Studebaker says he is coming through on promises for change

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker painted a picture of progress at his State of the City address on Monday.Previously a leader in the military, law and business, Kent Studebaker says he is now leading Lake Oswego in the right direction as mayor.

He voiced this opinion in his State of the City address on Monday at the Lake Oswego Rotary Club.

“I took the job because I thought this city needed to make changes,” he told the roomful of Rotarians. “I wanted to help make them.”

To this end, Studebaker, who has been in office for 13 months, said he was on the side of the property owner. Additionally, he said, he wants to prevent more property from being placed on the sensitive lands list and to avoid raising property taxes.

“There will be no new fees and taxes,” Studebaker said, “unless there is a particular purpose for them.”

The West End Building has been a controversial topic that has followed Lake Oswego mayors around for years. Studebaker and the city council tried to solve the problem by selling the property for $16 million to Kensington Investment Group, but the Lake Oswego Planning Commission nixed the deal, citing concerns with the lack of a concrete plan for development. Should a reversal take place and a new deal be approved, Studebaker said the city government would save nearly $1.5 million a year it is now spending on the WEB.

Another controversial topic is the fate of the Carman House, which has been called the most historic structure in Lake Oswego. In a 4-3 vote, the city council voted to remove the historic landmark designation of the house and allow the owners of the property to sell it to a developer.

It is anticipated that a court decision will determine whether the right for such action belongs to only the original property owner or any subsequent property owner.

Studebaker said the accomplishments of his administration included: investing more money in roads, especially Boones Ferry Road; creating a business-friendly atmosphere; being more collegial on the city council and seeking to break away from the acrimony of recent years; being more transparent in government decision making; preserving the character of neighborhoods; and preserving city assets so “we don’t have to build them again.”

The agenda for the future, Studebaker said, includes preserving the city infrastructure, converting the city streetlight system to LED (sustainable) lighting, purchasing land on the North Anchor site, obtaining more meeting places and reviewing the city’s tree code.

Cliff Newell can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 105.

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