Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Right Person at the Right Time for Lake Oswego City Council

Why am I running for Lake Oswego City Council? The short answer is: Why not, if not me who? The longer answer encompasses my philosophy of life, my experience, and my desire to serve the community. Fundamental to that is my belief that elected officials have a fiduciary duty to the taxpayer to ensure spending is prudent and thoughtful. The violation of that fundamental principal has precipitated the discord currently felt in the city. We need to elect City Councilors capable of earning the trust and respect of the residents of Lake Oswego. We need to elect City Councilors willing to listen to their constituents and who are proactive in rebuilding trust and healing the disconnect between City Government and the residents.

This election season we are going to hear a lot about fiscal responsibility and transparency in City Government. Fiscal responsibility is more than a concept, it is the main ingredient in respect and trust of the government by the governed. This also holds true for transparency, for without transparency there is no accountability. It is the aspect of accountability by government to the governed that enables us to maintain a stable representative democracy.

I first moved to Lake Oswego 36 years ago. During those early years I was very involved with issues before the City Council. It was in some respects like a court of law, for a lack of a better description. There were some contentious issues and each side presented their case and it never seemed to me that a decision was deliberated before the evening public City Council meeting. Unlike today, there were never the Tuesday morning City Council "dress rehearsal" meetings to go over the evening agenda. These "dress rehearsals" have enabled the City Council to speak with one voice (similar to speaking the party line), iron out any disagreement between councilors, and it seems to me reach a conclusion before the fact. I believe we are fast approaching having only the appearance of transparency in Lake Oswego City Government. When sausage is being made it needs to be done before the public eye. Some of us running for City Council truly take these principals to heart.

In November we must elect to City Council the candidates who believe in these principals, to swing the pendulum back towards the center. We must elect to City Council candidates who are fiscally responsible, understand their constituency, have the ability to honestly and responsibly prioritize city needs, and truly believe in a transparent City Government..

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