Mark’s to do list

Park

Finish Riverfront Park. This project has been languishing for years due to red tape, lack of funds and lack political will on the part of some city councilors. It should be one of the best parks in the Metro region and would enhance the downtown and draw the kind of development Milwaukie desires rather than just what it can get.

Remove Kellogg dam. This dam has served no purpose for decades. It has been a barrier for the thousands of spawning salmon that used to fill the stream over a century and half ago. Today it backs up a warm, fetid, shallow blackberry choked pond which does nothing to enhance the city. Once it is removed and the toxic sediment is dealt with, the area can become part of a chain of beautiful parks starting at the Riverfront and ending at Dogwood.

Make the neighborhoods safe for families to walk and bike. In many neighborhoods, it is very uncomfortable if not downright unsafe for a family, let alone children to walk or bike to school. That should not be so. In our city anyone should be able to comfortably walk or ride a bike anywhere. The problem is that the current paradigm is a very expensive system. My goal is to look for ways to have neighbors design their streets and work together to make them the best they can be.

Create small commercial pockets in the neighborhoods. Before the day of the strip mall and the shopping centers, folks could happily walk the corner grocery and other day to day services without having to fight traffic and search for parking. I think it’s time bring that back, by allowing certain limited commercial uses in identified pockets in the neighborhoods we can again have things like coffee shops, bakeries, grocery stores and brewpubs within walking distance of most of the population. This will not only enhance the community but it will also bring new businesses and job opportunities to town.

There are a lot of ways we could be working to bring new jobs to Milwaukie, from the new South Down Town to an improved North Main industrial area and commercial pockets in the neighborhoods we should be seeking out businesses that will add to the livability and job market for local people. There may even be ways for the city to offer incentives to desirable new companies.