A good investment
As a Realtor in Lake Oswego for 38 years, I am well aware of what a strong selling point the school are. Lake Oswegans' investments in their schools have definitely paid off in keeping their property values high.
Investing in the school bond, which will be on the ballot May 16, would be a similarly wise investment. Multiple levels of oversight that have been built into the design and construction phases should help avoid some of the mistakes of the past, which have increased construction costs and resulted in buildings that have not held up well.
There will be project managers who will manage the design and construction processes and program managers who will be at each site every day to make sure work is done properly. In addition, a Bond Accountability Committee comprised of citizens with design and construction experience will be appointed to review activity and make sure work is being completed according to the designated scope, schedule and budget.
These safeguards give me confidence that we can get it right the first time and not have to pay to have work redone. This bond will be another excellent investment in Lake Oswego's future, and I hope you will support it.
Lenore M. Carter
Every donation matters
As a resident of Lake Oswego and a parent with students in the school district, I am very proud to support the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation.
Over the years, I may have been one of those you spoke with — or perhaps you listened to a voicemail from me or another volunteer — asking you to consider a donation. If you haven't previously donated, please take a minute and ask yourself why not.
If you live in Lake Oswego, regardless of whether you have children or not, the current and future success of our schools impacts your life. A community where old and young can mutually thrive is a community that works. Great schools attract families that become our neighbors, friends, customers and community leaders.
As a Realtor, I can tell you that many of my clients move here for the schools and are willing to pay a premium to raise their kids in our school district. When grandparents learn more about our community, they soon follow so that they can watch their grandkids grow up in a place where Grandma and Grandpa can comfortably "age in place."
I truly believe that the excellent reputation of Lake Oswego schools contributes significantly to higher and more sustainable property values.
If you've never given to the Foundation before, please consider giving this year. Consider your donation an investment in your future and a step toward assuring the success of our students. The Foundation aspires to raise $2 million this year, and every donation matters. So please go online to LOSFoundation.org and make your donation today.
In closing, I'd like to share a business commitment that I have made and would like to challenge others in real estate to consider. For each transaction I have in Lake Oswego between now and the end of this year's campaign (June 30), I'll be donating an additional $250 to the Foundation.
Candidate and School Board member John Wendland publicly declared at a bond measure rally March 4 that our schools are losing their edge and that it is urgent that we fix our facilities. I wholeheartedly concur. However, Wendland himself bears a good measure of the responsibility for the condition of the LOSD facilities.
In his eight years on the board, the district has closed three elementary schools and failed to do needed maintenance or upgrades on the remaining buildings. Not only was this ridiculously shortsighted at the time (and contrary to the repeated urging of many members of the community), but it has proven over the years to be a gross error in judgment that has led our schools to their run-down and overcrowded condition.
The district also has other significant problems. It is being sued in two separate cases stemming from the actions of the administration (which is overseen by the School Board).
Wendland is running on his "record" and his "experience," but when you vote, ask yourself if his errors in judgment merit another term. Based on his record, I'm not voting to entrust him with oversight of half a billion dollars of taxpayer money.
Board needs balance
Sara Pocklington is our choice for the School Board. Our chance to vote in this critical election happens in May, and we hope you'll join us in electing Sara!
Our reasons are many, but here are a few.
We believe in having a balanced School Board. Sara will be one of only two women on the board, and she will be the only parent of elementary school children. Her children attend River Grove‚ where she volunteers and gains a firsthand perspective that the community needs. This is critical, as the needs at the primary level are different, and occasionally overlooked.
Being an accounting director for Nike lends an immense amount of credibility to Sara. All this, in combination with her passion for innovation, technology and athletics, makes Sara our choice for the board. We hope you'll join us!
Irene and Jeff Harris
City Council's role
In reference to Jon Gustafson's Citizen's View ("Community rallied without its leaders," March 9): He fails to recall that the leaders of all levels of government swore to protect the people when they took office. So while he was involved in the demonstrations marching for his cause, our City Council members and the mayor were pretty busy coordinating the efforts of a dozen police departments with our own Lake Oswego police personnel to assure that the demonstrations were peaceful and without incident.
If he feels that his sanctimonious attitude will outplay the City Council that replaced him, think again. I suggest he put his energy into finding out why there is no discourse and implement some action measures, as opposed to simply "rejecting the recent racist and anti-Semitic incidents at Lake Oswego High School." Standing around complaining, like some politicians, does not get things accomplished.
Gustafson's implication that our elected officials are not in concert with the community's concern about fear, hate and discrimination is less than we should expect from a defeated councilor with whom our current council members served. His rhetoric is just another example of twisting a situation to fit his progressive political agenda.
I am mystified by Candace McDonald's curiosity over the cost to the taxpayers regarding the March 4 Trump rally last Saturday ("Readers' Letters," March 9). Curious, because she isn't concerned with the cost for the Stand for LOve rally, too. Both rallies had police presence, costing us taxpayers money. It appears one rally was considered legitimate while the other was not.
In my opinion, this country has needed a big wake-up for a long time. This is NOT an endorsement of Donald Trump. However, he has gotten us up and engaged in the system again. Maybe we citizens will finally take OUR United States of America back!
Driving positive change
With mounting budgetary constraints, the task of offering academic, athletic and social options that prepare our children well for the future becomes more challenging each year. This coupled with the physical disrepair of many of the Lake Oswego schools has brought the Lake Oswego School District to a crossroads.
The proposed $187 million bond measure will be the largest investment ever made by the citizens of Lake Oswego. An investment of this magnitude requires strong financial oversight and a viable long-term maintenance plan to ensure that it is protected.
Sara Pocklington is a uniquely qualified candidate with a strong, vested interest in the future of the LOSD and the perspective to drive positive change. Sara has young children in the district who will be directly affected by the decisions that are made during her proposed tenure as a board member. Additionally, her financial background as a CPA and accounting director at Nike leave her well equipped to help optimize the value of the facilities bond proceeds.
The citizens of Lake Oswego deserve a progressive, forward-thinking candidate who is not willing to accept the status quo and will help prepare the LOSD for the future.
A fresh perspective
As residents of this community for more than 10 years, we have watched the School Board face some challenging decisions. School closures, financial challenges and the appointment of a new superintendent are just a few of the many actions that have taken place.
The public perception of the School Board is one of division. There is a resounding theme of "north" versus "south" that seems to drive the underlying decisions at the board level. This leads to a growing level of divisiveness in the community, which is not in the best interest of what matters most: our children and our schools.
A unique opportunity has been given to us in the form of a candidate for School Board: Sara Pocklington. Sara brings a young, energetic, non-biased perspective to her candidacy. With young children in our schools, Sara can relate to the challenges faced by parents, students and our teachers. This would be a huge asset to the School Board — a board which is in need of change and could benefit from what Sara will bring. Her business and management experience should only further her attractiveness to the community.
With three children in our schools — spanning high school, middle school and elementary — we believe that this is the quality candidate that we need to assure our school district moves forward into the future with a fresh perspective, energy and passion. It is without reservation that we endorse Sara Pocklington for School Board.
Dr. Matt and Traci Daskalos
Former City Councilor Jon Gustafson wonders where Lake Oswego City leaders were ("Community rallied without its leaders," March 9) during the so-called "Stand for LOve" event, which was a thinly disguised anti-March 4 Trump rally.
This is a former mayoral candidate who supported and hid behind the ugly and nasty attacks on this candidate during last fall's election in Lake Oswego by the "Friends of Lake Oswego." Believe me, with friends like this, who needs enemies?
I was at the rally but declined to be part of either group, just as I ran for City Council as a non-partisan candidate. I hate to see either faction seek to divide what has been a civil and mostly non-partisan City of Lake Oswego. I believe the City's elected leaders made the right call by not participating in the fiercely partisan rally.
The real winner in this was the leadership by the Lake Oswego Police Department and its exercise of restraint at the event.
Your news and photo coverage of an unruly group demonstrating hatred against a peaceful gathering of supporters of our legally elected president ("Trump supporters, protesters clash in LO," March 9) came as a shocking disappointment to someone who was taught in school that the American way was to be respectful of all peoples' views.
What do they teach our young people in school today? That rioting mobs can produce a better system of government than America's historical form of balloting? Or that it is considered OK to disagree with a supporter of our president by hitting the supporter over the head with a stick?
Charles Murray's prescient 2011 book, "Coming Apart," described the unappreciated large divide between an elitist class and the rest of our country, which ultimately led to the unexpected recent election outcome that disturbs so many people. Rioting types similar to our local mobs prevented Murray from delivering his lecture about this book at Middlebury College.
Such rioting today is not about specific social problems that urgently need addressing, but by spoiled people with inflated egos.
All means all
If you are looking for the candidate to represent ALL students in the Lake Oswego School District, look no further than John Wendland.
I have worked with John over the past couple months on the start times for the district. I have been extremely impressed by how thoughtful, receptive and logical John has been in helping to advocate for all students, especially the elementary school children.
John truly believes that our youngest learners deserve to be equally represented and considered in all issues. His experience makes him an asset to Lake Oswego. He understands the complex needs of each of our school levels and addresses them with calm, rational thinking. John's philosophy of having "everyone in the tent" is exactly what our district needs.
John believes in finding creative solutions and that one of the biggest strengths in our community is our involved parents. He loves Lake Oswego, and I see him often at different school or community events interacting with families. He truly cares about the happiness and success of our children.
I believe John is a champion of ALL our students. Please join me in re-electing John to the Lake Oswego School Board.
A valued resource
John Wendland is a valued resource to our schools. I have served with John on the board of a growing nonprofit and have worked with him on numerous Lake Oswego school events. I strongly endorse John for the following reasons:
-- John is a successful Portland businessman who creates jobs and contributes to our economy. He understands hard work and knows how to run a complex organization.
-- John understands the needs of every grade level. He raised two successful young businesswomen, both of whom were educated in Lake Oswego.
-- John is fiscally responsible and financially savvy. He is not afraid to dig into the numbers and understand all the levers that affect outcomes.
-- John is open-minded and not driven by special interests; he will serve every child and every family.
-- John has a gift for bringing people together and building consensus.
-- John has many years of experience on the School Board. With growing budget constraints, his experience is needed more than ever.
-- John is compassionate, intelligent and honest. He is a great role model for our young men and women.
We are lucky that John stepped up to serve another term. Vote John Wendland for School Board.
A personal commitment
I am a proud supporter of Sara Pocklington for the Lake Oswego School Board.
While I am speaking as an individual, I also serve as the parent-club president at River Grove Elementary and I have had the opportunity to work alongside Sara as a volunteer. Sara stepped up to lead the annual food drive at our school, collecting for needy families, and has volunteered for the schools foundation and in the classroom.
Sara will be one of two women to be elected to the School Board, and the only representative (of five board members) with children in elementary school. This represents a personal commitment to improving the future of our community and schools.
Sara will advocate for arts, academics and athletics. She's for starting kids learning to code early at all our elementary schools. She's for foreign language. She's for effective use of technology in teaching. She's for preparing our kids
for college and jobs in a global economy. This our children's future and it is ever-evolving.
We need a variety of perspectives to serve all our schools in Lake Oswego, and Sara Pocklington has my vote!
We are voting for John Wendland for Lake Oswego School Board, and you should, too.
As longtime residents of Lake Oswego, parents and past presidents of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation and Lake Grove PTA, we realize how important it is to have great leaders and people passionate about our children's education in Lake Oswego on our School Board. John's experience is invaluable to keeping our schools performing and children learning at the top levels.
Here is why we believe John makes a great school board member: He is calm, he is innovative, he is a problem solver, he is a good listener and collaborator, he is fair, he is a business owner, he is unbiased and not aligned to any special interests, he thinks about every student at every school in our district and keeps their best interests at heart, he has invaluable experience as a school leader through a number of state budget cycles and erratic funding, he is a caring parent, he has experience with bond issues and facilities improvement, and he has good common sense.
Please join us in re-electing John Wendland to the Lake Oswego School Board.
Kevin and Pamela Robertson
I retired from Lake Grove Elementary School last June after teaching in Lake Oswego elementary schools for 30 years. The condition of our elementary buildings steadily worsened during my career and, increasingly, interfered with effective teaching.
I learned to keep an extra sweater at work for the days the furnace broke down, and I bought a space heater to keep the kids warm. If we were expecting a heavy rainstorm, I covered my computer with a plastic garbage bag before I went home. I remember when the roof leaked on the science section in the library, ruining many books. Just this fall, a leak in one of the kindergarten rooms damaged a lot of children's books.
I bought a rug to tuck under the outside door to keep leaves and snow out. I bought a fan to keep students cooler in warm weather because — unlike the high schools — the elementary schools do not have air conditioning. The windows are leaky, so most students wore coats in class when it was windy. (My friend at Hallinan says leaky windows are better than windows that don't open; students there are miserable in hot weather.)
I bought power strips so there would be more electrical outlets in our classroom. Lake Grove, for example, has only three outlets per classroom; with the increase in technology, keeping computers charged was a chronic headache. Last year, some of my students had to type projects sitting on the floor by the computer cart, because the cart had outlets. We also struggled to maintain internet access when all the children logged on at once.
This fall, Lake Grove had to dismiss at noon when the sewer backed up inside the school.
Our elementary and middle schools have not had any physical improvements since the early 1990s. The poor conditions cost the district additional money to repair and replace damaged property and, most importantly, hinder student learning.
Please support the Lake Oswego School District bond.