Sunday, February 28, 2010

State Of Our City and County

More information on the state of our City and County.....

How much longer will we be without action on behalf of our city council, our mayor for all of eugene, our city manager and our police chief. Doesn't the buck stop with them and how much longer will they allow Our crime rate to continue to grow. Please press on your elected Representatives individually to take action to lower our crime rate in Eugene and lane county. Public safety should be our number one Priority.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Great job and timely article. No wonder it seems like we have a problem—we DO!

(signed by a business owner and tax payer)

Response from CIty of Eugene:

This note responds to your recent email to Margaret Harter for information from the City of Eugene.

You have asked for information regarding the Downtown Safety Committee. We believe you may be referring to the Downtown Safety Council. This group was formed shortly after the LTD station was built and began providing the physical space for the Downtown Public Safety Station (exact date unknown). The Downtown Safety Council included members of the public, businesses, library staff, LTD staff, social service agencies, Police and Parole and Probation officers. The group met monthly with the goal of creating the opportunity for the various stakeholders to share information about downtown concerns and to work mutually to create solutions to problems. This was an opportunity for two-way communication between law enforcement and interested stakeholders. In March 2009, when the downtown station closed, Police no longer coordinated the group. Two groups now exist: the Downtown Safety and Security Network is coordinated by the City through the Planning and Development Department and the City's Parking Structures/Facilities program. This group brings together various security firms and some law enforcement representatives also attend. The second group retained the name of the Downtown Safety Council. Notes and announcements for this group are coordinated by Mary Leighton, Network Charter School. This group is not advisory to the city.

Also, in response to your earlier email regarding Eugene Police Department vehicles, staff has prepared the following information:

Vehicle information The monthly rates cover costs for fuel, insurance, parts and materials, routine maintenance, all repairs and accident related repairs and replacements. Monthly vehicle rates are established based upon the class category of the vehicle. The rates are determined by the overall experience (from previous years) associated with that that specific vehicle class. The following list shows the FY10 class categories, the monthly cost for that category and the number of vehicles for that class within the EPD inventory:

Vehicle Class: Rate per Month x Number of EPD Vehicles
Sedans: $292 x 12
Sedans - Gas/Electric: $152 x 13
Patrol Sedans: $1,451 x 46
Vans - Mini: $307 x 10
Van ¾ Ton: $371 x 2
PU ½ Ton: $210 x 2
PU 4WD: $360 x 7
SUV: $386 x 6
SUV Patrol: $857 x 12
SUV - Gas/Electric: $166 x 8
Motorcycle: $375 x 9
Explosive Devices Bomb Truck: $375 x 1
SWAT Truck: $337 x 1
Armored Truck: $346 x 1
Command Bus: $937 x 1
Misc. Vehicles: $100 or less x 17

Total All Classes of Vehicles = 200

I understand that Finance staff previously provided a link to the City's website regarding the Budget Committee. I include it again here for your convenience:

If you have additional information requests, please direct them to: Beth Forrest, Acting City Recorder, or at 777 Pearl St., Room 105, Eugene, OR 97401. Consistent with State Public Records Law and the City's fee order for public records requests, this will allow us to determine if the requested information is contained in an existing public record and, if so, provide an estimate of the time and fees for searching for and making copies of the public records. (Public records request form is attached.)

Thank you, Beth Forrest Acting City Recorder

" I had no idea that things are as bad as these pictures so graphically illustrate. It is hard to believe that things have gravited to the place they are. But when I look at the individuals who comprise the majority of our Eugene City Council, I can see how it might have evolved, and the fact that there is no energy, or the backbone to take the necessary 7 steps to deal with the problem, then handle the pushback that would be certain to test the resolve of everyone involved including police, city staff and elected officials.

If, like us you were to spend a great deal of time away, and travel downtown very little, only basically hear about problems, often in vague terms, this email strikes hard.

Thanks for sharing" (signed by a retired citizen and tax payer who recently viewed the EugeneAdvocates web site)

"If you read the latest edition of Open For Business published by the Eugene Chamber of Commerce there is no problem down town, and if there is it is being handled? Get a copy, it's very interesting."

(signed by a Eugene resident and tax payer)

"Wow—interesting. But don’t discount the value of all those social services we provide. They’ve got to count for some sort of offsetting credit!"

(signed by business owner and tax payer)

" ...the weather has been so crappy (and in earnest, too) the bums have probably been reluctant to try to sleep in the cold and the wet."

(signed by a downtown worker and taxpayer)

"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 Measure 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"

Friday, February 26, 2010

Malt Liquor Sales Ban

KVAL asks questions on the Task Force solutions:

Should malt liquor sales be banned in Eugene? Eugenean's comments:

How many ways can I say no? How about we enforce the laws we already have? Do something about the homeless problem? So, if we take away the cheap, high content beer, that's really going to stop people from drinking? Hardly. Are we going to ban cheap wine? PBR? One of the cheapest beers on the market? Take all the cheep alcohol out of the liquor stores? Let's just go back to prohibition. That worked really well. Let's just ban everything we don't like. You can't by spray paint without getting carded, did that do anything to curb the graffiti issues? We made stupid laws regarding the purchase of cold medicine to stop meth. That worked really well for us now didn't it?

The problem is an out of control non-local homeless-by-choice population Eugene has become a 5-Star destination to.

I live in a nice neighborhood where the homeowners take pride in their community, however we have a "mini-mart" just down the street and due to the fact that they knowingly sell alcohol to the homeless in the area we have a corner that is overrun with bums. I can look out my kitchen window and see a small herd of homeless people sharing paper covered cans, day and night. The availability of the cheap malt liquor is going to determine where they are going to hang out.

Make and/or ENFORCE laws regarding vagrancy, illegal camping, panhandling, public intoxication, etc. in Lane County and start addressing the problem at its root.

If you would like to see more on this subject please go to:

While the solutions are not perfect it is a start and will need the budget committee to endorse it with their support of funding for Public Safety.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Monday, February 22, 2010

Businesses Need Customers

Business won't move in if it they don't have customers--customers won't come...

The Eugene Police Department has instituted a computer reporting system for non-emergency crimes. It can be found on the web site listed below. Please go online and see what it covers and how it works. It appears that this is a way to record crime in your area but may not result in action by the Eugene Police Dept. Time will tell. It does provide the Eugene Police with another data base to help pin point crime spots. So if you witnessed any of the following what should you do. According to this you will file a report instead of calling the police department.

Select Incident Type There are several different incident types that can be entered using the internet. Please select one from the list below and continue. If the incident you are reporting has a known suspect, you should instead call us at 541-682-5111.

Incident Type Definition Examples
Anonymous Drug Tip LineTo make an anonymous report on a crime you have witnessed involving drugs.For example, if you saw someone selling drugs, perhaps near a school, the library or downtown.
Anonymous Tip LineTo make an anonymous report on a crime you have witnessed.Have you observed an accident, theft, someone breaking into your neighbor's home or car, someone breaking windows of a business or other criminal behaviors, that are not drug related?
GraffitiThe act of changing, modifying or defacing public or private property by using paint or spray paint.Spray painted names on walls, unauthorized murals on property belonging to someone other than the person who painted the mural, etc.
Theft of BicycleYour bicycle is taken without your permission.The bicycle is known to be stolen and missing may be reported. Lost or misplaced bicycles are not a theft.
VandalismThe act of changing, modifying or defacing public or private property.Knocking over mail boxes, throwing rocks through windows, etc.

Click on this Eugene Police Department website for more information and to report non-emergency crimes:

According to this if you see someone breaking into your neighbors house you are to sit down at your computer and file a report. Same applies if you see someone selling drugs near your childs school.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Letter to the Mayor:

"Clearly something needs to be done with downtown Eugene and safety. Last week I was downtown to purchase a new pair of shoes and have lunch with a friend. I was with my 3 y/o granddaughter--Broadway and Willamette in the center of town. As I was pushing her in the carriage to the shoe store I witnesses a person who had wet himself obviously a menace--talking to two young ladies asking them for money--in the middle of the day. He had wet himself which was apparent by the looks of his clothing---this was prior to lunch so it was early in the day. Not only do I not want to see this kind of display I do not want my granddaughter seeing it and growing up in this kind of environment Public safety needs to be a priority! Laws need to be enforced. Please provide funds for public safety so that I can go downtown and enjoy our city and please please clean up down town Eugene for my grandchildren."

(signed by a concerned taxpaying Grandparent)

Mayors Response:

"While what you describe may be distasteful,it is not illegal for someone to wet himself. No officer can arrest someone for that. We will continue to work on cleaning up downtown and for social service solutions to social service problems. This sounds like a mental health issue. Mayor Piercy"

Response from Grandparent to the Mayor:

" Kitty--in my mind you just don't get it. I am asking for the current laws to be enforced.

I was a Social Worker by profession and worked with down and out persons with "mental health issues" and "distasteful" things and behaviors, as you probably know. I am familiar with special needs I am not new to troubled folks and that is not what I would like addressed. My heart too is in the right place just as yours is--but there are mental health issues and there are laws. I would like to see the laws enforced rather than overlooked. I grew up here as did many generations of my family we were pioneers here--1842. Never have I seen or heard of so many laws being broken and property being damaged. I would like to see a town to be proud of. I would like to be able to take my grandchildren to see the sights of town just as I did not an occasional band or group preforming from time to time. Every time I go down there I get hit up for money or something by someone--- and I see the damage that has been done to buildings--no stores to speak of--I am not unique others see it too. Please look carefully at putting more law enforcement folks in town and clean it up. If we could just enforce toe current laws it would be helpful. Maybe then business will want to come back to town. Please consider my plea in the current budget process. Thank you for your time."

(signed by a concerned Grandparent)

Mayorial Response to the Grandparents of Eugene:

We all want the current laws enforced. That is not what you were discussing in your e-mail. I would have to see real stats regarding whether this is worse than it has ever been. I am certainly aware of that the problem exists. I am proud of our city and all the work so many do on so many fronts. I too am downtown regularly and I see some things I don’t like. I have never felt threatened nor been badly treated. I understand others have had a different experiences. We have been and are looking at more law enforcement, increased social services and development and we all believe it is the combination that will finally make the difference. I do not underestimate the problem or the challenge but neither do I overestimate. I see the reality and we are trying hard to deal with it, even in this recession and with our budgetary restraints. Kitty

Response from the Grandparent who "gets it" to the Mayor for all Eugene:

" Kitty--to start off right I would like to ask you not to scold me or correct my paper we are both adults and I would really like you to be the "Mayor to all of the people"--not just those who support your views.

Like I said in my last email my family has been here since the 1800's---I love this city which is why it breaks my heart to see it in it's current state. My family and many others refuse to go near downtown. They do not feel safe and are accosted each time they go near downtown. We have laws why can't they be enforced?

As far as social services go--we have many-- As the presenter at a workshop I attended recently stated "if you are an addict Lane CTY is a good place to be." Many of the folks that hang around downtown use the existing social services and still beg and break the law-- many choose not to follow the regulations required to receive the the social services-- I don't think they work that well. ( My opinion) I have been attending a workshop at SHMC Campus branch on addiction. Some really good things have come out of it. 1) which hasn't changed in years--most ( 70 to 85%) relapse 2)--it ruins families and friends 3) it is very expensive and frankly I do not think we have the dollars for it. 4) Alcohol is where it usually starts and with teens. As a result most on the street do not seek out treatment. Law states that the person seeking treatment has to do it of his/her own behalf-- they can not be forced. It is only successful if the person buys into treatment. They have to want treatment. So-- the question is what would be the social services you are talking about?

My question is simple--when are we going to clean up Eugene and enforce the current laws already on the books. Business won't move in if it they don't have customers--customers won't come downtown if it isn't safe. Please consider this when working on the budget".

(signed by a Grandparent concerned about Downtown condition and Law Breakers)

"The reputation of a police department in any given community is what insures a safe environment. New York PD is a good an example of effective.

Criminals migrate to regions where police departments are micro-managed and handcuffed by vocal minorities and city government. When Police can only bark and not bite, and the criminal justice system is not capable of delivering punishment that is detrimental from a violator’s perspective, you have a failed system. From a victim’s perspective, these elementary facts are easier to comprehend. Criminals do communicate and I’ll use Al Qaeda as an efficient example.

Until city government, the vocal minority, and local media quit condemning law enforcement and allow them to utilize their core training, this community’s reputation and safety will continue to erode at its’ already alarming rate."

(submitted by a taxpayer and voter)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Taxpayer Comments


"There is just one conclusion we can draw from these pictures and others like them: this is the kind of city Kitty Pearcy and most of the city government wants. They don't care about businesses and building a tax base. People drinking, sleeping and defecating on sidewalks? Fine with them. Unlicensed dogs pooping in front of stores? Fine.

Kitty and her ilk see these people (maybe the dogs, too) as victims of an unjust society. We are spinning our wheels trying to get them to improve Eugene.

Kitty and her colleagues will use public funds to build bike paths and create programs that act as magnets for the homeless. Our efforts are better spent electing people who will solve the problem than trying to get Kitty and crew to change their minds."

(signed by a taxpayer expressing their thoughts)

"Well according to Open For Business magazine from the Chamber of Commerce everything is under control downtown !"

(how true is it that neither the Chamber of Commerce or the Lane Metro. Partnership do not hold the city responsible for downtown but seemly condone what occurs downtown.)

"I want to mention to you and your group that I think we are just getting more of the same old “feel good ideas” from the Chief of Police with his recent recommendations for dealing with Downtown public safety issues. His so called immediate or short term ideas are for the most part more of the same ideas we have been trying for the last few years and will do nothing but continue to move our problem people around downtown.

The real issue and highest priority should be more jail beds. Please read my attached to the Editor. I have been involved with these street issues for over 10 years and every cop on the street will tell you the same thing that we must have jail beds available to get the offenders off the street. Currently there is not room for downtown offenders, even with the additional 84 bed from the county this summer there is only room for the most serious crimes. Downtown offenders are only warned or arrested and released a few hours later. The Chief only recommends an additional 10 jail beds to house downtown offenders as a possible long-term idea, in other words in a few years or never.

I asked Chief Kerns directly at a Chamber Breakfast last Friday about this issue and he had no real answers except that his recommendations would make a big difference. In the same meeting the police department admitted that the vast majority of the downtown crime are committed by the same 10 to 15 people. Would it not seem logical that to be able to get these people off the street and locked up, until there trial, would reduce the crime rate considerably.

Please don’t be fooled by such suggestions of an exclusion zone for repeat offenders or limiting the downtown sale of beverages with high alcohol content( two of the Chief’s recommendations). This just pushes these problems into the nearby neighborhoods where it is even harder to deal with them.

Common sense tells us that without jail beds there are no consequences for bad behavior, we cannot keep repeat offenders off the street, we cannot keep drug addicts and alcoholics long enough for detoxing. We just keep moving these people around from Broadway to the Library to the bus depot to the nearby neighborhoods and back to Broadway.

I am one of your groups biggest fans and I applaud you for bringing attention to the downtown problems. I know it is easy to feel like the battle is won now that the Chief and hopefully the City Council is taking notice, but none of these recommendations will do much good without at least the 10 additional jail beds."

(signed by a concerned taxpaying citizen)

"Technically the real and most effective means of resolving downtown issues is putting more cops with attitude on the streets.

Source of least resistance theory. If the people fear them, ie: knowing they'll get smacked down if they give them lip service, etc. That's how it works in Springtuckey, and the cost is minimal.

How that happens in our current environment is the challenge." (opinion of a resident and taxpayer)

"Hello Eugene Advocates, PLEASE consider this anonymously submitted, but in case anyone wants to document this, I noticed today in one of the park blocks (the one without the fountain, the eastern-most block, towards the north end of it) just east of the stone wall, that there was a syringe - look for an orange cap - and a spoon not far from each other in the dirt). Pretty sad. Thought you might want to know."

(signed by a concerned taxpayer)

Wed, 17 Feb 2010 00:36:39 EST

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Other Reasons to Take Action

Maybe other good reasons to take action now to clean up Eugene.....

"Wow, that's quite the compilation of disgusting downtown photos. This could be a solution to our density issues. Any normal person that stumbles across this website while Googling Eugene will think twice. Maybe this will even scare off some those wealthy college parents to such an extent they'll choose other cities and other colleges.

I totally agree that the downtown is sad, the library stinks of BO, and the mayor is generally useless, but I'm concerned about advertising a visually negative image of our community to the whole world.

The biggest thing that would help downtown in my opinion is getting rid of Urban Renewal District. The URD has historically failed and done nothing other than artificially inflate real estate values in an area that doesn't deserve it. A good example of what can happen if the city wasn't always sitting around picking the downtown scab is what is currently happening on Blair. You have an area that the city has neglected, prices were low, and now true capitalism is flourishing. The same thing could happen on Broadway if the city would stop meddling.

Just my two cents..."

(signed by a citizen who has a genuine concern for the condition downtown)

"I should point out that line workers often provide their supervisors with clever programs that could save the city/county money, but nobody tends to listen.

To give you an example, I heard of this program being implemented by another city as a cost-saving measure. This city decided they wanted to save money on overnight training where travel and housing expenses were rising. Eugene has a huge training budget. What this city did was they started a program where a worker could earn money by helping the city save money on travel/hotel expenses. If the city gave him/her $100 a night for motel, and $20 a day for food, he could earn half of the money he saved. For example, if he found a cheaper motel on his own, or even found a friend who lived in the area to stay with, the worker would get 50 percent of the savings and the city would get the rest. If I'm staying for three nights at $100 a night, and I stay with a friend, the city just saved $150.00 just for that one employee. Often times multiple employees are sent to training at the same time. If I went out to eat at McDonalds and only spent half of my meal stipend, the city gets half of that back as well (providing receipts of course). This is just one example that came to my mind, but I have heard of many great plans, brought up by line workers, who were just ignored because we don't have anyone in place to help us implement these plans. Supervisors are either too busy with their normal duties, or just don't care. I'm not speaking about any department specifically, but all of them. Another example would be motion sensors in rooms/bathrooms etc. that don't have people in them 24/7. Bathroom lights stay on all day long in most city buildings. How much would it cost to put a motion sensor in there to turn the lights off when no one was inside? The ides are endless and we could literally save hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions. There are many many great ideas, but no one to bring them to get them implemented."

(signed by a concerned citizen with a good idea)

"The people downtown can throw their ticket in the trash, not show up in court, and they will not spend very much time in jail. Maybe and hour or two. Long enough to book them in and the jail to let them out the back door. The people on the street have come to the realization they can get away with anything because we don't have the jail resources to punish them.

Go back to Rudy Guiliani's reign in New York. He brought crime stastistics WAY down just by creating jail space and arresting criminals for outstanding cases. Simple as that.

Get the politicians, city and county, to stop spending money on BS things and fund the jail and your problem will go away."

(signed by a concerned citizen with their views)

"Way to stay on this! Keep it up."

(signed by a previous person who posted)

Another suggestion from a concerned Eugene business person and citizen regarding the budgeting process and where to look for savings:

"Fire department vehicle$ City staff Prius' Metermaid dept. expense vs. Revenue. Taylor's actual travel expense.

Look for the less obvious categories, there are probably a large number that add up to even larger numbers. Pennys to dollars cliche."

Monday, February 8, 2010

City Council Work Session

City Council Work Session on Public Safety Funding..

It is our understanding that the City Manager will be announcing a new funding program for Public Safety to fund the long term goals of Chief Kerns including the additional 10 jail beds on Wednesday, February 10, 2010,at noon, in the McNutt Room of the City Hall. We encourage you to attend to support the forward motion of the Council and City Manager in the Clean Up of Downtown. Hopefully, we will not be disappointed and hopefully the proposal will be specific and have specific dates for accomplishment of this portion of the project along with a measurement system to determine success. These were lacking in the short term proposals and hopefully the Council will address those matters with both the short term and long term proposals.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City
Mon, 8 Feb 2010 16:57:07 EST

Sunday, February 7, 2010

To the Eugene Budget Committee

Thoughts for the Budget Committee to Ponder while setting budget priorities....

Members of the Budget Committee:

Our Web site ( and blog ( graphically illustrate and describe the problem in Eugene which is Public Safety. We hope that you will set your priorities to properly fund Public Safety to help Clean Up Eugene. With a major deficit facing you the safety problem will only grow without funding. Resist the special interest groups and fund what is important to all citizens of Eugene.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Friday, February 5, 2010

Let the Budget Process Begin

Let the Budget Process begin with a goal toward making some tough decisions.....

"Sorry, but I think that $133,333 per officier is a little pricy. I agree something should have been done years ago! What is the total assessed value of the down town corridor in question?


(a concerned citizen and business owner)

"Don't let their words remove the effective pressure that's been brought to bear. Keep the painful pressure on. This is no time to reward good intentions. They've always had good intentions. FOLLOW THROUGH...ADD to the pressure now...don't lessen it! These bureaucratic idiots will stroke you till the cows come home. Their PROMISES mean less than nothing!!!

The only reason they're acting at all, is that citizens have finally had enough, and are making them pay for their foolishness."

(a frustrated citizen and taxpayer)

"Simply put from my perspective funding public safety comes down to:

Common sense

Safety, utilities, and transportation are the backbone of a healthy society.

The neglect over the years and the resulting reputation Eugene has on the West Coast will take years to rebuild.

It needs to start now and aggressively move forward.

Considering there are no budget committee members residing north of the Willamette river something needs to be done to establish balanced and non-biased representation."

(observations and suggestions from a taxpayer and citizen)

Serenity Lane says:

"Although most patients relapse (estimated to be 75-85%), and those with dual diagnosis tend to relapse more frequently, they will get better if they keep coming back for help...treatment works!" "Continue Treatment Despite Relapses."

(question is who should be responsible for payment for these continued services per individual?)

"By the way, I thought I should mention that "Data Led Policing" is just the city getting a new software program and trying to lead people to believe this is something new.

Police Officers have been directing their efforts in areas of high crime for decades. This is nothing new, just a new name and a new software program to get people to shut up about crime problems for a while.

That's my humble opinion. I don't think it's right. We need to be more honest with citizens. Sure this new program might help the Police get the data a little quicker and help to be a little more efficient, but if you don't have the officers to support it, it means nothing.

But it sure sounds good on the news and with the citizens!"

"If I were the Chief of Police, I would tell the citizens this is what we can do with the resources we have. We are happy to continue to provide this level of service. If you want this higher level of service..this is what we need and this is how much it will cost. If not, we will continue doing what we are doing and try to make some modifications to do it more efficiently. But buying a software program and ...well I don't need to go over that again. "

(a concerned citizens' viewpoint)

"To the Eugene Budget Committee

I believe that the first priority of any government is to provide public safety for its citizens. The situation in downtown Eugene that has been publicized over the last few months is an example of what can happen when too little attention is paid to small problems. These small problems that have not been addressed have grown and festered and have become bigger and bigger problems. The crime statistics show Eugene's crime rate is leading Oregon and most of the other similar size cities.

If the goal of the City Government of Eugene is make the downtown area a vibrant and economically important area, then the issues of panhandling, begging, public drunkenness, public urination, unchecked graffiti and the like must be contained.

As a business person I will tell you that investment in an area like downtown Eugene is not a smart move unless these problems are addressed in a meaningful way,. This does not mean lip service.

Solving these problems,of course, will cost money for more police, prosecution and incarceration facilities. I strongly urge that the Budget Committee put significant funding into the cleanup of downtown Eugene."

(a concerned taxpaying citizen)

Did you know that last years City of Eugene budget included approximately $200,000 to feed staff, council, Mayor, and volunteers who chose to meet during the noon lunch hour or during dinner time. That equates to almost two additional police officers to work crime in Eugene. This does not seem to be a prudent use of taxpayers dollars given our current economic crisis. We are hopeful that this years budget committee will be more prudent and will focus on zero based budgeting and that the Council will provide a list of priorities for spending and when the revenues no longer cover the priority list then the remaining expenses are discontinued. Seems simple but the results have not been very positive in the past. Perhaps this Council, this Mayor and this Budget Committee can work harder to make those difficult decisions and that our Safety will be the first priority.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Budgeting Starts This Evening

Budgeting for Eugene starts this evening......

The City of Eugene budget process starts this evening. Sorry for the short notice but we just received it. There is time at 5:30pm to give public testimony. If you support the actions of the Council and Public Safety it would a good time to voice your concerns. Below please find the information.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City

"Attached please find a copy of the City of Eugene Budget Committee packet for the meeting that will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Bascom-Tykeson Room of the Downtown Library. An electronic version of the packet is also available on the City's web site at [].

Citizens are encouraged to express their views on the City budget and funding priorities. Public testimony will be taken at the beginning of the meeting starting at 5:30 pm. Each speaker has up to three minutes to share his or her views on the budget. You may also provide your feedback to the Eugene Budget Committee at [].

The meeting will be televised on MetroTV, Channel 21, and the webcast recording will be available the following business day on the City's website at; however, there will be no live webcast available.

Pavel Gubanikhin
Budget Analyst"

Monday, February 1, 2010

More Open to Business Soon

Eugene may soon be more open to business than in the past......

On January 28th as most of you know the City Council unanimously voted to direct the City Manager Jon Ruiz to enact six short term proposals and to seek funding for six additional long term proposals to help in reducing the crime problem in downtown that has existed for years and to clean up the downtown. A couple of notables about these actions include the fact that the Council and Mayor unanimously demonstrated support to clean up downtown and that they approved some "baby step" actions to help with a long established problem in the downtown area. The recommended short term and long termed action items include the following:

Recommended crime fighting short term ideas:

1. Better coordination with Downtown Eugene Inc.'s red-capped guides, private security firms and parole and probation officers.

2. Develop downtown ordinance to restrict sale of cheap beverages with high alcohol content.

3. Expand use of video cameras to prevent vandalism and other crimes. Cost: $100,000.

4. Develop downtown proposal to assess fees on vacant buildings; include more properties in business improvement district.

5. Review exclusion zone ordinance for possible changes.

6. Downtown work crews for offenders. Cost: $28,000.

Possible long-term ideas:

1. Collaborative public-private approach for downtown security. Cost: $100,000.

2. Hire nine officers to work downtown. Cost: $1.2 million.

3. Add 10 jail beds to house downtown offenders. Cost: $420,000.

4. Develop overnight facility for alcohol/drug abusers. Cost: To be determined.

5. Add lighting. Cost: $100,000.

6. Improve response for people with mental health problems. Cost: $325,000.

We all acknowledge that this has been a very long time in coming but are pleased to see some action on the part of our elected officials and now turning it over to the paid staff to implement. As one resident said," It is about time." We are all excited to see results from the implementation of the short term and eventually the long term solutions identified by Chief of Police Pete Kern's task force. It is nice to see that the studying is over and action can now begin. One resident stated: "They didn't take the handcuffs off the police totally but they gave them the indication that they can do their job."

There is a word of caution however. In order for short term and long term action items to be successful they need to be specific in nature so all understand what is expected and required, they must be date specific (in other words have a specific date when they are to be accomplished), and they must have a measurable result to determine if the action has been successful. The action items did not posses these important items so we can only hope that the Council will review those in their February 10, 2010, work session on public safety to be held at noon on Feb. 10th at the McNutt Room. Time will tell. Until then EugeneAdvocates would like to thank the City Council, the Mayor, the City Manager, the Police Chief, and the Planning Director for taking these courageous steps to help clean up Downtown Eugene. There remain many other non-budget impacting solutions that can be enacted without the Council but this is a "baby step" forward and we will all take it.

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City