City Councilors contemptuously berating citizens for their majority vote on initiative 3-568 as being stupid and they should feel ashamed exposes more about the Council than they may wish. Here was a chance for Council and staff to show real leadership to bring the community together, acknowledge the natural preservation values the vote represented and meaningfully pledge to work with the initiative leaders going forward. Rather than taking the high road, Council used its dais as a bully pulpit to castigate voters over losing an election of Council and staff’s own making.
Lake Oswego has a highly intelligent citizenry. The pros and cons on the measures were debated and discussed. No one was duped. Reasonable people can disagree on approaches. The preservation values represented by the initiative won by over 60%. The world has not come to an end.
I would respectfully suggest the City take some time and have a series of real conversations with the initiative’s leadership regarding the intent and interpretation of the initiative’s language. This could well work out some of the perceived parade of horribles being bandied about before going forward with potentially divisive and expensive referendums.
Michael Kohlhoff’s letter published in the January 12, 2022, issue of the LO Review: