Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thoughts to Ponder

"The big attraction? How about headlines that scream "NO ROOM AT THE JAIL?" Or the free lunches, dinners, etc. Or the many people who hand money to the corner jockeys. Or how about the LTD hub, the public library and the empty hole being a central meeting area. Or the Broadway Plaza? My family and I could not enjoy many of the downtown attractions this summer because the drunk and drugged took over Broadway Plaza and other areas. Nothing like sitting down to enjoy the glorious flowers on a warm sunny day while some guy is puking up his Steel Reserve.

There was a bicycle officer in front of the library one day who sat and watched people jaywalk, fight, do a drug deal, and an LTD bus run a red light. All in a few minutes, directly in front of him. What was he doing that he didn't notice any of this? Talking on his cell phone.

I live downtown and love the thriving arts scene and the amazing music and community. But we have had to call Cahoots more times than we can remember for the people who are passed out, pooping in our yard or wandering in the street aimlessly. We've taken people to detox (Buckley) ourselves when the police and/or Cahoots could not respond.

Everyone talks about the "rights" of the homeless and drunk, but why not about the "rights" of the taxpaying homeowners and people who work? When the homeless start paying taxes to support the police dept and fire dept and Cahoots and detox and the ER....well, then, maybe their voice should be heard. In the meantime, the many dollars and resources that are expended on the behalf of these people who are able to sustain irresponsiblity because we take them on will continue to support irresponsible drunkeness."

(a concerned citizen and taxpayer)

"I agree with Jean Tate that our city problems with crime and crime prevention need to be addressed on a county wide level. Money, no surprise to anyone is the key to all the various programs needed. I suggest the campaign, when put on the ballot, be a "shock and Awe" advertising and media approach. The only methods that will wake up and shake the city and county voters out of their mediocrity and compel them to part with their hard earned money is a campaign that reveals the deterioration in other "crime over the top" cities. There are plenty of examples and plenty of city leaders who will openly tell about the consequences of run away crime. When the people that live here feel safe and comfortable and look the other way and then next month or next year they tremble that their neighbor has been attacked in their home or their wonderful new truck has disappeared out of their lighted driveway overnight, guess what. It does not take long for a beautiful city and wonderful county to get to a place where no place is safe. Smell the roses and open your wallets so we can enjoy the paradise we live in. "

a concerned citizen and taxpayer

"...thanks for the work you are doing, "

a concerned tax paying citizen

" I was also downtown a bit ago and saw a derelict who had wet his pants harassing a couple of gals. What a city--they then charged me $1.50 to park and see empty buildings. Something is wrong or have I said that before!!!"

signed by a taxpayer and downtown visitor

Monday, January 25, 2010

Downtown Safety Meeting 1/27

Downtown Meeting of City Council/ Mayor/City Manager

Hi Everyone,
The City Council agenda has been updated for Wednesday, January 27th - Downtown Public Safety is now the only item on the agenda and begins at noon. ~Brenda

Brenda Schmidt
Executive Assistant
City of Eugene
Planning & Development Department
99 West 10th Avenue
Eugene, Oregon 97401

If you can attend it would be important to hear the recommendations of the Chief of Eugene's Task Force on downtown Eugene Wednesday at noon in the McNutt Room on the City Hall complex. This is your downtown and they need to see who supports a fix for downtown. If crime in downtown is off your radar screen then please delete this message. Thank you.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 18:14:15 EST

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Update on CAPS progress

Update on CAPS progress thus far from one of the Co-Chairs....

To: Eugene Advocates
From: Jean Tate

I’ve been meaning to write you again so your “jog” is timely.

Yes, we have been meeting every two weeks and most recently every week. We have spent time with the sheriff, the district attorney, the human services folks who are readying a money measure for the November ballot, the county assessor and the county budget officer. In addition I have talked with judges, parole and probation, jail staff, juvenile justice folks, and other. Dave and I met briefly with the Public Safety Coordinating Council.

I believe that your interest is primarily with the City of Eugene. We formed to look at the larger county picture. I got to this place by realizing that the major block to anything positive happening in Eugene was the necessity for additional jail beds. That is a county function, not a city function. So we are looking at the needs from the county’s level. This week we met with Jeff Spartz, the county administrator, to talk about process if we decide to recommend some kind of ballot measure.

We see both short term and long term problems at the county level. The short term problems involve public safety staff and facilities. The long term problems concern recidivism, prevention and rehabilitation. Finding a balance among these is a very large challenge. Add to that the problem of “compression” which results from bumping up against easure 5 limits and the puzzle complexity increases.

We don’t have answers yet; we are still learning. We will meet with the county commissioners on February 23 to discuss some possible recommendations. A big concern is how to educate the public about the needs and costs of possible solutions and then finding something that 51 percent of the voters can agree to. As you all know, there are strong feelings and not too much agreement about the relative merits of incarceration, treatment and prevention. It is our understanding that the county commissioners have asked Jeff Spartz to have a poll conducted to see what potential voters might approve. Suggestions and thoughts are welcome.

Jean Tate


So please feel free to send suggestions or thoughts to EugeneAdvocates and we will be happy to forward them to the committee. They have seen the suggested solutions of EugeneAdvocates already. They are all working as we are on Public Safety improvements in Eugene and Lane County. There are a minimum of three groups currently working on this task--this includes the Police Chief Task Force, the Citizen Advocates for Public Safety, the various Downtown groups, and the EugeneAdvocates for a clean City. Perhaps our decision makers will soon tackle the well documented problems of Eugene by implementing solutions instead of continuing to study what is a well defined problem by the media and these groups. Ask your councilor about solutions!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Task Force Report Announced


"The recommendations of Chief Kern’s Task Force will be discussed with the City Council at their Jan. 27 work session. Some of the recommendations can be implemented without additional funding, while others require funding. As part of their Feb. 19 work session, I will present the Council with funding options and a recommended course of action.


Jon "(Ruiz, City Manager)

"The Jan. 27 meeting is at noon in the McNutt room. I noticed I sent the wrong date on the second meeting. It is the Feb. 10 work session, not Feb. 19. This meeting is also at noon in the McNutt room.


Jon" (Ruiz, City Manager)

Poll shows dissatisfaction with downtown

The annual survey conducted by the city of Eugene assesses residents’ views on city issues and services:

By Edward Russo

The Register-Guard
Appeared in print: Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010

Downtown Eugene merchant Kaz Oveissi understands why seven out of 10 residents are unhappy with downtown, an all-time low for public opinion about the economically sagging city center.

An annual poll taken for city government shows that 71 percent of residents are very or somewhat dissatisfied with downtown, a trend that has grown steadily since 2005, when 44 percent of respondents said they were displeased with the area.

At the same time, more residents support the idea of the city helping downtown businesses.

The poll conducted by Ad-vanced Marketing Research of Eugene asks residents dozens of questions each year on several topics, ranging from how they feel about public safety and economic opportunity to their use of city services and what they consider Eugene’s top problem.

Oveissi, the owner of Oveissi & Co., an Oriental rug store at Broadway and Willamette Street, said the poll results on downtown reflect residents’ frustration about the lack of improvement in the area.

“People are a little upset about the fact that we set out certain goals for downtown and we can’t accomplish them,” said Oveissi, who also owns Cafe Perugino on Willamette Street in the historic Smeede Hotel building. “In the 15 years that I have been downtown, we were in better shape then than we are today. It’s just this sense of frustration that we can’t make anything meaningful happen in the downtown core.” ... more

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Meter Matter Update

Information on the Meter Matter!!!!

Thank you to a member of Citizen Advisory for Public Safety(CAPS) for sharing this information from the City Manager and thanks to the City Manager for finally sharing the city's perspective on the meter matter:



I hope you are anticipating an enjoyable weekend. Some of you have heard or read about the downtown parking meter incident. The information below may fill in some of the gaps.

Enjoy Life!

Jon (City Manager)

Background from Police and Parking staff Earlier this week, a parking control officer was out working near 5th Ave. and Willamette. She was writing a ticket on an expired meter. Because it was raining, she was in her cart completing the ticket. A man, Benjamin Burns Bond, parked in an adjacent spot and put money in his meter. He then also plugged the expired meter after the ticket was already in progress and was angry when the parking officer placed the ticket on the vehicle. He followed the female parking officer for three blocks in his truck, intimidating and threatening her. She was afraid and took the unusual step of calling 9-1-1 and staying on the line because she feared for her safety. A witness reported seeing Mr. Bond red-faced and animated, yelling and gesturing towards her from his truck.

Two police officers were dispatched, per regular practice because there were two involved parties. However, a third police officer driving near the scene responded because of his proximity and because it is rare for parking control to ask for back up. Mr. Bond was handcuffed at the scene and placed into a patrol car without any resistance. At that point, he could have been taken to jail, but police offered him a citation if he would only leave the area and stop threatening the employee. Mr. Bonds then was allowed to go with the citation for Harassment and Obstructing a Government Agency. Police were not called to respond because Mr. Bond plugged meters. They were called because he was intimidating and threatening the employee."

(provided by a city leader)


"I would like to add a comment regarding the parking meters! I had to venture downtown last week, and parked in one of the parking meters that accept credit cards now. My complaint is that being a shorter person, I couldn't even see if there was any time left on the meter, and took the chance it was OK. HELLO, all of the citizens of Eugene are not 5' 8', that is what I figured you had to be to see the meter. The business I went to said they have had complaints regarding the height of them and most of the time the credit card function does not work. In regards to the gentleman who was trying to pay parking meters, I am deeply embarrassed that I tell people I live in Eugene! Whatever happen to going a good deed will be thanked by others? What goes around comes around!!"

(signed by a concern taxpaying citizen)


"Today’s paper quotes John Ruiz “It is wrong and intolerable for any city employee to be intimidated, threatened and prevented from doing his or her work on behalf of city of Eugene citizens.” I guess as nonemployees of the City we do not have the same rights when going down on the mall or pulling up to intersections and locking our car doors. I wish just once our elected officials would travel the city with small children for the day and experience the fear they have from strangers coming up to car windows with signs."

(signed by a parent, business person, and taxpayer)


"Major Piercy,

I don’t always listen to Lars Larson (an afternoon AM radio talk show host), but sometimes when driving around in my car after lunch I find his program entertaining. Partially because it’s refreshing to learn what life outside of Liberal Lane (County) is all about. Mostly, his shows cover such topics as law abiding citizens being taken advantage of by ridiculous building permit issues, hard working people taking responsibility for their actions—rather than suing others for falling down, the common sense attached to purchasing health insurance (voluntarily) rather than arriving at the emergency room without coverage, respecting the duty of sworn police officers who do the jobs they are hired to—without the fear of public double and triple scrutiny, using common sense and the like.

Earlier this week I tuned in one day while driving around town and happened in on a discussion about parking meters. It reminded me of a story I’d heard reported some years ago about someone who had actually gotten in trouble for adding coins to the expired parking meter of someone else’s car--so that they wouldn’t get a ticket for parking past their allotted time. Then, as I listen further, I realized this story was not only about the same thing—but also a local one. “Ha”, I thought, “What are the chances of that happening in this day and age?” The economy (still) sucks, people are mean—not kind, etc. Then I blushed—as I realized that Lars was talking about downtown Eugene—our city which is in desperate need of “revitalization.” Reddening my face further was the realization that thousands of listeners (most of whom must certainly reside outside of Democrat-ruled Eugene) were listening to the same story. Then I heard the fine levied on this guy ($800) I about crapped. A whole bunch of questions come to mind including the following:

“Where is the logic? How does a twenty five cent meter deposit get one an $800 fine? Why penalize this guy at all? This goes completely beyond reason. Who is it in the parking meter department that’s training meter enforcers to fine good Samaritans for these actions? What message does this send? If we question cops for tasering citizens, why don’t we question meter maids for fining good guys? Many other questions come to mind, but the biggest one is

“Do you want people to come to downtown Eugene, or don’t you?”

The last one is a rhetorical question, but the absurdity is that it’s even being asked. The answer should be obvious—but it’s not. The city’s actions do not speak louder than words. In fact the actions are actually working in reverse of what the rhetoric says. We say we’re open for business, but in fact we do all we can to discourage it. I’m getting really frustrated by the trend displayed here. And you know what? There are a lot of others like me out there. “No’” like prairie dogs, we don’t stick our heads up really high—and we’re ridiculed for that—but we’ve learned that doing so is a good way to get it shot off! That’s a metaphor—on case you read anything more in to it.

Okay, so President O., who realized after the Christmas Day bombing attempt that his airport security service wasn’t quite up to snuff—it may be time for you too to call a press conference, admit Eugene’s downfall, weakness, mistake, and tell us all (conservative and liberal alike) what you plan to do to fix this mess. Just a suggestion, I’m sure you’ll do what’s right —instead of what you know will appeal only to the vocal liberals who voted you in to office.

And like the bumper stickers say: Honor Diversity (mine too!)

What’s next? Meter maids with tasers? At the rate we’re going, the ACLU will take away all the cops have, so maybe we should arm the meter maids!"

( A conservative, tax paying, and voting business owner(who is quite frustrated)



Eugene is seeking proposals for art to be placed on or around the new Delta Ponds bicycle/pedestrain bridge. About $60,000 of the $6.2 million project is reserved for art.

Proposals due: Jan. 7

Apply to: Central Services Purchasing

(provided by a questioning taxpayer about the timing of such expenditure and asks if the funds could have a better use at this time?


"We just had the Ladder Truck show up to support an ambulance at the methadone clinic.

When money is tight the logic/practice of sending vehicles with that GVW on routine drug user babysitting calls is rediculous.

Can they even spell efficient at city hall?

(signed by a business owner and taxpayer who questions these practices--maybe procedures need to be reviewed)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Are solutions near?

City Manager/ Mayor:

Interesting approach to Police deployment is the new program that Chief Kerns announced called data-led policing. How will the results be measured as to the success of this and any new program that results from the Chief's task force. That should be the first question that the media and Council ask--"How will we measure success of the program?"

Below City Manager and Mayor please find more quotes from frustrated and concerned citizens of Eugene about our downtown condition and crime in Eugene. These folks are wanting you to do the job you were given to protect our citizenry. We all have been waiting for Chief Kern's Task Force to complete their review. Now that the study (again) of the downtown matter has been completed what will be the course of action next and how will we know if it is successful or not? Hopefully that is not another study group to study the task forces results. EugeneAdvocates has projected many potential solutions and yet none have been acted on, studied or implemented. Why not? How do the recommendations of the Chief's Task Force vary and where can one find them?

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City


"Why would the mayor care about who you are when she can simply walk outside and verify exactly what you were saying? I could understand if it was a complaint that couldn't be substantiated because it was his word against hers. But really, anyone can walk over into the downtown area and see examples of what you guys are talking about."

(signed by a another concern citizen and taxpayer)


"Get rid of politicians who cater to the vocal minority! Okay okay, I know that's a pipe dream the next election all of us need to show our support, volunteering or donating money to get someone in office that isn't afraid to do the right thing."

(signed by a frustrated citizen and taxpayer)


"The reason government doesn't have any money is because they are wasteful. I cannot believe the money that is thrown away by the city, or at least not prioritized in times like these. In a time of recession when this city's crime stats are leading the nation, why are we spending money on things like:

-Paying someone to water flowers downtown.

-Street Sweeping during summer months (I often see the streetsweeper cleaning streets that are already clean). They do it "just because"

-Building a skate park

-The Police Department use to bid out police car work to local mechanics. Did you know the police department pays the city $1200 a month, to Public Works Vehicle maintenance, for every police car they have? Some of that is for replacement cost, but the rest is just in case the car might need work. Where does that money go.

-Does the police department really need all those substations? The public thinks they are getting better service because they have a station in their community, but the fact of the matter is that officers are assigned certain areas, and they are going to be in that area whether there is a substation or not. That has to cost a million dollars or more if you count staff. Do we really need all those people working in those substations? No. It just makes people feel good.

-I wonder how much it cost for those new parking meters that take credit cards? How much does the city make on parking as opposed to wages/benefitsof the people writing the tickets, vehicle maintenance costs/judges?

-Downtown needs a loitering law"

(signed by a downtown employee and concerned citizen)


"I need to point out that I don't live in Eugene. Eugene is a beautiful city, but I wouldn't EVER raise my kids here in the condition it's in."

(signed by a parent who is concerned for their childrens' environment)


"Unfortunately many of the people who hang out around the Mission, do not stay there at night because they don't like the "rules".. In an earlier e-mail, I forgot to mention St. Vincent de Paul as another resource for the homeless. They have a multitude of resources. But the ones who don't want to abide by the rules, don't have anyone stopping them from committing crimes.

Mayor Piercy should be ashamed. An anonymous group pointing out the MAJOR problems downtown is besides the point. ANYONE can go down there at any time of the day or not and see that your group is NOT exaggerating. In fact, they would probably find it much worse than what you've described. Piercy is merely using your anonymity as a means to deflect from the problem she doesn't want to deal with."

(signed by a tax payer and concerned citizen)


"One key observation from people who attended(the public safety work session) and I've spoke with is they were unaware of how bad key members of the council really are. There's a lesson to be learned but first one must experience the circus."

(signed by a frustrated business owner and tax payer)


"This city is divided. In any normal city, most of the citizens are like-minded. Take Springfield for example. The vast majority of it's citizens are conservative. In Portland,the majority of citizens are liberal. Each city usually leans one way or the other. In Eugene, we have a divided community. This happens in most University towns. 1/3 of Eugene is staunchly liberal, 1/3 very conservative, and there is 1/3 that go either way depending on the issue, but they lean more liberally. That is a problem. Why? We can't ever get anything done without pissing off 40-50 percent of the population. We don't stand united on almost ANY issue. In cities like Springfield, a great majority of the population think alike and their city runs more smoothly. In most years the council is divided this way too, but more often than not, there are a great amount of city councilors who cater to the vocal minority."

(signed by an observant downtown citizen)


Referring to the latest crime statistics comparing cities in Oregon a concerned citizen and taxpayer writes:

And let’s just bet that Mayor Kitty’s response will be, “Well, at least we’re not Gresham. *They* really suck!”

(signed by a concerned citizen who sees a pattern)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Did you hear the latest?

So all we see downtown and has been documented is ok with the Mayor, City Manager, City Council, and the Police but a random act of kindness is not. Is this part of the disconnect we have been speaking about. Mayor, how did you respond to the citizen who said:

"Dear Mayor Piercy, I was absolutely OUTRAGED to arrive home from my job this evening and hear about the 6 pm news story regarding the arrest of a man commiting random acts of kindness by updating his fellow Eugenians parking meters. My significant other and I are both EXCEEDINGLY ANGRY!!!!!! All that matters is the hungry meters are kept fed, not who feeds them.

The fact that a meter maid cited him and then called police after he rebelled and had him arrested just goes to show myself , my partner and many scores of others that these parking meters are all about making the city a buck. You wonder why downtown is dead... DUH , BIG RED TRUCK.... Who wants to be a slave to a parking meter and stress about a ticket? Downtown is made unapproachable by these parking meters. We will not frequent a downtown we already support through our property taxes, by being forced to pay or be penalized with a ticket! People conducting business or pleasure cannot always make it back in time to re-feed the meter.

That Gentleman was only being kind and thoughtful... these are the virtues that once reigned in Eugene... AND NOW EUGENE OFFICIALS ARE PUNISHING PEOPLE FOR KIND GESTURES. I bought a home here because Eugene used to represent, diversity, equality, mutual respect, and warmth. I am ASHAMED.. the meters were kept paid! The meter maid was upset by this was she, WELL THAT ONLY PROVES THE CITY WANTS TO TICKET THE CITIZENS AND MAKE MORE MONEY OFF OF US. Then to have police come and arrest this man.

I think the entire police department, and meter maid, and her superior, and you as the Mayor, and all other officials who made this attitude and arrest legal for such actions on behalf of the thoughtful Eugenian, should be reprimanded, and should make a formal and public apology to this man and to all of us OUTRAGED citizens. And while you are at it. TAKE THE STINKING PARKING METERS OUT OF DOWN TOWN, FIRE THE METER MAIDS, HIRE SOME EXTRA POLICE FOR THE PUNKS RUNNING AMOK DOWN TOWN THAT SHOULD BE ARRESTED, AND THEN, HOW ABOUT A NICE FEATURE STORY ABOUT THE GENEROSITY OF THE METER FEEDING MAN AND HIS RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS WHICH SHOULD BE APPLAUDED AND APPRECIATED NOT PUNISHED!!!!!


SIGN ME ONE ANGRY HOMEOWNER!!!!! (concerned citizen) ______________________________

Not only was the action by the meter maid incorrect but it was elevated to new heights by the police department and now seems to be condoned by our Mayor with her no comment. We have many problems downtown and this is not one of them. When can we expect to see the Mayor, City Manager, City Council and Police Department turn their attention with such enthusiasm toward the major problems of downtown.We don't need more words just more action like Mr. Bond encountered only with the real law breakers downtown.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Monday, January 11, 2010

Any Progress?


Is there any interim progress to report from this distinguished committee? How many meetings have they had and what have they identified as their goal? Each day we continue to suffer crime at rising rates. When will their committee have their final report? How will they measure the success of their program???

On a separate note what is the result of the Police Chief's task force which completed their last meetings in 2009? When can we expect their report and implementation of their suggested solutions? How will we measure their program success?

It would seem we have had input from several other citizen committees. When will we start seeing the results with a lower crime rate??? PUBLIC SAFETY IS THE NUMBER ONE GOAL FOR REDUCTION OF CRIME IN EUGENE!!!!!!!!!!!!

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

P.S. What has our local media discovered in all these citizen gatherings including the Downtown Safety committee???

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year Calls For New Solutions


This article will open your eyes. Oregon is less safe than New York and Lane County and Eugene lead the way to the highest crime rates in Oregon. Scary. When will the Mayor and City Council take actions to stop our rising crime rates. The City Manager is not apparently doing anything to help by implementing any suggested solutions or coming up with his own solutions. What is happening and when will the media publish a report of actions to be taken. The media holds the key to success of a clean up program and hopefully will step forward soon to explain to all the citizens of Eugene as to what will be implemented. Maybe the Mayor for all of Eugene can shed some light on what she expects?? 2010 should be the year to stop our crime growth and clean up Eugene.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Red Hats On Patrol


What progress is being made on delegation of citation authority to others to help the eugene police department with the downtown clean up of crime?

When will the media make an investigative report on the completed police chief report and findings and more importantly the implimentation of some corrective actions