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)