Friday, October 23, 2009

A Business Owner Responds

Below is an email received from the Mayor and in blue square brackets [ ] you will find the comments from an investor, business owner and operator in a Eugene business as to their thoughts on the comments by the Mayor. This was submitted to the EugeneAdvocates and is for your information.

"We have been working consistently on this issue as have councils and Mayors who served before us.
[What are the reasons for no action]

We now have the unusual circumstance of being a city in a county that has been going through a severe budget crisis. The outcome of this crisis has been fraying of the entire system from prevention, to intervention, to treatment, to arrest, to court processes, to incarceration and post incarceration services. This has produced an upsurge in repeat offenders and a message going out that criminals need not worry about consequences.
[The early 80's and 90's also had economic issues.]

At the same time the country has been in a financial crisis and more people are in crisis. We are a service center as the county seat, so it is to be expected that we see more people with issues and in need on our streets.
[Then why does it appear we openly invite and service people from outside our boundries? Eugene is now well known as a safe-haven on the I-5 corridor, neglegence on the city councils behalf.]

In response we have aimed the tools we have specifically at the problem.

1. Additional officers in our downtown
[Only at times, nothing scheduled on a quarterly or annual basis.]

2. Additional red hats downtown
[A couple, I've noticed less presence in our area this year?]

3. Loan opportunities for repair
[I am unaware of the programs.]

4. A variety of activities and events in our downtown that have drawn hundreds from all over the community.
[Hundreds? A town this size needs thousands.]

5. Put an exclusion zone in place
[Yet neglected to include juveniles under 18, or altered the original draft to eliminate under 18. Major problem.]

6. Temporarily moved furniture
[Who uses it?]

7. Offered help for financing part of the system to the county over the last two budget cycles that supported reopening jail beds and prosecutors in place
[Offered. Maybe take the lead and force the issue instead of debate it.]

8. Sited additional bathroom facilities
[Flower beds and planters?]

9. Helped develop the Beam project and Lord Lebrick theatre
[What about all the developers you turned away?]

10. Worked with LCC for a building location in our downtown core
[That will not bringcommerce worth measuring.]

11. Reworked problem areas around the library
[The library has been a constant nusance since it's opening. Basically a large money pit that appears to attract undersireables.]

12. Opened more housing units in our downtown
[The affordable ones on W 8th that people have moved out of due to safety concerns?]

13. Worked on parking solutions
[Parking won't be an issue until people feel safe to come downtown. Very weak point.]

We continue to believe that if we fill the buildings and the streets with positive activity, partner with downtown businesses, target public safety carefully and housing, get the pits filled and the empty spaces, we will achieve our goals for a positive, robust downtown.

[With the undesireable and unsafe reputation downtown has throughout the community, you cannot fill buildings and streets or attract businesses worth partnering with. Clean and safe has to occur first. Private sector business, based on past and current performance has no confidence in Eugene's government. Your actions moving forward must earn respect, it will not be gifted to you. Just a couple points.]"