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