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.
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)
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)