Monday, December 28, 2009

Eugene Crime Rate Rises Again

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EUGENE'S CRIME RATE CONTINUES TO RISE!!!!

Mayor/City Manager:

Eugene once again makes headlines on our increased crime rates only now for the first half of 2009. Any thoughts on what they will look like after the close of 2009? While your committees and Council including each of you enjoy lavish meals at a reported cost of $200,000 per year from the taxpayers our crime rates continue to climb. Is it true that the deployment of that $200,000 to the public safety sector would mean two more officers for Chief Kerns to use to reduce crime? Yes, it is only a stipend but it is a start. We think if you collectively put your minds to it you could find much bigger amounts to deploy to Chief Kerns. We challenge you to do so.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eugene Budget for 2010-2011

City of Eugene Budget for 2010-2011/Page down to DO YOU KNOW??

City of Eugene Budget Committee


Next Budget Committee meeting will be held in January of 2010 (exact date to be determined) in the Bascom-Tykeson Room of the Downtown Library, 100 W 10th Avenue, 1st Floor. Meeting agenda will include a briefing on the six-year General Fund forecast and the FY11 budget process update. Meeting materials will be posted on this web site the week prior to the meeting. This meeting will be televised on MetroTV, Channel 21, and a webcast will be available on the City of Eugene web site.



Budget Committee Public Testimony

Public testimony is taken at most Budget Committee meetings. Participants providing testimony are allotted up to three minutes each for their comments. Those wishing to speak are encouraged to fill out a "Request to Speak" form at the beginning of the meeting, so the Chairperson will know how much time will be needed and whether speaking times will require adjustment.

Citizens are also encouraged to provide their comments and feedback in writing (select "Send E-Mail to Budget Committee Members" link on the left).

Note:

The list of Budget Committee members is available at www.eugene-or.gov/budgetcommittee (click on Budget Committee Membership link under Budget Committee Information heading). You can email the entire budget committee on your desire for public safety budgeting.

"DO YOU KNOW ???
  • How much do they spend sending Betty Taylor around the country and town?
  • How much has the city spent on Toyota Priuses?
  • Fire Trucks, ambulances and their maintenance schedules?
  • What is the annual maintenance of the library building and it's annual staffing expense?

I can dig deeper."

(signed by a concerned Eugene citizen and taxpayer)

__________________________

"Do you know that the City of Eugene spends $200,000 per year for food for the City Council and other meeting groups. This is the equivalent of two police officer positions that could be used to help stop crime in the downtown area. Gives a new meaning to eating at the government trough!!! Maybe just maybe this can be stopped and the money can be shifted to our #1 concern--Public Safety."

(signed by a Eugene taxpayer)

__________________________________

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cold Early Evening Downtown

Downtown on a cold early evening!!! Page down for more information.....



"Isn't "hanging out" also known as loitering?

Talk about disconnects. Until the council and city staff comprehend that retail, loitering, and social services mix like oil and water, redevelopment efforts are futile.

When these kids hand out in front of our businesses, their conversations can be plainly heard through the glass indoors and concrete walls. For the most part their vocabulary includes word f_ _ck in every sentence. It used to be common for our customers to bring their children with them while shopping, there has been a noticable decline in that trend over the past two-three years. It is my belief that they do not want to visually and audibly expose their children to the "acceptable" behaviors that are common in downtown. Based on our trend in walk-in traffic they don't want to expose themselves either, and I cannot blame them in the least. It is an appaling environment to come to every day. Downtown is a role model for unsightly, embarassing, and unacceptable social behavior, at least in the generation I came from.

If these behaviors took place daily in front of your own home and dramatically impacted your personal income, you'd understand where my opinions and perceptions are derived from."

(signed by a downtown business owner, taxpayer and voter)

What do you say Mayor/Council/City Manager to this concerned citizen? IS THE POLICE CHIEF'S TASK FORCE REPORT DUE OUT THIS WEEK AND WHEN WILL IT BE IMPLEMENTED?


EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Friday, December 11, 2009

Frustration At the Highest

Frustration at the highest level by the Citizens of Eugene

Mayor/Council/City Manager:

We are forwarding just a small sample of the emails we have received that demonstrate how very frustrated our citizenry is with the lack of action to clean up our City by the Mayor who is "For All of Eugene". We assume that the Council and City Manager are also "For All of Eugene" and will listen to those folks who do not always show up to provide public testimony but are concerned about Eugene and this administrations action or lack there of on their public safety in Eugene. These comments come from the local taxpayers who pay the wages and vote to retain the management. Would the Mayor/Council/City Manager care to respond to these concerns? If not why not? If so please do!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

-----------------------------------------------

********WARNING*******
SOME OF THESE QUOTES ARE TRUE FEELINGS AND MAY BE OFFENSIVE.

-----------------------------------------------

"I read the article in the paper this morning and as I read it, the City Council acknowledged the problem and the need for action. I know—we’ve heard that before, but hopefully, the action part of this won’t become buried (again) beneath work sessions, committee meetings, community surveys, and newly spawned handout programs. Crime is the issue—not social programs. I found it laughable that one counselor stated he’d like to see free food handouts in every Eugene neighborhood! Ha, then what? Beds, needle exchanges, free haircuts, and iPhones?"

(signed by a citizen who is concerned and a taxpayer)

-----------------------------------------------

"Two (officers) is better than none—so maybe the meetings and discussion forums have helped! The real questions in my mind are

-Do the officers issue citations?

-Do the offenders go away?

-Is there a disincentive to returning?

Face it, as long as the community puts out “bait” in the form of free meals, potential victims to panhandle from, no or little law enforcement, the riff raff will return."

(signed by a concerned citizen and taxpayer)

-----------------------------------------------

"During Eugene Celebration, on Saturday after the parade, I observed a man urinate on a newspaper stand on the northeast corner of 8th and Willamette. I called the police dept, explained what had just taken place, watched the man pull a pint of vodka out of his pocket, take a drink and then walk across 8th street and through Saturday Market area. I called again, explaining where this individual was walking and what he was wearing. He then tried to enter the restricted area of the celebration, but security would not allow. During this 45 minute period, I could never get a police officer to respond. This man again, exposed himself to the security, telling them to "come and get a piece of this," and started swearing at them when they would not let him enter. This "display" should not be allowed to take place in front of women and children during a celebration which encourages people to come to the downtown. Upon calling police dispatch again, I was told to quit following him. WHERE IN THE HELL WERE THE POLICE WHEN I NEEDED ONE? Police didn't even respond when security called this in."

(signed by a taxpayer and downtown visitor)

-----------------------------------------------

"I’m so glad we have public safety all taken care of so now we can focus on things like this (Food Security Town Hall - Dec 2). And to think we are facing a 12 million dollar deficit next year. Keep the marshmallows from getting to stale, is that what they are talking about? Notice the slant on organics.

And the County just authorized $60,000 to study the economics of a local farmers market and if it makes economic sense.

I’m feeling real good about our leadership and their priorities."

(signed by another frustrated citizen and taxpayer)

-----------------------------------------------

"What I have noticed in Major "kitty's" tenure as mayor is that she is a reactionary. A perfect example is during her campaigning for election she said that road repair and replacement would be a priority, this due in it's entirety to Jim Torrey's dedication to that task. Subsequently she did have some road repair done. It never was completed. Even when the economy was still vital, the task was partially completed. Arcadia (in my neighborhood) is a good indication of her priorities. Literally half of the road is repaved. I see her going through the same motions with this, giving it cursory attention until public sentiment subsides. Hope it doesn't."

(signed by a frustrated citizen and taxpayer)

-----------------------------------------------

"In this economy and in any other -- it doesn't matter what "kind" of economy we have -- until the money collected from taxpayers for "*public safety*" goes to fund jail space and police officers instead of therapy, rehab, outreach programs and other kinds of programs that are designed to make the perpetrators feel good instead of looking after the citizens who are being victimized, I can't imagine one sane person in this community who would vote in favor of that kind of tax ever again."

(signed by a frustrated citizen and taxpayer)

-----------------------------------------------

"One of the best cities to have a business in? Then why do so many give up and go where they feel more welcomed and supported, even if they *aren’t* “green enough” for the mayor’s taste? "

(submitted by a downtown employee and taxpayer)

-----------------------------------------------

"I am a bit concerned about the comment on Network Charter School. I have worked with their director, Mary Leighton, for over a year now. She regularly attends the Downtown Safety Council meetings and works closely with the Downtown Guides and the police bike patrol to make sure her kids stay in line. She has told me that the DT Guides person is the one who told her about 858 Pearl. We should hope the rest of the young people on the streets were under her control. She is very aware of the problems they can cause her kids who are trying to turn their lives around--a reason she hopes the move works out for all parties.

(signed by a downtown leader and retired business owner)

-----------------------------------------------

"If you want to discuss disconnects...............There are five council members that one could write volumes on. It is painfully obvious that Brown, Zelenka, Ortiz, Taylor, and Pryor lack the objectivity it takes to represent any community as a whole. Their lack of knowledge, experience, and insight justifies recall. The all exhibited opinions and perceptions that differ greatly from the reality of multiple critical issues. Fair & Balanced cannot occur while living in ones own little world."

(signed by a downtown employee and taxpayer)

-----------------------------------------------

"The majority of our city council - and our mayor - are liberals. They have an affinity for criminals and the homeless, whom they see as victims of society. They do not understand (or they refuse to admit) that most poverty is caused by bad decisions - the decision not to finish high school, to marry too young, to have children out of wedlock or before the parents can afford them.

Liberals do not understand (or refuse to admit) that most homelessness is caused by addiction and/or mental illness. And they resist programs to involuntarily institutionalize the mentally ill, whom they consign to suffering on the streets.

If the above is true (and I believe it is), we are banging our heads into a brick wall. The only solution is to elect more Mike Clarks, George Polings and Faye Stewarts. Kitty and her liberal friends will continue to fund programs that are magnets for criminals and the homeless. These are the people they want in Eugene."

(signed by a taxpayer and concerned citizen)

----------------------------------------------

Any comments from the Mayor/Council/City Manager will be printed in their entirety so that all of Eugene will view this transparency in our local government. ALL OF EUGENE would like to hear!!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Public Safety Concerns

Public Safety Concerns....Do We All Know This????

As Lane County and the City of Eugene enter into budget priorities each of our elected officials and their budget committees should take into consideration the article that was forwarded to us by a reader of OAA Chronicles and advocate of public safety. It is time for all of us to insist that during this budgeting process that our budget committee and voting officials put the priorities where they belong with Public Safety being number 1 and fund Public Safety with the goal to reduce our very high crime rates. What are the funding priorities of the Mayor/Council/City Manager? Please let us know!!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Saturday, December 5, 2009

2009 Crime Rates and Solutions

As we move into the last month of 2009 we are faced with the reality that the trend lines indicate that the City of Eugene will once again set a new record for criminal activity in Eugene. Since EugeneAdvocates started our discussions in September including pointing out the problems and offering solutions there has been no visible identification or implementation of any solutions that would turn the trend lines or even slow them down. Listed on our web site are up to 22 solutions and while there is some redundancy that is intentional for emphasis. If you have others please let us add them to the web site.

The City through the taxpayers hire and vote for administrators to be decision makers and enforcers of our laws to safe guard our City. It is a delegation of those duties from those that pay the bills and vote to those that are hired to do the job. Lack of doing that by those hired to protect and safeguard our City is a failure of the fiduciary responsibility granted to those individuals. Shifting the decision making and enforcement review to citizen groups is not what the true decision makers who were hired and received a wage are suppose to do.

This does not appear to be responsible government. Now the council is advised not to micro-manage those folks who have failed in their performance of their duties. Now the council has decided to wait for further reports from the citizen volunteer decision makers who in most cases lack appropriate qualifications in the field and who have replaced the qualified paid decision makers. In the mean time crime continues to grow and be levied against our businesses, our investors, and our downtown patrons as witnessed by the following quotes found in the Register Guard.

One lady reports:
"...I went downtown just to browse and see what was going on. I was literally accosted five times! Men begging for money. I was pushed twice, was sworn at many times, and one man actually urinated in front of me."

Another gentlemen reports:
"Eugene's going belly up, and the taxpayers are fronting the bill for sightseeing trips"(Betty Taylor's trip to San Antonio). "It needs to stop, and stop now!" (prompts the question would these funds be better aimed at public safety)

A Police Officer reports to the Register Guard:
"Honestly, I'd say in all my 18 years as a police officer here, the amount of people this year out and about drinking in public and displaying disorderly behavior is the worst I've ever seen."

Mayor, when will we start to see some visible means of solving our many downtown problems? Please do not let us move into 2010 on a trend line of crime that will exceed what is expected for 2009.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Friday, December 4, 2009

Money Not the Solution

Talk among ourselves and hope the decision makers are listening and will act....

To the citizen who wrote:

"Eugene Advocates:

I think you guys are not understanding the big problem. In many of your solutions you state you want volunteers and downtown guides (red hats or whatever) to be able to cite people for law violations. You can cite all the people you want, but nothing is going to change because our Criminal Justice system is broke and every law violator knows it. Most police officers today don't even call it a "Justice System" because there is no "Justice" about it. I call it a "legal system" because I can't even say the word "Justice" anymore with a straight face. If you add fifty more people to write citations, but the courts can't jail people or enforce the fines because there is no jail space, these guys won't pay the citations and they will be right back downtown. Handing out citations isn't the answer if you don't have a plan in place to back it up." __________________________

EugeneAdvocates writes back:

Thank you for your response. We understand the main problem which is money. We are also realists that say the taxpayers are not going to give more money for a couple of reasons: 1. the economy, 2. they don't trust the politicians to spend it wisely ie public safety, 3. the disconnect between ideology in the community. Given no more money is available then how to improve public safety downtown. The solutions offered are based on that premise.

The main premise is if you take people, any people, out of their comfort zone then they will gravitate to other places where they feel more comfortable: Thus the citation program and enforcement of the existing laws. Flood downtown with officers for a couple of hours each day and write everyone up. Then ask the city council to enlarge the range of violations in the exclusion zone to any citation issued. Then the matter of jail space becomes an issue if in fact they violate the exclusion zone. More leased space from Lane County or Springfield once it opens might help. Open the work camp may help but staff is the problem. Erect a new misdemeanor jail on the same foot print with the Police Station instead of creating a sub-station for the Police Department in the downtown area. This may have merit.

Please believe us that we really do appreciate your perspective but money is the issue and lacking that we need to do some things that are a bit outside of the box. One of our writers suggested that we look at Emeryville, Ca, and Boise came up again. We have reviewed those places and their solution has been to enforce the laws on their books. We can look to Cottage Grove where the Mayor reports a panhandler license is required and if granted they require OSHA regs for safety which means panhandlers must have a hard hat, vest, etc. Do you see panhandlers in Cottage Grove--no--they moved to a more comfortable venue--namely Eugene. Same applied in Springfield and Roseburg. We are the comfort zone for too many and then they get hungry for their choices (alcohol or drugs) and create crimes to pay for their addiction at our expense. Simple but solutions are not. Hope this helps you understand what we are attempting to promote while all the study groups continue to study. In the meantime Eugene is setting new record highs for crime. We need to do something now! What do you say Mayor/Council/City Manager??

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Time to Refocus

Mayor/Council:

Time To Refocus On The Downtown Problems. Did You Know...?

Eugene has two police officers working the downtown area on bikes four days a week. Is this enough to handle our crime in downtown? Our crime rate growth indicates maybe no.




One of our two downtown Police Officers who work four days a week in the downtown corridor. Is this sufficient? Note: trespassing and drinking from an open container may be Eugene Code violations.

We all agree we need more money for jail space, more officers, etc. However, in this economy that may not be acceptable to those that normally supply the money (taxpayers). In that case, those who supply the money may question the priorities and use of funding by officials. Public safety should be our number one expense. All others should not. What do you think? Want to weight in on this concept mayor-council before the budgeting process starts?? Please do....

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Police Target DT? No, Delta Hwy

Let's consider the quote and then briefly shift our focus to Happy Thanksgiving.

EPD officers cite 64 while patrolling Delta Highway
The Register-Guard
What's New: Story

Eugene police officers on Tuesday handed out 64 citations during a targeted traffic enforcement operation on Delta Highway near Belt Line Road.

Forty of those tickets were for speeding, police said.

Patrol officers focused on the area because it is one of the most common places in Eugene for a traffic crash to occur, police said.

----------------------------------

"If they did this downtown once a week for 6-8 weeks the problem would probably be neutralized."

(emails received from a number of concerned citizens and taxpayers with the same
idea)

----------------------------------

Shifting to the Holiday Season we all wish you all a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tonight's Work Session--Accomplishments?


8th and Lincoln

To the EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City:

Thank you to those that attended this evenings Mayor and Council work session on downtown conditions. To those of you that were not able to make it you will have another chance on December 16th when the Police Chief Task Force will have its final meeting with all of their recommendations. Tonight was another exchange of ideas and talk surrounding downtown. Councilor Pryor stated that Public Safety is like infastructure. It needs to be in place before growth will occur. Council Pryor also stated that this problem has been around for years and asked his fellow councilors to please not pass this problem on to others. Councilor Soloman echoed that and asked for more information from the Police Chief on the Task Force. Councilor Poling stated that the problem was real and that EugeneAdvocates had pointed that out. Councilor Poling further stated he would have to review with interest the idea of granting additional power to others. Councilor Zelenka agreed. Councilor Ortz asked about county seat services in downtown as she thought all were in her ward on highway 99. Councilor Clark had a well prepared list of solutions and challenges and asked a number of very pertinent questions of Police Chief Pete Kerns who started the meeting with a presentation on his Task Force who will have met six times by December 16th. They are preparing solutions both short and long term for Council consideration. Amazingly this problem has been around for years but we need further study. We really hope the Task Force is successful and that the Council will listen and more importantly act on solutions now.

Councilor Taylor who had just returned from Council business in San Antonio suggested that a charge be levied for empty downtown buildings without regard as to why they were vacant, expressed her dissatisfaction on the exclusion zone, wants more parties downtown, and quotes a businessman who was asked about how he would deal with the people downtown by replying "I am from NY." Perhaps Councilor Taylor has not followed how crime has been reduced in NY and thinks that Eugene is not crime ridden as the statistics so readily show.

Councilor Clark did an admirable effort to try to draw to the council's attention that the discussion is not about the homeless but about those who break the law in Eugene. People including those in the KVAL downtown solution piece which totally unfortunately missed the mark according to Councilor George Brown tend to shift the conversation to homelessness and the need for more services to accommodate those groups away from the criminals who break our laws. As Councilor Pryor stated the problem has to be identified and it is the rising crime rate not the homeless. As Councilor Clark stated there needs to be a balance of all needs. Councilor Clark was prepared to make some type of motion for action but decided to wait for the Police Chief's Task Force to come forward with their recommendations. This seems to be the course everyone wanted except for the large audience that was there expecting council action.

Mayor Piercy tried to point out the positives that have occurred and she has enumerated in emails such as: downtown parties, LCC move, increase in red hats, and other such solutions. The Mayor did point to the fact that Eugene is a county seat and does provide county services which may need to be relocated. For the benefit of those councilors who have not seen 8th and Lincoln we have included a photo. Councilor Clark invited his fellow Councilors to an outing at 8th and Lincoln. Do you think they will take him up on that??? To those who attended we heard more talk and to those who did not attend you missed more talk. Maybe next meeting will yield action by our elected officials so that our Police Chief can get the job done.

Note the absence of Police presence in this major gathering in downtown Eugene.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Recent emails ... Meeting Reminder

I really like the 1st article about John Brown and he is right--the election cycle you need to hammer that home. (signed by a concerned citizen and taxpayer)

----------------------------

Has anyone talked to other cities about how they handle their situation. I responded a week or two ago and mentioned a real life experience I have had visiting in the Bay area of California. Emeryville is a part of Oakland, and we all know what that says. But obviously the people there have come up with a viable way to handle what seems like a similar situation. It is a very pleasant vibrant area, built from what was a seedy warehouse area of Oakland, with law enforcement and security that actually makes you feel comfortable there day or night. Although I realize that they probably feel that successful business and visitors are more important than infringing on street people's rights to "do their own thing". I'd even bet their carbon foot print is pretty good :)

(signed by a taxpayer and concerned citizen)

----------------------------

Another Advocate says:

I have been to Emeryville off and on over the years. It went from a warehouse type area in the downtown area to a trendy upscale community area over a 6 to 8 year time frame.

(signed by a taxpayer and concerned citizen)

----------------------------

I feel Eugene's government and staff truly believe that it is the private sectors responsibility or obligation to resolve their safety issues. They also appear to believe that making mediocre concessions to the private and non-profit sector is enough to entice them into the area, though arena is a more appropriate term. Then those entities can hire security firms to manage the city's problem. The placement of Network Charter School is a classic example of their irresponsible logic.

They don't get it and until key individuals are ousted from council and staff, the necessary paradigm shift will not occur.

One of the major environmental hurdles, which probably cannot be overcome in downtown, is the LTD complex. You cannot effectively control the caliber of people LTD brings to the area.

... New York is a classic example of it can happen.

(signed by a taxpayer and concerned citizen)

----------------------------

A starting point would be the adoption of James Q. Wilson's "Broken Windows" policing strategy. If it could clean up Times Square it could easily clean up Eugene.

(signed by a taxpayer and concerned citizen)

----------------------------

Dear EA,

I am in support of the efforts but due to the short week, I along with a handful of others that support your action are unable to attend. Would it be possible to find out when the next meeting will be?

(signed by a business person and concerned citizen)

----------------------------

Any place that isn't secure first will never prosper. As a developer you can't walk tenants around and say what it will or might be like. You must talk in the present. Enterprise rent a car has not enjoyed their time downtown.

(signed by a Eugene business person)

+++++++++++++++++

For those that can make it the Mayor and Council work session will be tonight at the City Hall in the McNutt Room at 5:30pm today to discuss and hopefully create a course of immediate action for the City Manager and Chief of Police to help with the lawlessness in downtown Eugene.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Please share if you wish!

Good Sunday to you. We hope that you are sincerely concerned enough about your downtown crime ridden area to take a few minutes to attend the Mayor and Council workshop on the downtown area. We have been told that this is an important meeting to show the Mayor and Council that there are really those of us out there that are concerned about downtown crime and how it is spreading into our specific neighborhoods.

If you feel that way and want to attend the meeting it starts at 5:30pm this Monday in the McNutt Room of City Hall. We are asking people to get there at 5:15pm. This meeting will last until about 7:15pm. Seems like a short time to invest in the crime reduction of our city and safety of your home. Thanks for your support. Happy Thanksgiving!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Friday, November 20, 2009

Downtown.....Your thoughts?



In a recent article found in the Guard Publishing "Blue Chip" November issue, page 5, Mr. John Brown a highly respected commercial real estate appraiser who specializes in downtown development stated: "Many of us can remember a vibrant downtown, with stores open at night, a great mix of retail and office space, and a sense of safety." Most would agree that these elements are now missing from our downtown.

Further Mr Brown stated in the article: " Time and again we are given hopes of a revitalization." 'These proposals seem to follow the election cycle, always becoming one of the issues debated among the candidates for mayor and city council." "Our community has spent millions of taxpayer dollars trying to attract the right mix of uses and densities..." "To date, the prevailing opinion is that most of these efforts have not had their intended results."

"There is no single solution for revitalization downtown Eugene. But one thing is clear: Past efforts, with the exception of a few projects, have not lived up to expectations."

One would take from this article that the past has not worked so now it is time to think outside the box and get moving on different solutions. We need to address the disconnect, cure it, and get on with getting our City cleaned up. Enforcing the laws will generate new interest in downtown for all. Maybe that is just one of the solutions that will allow the vacant store fronts to fill and shoppers to return. In the absence of a law abiding city, what investor will put their money into a city with such a high crime rate when they can find other cities with less of a crime rate. What are your solutions??? Please tell us!!!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Join Us Monday 11/23 at 5:15 PM

SAVE THE DATE: NOVEMBER 23RD, MONDAY at 5:15pm......

Monday November 23rd promises to be a very important date in the clean up efforts of Downtown Eugene according to a couple of City Councilors. This is the date that the City Council with the Mayor has set aside as a work session specifically to address the downtown challenges and more importantly the downtown solutions.

EugeneAdvocates has been advised that this is a very important meeting for Eugene downtown investors, business owners, patrons, and Eugene residents to attend. Some have said they no longer use downtown due to the conditions that exist downtown but would like to if the city can clean up the area. In addition the conditions appear to be spreading to other areas of Eugene. Your neighborhood may be in jeopardy.

Instead of whining this is the opportunity for all of us to let the council know how we feel about the downtown Eugene condition via our attendance at this meeting. Public testimony will not be taken so you need not identify yourself. Therefore this is your formal invitation to attend this meeting. Please feel free to share this invitation with your friends. The meeting will start at 5:30pm but we are asking you to arrive at 5:15pm. We understand that we are all very busy folks and that there are any number of other things that each would prefer to do on Monday evening but this is important to each of us and our city. Please let EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City know if you will attend by emailing us at eugeneadvocates@aol.com. Thank you for your follow thru on this important matter.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City
web site: http://sites.google.com/site/eugeneadvocates
comments revisited: http://eugeneadvocates.blogspot.com/

SOLUTIONS.....




DOWNTOWN POLICE PATROL

"I appreciate being on your email list; I don't mind that you are anonymous and I hope you will continue looking at solutions to public safety not only in Eugene but also the larger county."

(signed by a community leader and taxpayer)
--------------------------------------------

Thanks for your comment community leader and please remember the words of one of the citizens who said: "I would like to point out to the Mayor that many of her constituents express their points of view while hiding their identity. They do it on election day at the ballot box, and they are called "VOTERS"!"

In answer to the community leader above, EugeneAdvocates will continue to seek solutions. EugeneAdvocates has pointed out a set of short term and long term solutions. Sometimes in expressing those solutions it may be labeled by some that one is micro-managing the administration. To our critics if you don't care for the solutions listed please provide further ideas. However, regardless of what we call the solutions the end result is what we all are seeking and that is a Clean, Viable, City we can all be proud of that will attract investors, businesses, retain existing businesses, and attract patrons to use the downtown corridor.

So let's not get hung up on what we call it except SOLUTIONS. One of our previous emails listed a series of suggested solutions both short term for immediate implementation and longer term solutions that we hope one of the newly formed committees for public safety will explore further. Since inception there has been no visible implementation of any of those solutions thus resulting in further problems in our downtown. At this time the rain is our only friend for the downtown condition.

High hopes from all are attached to the Council and Mayor work session on the downtown area to be held on November 23rd at 5:30pm. It is hoped that regardless what they are called solutions will be adopted at that meeting by the Council and passed to the City Manager and Police Chief for implementation. It is time for action now, not further discussions.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thoughts To Ponder

WHY DO PEOPLE NOT LOITER ON THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AT THE EUGENE POST OFFICE????why do people always loiter, sleep, solicit funds on the Eugene sidewalk in front of the Eugene Federal Post Office? Could it be that the City Government is more tolerant of those that break the law than the Federal Government is? Disconnect?? Thoughts to ponder!! What does the Mayor and City Council think?What does the City Manager and Police Chief think? We decided to ask those individuals that work the sidewalk and one responder was quite frank. His response was "If we go on the post office property they will throw our a_ _ in jail. If we stay on the sidewalk that is the City of Eugene and they don't care."

DISCONNECT?????


WELCOME TO THE SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF THE EUGENE POST OFFICE

IS SLEEPING ON THE SIDEWALK PERMITTED?

ARE THERE ANY EUGENE CODE VIOLATIONS VISIBLE IN THIS PHOTO? Sleeping on public sidewalks, mobile signs on public property, solicitation on public property......
BUSY EUGENEANS GOING TO WORK WITH LOTS ON THEIR MINDS..WHILE OTHERS SOLICIT FUNDS AND SLEEP ON CITY OWNED SIDEWALKS...IS THIS WHAT WE WANT??


EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mayor Is Proud

We are all proud of our City and the positive awards it has won.........

"There is no doubt that we are an engaged community that participates at a high level. I consider that a good thing and not at all unusual for a university community. It is the essence of democracy. In no small part this is the reason we are recognized across the nation for being both one of the most sustainable communities (National Geographics Green Guide) and one of the best to have a business in (Forbes). We end up at the top of many lists as best place to run, to retire, to bike, etc."

Kitty (the Mayor)

(NOTE: Mayor AND Council please remember that Eugene is on the top of the list of fastest growing crime rates in cities of 100,000 people or more--lets not forget this --our most recent "unpleasant top award." Collectively we need to all work on fixing this. We all hold out great hopes for the Council work session on this matter scheduled for November 23rd at 5:30pm)

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Concentrate On Solutions

Time to shift gears and Concentrate on the Solutions!!!!!!!!!!!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City wish to acknowledge specifically the KVAL and Register Guard reports along with other important media coverage. We have always been concerned that focus would shift away from the downtown challenges if our idenity became an issue. Now that it is established that we wish to remain anonymous and that Eugene downtown has a real problem we would like to encourage all to re-focus on solutions to the problems.

Typical of public process we now have numerous organizations that have been formed recently to study the challenges. These include:

  • The Downtown Safety Meeting which has been operational we understand for at least one year;
  • The newly formed Downtown Safety Task Team;
  • The newly formed Citizen Advocates for Public Safety; and
  • A City Council Work Session focusing on downtown scheduled for November 23rd at the urging of Councilor Mike Clark and others.
The list of committee members on each committee is very, very impressive. EugeneAdvocates hopes for a swift review, and implementable solutions instead of rhetoric without implementation.

We all know the problems. Those have been well documented in the EugeneAdvocates Pictorials'. If trends continue for the last six months of 2009, Eugene will once again set a new all time high criminal record for 2009. EugeneAdvocates established our goal when we started to not be whiners without providing suggested solutions. As such in both Volume 1 and 2 we did provide short term and long term suggested solutions. We appreciate that the media has focused on who we are and the online discussions. We are hopeful that the media will turn their attention to the suggested solutions of each group.

SOLUTIONS will yield the results that all want to see downtown. More discussions may work for longer term solutions but short term non-budget impacting solutions can bring immediate results. Remember we all operate our daily lives in our comfort zone. Take us out of our comfort zone and we have a tendency to move back to a more comfortable situation. The short term solutions EugeneAdvocates has suggested are designed to move our downtown law breakers out of their comfort zone in hopes that they will move to another comfort zone venue.

There is a segment of our community who believe that "...the business owner is the same as the wino in the eyes of God." EugeneAdvocates does not dispute that. However, it is important to remember that by definition downtown is the "...main business section of a city or town." Downtown is provided to investors and businesses for servicing their law abiding customers. The disconnect occurs when folks do not understand the purpose of a downtown and fail to recognize that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. The police officer who stops you on the highway is not concerned with who you are, what your income level is, they have a job to enforce the law. When the disconnect occurs, this mission becomes blurred for the officer doing the job. The combination of the new City Manager and Police Chief should give us all encouragement that the disconnect will fade. These gentlemen are well qualified and deserve a vote of confidence from all of us and encouragement to clean up our downtown now.

EugeneAdvocates suggested solutions are listed below. The City Manager and Police Chief need to implement solutions immediately and see the positive results. The new citizen groups will provide new longer term solutions:

SHORT TERM SOLUTIONS:

1. Oregon and the City of Eugene currently have laws on their books against trespassing, public urination, soliciting, unlicensed dogs, dogs without proper vaccinations, menacing, obstructing sidewalks, skateboards or bikes operating on sidewalks, public intoxication, defacing private property, graffiti, and others. One immediate solution is to enforce these laws with an active citation program flooding the downtown area with officers one day a week and continue the two bike officers four days a week pursuing the same active citation program. (Comfort zone)

2. Authorize the City Police Volunteers, Lane Transit Authority, Public Library officers, University of Oregon, LCARA officers, parking officers, and Red Hats with the responsibility to issue citations for dogs without licenses, graffiti, public urination, indecency, blocking sidewalks, bike or skateboarding on public sidewalks, and other nonviolent crimes. In addition empower each organization to report to the Eugene Police other law violations that they see on their respective beats. (More eyes and ears-caution zone)

3. Eliminate the disconnect and endorse full action by the police department to enforce the laws of Eugene.

4. Increase the scope of the downtown zone to include exclusion by anyone receiving a citation for the violations found in #2 above. (comfort zone)

LONG TERM SOLUTIONS:

1. Create and implement a vagrancy law and a loitering law using those laws others have successfully enacted.

2. Create a misdemeanor confinement in the Forest Work Camp, Serbu Juvenile Center, lease a non-used wing of the county jail, or a new confinement structure perhaps on the same footprint as the Police Department.

3. Create a set of City economic priorities recognizing Public Safety as the primary responsibility of government to it's citizens.

4. Create new sources of funding for other lesser priority services.

5. Transfer county services which the Mayor identified as a source of challenges to more remote areas allowing LTD to service those areas.

6. Create an ordinance to outlaw mobile signs displayed on public property.

In summary, to the credit of the Mayor and her Council they have "...responded to concerns about downtown by imposing a downtown exclusion zone to ban certain offenders from the area; promoting entertainment and public events in the city center; helping to pay for red-capped downtown guides' and trying to encourage downtown redevelopment." This has helped but not fixed the problems.The smoking ban around the library is a positive step if implemented and enforced. Thus let's all move forward forgetting who we are and concentrating on the solutions necessary to reopen downtown Eugene to business activities. Problem solving is good and healthy.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blameless in Eugene

...No one is to blame unless action to cure is not taken.....

To those that wrote letters to the editor on Sunday, EugeneAdvocates appreciates your voicing your concerns!

  • To the writer of "Mayor misses the problem": Yes, we agree rather than focus on identities we should all focus on the problem and more importantly the solutions.
  • To the writer of "Group's cause is important": Yes, the cause is important to us all regardless of who we are it is OUR downtown.
  • And to the writer of "Want services, Pay for them": We appreciate your agreement that there is a "...dire need of a clean-up." EugeneAdvocates has progressed in both Pictorials short and long term solutions. Short term solutions are with current staff, expanding others authority, and within current budgets. Long term solutions as you suggest will require funding. Long term solutions will require budgetary considerations and priority reviews.
Thanks to all who wrote the editor of the Register Guard.
_____________________________

The Register Guard took a poll entitled: "Is the city of Eugene doing enough to crack down on public drunkenness and other crimes downtown?" The No's are 81%, Yes's are 9%, 4% don't know and 6% are unsure.
_____________________________

Some have suggested that EugeneAdvocates' tone is too "blamey." Blame only exists if something is not done to immediately correct the downtown problems. EugeneAdvocates, as the messenger, continues to report the frustrations of the Mayor and Council's constituents as seen below:
_____________________________

"The city is leasing the former City Hall II to Charter Network school, The kids who attend hang around outside as do those who want to prey on the young girls attending etc. In short it creates a very undesirable environment.

Why does the city think it is Ok to locate this use in the exact middle of the only block downtown that has 100% occupancy, the highest rents in the downtown area and has no city or other subsidies in achieving that status? What kind of message does that send to others who may make the investment in Downtown? What happens if the CNS doesn't work out and tenants start leaving, what is the city prepared to do to correct this potential problem?

The City, EWEB, and several grants are being used to spend over a million dollars to retrofit the Overpark and Parcade to convert form Steam to an alternative heat source. Why especially in the Parcade, when there are no tax paying occupants and the current rent includes all utility charges for the tenants? Did the city do an economic analysis on if it was more economically feasible to not heat the spaces, and rent them for storage as this segment of DT has never flourished with any successful businesses? How will the city recover the million dollars in rent increases? Others in the Downtown have to show that it is more than financially feasible to get the depth of energy loans, so why didn't the city??

The downtown Commission used to issue permits to panhandle in downtown. This way they controlled who was doing it, where and in what manner. They could not say you were stifling free speech as they did not charge for it, all they did was oversee it. It worked and it was very successful, so why not go back to this type of oversight? (solution?)

The Oakway Mall and Valley River Center have rules of conduct, that apparently are not too onerous as to drive away customers as they are both still in business. Why doesn't the city use their rules as an example and enforce them similar to the private sector?" (solution?)

(a concerned citizen)
_____________________________

"Wow!

I can't believe she called you guys the KKK!!!! Please keep up the effort. You are obviously getting under her skin! My family had a business at the corner of Broadway and Olive about 20 years ago. I could tell many stories about downtown in the 80's. Even though the streets are open now I don't think much has changed. I really want to go to the new Moroccan restaurant but my husband does not want to take our daughter downtown. Though the problem isn't limited to downtown. My parents, on a recent trip into town, had their car broken into and all their stuff stolen. Nothing was in view, the thieves just got "lucky" with two cameras and a GPS. That happened just a little ways off W11th really early on a Sunday morning. I think the problem is much greater than just downtown. There are not enough police overall and the police are under an unusual amount of stress with the amount of scrutiny they endure in this town. I have no answers myself. I think that pressure put on the mayor's office to put together a plan can only be positive, though."

(a Eugene business manager and taxpayer)
_____________________________

" Pray for rain! Really HARD rain. It's the only thing that keeps the druggies from hanging out downtown in droves. The hardcore ones will still be there, but pretty soon, you will see their numbers dwindle. Don't let up on the pressure though. They will come out again in the Spring."

(one who works in Eugene and a taxpayer)

Monday, November 9, 2009

From a Citizen and Taxpayer

"I suppose I wish to remain anonymous so as not to have to hear replies from various council members as to how they are working diligently to make Eugene a better place. I am 60 years old, a member of the "silent majority" other than when I vote, and have lived in Eugene my entire life. I received my degree from the U of O in the late sixties and have gone from "hippy" to a business owner and tax payer. I don't think certain members of the City council and the major have progressed past the hippy stage or mentality. I do not venture downtown unless it is absolutely necessary, it's far to depressing. I really feel for the entities that try and do business there. Eugene used to be a vital community, but the initial decline began with the "make downtown a mall with a really cool fountain in the middle of the street" years ago. It has declined steadily since then.

Don't the councilors and mayor get out of town and see some of the vital, vibrant, downtowns across the country. We have kids in the Bay Area, they live in a little community by the name of Emeryville. It's basically Oakland, but the community has transformed what was a dirty, crime ridden warehouse neighborhood into what is now vibrant and alive. They do have security and police patrols that keep it safe, but they are empowered with authority to do something about an adverse situation that may arise.

Why can't the City of Eugene do the same. Our problem is like most everything that goes on here, we take the opinion that everyone has the right to "do their own thing" wherever they want, and we certainly cannot take that right away from them.

Well BULL _ _ _ _ ! I have a right to "do my thing" as well, and that is why my business is other than downtown. Trust me I could ramble on forever, but enough said, I have to get back to business, so that I can pay my taxes and watch others "do their own thing" while downtown deteriorates.

Tax payer and PO'd citizen "

Info Request To Mayor and Council

Mayor and Council Members:

Can you please convey to us the date the Downtown Safety Committee was formed(We think it was 3 years ago but not sure) and a list of the goals that you have established for this committee. It would also be interesting to know from your vantage point what their accomplishments have been to date. Thanks in advance for your response.

In reviewing the following information from the FBI UCR Crime Report the Eugene problem has been on the upswing since at least 2006 as the Mayor has indicated. This prompts two questions: do the Mayor and Council agree with these findings from 2006 and 2007, and secondarily what has been done to curtail further growth that we are all aware of which increased in 2008 and is on a trend line to increase even further in 2009.

Violent Crime Changes Varied by Urban and Rural

Area

2006

2007

% Change

State

10,373

10,777

3.90%

Portland

3,872

3,701

-4.40%

Salem

691

583

-15.60%

Eugene

370

426

15.10%

Gresham

562

470

-16.40%

Beaverton

208

220

5.80%

5 City Total

5,703

5,400

-5.30%

Rest of State

4,670

5,377

15.10%



Thank you for your anticipated response. We appreciate your efforts to assist us in understanding the problem and what has been done to date. This may give the various task forces and the Downtown Safety Council some much needed information.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Saturday, November 7, 2009

An Outpouring of Outrage

Mayor--after review of these comments from your Constituents perhaps it is time to turn our collective attention to solutions and implementation of those solutions. Hope you can agree and will lead the way to solutions, not more rhetoric.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City
_____________________________

"I am offended by Mayor Piercy's recent e-mail in which she compares her constituents who wish to voice their concerns, but who also wish to remain anonymous, to the Klu Klux Klan.

Mayor Piercy wrote "I am of course very concerned that anyone feels they have to hide their identity in order to express their point of view" and "Still overall it is good practice to approach anonymous complaints with skeptical caution".

I would like to point out to the Mayor that many of her constituents express their points of view while hiding their identity. They do it on election day at the ballot box, and they are called "VOTERS"!

Mayor Piercy also wrote in her e-mail "If they are indeed fearful, please give me a call instead and I will be glad to keep your identity confidential". Why would anyone have confidence in Mayor Piercy, when she has shown that when she can't address a evident problem in her city frontally, SHE resorts to NAME CALLING?!!

Did Mayor Piercy ever think that maybe the nameless constituents are nameless BECAUSE they want her to remain FOCUSED on the evident problem, and not allow her to create a distraction by attacking those constituents. Those nameless constituents are expecting her to do her job to make downtown Eugene a safe and clean place for businesses and customers alike.

I have used the word "evident problem" because she herself has repeatedly stated that she has been working on this downtown issue for a long time, so she can't claim she didn't know it existed. I go back to Mayor Piercy's "name calling e-mail" in which she wrote "One can say and do anything if one does not have to be held accountable for it".

The nameless constituents do want accountability, they want accountability and a timetable for action FROM MAYOR PIERCY!!!

Signed Anonymous"
_____________________________

"It is very revealing that Kitty Piercy equates anonymous community activism to the KKK, who persecuted black Americans, and not Harriet Tubman and her underground railroad who secretly freed black Americans. Piercy's injection of race into a non-racial argument is racist on its face as is her conflation of racism and opposition to her failed policies. She should be deeply ashamed of herself for such a statement.

She also says, "One can say and do anything if one does not have to be held accountable for it." But the anonymous EugeneAdvocates are held accountable by the ultimate arbiter: the facts of reality, which are plainly visible to anyone who ventures into downtown Eugene.

By a proudly anonymous community activist"
_____________________________

"Unlike the mayor – I recall some other famous authors wrote behind pen names and were not revealed till after their death. The most notable being the authors of the Federalist Papers. According to Wikipedia “… they are an "incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer." At the time of publication, the authorship of the articles was a closely-guarded secret, though astute observers guessed that Hamilton, Madison, and Jay were the likely authors. …”

While I would not suggest your work in on par with the authors of the “Federalist Papers” The thought that the message in more important than the authors is consistent."

(signed by a Eugene taxpayer and resident)
_____________________________

"She (the Mayor) hasn't done anything to satisfy me. I would only be satisfied if I was a panhandler on any one of hundreds of intersections in Eugene. Thanks for your efforts."

(signed a Eugene resident)
_____________________________

Very weak--same old story "I will continue to work on it". Do something!!!!!!!!

(signed by a Eugene taxpayer and voter)
_____________________________

Surprise another work session, another way to delay anything actually happening.

(signed by a Eugene taxpayer)
_____________________________

"I am a Eugenian who has had his car keyed twice in downtown Eugene, do not want to be outed by Kitty for expressing my opinion. Fixing the paint on a keyed car costs about $500."

(signed by a taxpayer and voter in Eugene)
_____________________________

"Just about every evening when I walk home from work, I pass the bus stop in front of St. Mary's Church on 10th. On most days, there is a different batch of youth openly smoking and/or selling pot. A picture of this activity with the church in the background would be very effective in rousing more citizens to action, I would think.

I hate what this wonderful city is becoming. Criminals need to learn that actions have consequences; instead we are enabling sociopaths."

(signed by a taxpayer and voter in Eugene)
_____________________________

Maybe people should actually put forth an effort to become measurable assets to the community instead of liabilities.

I'm sick and tired of hearing all the whining in this community. Grow up people, be accountable for your actions, it's not all about your little world, it's a matter of compromise among 150,000 plus individuals, many whom have made life-long commitments to Eugene.

Mayor and council, I sincerely hope you are listening?

Eugene Advocates for a Clean City obviously understand the issues and action required to make a difference, maybe you should to.

(signed by a Eugene resident and taxpayer)
_____________________________

Friday, November 6, 2009

Business Person Not KKK

Business person who wants to not be compared to the KKK......

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR WANTED HIS NAME TO REMAIN ON HIS EMAILS:

"Dear Ms. Mayor,

I am the manager of Imperial Floors and the Head of Security for the Eugene First Church of the Nazarene. I just wanted to send you a quick note that I support the efforts of the Eugene Advocates for a Clean City. I do not want be one of the nameless people you offensively compared to the Klu Klux Klan. I am not a heartless person and have been evolved with and contributed to the Eugene Mission for over twenty years.

Even though our business and church are not located in the center of downtown we share many of the same problems as the downtown businesses. Yesterday I spent twenty minutes at our business putting out a fire in our landscape mulch within a few feet of our building started by a transient trying to cook with an open fire. Today our church office manager called me to roust campers in our bushes. Usually our custodian deals with these folks and what they leave behind almost daily. But today I got the call in his absence. We need to see a change in the our city's tolerance to this behavior. I would encourage you, the city council, and city government to act swiftly for a permanent solution. Thank you.

Respectively,

Dennis Rowlison"
_________________________________

"Mr. Rowlison,

I appreciate you taking the time to write. If you read my comments, you would know that I was simply speaking of the need for transparency and that an extreme example of what harm can occur when such transparency does not exist was the KKK. I certainly never stated nor would even consider stating that anyone in our community is equated with the KKK.

I am well aware of the public safety issues and share the concerns, and have consistently taken action to try to address them. I assure you that if we could put our fingers on a permanent solution today, we would implement it.

Best regards,

Kitty " (the Mayor)

Broadway Robbery

"Dear Mayor Piercy,

I own a small business along West Broadway. Several years ago we came to work on a Monday and found our business sign taken down off it’s normal hanging place—but still on the front porch. We thought it odd and learned a little later that there had been a crime committed at our address the night before. It went like this.

Two people called a pizza restaurant and ordered a delivery pizza. The address was ours. When the delivery car showed up, the caller met the deliverer on the porch (without the sign, it looks like a residence) and demanded money. The criminal didn’t get much because the driver didn’t carry a lot of cash. A few days later we found a knife in the bushes and called the police—offering it as evidence to go along with the crime. A statement to the effect of “that is such a petty crime that we don’t pursue leads in cases like this…” was offered so we dropped it. Still, it was unsettling to learn that something like this was committed on our property and that it would be easy to get away with such an act.

When does downtown get cleaned up and become inviting/safe again?

Business owner"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Front-Page News

The downtown problems spotlighted by EugeneAdvocates made the front page of the Register-Guard today:

City leaders, critics spar online
An anonymous group, Eugene Advocates, e-mails the mayor and City Council about problems downtown

By Edward Russo
The Register-Guard

Read the article at:
http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/sevendays/22590925-35/story.csp.

Would You Rather...


Where would you rather shop downtown or...........



would your family feel safer here?
------------------------------------------------
Mayor and City Council:

Ask yourselves the following questions and act now to help our downtown merchants draw families back to downtown Eugene. Further delay is unacceptable. The buck stops with the Mayor and the Council and it is up to each of you to step forward and insist no further public meetings, no more lip service, just clean up our city so we can draw investors, business owners, and patrons. Without that we will see Eugene downtown continue to deteriorate. Please act now to immediately implement non-budgetary impacting solutions that are available and have been provided to you.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For Lease or Rent Downtown

Mayor Piercy,

I own a small service business in downtown Eugene. I have done so for 19 years and mostly enjoyed being located near the center of downtown—but I have to say we are looking into other locations for a variety of reasons. The following are a handful of the reasons:

-Daily, or nearly every day, bike riders stream through our neighborhood on sidewalks—scaring pedestrians—or riding against the traffic on one way streets—scaring motorists, and running full speed through stop signs. Dare say a word to these folks and they will curse you, pound their fist into your car or spit at you! They believe (I guess) they have the right to be where ever they please because they are not burning fossil fuels. And, if you happen to be in this vicinity at night or early morning, they can (almost) be seen riding around with dark clothing and no bike lights. Another annoyance is the removal of street signs in the area.

-In the summer, I routinely find people sleeping on the front porch of my business—and have to shoo them away. Most are polite, but some are not. They almost always leave debris (and sometimes bodily fluids) behind.

-There are “packs” of youth who parade through the neighborhood cursing at cars, throwing things at each other and causing business owners concern. Imagine if your mother was a client of mine and she encountered this on her way to an appointment! NOT good for business!

-We have found drug paraphernalia (needles) in the shrubbery around our building.

-There is a “soup kitchen” or some other social/welfare handout thing located on the corner of Lincoln and 8th Street. People line up hours before they open to wait for food. Most are polite and not bothersome. Some are the opposite. I’ll bet you wouldn’t walk through the alley between that establishment and the Broadway parking garage by yourself when they are mingling around there! There are uniformed security folks who sometimes show a presence, but why should we have to go to that extreme just to ensure a safe zone for the non-recipients?

-One of my co-workers parks his car in the parking garage. Entering and leaving there, he routinely runs in to panhandlers and vagrants who block the driveway meant for cars.

-We routinely have vagrants coming in the front door of our business asking for money or work.

-The WOW Hall attracts a crowd of its own—best for us not to be around when those folks are there!

-Venture south to the Library and you’ll encounter a counter-culture group ready for the next Mad Max movie. Delinquents, pan handlers, smokers, intimidators, and loud cursing types loiter around the building making entry somewhat daunting. Easier to go somewhere else if one wants coffee or a book. Ever wonder why Valley River is so popular? It SAFE!

-The downtown liquor store is a complete magnet for most of the types I’ve described above. They hang out on the sidewalk, in the parking lot, and across the street. One feels the need to hold on to your wallet firmly and practice saying “NO” to those who will almost surely approach you asking for money or booze.

-Outside my business and others nearby, transients routinely dig through our garbage cans looking for empty bottles and cans.

-The corner of 7th and Washington is a haven for beggars. The signs change and occasionally the faces, but there are folks there EVRY day! What kind of a image for downtown does the present?

Yeah, I’d like to stay downtown in my old house, but I am growing intolerant—as the city seems to grow the other direction. The message that the police department is moving out is a total vote of NO confidence in the downtown area. Patrolling (what we had) will be even less. It is embarrassing to be located in what was considered once a business district but is no longer a safe place. Sorry, but I can’t wait for you.

Signed,

Frustrated Business Owner

Task Force Clarification

We received this request from Jean Tate:

Subject: Can you add this to the blog as clarification of our statement. Thanks.

Thank you for your kind words. Do need to correct a couple of things in your comments section. It is true that I was asked to be the co-chair of a citizens group by the sheriff and DA. Dave Frohnmayer was asked to be the other co-chair. However, the rest of the citizens group were chosen by Dave and me. The sheriff and DA made suggestions but with one exception, we chose no one else from their list. We want to be independent of any public official.

Secondly, we are interested in much more than jail capacity. We intend to look at prevention, rehabilitation and other issues around public safety.

Jean (Tate)

New Task Force Announced

New Task Force Announced by KVAL who also respects unsigned comments......

Folks we have a number of groups now interested in Public Safety downtown. The below new group is the task force that the Sheriff and DA put together to study and find long term solutions to the jail issue. We need to all support them but not loose cite of the short term goal of public safety clean up of downtown. Enjoy:

http://www.kval.com/news/local/69114922.html

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Mayor's Status Report

A message from the mayor:

"We know that Lane County's public safety system is seriously frayed. There is no doubt of that or debate of that. Eugene is effected by that. No argument there. No one doubts the subject of the complaints. We have been dealing with this continuously. Up until the early 90s this county was able to depend on rural school funds and kept it's property taxes low. They were capped at that very low rate. Rural school funds are now reduced and in danger. Reduced dollars from the feds and the state all have made it so the county cannot provide what it used to in prevention, intervention, treatment, courts, jail beds, etc. We are effected by the recession like people are across this country. The entire system is in deep trouble as I have no doubt the DA has relayed to you. The city of Eugene is effected dramatically by this situation as there is recycling of criminals in our community. Our police can arrest with no guarantee of incarceration of the criminals.

The city of Eugene has its own budget shortfalls which it has handled very well thus far. In response to the public safety challenges we have responded with a full range of strategies which I know you are aware of. We have targeted police into our downtown, established an exclusion zone, have volunteers in policing cleaning up graffiti, brought more very success entertainment draws into the downtown, fixed up some business fronts, supported Lord Lebrick, McDonalds, Beam development and LCC developments in our downtown to name a few, put in more sanitation facilities, paid for more red jackets, and are working collaboratively with the U of O public safety and LTD. We have also made dollars available to the county for jail beds and prosecutors. We have not been sitting on our hands.

We have a work session planned and will keep working on strategies while the Chief and DA work on a new approach for addressing this major county challenge. I have been supportive and involved and will continue to do so. "

Kitty (the Mayor)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another Prospective In Comments

Mayor,

Please read all the way down on the comments found in the KVAL media report at http://downtowneugene.kval.com/content/eugene-advocates-clean-city. This too should give you a different prospective of what your constituents think. Thanks for your review of this and please RSVP to the comments. Thank you in advance.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Springfield Can, Why Can't Eugene?



Mayor:

While we continue to have folks defend EugeneAdvocates' right to privacy and are obligated to forward those posts, EugeneAdvocates would like to turn the focus back on the problems at hand in Eugene, away from our identity. So let's do that. You have raised the issue of places to house criminals. We have advocated for a short time fix of flooding the downtown area with citation writers like this past weekend whether they be Police Officers, Volunteers, Red Hat, LCARA officers, or the Parking police. However, now that the Police Chief has convened his Task Force perhaps one of the agenda items could be a local jail, perhaps a Sprung Structure type jail.

Springfield is going to open their new misdemeanor jail on December 1, 2009. Why can't Eugene do the same as one of the long term solutions? What do you think? Springfield has their entire Police Department including the 100 bed jail on one footprint in one location. Springfield's goal is to put a stop to crimes against their people and to improve the quality of life for their residents. Very Admirable!!!!!!

Cost $28 million dollars for the structure and they own it. Financed by a bond measure. Eugene should consider this as a long term solution to our current downtown problem after implementing immediate solutions. Using new technology(Sprung Structures) the Eugene structure could be much more efficient and much less costly. Maybe a long term solution for the task force to study???? This is the new Springfield jail preparing for a December 1, 2009, opening.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Monday, November 2, 2009

Let the People Talk

One member of the City Council who chose to respond directly to the Mayor regarding her comment in Speechless In Eugene below:

"Mayor,

I hope that there is some sort of mistake and that this email was not written by you. If it was, it is one of the most shameful, insulting sophomoric responses to Eugene citizens pointing out a serious problem I have ever read. I am horribly offended just reading it.

We intentionally protect the identity of rape victims to insure that they aren't further victimized. That would be a better analogy than the ugly, hateful reference below to the KKK.

I have experienced ugly, nasty, hateful responses from people in the liberal majority in this community that think it is O.K. to vilify those with whom they disagree. Speaking out in a way that is only vaguely conservative in this community is done with a cost. I know this from personal experience. There is genuine fear in our community to speak up. Shame on you for mocking those who are afraid.

Mike"
____________________________

Mayors response to the City Councilor:

"Mike,

I am sorry to hear you took my response that way. My point is that hiding behind a name or a sheet endangers our democracy. I made no analogy in terms of the people or their intentions. I share the concerns they express and actually appreciate their desire to make our community safer and better. I would never call you or your response to anything sophomoric. I recognize the seriousness of the problem. I ask that people who are concerned be forthcoming about who they are because I believe that is important to our democracy and community conversation. I will answer and try to be helpful to anyone who identifies him or herself. And, I will respect the needs for confidentiality for any individual. I agree that nasty comments can come from anyone on the political spectrum. And to be clear I was not mocking anyone.

Kitty " (signed by The Mayor)

_______________________________

From another Eugene resident:

"Wow!

Any reason, the RG or local news should not hear how Kitty feels about members of her community?"

(signed by a Eugene tax paying resident )

________________________________

From another Eugene resident:

"I must chime in by the need you have Mayor for identity of those that criticize the status quo. Knowing that you are the mayor of the third highest crime rate increase for cities over 100,000 per the FBI for 2008, logic would say that these anonymous complaints are real. Knowing you only patrol the downtown core four days a week and seeing the crime statistics versus when you took office, I think you have more important things on your plate than going on a witch hunt. If your pursued criminals downtown as aggressively it might do more good."

(signed by a Eugene business person, a tax payer and resident)

______________________________

"Kitty,

Again as I said the other day to you YOU are trying to shift the focus of the debate. Now you try to use the Klu Klux Klan. They are fresh in our memories. They use to be active in Oregon when you and I were young. So lets get back to the current debate. I note, with interest, today's article in the RG Increase police presence leads to more arrests. That is the debate, not the KKK."

(signed by another tax paying resident)

_____________________________

Response from the Mayor:

"I don't see this as a debate and I don't know why anyone would. I am only speaking of the importance of transparency which is fundamental to our form of government. I very much appreciate the work of our police this last weekend. It all went very well. I also appreciate their challenges each and every day and the complexity of the public safety system they operate in. The system is frayed at every juncture from prevention, to intervention, to treatment, to the court system, to jail beds. We have to find a way to deal with this as a system and that is what the DA and chief and many community members will be working on. In the meantime, we will continue to develop and implement a range of strategies.

Kitty " (signed by the Mayor)

________________________________

Speechless in Eugene-Action now!!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Speechless in Eugene

Mayor's response to Privacy Concerns below:

I am of course very concerned that anyone feels they have to hide their identity in order to express their point of view. I get lots of mail from folks regarding all city services and am often able to help when people are experiencing difficulties, even some such as the one spoken of here.

We do have exceptions to that and that's why we have whistle blower laws. Still overall it is good practice to approach anonymous complaints with skeptical caution. Those who have hidden their identities such as the Klu Klux Klan are fresh in our memories. One can say and do anything if one does not have to be held accountable for it.

If you are indeed fearful, please give me a call instead and I will be glad to keep your identity confidential.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Bit of History of Eugene Frustration

Hello Eugene Advocates, whoever you are, I appreciate your energy and efforts on behalf of downtown. I have just sent the following letter to the city council and wanted you to have a copy. I share your goals and your frustration but have chosen to express myself in a little bit different tone. If you want to send it along to your email list, that is fine with me. We all want the same thing: a safe, decent downtown, which has been missing for decades.

(Signed by a long term Eugene resident,tax payer, investor and business person)

----------------------------------------

Mayor Piercy and City Council October 28, 2009 Eugene, Oregon

Greetings Mayor Piercy and Councilors,

I am writing to give you my perspective on the state of downtown. (------) and I have owned property downtown for over thirty years. We currently own a small office building on Charnelton, a small house on Olive Alley, and I am a co-owner of Broadway Place. Since 1977, I have served on numerous planning committees, including the Eugene Planning Commission, visioning committees, downtown association committees, safety committees, ERA committees, etc. Until recently, we were both active commercial real estate brokers who committed a significant part of our business to downtown.

I have been receiving emails from "Eugene Advocates" and I want to distinguish my point-of-view from theirs. Although I am just as frustrated, just as angry, I worry that the tone of their messages is too "blamey" to get us anywhere. And I don't blame any current office holder for the state of downtown since it remains essentially the same as it was in the seventies, eighties, nineties and now. You folks didn't create the problem. I do hope you will begin to fix it.

Eugene began shooting itself in the foot in the late sixties with a plan which leveled much of downtown and reduced our stock of redevelopable, nice old buildings to a handful. Our aim was to save the village. Instead, we destroyed it. For contrast, look at Corvallis. Any downtown street in Corvallis has more interesting old buildings than in Eugene's entire downtown. This is a tremendous economic problem because old buildings are the places that small, local businesses can begin life. Most importantly, they create a sense of "place"; that just feels right. I know that you can't undo this situation, but I think an understanding of it is helpful.

In the eighties, every store front along West Broadway was filled. In time, every business but one failed. Astoundingly, these buildings filled again with hopeful, optimistic tenants in the early nineties. (Due mostly to the stubborn, never-say-die effort of my pard, (---------) and landlords who were willing to accept below market rents.) Sadly, all of these businesses in the entire two block area failed again except Betty Snowden's. You know how difficult her life has been and yet she endures.

Unfortunately, this difficult-to-express situation is the central problem of downtown Eugene. It is essentially a lack of community; of neighborhood; of place. It is the reason for the continual depressed economics, even in the best of times. It creates crime and behavior problems because no one cares enough to stay; they just move on. It has been this way for decades and it has worsened, not improved.

As the former leasing agent for Broadway Place, I have stood with dozens of potential retail and office tenants and listened to them tell me why they're not going to relocate to that area. It is always the same; it is the "street problem". They correctly observe that this area allows behaviors which are not allowed in other areas. Obvious crimes occur daily, from drug deals to property crimes to assault; and of course, unacceptable social behavior is rampant. The plain truth is that people can do bad things here and expect to get away with it. As a city, we have decided not to enforce the laws and social mores here which we definitely do enforce in the rest of our city. This is sad, and undeniably true: just go watch. You and I do not stand for this behavior in our own neighborhoods but we allow it here. I have never understood why.

Of the many good businesses which have located within Broadway Place, only one original tenant remains. The spaces lease to enthusiastic entrepreneurs who ultimately leave; disillusioned, dispirited, bitter. In several cases, they were actually doing fine economically; they just couldn't take the daily pain of "the street". I can't blame them.

In the past 24 months, we have personally experienced three break-ins at our rental properties in downtown Eugene.(not Broadway Place.) In two cases, doors were violently kicked off their hinges. In the third, a window was shattered. These crimes were committed by people who know there will be no consequences. I am sure of this because we actually apprehended one of these criminals in the act.

Quick thinking by a tenant, and immediate response by the EPD, resulted in a phone call to me in the middle of the night. I came down and had the opportunity to "meet" the suspect and even view the contents of his backpack. It was full of "burglary tools" plus things stolen from other places. He was a pathetic man with past convictions and a resigned but not apologetic attitude.

He was back on the street within 24 hours. I assume he was given back his backpack full of tools since he was innocent until proven guilty. A year later, his much-delayed trial brought him conviction and probation and the naive hope that he might once again attend drug addiction classes. I imagine he is out in the neighborhood right now, with full knowledge that nothing of consequence will happen to him when he breaks into his next place.

I want you to act. I want a specific plan regarding crime and unacceptable behavior. In the past, we have increased police presence downtown and this has been successful. On each occasion, the moment we begin to feel a positive difference, the police are redeployed and the situation reverts. We did this as recently as 24 months ago, I believe. Change will require change, and we have never been willing to sustain it.

I believe that our new leadership at the city manager and police chief level gives us a new opportunity. It will depend upon the actions and allocation of resources by the city council. I hope you will have the insight and courage to reverse a decades-long problem which severely handicaps our city.

In another too long letter I will give you my thoughts on "downtown development". You can't bring back the nice old cheap buildings which would immediately inject life and opportunity into downtown. However, there are things which could be done, which, combined with adequate law enforcement, could set us in the right direction.

Thank you for your thoughts and actions on behalf of our fair city,

(Signed by a long time Eugene resident, tax payer, investor and business person)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN AND GO DUCKS

MAYOR--

HAPPY HALLOWEEN AND GO DUCKS............

We wish you a Happy Halloween knowing full well that we must all know how to enjoy times even in the face of not so good times!!! GO DUCKS!!!!!!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City
______________________________

On a more serious note Mayor:

How do you respond to the local business owner and investor who says:

"I used to enjoy visiting the Oregon Pinot Noir Club that was located next to Lucky's. Bob finally had enough and moved to Portland. He is enjoying it up there and business is good. I will never locate my firm in downtown, I used to be downtown many years ago and will never again."

(Signed by a current business owner, investor and tax payer in Eugene)

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Friday, October 30, 2009

Privacy Concerns

Mayor,

Thanks for your reply to the below reader comment in which you say, "I would be glad to respond to this person. Have him/her send me an e-mail. " We will let one of our readers answer you. However, please remember: emails sent to you are public information from private addresses and thus make one vulnerable to retaliation, not by you but by others. So please consider the concern one of our readers expressed in response to a criticism of anonymous involvement:

"...why don't you go ahead and post your name, address, and phone number, and then criticize the criminals that roam our streets accosting innocent residents and destroying our property. Then, tell us what happens to you. And while you're at it, criticize the government to whom you have to beg for permission to improve your property, then see how helpful they are when you need a permit. I can totally understand why the agents of change at Eugene Advocates want to protect their privacy and safety. What difference does it make who they are anyway? They are not asking us to rely on their credibility in reporting what anyone with open eyes can see and experience first hand."

Downtown Employee

Downtown employee who sypathizes with homeowners:

"Well, we had another one sleeping in our bushes this morning. It was all I could do to rouse the guy. I said, "Hey, I'm sorry, but youcan't be camping out in our bushes. It freaks out our clients and makes our employees feel unsafe." He cleared out, but the cardboard is still laid out next to the building for the next night or the next "tenant"...oh, and he left underwear hanging on a branch of one of the bushes. Lovely.

We're just around the corner and down the street from White Bird ... we never know what kind of characters are going to be parading past our windows or down our alley, what kind of frame of mind they'll be in. Sometimes people are obviously drunk or high, sometimes it's pretty obvious that they're mentally unstable. This is not conducive to a good working environment for the businesses that work right off West 11th or anywhere else downtown.

Good grief, I can't even *begin* to imagine how the homeowners must feel, knowing it will be nearly impossible to sell their homes."

(Signed by a business employee in the downtown area/constituent of the Mayor)___________________________________________________
We are reminded of the slogan " The Mayor for all of Eugene." This person deserves a response from their Mayor.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Help!!!

Mayor,

EugeneAdvocates have acknowledged along with several quotes from your constituents that the downtown challenge has long been aproblem addressed by yours and other administrations. You indicate that your Council and you have been "...deployment of additionalofficers(two officers 4 days a week), strategic intervention(help us understand what this means), more downtown activities(whichwe acknowledge your thought that if you bring more folks downtown then crime will decline), helping with development downtown(which we acknowledge), working with the DA and the Chief, working on areas of concern, targeting funds, etc." We continue toacknowledge those exercises but question how you or the Council measure the success of those efforts. The citizens in downtowncontinue to see crime and laws broken daily in the downtown area. It is hard to make the stretch to say any of these efforts havebeen successful. We all want success. We have suggested solutions which have not been implemented so we can only guess thatyou and the Council must have your own suggested solutions. We have been asking for a list of those to no avail. We acknowledgeonce again everyone's concern for the downtown problem and our crime rate growth but see no measurable success or immediatesolutions. Yes, it is a big problem but we don't seem to be doing anything measurable to help ourselves.

The idea that the EugeneAdvocates is campaign motivated is total nonsense. The Mayor's election is 3+years away. Why would webe doing this if our motive was political? Why do we not identify ourselves? Simply put we are tax paying citizens some of which livein the downtown area and want to see it fixed. We really want the focus to be on cleaning up downtown. We have not concentratedon the problems but have attempted to help by providing solutions. We are not taking "cheap shots." We are trying to help getbeyond the rhetoric and get the problems on the way to solutions. For you to shut off dialog with your constituents does not help nowor in 3 years. We want to help by giving a legacy for you and your Council by cleaning up Eugene downtown. Please help in thatendeavor with action and not more rhetoric. Now for a word from a constituent in the University area.

Even the students of the University district recognize our mutual problem as indicated by the attached students comments. It iscritically important that we fix the downtown safety matter so that this is not inherited by our young people as they pursue theireducation. What is yours and the Councils specific plan and specific timetable for the implementation of this plan that will yield asafer Eugene that can be reported to the University folks?

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

To the Eugene Advocates:

Thank you for what you are doing! I wanted to take the chance to giveyou all a students perspective on all of this. Since moving here 3years ago I have had my car stolen, broken into twice (once in asecured parking garage), I am not the only one either my friends havehad their bikes stolen on and cars broken into on multiple occasionsas well.

However this issue is extending far beyond petty crimes, this town isquickly becoming an unsafe place to attend school, we are all to oftenaccosted by vagrants begging for money as soon once we step foot offof campus. Weekends that traditionally allow us an opportunity tounwind are beginning to lose their appeal. The "Downtown" bars;establishments such as 6th street bar and grill, the rock and rodeo,and joggers which used to be mainstays on my weekend adventures are nolonger frequented due to the fear of being bugged or constantlybothered on the poorly lit streets. Even visits to the well litBroadway and Olive Bars Jamesons, Horse Head, Starlight Lounge andDavis's (The very place that hosted the mayors victory celebration in2008): are coming few and far between due to increased violence in thearea and the constant nuisance of loitering individuals asking for asmoke or money. They have also become aggressive; to the point thatyou are better off waiting for a cab inside the bar. House Partieswhich is a tradition of the American College experience offer the sameissues, since school began just under a month ago, I have been to twoparties where homeless individuals have come in uninvited, helpingthemselves to food and beverage, and intimidating guests. Threats ofhaving police called on them are no longer an effective way of dealingtrespassers, they know just as well we all do that the police are overworked, understaffed and will only respond in a quick manner if thereis a fight or violent crime in progress. Emotions such as caution andpity are too quickly turning into fear and anger for myself and manyothers. Fear of being mugged, or having our property stolen and angerthat while we may not be the most perfect patrons to our community, wedo not deserve this.

I am well aware that as a student I do not have a right to party, Ialso acknowledge the fact that on Fridays and Saturdays the UniversityCommunity accounts for a lot of the polices attention. I do however,have the right to be safe.

(Signed by a student at the University of Oregon, voter and a patron of local businesses)