As 32+ year residents of Lake Oswego, it pains us to think that we can’t trust Lake Oswego City Council. Rather than work with the community they represent, City Council chose to place a competing Parks Measure on the November ballot that confuses and misdirects Lake Oswego voters.
Please don’t be fooled by City Council’s attempt to re-frame the Citizen’s Measure as a verbiage issue. It’s much more than that — it’s a power issue. Look no further than the history of Cooks Butte Park.
In 1975, the Emery Family granted the 42-acre Cook’s Butte portion of their property to the people of Lake Oswego. The city received this grant under the stipulation that it “be preserved in as close to a natural state as possible.”
Three times — in 1993, 2002, and 2019, City Council violated the Emery Family wishes by approving large communications towers in Cook’s Butte Park. Three times the Emery Family unanimously signed notarized documents expressing their firm opposition. Three times there was loud public outcry from Lake Oswego citizens. Three times over 26 years City Council backed down.
It begs the question: “What does it take to protect our natural parks from each new version of City Council?”
It takes the hard work of a grassroots citizen initiative. So in 2019, Lake Oswego citizens held collaborative public meetings, collected donations, hired competent attorneys, wrote a well-crafted ballot measure, signed petitions, verified signatures and finally placed Measure 3-568 on the November 2021 ballot.
What did City Council do? They rushed a competing Measure onto the ballot. Interestingly, their measure does NOT limit the City’s ability to place a communications tower on park property. If City Council can’t be trusted to limit commercial activity in one natural park, how can we trust them with the rest?
We believe that 26 years of broken promises is enough. Let’s act with honor and do what City Council won’t do. Please vote NO on Measure 3-575. Then join us in asking the City of Lake Oswego to keep its promise. Please vote YES on Measure 3-568. Do it for yourself, your community and the next generation.
Mike and Debbie Wilkins
With Mike & Debbie Wilkins’ permission, we have reproduced their Reader Letter for your convenience and for those who don’t subscribe to the LO Review. Read their letter in the LO Review here: