As President of the West Linn City Council, I understand it’s agonizing to watch our streets torn apart for infrastructure. For the past two weeks I’ve been walking door-to-door talking with residents of Robinwood, the most significantly affected by the delayed construction and the LOT project. Although frustrated, most residents agreed that it’s time to finalize this project. I fully empathize with all those affected by the construction of LOT.
When I first learned that the project was delayed, I spoke with our city attorney about possible recourse. Could we collect damages from the contractor on behalf of the affected neighbors? Could we demand Lake Oswego and Tigard compensate our citizens who are, at a minimum, inconvenienced by the project delay? The answer was a consistent and firm “no.” In an effort to get this information before our citizens as quickly as possible, I moved to release it from our executive session at the first opportunity.
Our city was recently served a complaint by a resident of Robinwood, expressing a different legal opinion. I was encouraged to read there was some kind of dissenting argument that we may be able to pursue. At the same time, I have to be skeptical as attorneys are often paid to advocate for a position that may not be well founded in law. I will support the city obtaining a second legal opinion to any possible enforcement.
I have been busy behind the scenes as well. I’ve reached out to both mayors and councils in Lake Oswego and Tigard to convey that I expect our citizens to share in any damages they recover from the contractor’s delays.
I’ve been able to develop a good working relationship with our adjacent cities over the years. I am confident we can get resolution with a spirit of cooperation before having to pursue last-resort legal actions. But I want to assure every citizen of our city that all options are on the table.
The community center at Robinwood Station is in need of approximately $300,000 in repairs. From listening on doorsteps, I also heard residents wanting pathways on Mapleton giving safe passage for children on that narrow street. I think an appropriate gesture of gratitude for the community’s patience would be for Lake Oswego and Tigard to use a portion of their compensation for construction delays to pay for those repairs or install pathways.
Stand with me as the Council seeks solutions. Councilor Tan and Perry have been meeting with LOT to discuss schedule and possible mitigation. They will be hosting a meeting April 9 at 7 p.m. in the Robinwood Station.
The generosity of our citizens continues to inspire me, and I am acutely attentive to fact that everyone’s patience is running out with this project. Although I can’t make it go any faster, please know that I am working hard to bring some compensation home for Robinwood and West Linn.