In the recent past, attendees of Lents Neighborhood Association meetings could fit around a table, one neighbor said, while in last night’s board election 155 votes were cast.
Some neighbors said they were brought out by the increase in homelessness, while others cited development and increased crime. Winners and losers both said that the big turnout at Lents Seventh Day Adventist Church was the most important outcome of the evening.
The new LNA board members:
Vice Chair: Michael Collins
Treasurer: Ray Hites
Secretary: Joanne Rees Luchini
Public Safety: IceBear Randy Schroeder
Land Use: Cora Lee Potter
At Large: Jennifer Young, Autumn West, Krista Dennis
I was getting off work, so I missed a lot of the introductions. And honestly, I don’t know enough about LNA politics / personalities to know the reasoning behind the results, but contested elections are a rarity for the LNA.
The Vice Chair position was contested, as was the public Safety Chair position. There were five candidates for the three at-large seats.
Write in candidate IceBear Randy Schroeder had a vocal following and his signs all read “Not Tents in Lents”, a slogan pushing back against homeless camps on the Springwater Corridor and elsewhere in the neighborhood. He defeated incumbent Robert Schultz. In Schroader’s bio and introduction, he promised transparency and open communication if he was elected.
In the Land Use chair race, there was a stark difference between the position of Potter and her challenger Kyle Kuhn on the hot topic of development.
After admitting he didn’t know much about the duties of the position, Kuhn expressed his frustration with rising rents and new development in the neighborhood. He said his house was recently rezoned commercial and feared that single family homes would be bulldozed.
Potter said that she had the skills and experience to help shape the development and the economic development that comes with it. Big changes were coming with the adoption of the City’s new Comprehensive Plan and she said she knew the players and the system well enough to make sure Lents developed well.
With the bigger turnout, it was clear that the election process did not scale up very well. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7 pm, and at 7:45 pm the last voter was checked in. Many missed candidate presentations because they were not inside yet, and the vote was delayed.
If you, dear reader, have any insight on why you supported a certain candidate I’d love to get your feedback.