw families to Lake Oswego. He will work to keep Lake Oswego strong and always improve without taking away its unique character with drastic changes such as sending light rail through our quaint downtown Lake Oswego.

Aaron's philosophy is that the safety, security and well being of our community should be the priority behind every City budget; not streetcars and transit bridges across the river.

Join me in voting for Aaron Rapf for Lake Oswego City Council.

Britt Weiler

Lake Oswego

LO needs Rapf on council

I would like to express my support for Aaron Rapf for city council. I have known Aaron since our kids were enrolled in Kindergarten together at Westridge Elementary five years ago. As a volunteer at Westridge, I noticed how Aaron's daughter was reading at an extremely advanced level. To no surprise I later found out that Aaron and his wife Brooke were hands-on parents, totally focused on their kids and their surrounding community of friends. I later got to know Aaron and Brooke through their extended family (Brooke's sister and her family also live in Lake Oswego) as well as through mutual friends and fun times on the lake.

I really like Aaron's laser sharp focus, his congenial personality and his passion for making our community better for our kids, our parents and ourselves. Aaron is the kind of person who works well with others and will give selflessly for our city. I have seen firsthand how he is this way with his family and his friends and have no doubt that he will have the same passion and drive on behalf of Lake Oswego. We need Aaron Rapf on the city council, it will benefit us all.

Quinn Neiland

Lake Oswego

LaMotte's experience is unmatched

Please cast your vote for John LaMotte for Mayor.

Councilor LaMotte has the professional experience needed to be an effective mayor of Lake Oswego. His extensive background in city planning is exactly what our city needs with so many changes happening today. His entire career has involved community building and helping cities grow in a positive way that benefits all. We need a collaborative leader like John LaMotte to keep our city safe and strong! As a single mom with four children, safety is extremely important to me. I am confident that John LaMotte will support our first responders and ensure that Lake Oswego citizens are safe and protected.

John LaMotte will be a fantastic Mayor of Lake Oswego!

Shannon Chollman Gleason

Lake Oswego

Joe Buck exhibits empathy and understanding

I'm endorsing Joe Buck for Lake Oswego mayor because of his unique ability to lead collaboratively and guide our city toward a positive, vibrant future. Having been a Lake Oswego resident for almost the entirety of his life, Joe has a marrow-deep connection to the community, and he has grown into a local leader. He is the owner of both Gubanc's and Babica Hen, and he knows firsthand the important role local businesses play in our community. Joe continuously strives to apply himself and give back to the community that provided him with so much already. Joe has served on the city council, as a board member for Hunger Fighters Oregon, board treasurer of LO Chamber of Commerce, member of Lake Grove Business Association, as well as a member of the Clackamas County Economic Development Commission. He values open-mindedness and is always open to hearing new ideas. Joe Buck holds a great deal of experience and acts with empathy and understanding, which are qualities that will allow him to lead Lake Oswego to a great future.

Mete Bakircioglu

Lake Oswego

As former mayor, I support Buck

It is a pleasure to write in support of Joe Buck for Mayor. I have known Joe and his family for many years, and I have always been impressed with his dedication to Lake Oswego and the values that make this city so special. Joe has a very strong ethic regarding the environment and sustainability. He will take a balanced approach as he weighs the needs of the community and its citizens. Joe has the ability to listen to divergent opinions and follow through with action where needed.

I am endorsing Joe from the perspective of a former mayor of Lake Oswego. Joe realizes the necessity of including a wide variety of opinions and diversity as he leads our city forward in its priorities. He has the leadership skills necessary to accomplish the vision and goals set by our citizens and council.

Joe will work hard for us realizing the importance of finding solutions to difficult problems, and he will always do that with honesty, respect, dignity and inclusion. I hope you will join me in voting for Joe Buck for Mayor on Nov. 3.

Judie Hammerstad

Lake Oswego

Mboup can bridge gap between commerce, community

Lake Oswego has been my home for seven years of the past decade. I have watched the cityscape expand commercially and residentially as I have also expanded my family. I am fortunate enough to know Dr. Massene Mboup, EdD, as the Director and Co-Founder of the International Leadership Academy where my daughter has been under his and the staff's care since 2017.

Massene is committed to his purpose to make our city better for current and future residents. He represents the new face of Lake Oswego as a father, businessman, educator, and leader in the pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Massene's ability to collaborate effectively is evidenced by his participation on the LOSD Legal Budget Committee and the LODEI Task force. Massene is uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between commerce and community in his role as the executive leader of a nonprofit which is committed to the success of children, our nation's future. He is compassionate towards his peers and his educational achievements enable him to develop abstract concepts into productive initiatives. Dr. Mboup has established himself as a results-driven pillar of Lake Oswego who has earned my respect and my endorsement for the Lake Oswego City Council.

Kerri Leathers Izunagbara

Lake Oswego

LaMotte will build, not divide community

I have lived in Lake Oswego for over 30 years. As a racially blended family (I am a blend and my husband is Black and Japanese) we are supporting Councilor John LaMotte for Mayor. John is a city planner and the son and brother of social workers and a special education teacher. He understands diversity and has worked with many Americans to bring about positive change in their communities. John is a community builder, not a community divider.

John supports our DEI Task Force so that they can do their job assessing diversity, equity and inclusion issues. As Mayor, John will listen, bring people together and take action when and where it is needed to make our community better for everyone, while maintaining the peaceful, beautiful community we all cherish.

Lake Oswego is lucky to have someone like John willing to share his expertise and skills. Vote for John LaMotte for Lake Oswego Mayor!

Joni Hollie

Lake Oswego

John LaMotte for our LO Family

From the moment I met my future son-in-law, I knew this was a man who was compassionate and visionary, and a person who listens to both sides, makes decisions and can change things for the better.

In addition, he is a loving husband and father as well as a wonderful handy man around my house and yard! Am I fortunate? Yes.

I have seen John take Lake Oswego into his heart and truly serve all of us. He works with all citizens and businesses no matter what political or civic affiliation someone has, and always focuses on our community's best interests.

The people I have introduced John to through my volunteering and neighborhood have commented, "He really listens, seems like I have known him all my life." The future of LO is in our hands — John is the candidate who will always work for us. Vote John LaMotte for Mayor — he cares about the future of our Lake Oswego family.

Mary Genn

Lake Oswego

Buck will represent local businesses

I am proud to cast my vote for Joe Buck this coming election.

We need leaders that understand firsthand what it is like to run a small, local business. Joe is a third-generation restaurant owner and knows both the challenges and rewards that come with it. We are all facing the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is essential that we face these issues head-on with creative, innovative solutions that will ensure that our businesses will be able to remain safely open during the pandemic. Lake Oswego is made all the more special by our small businesses and we need a mayor that

understands their importance.

Moreover, I've known Joe for several years, and know personally that he is one of the most approachable and level-headed leaders in our community. He approaches every situation with cool logic, an open mind, and good humor. I am voting for Joe Buck for Lake Oswego mayor, and I hope you will, too.

Lisa Shaw-Ryan

Lake Oswego

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