Please see the calendar and links section for new information important to being unified as a neighborhood association.
This week coming up on October 16th, the City of Lake Oswego is sponsoring Neighbor-Helping-Neighbor. This has been a great event in the past where volunteers have reached out in service to others in our community. I hope you have a chance to participate in this city unifying force for good! Also, check out our calendar, suggest any additions, and note that we have our Annual General Meeting for the Westridge NA scheduled for November 9, 2011, at the Westridge Elementary School. Details on agenda to follow shortly.
I offer the following in the spirit of friendship and development of city unity. There are a lot of exciting things happening in our fair city, we have a lot to accomplish, and I for one am thankful to be a resident of Lake Oswego. Lake Oswego has given me and my family much in the way of quality of life over the last 42 years. I am a product of Lake Oswego schools since the first grade. I hope we will remember the importance of gratitude and unity as we enter this political season. Let me start by being the first to discard my old ways of a tendency toward’s private criticism of leaders who often are volunteering their time and efforts for our benefit as Lake Oswegans. Cynicism and criticism are so easy, so passé, and yet gratitude is so rewarding. I propose that we, the Westridge NA, lead the way in an example of unity! May we unite at our neighborhood association meeting on November 9th, and accomplish some good for this segment of the city. I express my gratitude for all that the City does for us, and I hope to remember that during this political season!
So, hmmm, what have I done recently that was fun and interesting? Well, your’s truly went to the City’s meeting of neighborhood chairs hosted by LO City on September 29th. It was great fun! Pizza and soda pop were served -I only tell you this to let my successor chair out there somewhere know that there are some small perks of being a neighborhood chairperson.
The mayor was there, and he gave us a nice update on the happenings in the city. He started off by saying that the city is financially healthy! One of the few in the country I suppose right now. That is something to feel good about as Lake Oswegans! He also updated us on the happenings regarding the city. I took notes as fast as I could, but could only make the following list of topics he covered: 1) Though we are healthy financially right now, with a triple-A bond rating, our city’s finances are based on property taxes which do not appreciate as fast as the cost of service inflation. 2) LOIS is under budget at $90M (less than the budgeted $120M) and on time. 3) Our water system, streets and facilities all need an upgrade. 4) There are problem facilities, such as city hall, subject to water intrusion and which are not earthquake proof. Part of the problem is that our essential police services are not housed in a disaster resistant building. 5) Though we are not moving the library to the West End Building (WEB), a working group is considering $40M, $60M and $80M options for the WEB. Details are on the LO Website and the LO Review. 6) An indoor tennis facility is being considered. The tennis crowd, a significant segment of the LO community, has been patient and supportive of City programs, and it is time to acknowledge that. 7) The sensitive lands ordinance is to be made more flexible. Hearings and meetings are scheduled to accomplish this. Thank you to all who gave citizen input on this important issue. 8) The Oregon Land Conservation Development Commission (LCDC) will be evaluating and making important decisions regarding the Stafford Basin area in November 2010. 9) Regarding the Foot Hills East-end Urban Renewal District, $1.3M is being spent to analyze feasibility of making it a neighborhood. There are many issues to consider: flood plane, what to do about the sewage treatment plant, whether high density housing is appropriate, sewer, water, access. 10) Regarding the community visioning project and WELOVELO – we are the second oldest city in the area in terms of age of residents, next to King City. Conversely, younger and older families alike want to live in a sustainable, walk-friendly city that minimizes auto traffic. WELOVELO is to update our outdated comprehensive plan – more on this below. 11) Our library is being considered for relocation as a north anchor project located on State Street. 12) The old US Bank building area is being considered to be turned into a plaza. 13) Utility rates will be rising to be comparable with other cities in the region. 14) Lake Grove Village – Wizers – to be remodeled. 15) Buy back of the Lake Oswego Armory, sold by LO to the state for $1.00 dollar, being considered. 16) Street car between Portland and LO – hoping for a 60% federal match. $100M value for the right-of-way alone which LO purchased as a good investment for $2M. I invite respectful discussion/debate on any of these matters in our forum section of the website.
Thanks to Sarah Selden for all of the information provided to help us as neighborhood association chairs and boards to plan and achieve successful meetings, signs, neighborhood plans, etc. There is great information summarized in the following documents provided at the meeting: Planning Info for Chairs The job of being a neighborhood chair and doing it right is not that easy I am finding, but I am loving it! I am thankful to predecessors who have served, including David Bussman, whom I miss in that he has moved to Camas, WA, and Adra Barlow, who serves on our board currently. While I am at it, let me express gratitude for those who serve on the Westridge NA board! Also, I have learned by talking with various neighbors that many have served in the past. Thank you to you all. I am thankful for my turn, and I ask for your support going forward. Hope to see you at our Annual Meeting on November 9th!
Howard Russell, WNA Chair