Homestretch. 42 days to go.
Because of COVID, there has not been much of a chance to hear the other candidates’ views until last Thursday. It was pretty eye-opening.
One councilor candidate came out and said he was pro-business as a #1 priority. If that is how you see the function of government then, in his words, “Let’s get it.” Another councilor candidate projected herself as a bridge-builder. I do not even know what to make of that. I have often voted differently than some of my fellow councilors but I never felt we didn’t understand each other and in many cases, as in the present mayor and myself, respect and like each other.
I do like bridges, though, and still, hope for one over the Willamette. Pretty clearly it will be one of the evacuation routes out of Lake Oswego, in addition to water passage, if we have a Cascadia event. No one thinks the roads will be available in such a circumstance.
But I am getting distracted.
As it related to the mayoral candidates, the thing I found interesting was the revisionist history happening, one bit being what people ran on in 2016. To be clear, I am the one who ran on a platform of affordable housing, much to the chagrin of all advisors to the contrary.
But this sort of response is starting to pop up. So when someone asked one opponent why he would write why the rush to judgment to set out a statement on DEI, he said there was a new policy of having councilors 12 hours to buy into statements. The city recorder said no such policy existed.
Anyway, back to the forums: There is almost always an incanting of paths, trails, safe routes to schools (and for one candidate running for councilor) turfed fields. This is fine except for the fact that both my mayor opponents actually voted to decrease the transportation system development charges that would have paid for them by 70%. This is my quandary: how do you use your words to say things that sound good but then vote in ways that make it very difficult for them to happen? That either shows a lack of knowledge on how the system works or an attempt to sound like you can have things, for example, infrastructure and not have to actually pay for it. You know, as in, real money coming out of your pocket.
One opponent kept saying “I get things done.” This, of course, is what we all want. The problem is that he by no means was suggesting a way where this could actually be done. He would “bring all the developers into the room” and what? by force of personality get them to do something that was not in their financial best interests and was not required of them?
When the issue of how important is it to spend 70 million for phase one and phase two of Boones Ferry road improvement, an opponent said well, we would annex near the railroad and get grants. Given how well annexations have gone over in Lake Oswego and how small grant amounts are, this seemed a bit sanguine, but who knows. And maybe it won’t really end up costing that because that does sound like a lot of money. This reminds me of bids and change orders: bid low and then through change orders get to the real price, which is about 70 million.
Another opponent actually said we were a very diverse city. What? How diverse can a city that is about 85-87% white actually be? If we are 1% black, 10% Asian and maybe 3-4% something else, that still leaves a lot of white and a whole lot of white culture that is pretty tough to penetrate.
But the most curious thing that was said was about tree preservation. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that we must bring trees into the development code. Yes, site development, to some degree or another, must be driven by big trees. It is a matter of survival in times of imminent climate collapse.
One of the opponents said we needed an urban forestry plan. OK. In the end, a healthy eco system was our end goal and through flexibility, we could “empower the staff” to set “expectations with builders” and thereby preserve trees. Well, one does want a healthy eco system but this seems pretty benign given the exigencies of the day. But really, what does empowering mean? A little discretion? A little trick up the sleeve? What, but for, a code that possibly precludes development or at least, requires some balancing of other goals like economic development and need for housing types, will get developers to act against their pro forma, their requirement of X amount of profit? This is sheer fantasy speak.
The other opponent was even more curious though. He didn’t really respect our land use laws, our legislature, and surely not Metro. It was brought out that he had received $18K from developers, including from ones like Randy Sebastian who are in the opponent’s very words “the poster child” of developers cutting down big trees! So just how does this work? Well, again, it wasn’t going to be done by anything effective like CODE it would be by jawboning, and force of personality and getting things done. Everyone would be right there, doing the right thing and there would be an increased tax base and an Oak or Doug Fir to spare.
This is magical thinking and surfacey talk. This is white businessmen thinking they are knights who will come in and rescue our city from - well, anything but the actual stated good outcomes using actual realistic means. In other words, it’s all foam and no beer, all hat and no steer.
I am the real thing. I listen. I am qualified, bold, and pragmatic. No one doubts my words or where I stand - for human dignity and their fundamental rights. I love Lake Oswego and it’s time that a mother, grandmother, and progressive woman lead it.Read More...
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