Who took the dinosaurs?
Something has happened in the First Addition neighborhood that leaves me at a loss. I dont know whether to be sad or angry or shocked or all of the above. The dinosaurs that live on the corner of Sixth Street and G Avenue have been stolen.
I noticed they were missing last Sunday, and at first I didnt believe what I saw (or rather, what I didnt see), but the dinosaurs really are gone. All of them. For almost 30 years, theyve been on their corner, bringing joy to the neighborhood children and even becoming something of a landmark. In all that time, everyone has respected the idea that they belong to the neighborhood, and no one has ever bothered them. Now, all of a sudden, someone has stolen them.
The theft of a bunch of plastic toys with no monetary value may seem like a very small thing. But it is not a small thing because the dinosaurs do have value for the children who have enjoyed playing with them over the years (many of whom are now grown and may even have children of their own that come to play with the dinosaurs), and they have value for what they represent in the neighborhood.
Ultimately, I feel that whoever did this owes the whole neighborhood an apology, but I would settle for the thief just bringing the dinosaurs back to their corner where they belong.
Ive followed the serious questions plaguing Patrick Kessis proposed $93 million Wizer project from the beginning. From LORAs first assertions that one-quarter of the residential units will be condominiums, and the remaining three-quarters will be apartments (there are no condos now) to the DRCs double-rejection of this enormous project, Ive grown increasingly wary of the proponents claims that theyve listened to the citizens.
LORAs own Aug. 13, 2013 staff report said if there is a conflict between LORAs review and the Development Review process, the Development Review process supersedes. City Hall ignored this when they reversed the DRCs ruling.
But most worrisome as a Lake Oswego taxpayer is the lack of transparency on the financing for this project: $5.2 million of Lake Oswegos money that is, our money is going to this developer. The rest is coming from private equity and debt financing. Why does neither Mr. Kessi nor anyone at City Hall acknowledge where the private equity and debt financing is coming from? Why are they not making this information public?
The people of Lake Oswego have a reasonable right to know where Mr. Kessi is getting his money from. Who are these mystery investors? What lending institutions are contributing to this? Why are the citizens of LO not able to see for ourselves if there are any conflicts of interest between our city government and/or city staff members and the developer?
It may be only $5.2 million of our money, but since our money is being invested in this controversial endeavor, Id like to know who else were getting in bed with over this project. The lack of transparency about this projects finances is highly troubling, and I see no one at City Hall willing to address this.