Pruning a hedge

Candidate Photo courtesy of the Lake Oswego Review & Pamplin Media

City Council Candidate

Intro: Lake Oswego Sustainability Network reached out to our City Council Candidates and asked them three sustainability-related questions about: 1) their plans for sustainability action, 2) increasing affordable housing, and 3) embedding sustainability considerations into city projects.

What are your plans for sustainable action and what are you going to do to make it happen?

I have a 3 step strategy that builds on work already completed by the City.

  • Assess the progress of the 62 action items in the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan for Lake Oswego recommended by “Sustainability and Climate Action Plan Steering Committee”, and approved at the May 5, 2020 City Council meeting. Remove roadblocks to ensure timely completions.
  • Identify the best Sustainability and Climate Action Plan by other jurisdictions
  • Drive the adoption of a quantitative and measurable action plan to protect our natural resources and public health.

Lake Oswego is moving forward in authorizing affordable housing on Boones Ferry Road in Lake Oswego. People who make 80% of the area median income would be eligible. For a family of four in 2021 that would be about $74,000 – about what a firefighter or teacher makes. Should Lake Oswego continue to find opportunities for more affordable housing? What are creative ideas you have or policies you might put forward to further help Lake Oswego’s affordable housing stock grow?

Yes. Absolutely! At a minimum we must expand the current strategy to create more affordable housing. I would pursue and seek out conversations with stakeholders to promote, motivate, and encourage consistent availability of affordable housing. It not only provides options for those who contribute the services integral to our high functioning city, it invites diversity in our community and we reap immeasurable benefits when our teachers, firefighters, police force, city workers, service workers, etc. are a devoted part of our community because it’s theirs as well.

The City is currently in the design process for a new Wastewater Treatment plant and a Recreation Center. In both these cases, many sustainability opportunities were only explored late in the design process and at the request of citizens. What would you do to embed sustainability considerations in City projects from the very beginning including citizen input?

In my senior role as a design, engineering and construction manager, planning for sustainability was part of my accountability. In industry, if you do not consider sustainable impacts to your business, you will be in trouble. I am currently working for a company that is spending billions of dollars to remove ozone depleting refrigerants and equipment from our sites. Sustainability is integral to design in this era, and it is critical for business viability. I would bring this informed approach and commitment to LO. I would prompt the right conversations and ask the right questions upstream of anything we undertake. No longer does any municipality have the luxury of relegating sustainability to an afterthought.

Note: some readers perceived this question as critical of the City leadership. This was not our intent. We have been pleased with the degree to which the City has collaborated with us on sustainability and made sustainability a focus in their operations. Our goal was to elicit ideas on how collaboration between the city and citizens could be structured. Our apologies for not making our intent clearer.