Guide the changes in Wilsonville
We all know that change is inevitable. The trick is to guide that change to benefit Wilsonville citizens. Some of our city councils over the 50 years we have been a city have done an excellent job of that. Other councils have acted with more utopian than practical ideas. One example is the current council's determination to build a very costly bridge across the Willamette River for bicyclists, pedestrians and emergency vehicles.
I don't buy into the idea that there is money available for the bridge that can't be used to relieve traffic congestion. Dollars are dollars and it is more important to solve traffic problems experienced by all of us than build a bridge that will be used by relatively few Wilsonville citizens and so strongly opposed by those living in Old Town.
Another example is that our current council wants to build a pedestrian bridge from Barber Street across I-5 to near Les Schwab. They see this as a way to increase participation in a planned revitalization of Town Center.
Once again, dollars are dollars. Is this a priority wanted by our citizens?Yet another example is the lack of adequate parking. A Charlotte Lehan-led Council was instrumental in getting subsidized elderly housing at Creekside Woods to help displace those who used to live at Thunderbird Mobile Home Park. This was a noble endeavor but it was accompanied by a bad decision to allow only one-half parking space per unit. When I questioned that, I was told that "elderly people don't drive and don't have that many visitors." The utopian idea at play here is that we don't need cars.
Look at the mess with our apartments not having enough parking spaces. Once again, our council is buying into the idea that we can do without cars. But, where is bus service on the weekends for seniors and others who need transportation to church or shopping?
We should always thank those who step forward to serve us whether or not we agree with all their decisions. We should also have the courage to invite and vote for new city council leadership with fresh ideas and energy. That is what I am going to do because I think it is time to break up our council's mostly group think and elect some individuals who are closer to understanding what is important to today's Wilsonville citizens.
Doris Wehler has lived in Wilsonville for 54 years