Citizen’s View: Change and progress

Letter written by Victor Nelson.  Originally published in the Lake Oswego Review 9/24/15

It’s been a year since the City Council overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Wizer Block development going forward, followed by two lost appeals by the opposition and now a third appeal from a small group of remaining opponents — a third appeal, I must emphasize, where the odds of success are slim to none.

I understand that logic and gambling have little in common, but I would have thought that before taking the same losing argument to the Oregon Supreme Court, someone knowledgeable in the opposition group might have pointed out to others the logic and the odds of the higher court even accepting the case, let alone coming down in their favor.

Only the same argument that the opposition lawyers have used unsuccessfully before can be made to the Oregon Supreme Court. Surely, since money is involved in funding such an appeal, someone should have pointed out the odds of success? Perhaps they did and the decision to go forward was made anyway. If that’s the case, is the goal of the appeal to try to delay the project? From what I know and can see on the site, delay will not work, either.

What Lake Oswego will get out of this latest appeal is the reputation (set by only a few) of an elite aging community with residents who are burying their heads in the sand and not willing to face the challenges of change and progress.

Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, said, “It’s not enough to be up to date, you have to be up to tomorrow.” The majority of Oswegans don’t want to just gamble with our future. They are up to tomorrow. Change and progress is tomorrow.

Victor Nelson 

Lake Oswego

Citizen’s View: Ready to move forward

Letter by Maggie Martin.  Originally published in the Lake Oswego Review 9/24/15

Free speech has been exercised for nearly three years, both by supporters and opponents of the Wizer Block redevelopment. I, for one, am ready to move forward, safe in the knowledge that the new development fits a long-term vision our city fathers had for our downtown and safe in the knowledge that the project meets the highest code standards set with long-term foresight, not only by our city leaders but also by a committee of our citizens.

So exercising my free-speech rights, I am stating that I am disappointed that my taxpayer money has to go toward defending yet another appeal by a diminishing group of opponents. Their latest appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court has such little chance of success that it fits into the category of a frivolous lawsuit.

The City Council, Land Use Board of Appeals and Oregon Court of Appeals have overwhelmingly disagreed with opponents’ arguments. Our state Supreme Court reviews only 6 percent of all cases and has never taken a land use case where the Court of Appeals so resoundingly rejected the legal merits of the opposition argument.

So again, exercising my free-speech rights, I say ‘Enough!”

Vast numbers of Oswegans are excited by the potential this development offers our community. We have heard and listened to all views for almost three years. There are no more new arguments to be made.

Construction begins in a few weeks and, in true Lake Oswego fashion, we will get through that. In two years, most of us will be looking forward, not backward. We will be enjoying our new neighbors, eating and shopping in the new development and taking advantage of all it brings in the way of new property taxes. A new face in the downtown center!

Maggie Martin 

Lake Oswego