No transparency

Created on Thursday, 16 July 2015 01:00 | Written by Tim Swearingen

I’ve followed the serious questions plaguing Patrick Kessi’s proposed $93 million Wizer project from the beginning. From LORA’s 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 DRC’s double-rejection of this enormous project, I’ve grown increasingly wary of the proponent’s claims that “they’ve listened to the citizens.”

LORA’s own Aug. 13, 2013 staff report said “if there is a conflict between LORA’s review and the Development Review process, the Development Review process supersedes.” City Hall ignored this when they reversed the DRC’s 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 Oswego’s 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, I’d like to know who else we’re getting in bed with over this project. The lack of transparency about this project’s finances is highly troubling, and I see no one at City Hall willing to address this.

Tim Swearingen
Lake Oswego

Article originally posted with the Lake Review @ http://portlandtribune.com/lor/49-opinion/266832-140316-readers-letters

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