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'Do what is right for the community'

My family and I moved here three years ago. As an outsider to the Lake Oswego community, I am happy and humbled to say that we have been made to feel welcome by some of the most wonderful people we have ever met — on both sides of the lake.

At first blush, we thought the rivalry between the north and south of the lake was “kind of cute” and even endearing. For both high school systems to be so highly regarded was a feat that any school district would envy. We felt fortunate and privileged to be part of such a great place.

However, recent actions by a single member of the school board have gone a long way to highlight the disparity and bush-league politics that have come to define the worst that our school board has to offer its students, parents and teachers.

In the end, I suppose I was naive in how LOSD politics would work. But it’s clear that self-interest and personal agendas are the rule of the day. I am shocked that one of our duly elected board members would actively seek out ways to sabotage the Lakeridge stadium project by contacting specific parent associations and groups for schools that feed into LOHS.

What makes it more surprising is that this board member did so in a public and unabashed fashion. This further highlights the divide between the two schools and confirms my fear that Lakeridge will always be treated as a second-priority school by this board.

Lake Oswego should be one community and we should all be treated as equal citizens living with equal opportunities. The fact that Lakeridge High School does not have a covered stadium is amazing in and of itself. While I am happy to bring an umbrella to the fields, I am 100 percent convinced that it rains as much on the south side of Lake Oswego as it does on the north.

Granted, expanded and covered seating is a luxury that pales in comparison to improved education. If these dollars were being redirected to improve a biology lab or create a special education program, I believe the outcry would be less. However, these are capital dollars earmarked for infrastructure improvements and was originally bundled in the 2002 bond. (12 years ago.)

That said, I am hard pressed to understand how a new gym floor or needed structural repairs at north side elementary schools (which at this point, there is no determination which schools will be kept or sold off) would receive higher priority than creating a covered venue for our community to share. Our athletes, parents, coaches, visiting teams and community members deserve an equal athletic facility for high school just as you have done for our north side community.

I think it is time to stop this immature approach and do what is right for the community. There is not a single reason why this project should not be built for all of our athletes, opposing fans and community families.

Christy Damas, Lake Oswego, is the mother of two children, ages 13 and 10.



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