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Readers weigh in on parks ballot measures and the upcoming Lake Oswego school bond vote.

The name is bond

No, not James but School Bond. And yes, it is time to support Lake Oswego School District's second bond so we can continue upgrading our educational facilities.

In addition to a professional city government, great police and fire departments, extensive open space and park system, solid economic base and friendly neighbors, Lake Oswego's high quality of life includes a renowned school system that prepares children to be productive citizens of the world. In the past few years, we have come to realize that our school buildings were not state-of-the-art and needed significant changes involving safety, security, energy and sustainability as well as labs where teachers can teach 21st Century STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

It is difficult to maintain a top-rated school district without safe, healthy and modern school buildings. LOSD's work on the first bond included extensive security and building improvements for several schools and construction of the much needed Lakeridge Middle School. Bond #2 will continue this excellent work and replace Lake Oswego Junior High and River Grove Elementary. It will also address lab upgrades at both high schools, while enhancing HVAC systems, kitchens, restrooms, sidewalks, playgrounds and parking lots throughout the District.

As a father of a child about to attend elementary school, a recent Lake Oswego City Councilor and a professional City Planner who has worked in the public and private sectors, I know the value of a strong public school system. Modern school facilities allow children to be inspired and thrive. They are work environments for teachers to truly do their jobs. Schools are also neighborhood gathering places and emergency community shelters. A strong school system, with modern facilities, also contributes to stable property values.

It is time again to back the Bond. Please vote Yes for Lake Oswego's School District's Bond #2 on this November's Ballot.

John LaMotte

Lake Oswego

Friends of Springbrook Park Supports measure 3-575

As a long time board member of Friends of Springbrook Park, and a nearly thirty year resident of Lake Oswego, I want to share with the community why Friends of Springbrook Park supports measure 3-575. The original City of Lake Oswego Charter section was designed to protect Springbrook Park. We want that section replaced with a forward looking measure. Our Friends group is probably the most committed and involved guardian of Springbrook Park. Collectively we have invested thousands of hours into the preservation, maintenance and improvement of the park. It is long past the point when Springbrook Park, and in fact every park and open space in the City, can be effectively preserved, maintained and managed without a site specific management plan. We need management plans that are developed scientifically, and which guard the ecology and sanctity of every park and open space, and that are developed with input from the stakeholders of our parks. Our park is beautiful, and we want to keep it that way. The competing measure is a purely defensive initiative and is not forward looking. Vote NO on Measure 3-568 and YES on Measure 3-575.

Thomas C. Bland

Lake Oswego

The Devil's in the details

LO voters have an important decision on the direction to take to protect our natural parks this November. This isn't a popularity contest about who we like; it's about how we best protect these neighborhood natural habitats from future development exploits.

Like most voters, I prefer making informed decisions on the issues. As they say, the devil's in the details. I've learned much about LoveLOPark's Measure 3-568 over the past 18 months from their outreach efforts. They sent the full text of their proposed Charter amendment and quick reference — a simple read in plain English. But, I know little about the details for City Council's Measure 3-575. The Voters' Pamphlet won't have the full legal text of either charter amendment, only summaries and explanatory statements. This is insufficient to understand the effects on our natural parks — voters need more! Where does a voter go to easily access and read the full text of City Council's proposed Charter amendment?

I found a helpful resource with both measures' text and comparisons (not surprising, on the LoveLOParks website). You might find it helpful too: loveloparks.org/compare

It's now clear. I'm voting YES on Measure 3-568 and NO on Measure 3-575.

Ann Savage

Lake Oswego

Measure 3-568 has integrity

Residents have been working hard for at least 18 months, as a part of a grass roots effort, to get the Citizen's Measure 3-568 on the ballot. The driving force has been the shared belief that Lake Oswego natural parks urgently need protection from development.

Upon close inspection, Measure 3-575 actually does little to protect our nature parks. For example, after the election, City Council has 60 days to decide which areas within specific parks are "Natural Areas." So, the Measure would not necessarily include the entire area of each park! Furthermore, a map of the boundaries of "Natural Areas" would be adopted "by ordinance." This removes Charter protection allowing City Council to easily change the boundaries in the future with a 4:3 vote. This is especially alarming for Springbrook Park which is currently under the umbrella of Charter X.

In comparison, the Citizen's Measure 3-568 is transparent and much stronger. Upon ratification, all 15 parks listed will be designated as a "Nature Preserve." Furthermore, the entire area of each park will be protected under Chapter X.

Please vote YES on Measure 3-568 and NO on Measure 3-575!

Ann Mikulka

Lake Oswego

Sympathizing with nostalgic reader

Oh, how I sympathize with Jim McCarthy ("What happened to the old Lake Oswego?; Wednesday, 9/29), because I grew up in Palo Alto, California, a town very similar to Lake Oswego: civic-minded citizens, outstanding schools, urban-adjacent, and even affordable once upon a time.

But guess what? Times change, and when you live in a vibrant city, it evolves. The Palo Alto that my parents arrived in after World War II was gone by the time I was in high school, and Silicon Valley was beginning to become a phenomenon. And it's even more exclusive today, which is why I can't afford to live there anymore.

Lake Oswego is changing too, and I'm grateful to you and your parents for making it a place that we came to so willingly and found so comfortable.

Howard Baldwin

Lake Oswego

Let's work together to protect parks

The November ballot will have two competing measures concerning LO natural areas. One will win and replace Chapter X in our City Charter (Constitution). If you signed the initiative, good for you to care about our natural areas. I read the initiative and decided not to sign it. I was not alone. My fellow Friends Groups leaders, etc. were also concerned. In 2019 we started meeting regularly to carefully examine and discuss the initiative. We became the "Friends of LO Parks". And, we really do LOVE our parks. Our members have worked in the natural areas for years, most for decades.

After careful consideration, we reached out to see if we could collaborate with the initiative leader. The answer was no. We turned to the city and asked them to take our ideas and create an alternative measure that better preserves, protects, restores and maintains our natural areas.

Measure 575 is more comprehensive: allows paved paths and parking where needed providing access for all citizens; permits service roads for wildfire prevention, public safety and ongoing maintenance; promotes active management; promotes collaboration and cooperation and allows for future natural areas to be added without a city-wide election. Measure 575 protects ALL natural areas, 22, not the 16 of the initiative.

Other city leaders have compared the initiative and are endorsing 575: All of the Friends Groups, several Neighborhood Associations, the LO Sustainability Network, the OL Watershed Council, the P & R Board, the City Council, former mayors and councilors and scores of individual citizens. Please visit our website: FriendsofLOParks.org and join me in protecting our natural areas by voting YES on 575. "Our city is stronger when we work together."

Barbara Fisher

Lake Oswego

Don't be fooled

We can't trust the City of LO to protect our natural parks. Three times since 1993 the City has tried to build a large communications tower in Cooks Butte Park. Our community was there each time to protect this natural habitat as grantors John and Marjorie Emery intended it to remain. They explicitly granted this 42 acres as a natural park under the condition it remain free of future commercial development and it stay "forever wild."

Measure 3-568 is more than just Cooks Butte. It addresses concerns neighbors across LO shared for their neighborhood natural parks.

City Council's opposing measure won't protect our natural parks; furthermore, their measure is vague, filled with loopholes, and moves park definitions out of the charter and into ordinances which risk future development. And, it's funded by developers. We must protect these natural spaces before they're gone.

3-568 is more precise and focused on leaving our natural parks alone. It allows for good stewardship including tree thinning and fire mitigation. It allows benches, trails, boardwalks, and ADA access. It's led and funded by citizens for citizens.

Our natural parks should be protected and stay free from exploitation and development by LO politicians. Our parks need your help!

Vote YES on Measure 3-568 and NO on Measure 3-575.

Brad Home

Lake Oswego

All of LO should support school bond

I no longer have school-age kids, but I still believe it is important for all residents to support public schools. That's why I urge support for the 2021 school bond.

For the last several years some Lake Oswego schools have been upgraded or rebuilt thanks to the previous bond. Now, LO Junior High and River Grove Elementary need to be replaced. Other schools don't need replacement but do need efficiency improvements, safety and seismic upgrades, better disability access, improved HVAC systems, modernized kitchens and STEM facilities to improve safety and learning opportunities for all students.

Good public schools benefit our entire community by educating our future workforce and community leaders. We should continue investing in the buildings themselves to support the educational mission.

Tom Atwood

Lake Oswego

Progress on health care shouldn't be halted

One of the most important lessons we learned during this pandemic is that far too many Americans lack access to affordable health care. Yet, we are making headway because of a remarkable federal program that lowers the cost of health coverage. This year, the American Rescue Plan expanded subsidies for those who purchase insurance through the insurance marketplace.

But much of this progress could soon be lost if Congress fails to make these tax credits permanent before the end of the year. Without subsidies, millions of Americans and thousands of Oregon families would be forced to choose between paying the bills and their premiums. This includes Oregonians like my brother and his wife, who operate a small organic family farm in Forest Grove. These subsidies are now the only reason they've been able to afford care.

Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Kurt Schrader play a critical role in Congress over health care policy, and they can play a key role in making sure these expanded subsidies are made permanent. This is a significant opportunity to help even more Americans get the coverage they need and deserve—people across Oregon are counting on them to deliver for us.

Cay Borduin

Lake Oswego

Look to Woodmont when considering measures

Woodmont Natural Park would be in a more natural state as life-long resident Donald Meyer had intended under citizen-initiated Measure 3-568. The deed included language such as: "be maintained by Grantee in its historical natural condition;" "retain such of the tall nesting grasses." After much public debate and redesign, this natural park is more developed than natural.

Had Woodmont been a "Nature Preserve" under Measure 3-568, unnecessary development could have been avoided:

• Size of developable land area (4.8 of 6.8 acres)

• Increased water consumption with permanent irrigation

• Major grading of 40% of developable land

• Stockpiling existing topsoil

• Removal of original grasses and 393 trees.

• Erosion from grading

• Incompatible planting conditions

• Contentious public process — original plan was rejected by City Council due to strong public opposition (including parks board members)

• Loss of carbon sinks due to loss of mature vegetation

We must change the current city processes with those that protect natural resources, limiting climate change. There's no question Citizens' Measure 3-568 will improve protection of natural resources with endorsements from Sierra Club and Oregon Wild.

Please consider voting "YES" on Measure 3-568 and "NO" on Measure 3-575.

Bill Jaursch

Lake Oswego

Help LO schools build strong foundation

30 years ago, my wife and I moved back to Lake Oswego to ensure our three daughters had a strong school system to help shape their futures. Their years attending Lake Oswego schools gave them a strong foundation for their college experiences, careers, and life. I encourage all LO voters to help current and future students in your community build a strong foundation in LO schools by voting YES on the upcoming 2021 School Bond.

This $180 million bond will replace the expiring LO School bond and result in no additional tax increases. It will allow the school district to replace both Lake Oswego Junior High School and River Grove Elementary. These new buildings both will be built to current seismic standards and can be converted quickly into emergency community shelters in case of a natural disaster. In addition, the bond will help improve the STEM programs at both high schools, enhance HVAC systems to improve air quality, and more.

I encourage all Lake Oswego voters to join my wife and I in voting YES on the upcoming 2021 LO Schools Bond to help ensure a strong foundation for our community's future.

Jay Hamachek

Lake Oswego

Measures couldn't be more different

One would think that Lake Oswego citizens have two reasonable measures to protect our natural parks. Digging deeper, you'll find they couldn't be more different.

Measure 3-568, led and funded by neighbors for 18+ months, seeks to enshrine sensible legal definitions into our City's Charter for our natural parks, their acreage and boundaries, and development limitations. If ratified, these parks and protections can only be amended by voters. Springbrook Park's Charter Chapter X established by citizens in 1978 is proof positive that strong charter protections work.

Measure 3-575, led by our Mayor, City Council and City-affiliated groups and funded by special interests and developers, seeks to defer natural park definitions, their acreage and boundaries, and development to City ordinances - AFTER we vote. City Council can amend ordinances any time with a simple 4:3 vote. 3-575 is nothing more than an ordinance in charter disguise. The revolving door of City leadership, staff, their own agendas should concern every resident.

As residents of 50 years, our community has one opportunity to enact lasting legal protections for our natural parks. Sierra Club and Oregon Wild endorse 3-568; you should, too!

YES on 3-568 and NO on 3-575.

Stephanie & John Detjens

Lake Oswego

Local citizens and community leaders endorse Measure 3-575

Measure 3-575 is citizen-led and is endorsed by Lake Oswego's Friends groups, the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network, the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, current and former mayors and city councilors, many Neighborhood Associations and dozens upon dozens of individual citizens. They endorse it because it protects all of the city's natural areas, prevents development, enables the means to combat climate change and provides access to our natural areas to all of us.

The citizens who endorse 3-575 are the people with the most skin in the game when it comes to protecting, preserving and enhancing our natural areas. They have volunteered thousands of hours of their time in clearing invasives, planting natives, working on management plans, attending meetings and working with the city's stewardship coordinators to improve our natural areas.

These local citizens are the ones who understand and know our natural areas and who are working to ensure that the natural areas are here for all of us now and in the future.

Join our local citizens and community leaders in support of 3-575.

Vote Yes on 3-575!

Nancy Gronowski

Lake Oswego

No accident

Oregon Wild and the Sierra Club's Oregon Chapter chose to endorse Citizens' Measure 3-568. Let that sink in. These organizations are recognized leaders in environmental and conservation efforts. Their endorsements were neither accidental nor a token handout, but were achieved only after scrutiny of both the citizens' measure and the city council referendum. Both organizations have recognized that Measure 3-568's development limitations protect our natural parks best.

Would implementation of Measure 3-568 continue to allow our steward groups, friends of parks, and City to tend and maintain these parks? Absolutely! Measure 3-568 specifically allows building "trails for hiking, jogging, horseback and bicycle riding, may provide benches, interpretive displays, and may provide picnic and sanitary facilities." It also encourages maintenance for "ecological restoration that provides a safe and healthy natural area that is accessible for public enjoyment, provides a healthy habitat for wildlife, eliminates invasive species, restores native species, and mitigates fire hazards."

Measure 3-568 has been intentionally endorsed by two gold-standard environmental organizations, while the city council's opposing measure 3-575 has been funded by developers and special interest groups. None of this is an accident.

Please vote YES on our LoveLOParks Measure 3-568 and NO on the City's Measure 3-575. Visit www.LoveLOParks.com for more information comparing these measures.

Kirsten Sommer

Lake Oswego

Save your right to vote

Look at the so called "Nature Park" on Iron Mountain Road next to the Hunt Club. Where is the natural beauty in the large paved parking lot the city built there?

Save your right to vote on future similar development of our natural parks.

Vote NO on the City Council's open ended "do as they want" Measure 3-575. Vote YES on Citizen's right to vote on changes that may be made to these natural parks with Measure 3-568.

Do not let the whims of each new City Council forever take away and change our natural areas that were designated and given to the city to remain as nature at its best.

YES on Measure 3-568

NO on Measure 3-575

USE YOUR VOTE TO SAVE YOUR VOTE!

Anne Carter

Lake Oswego

Measure 3-568 introduces concerning charter change

Measure 3-568 attempts to resolve a NIMBY neighborhood dispute with a one-size-fits-all Charter limitation on citizens' ability to manage the city's natural areas.

The Charter is the city's Constitution describing "why" the government exists and "what" it is intended to be. The threshold to change the Charter is high i.e., a citywide vote. A Charter is not usually cluttered with details about "how" things should be done. To lead this effort, the Charter creates a governing body of elected citizens, the City Council.

Lake Oswego's attractiveness today is due in large part to the work of hundreds of dedicated citizen volunteers donating thousands of hours of service on City Councils, various Boards and Commissions, Advisory Groups and other involvement activities; all engaged in the process of balancing a variety of competing ideas that shape the community.

Measure 3-568 promotional materials dismiss these efforts as "a tedious public process." By sowing discord and a lack of trust in the process, they set the stage for proponents to lock limitations to their liking into the Charter.

The public process remains the appropriate forum to engage citizens in hammering out comprehensive and effective direction for the city's natural area protection and preservation policies.

Noel Klein

Lake Oswego

Don't be fooled by city measure

They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot!

The politicians are up to their old shenanigans. This November there are two measures on the ballot both seemingly to protect our natural parks. But the citizen's initiative — Measure 3-568, was led and funded by voters like you. The politician's — Measure 3-575, which happens to use very similar language to the citizen's measure, is a slight of hand with the intention of tricking voters into voting yes on both measures. Don't be fooled. If you vote yes for the citizen's measure (3-568) and yes for the politician's (3-575) you will be negating the citizen's initiative. It's the ole "heads I win tails you lose" trick.

Think about it. Why two measures? A grassroots group canvassed door-to-door and obtained enough voter signatures to get Measure 3-568 on the November ballot. Then, cunningly, City Hall politicians introduce their own measure. Odd isn't it? And who might be behind this? According to required contribution filings, developers like Renaissance Homes who contributed $10,000 to fund it, are working behind the scenes to thwart the voters' will.

I have to give them credit. It's a brilliant strategy! By introducing their ostensibly innocuous measure they win if you vote for theirs even if you also vote yes for the citizen's measure. What a scam.

Make no mistake. If you want to restrict the development of our parks you must vote yes on 3-568 and no on 3-575. Don't fall for the City Hall chicanery!

Jeffrey Bowman

Lake Oswego


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