Archive for the ‘Staff’ Category
In case you didn’t notice, it’s official: Eugene really is 150 this year.
Here’s the story. In 2011, the Oregon Blue Book changed Eugene’s official birthday from 1862 to 1864. This change took effect with the 2011-12 edition. Unaware of this, Kitty Piercy’s January State of the City announced Eugene’s 150th birthday, Sesquicentennial, for this year. Her mistake was quickly noted by local observers.
The controversy is described here.
Historian Rick Lindholm convinced the Blue Book to change.
Thanks to new research next year’s Blue Book, the 2013-14 edition, will go back to the October 17, 1862 date.
The Register Guard published a special section on Eugene’s Sesquicentennial.
Disclosure: Rick Lindholm’s firm sponsors this blog.
Poor Kitty Piercy, the people who know her back in the day don’t seem to like her anymore. That’s because her original political home was in North Eugene. One thing that’s often forgotten is that Kitty Piercy’s old house district covered northwest Eugene. Piercy started her political career there. She became the House Democratic Leader and one of the most important legislators in the state.
The old House District 39 was primarily a Bethel-Danebo and River Road and Santa Clara district. The portion of her district in Eugene is primarily what is now wards 6 and 7. Bethel-Danebo is basically Ward 6. River Road and Santa Clara are mostly either Ward 7 or unincorporated. Some is in Ward 5.
This year she actually lost Ward 6 and did below her citywide average in Ward 7. She also did poorly in Ward 5. Most of Ward 5, though, was in the old House 41 and not in her district. She didn’t do that well in any of these areas in 2008 either.
A lot of this is just due to changing population patterns. Even more, though, is due to the differences between partisan and nonpartisan voting in Eugene and Lane County.
As seen in the latest report from the Lane County Sheriff’s office, we are still seeing a shockingly high release of inmates due to the lack of funding for the jail.
Just in the last two weeks noted, we have seen roughly 200 prisoners released due to lack of space. As noted in the report, one inmate that was released due to lack of space was convicted of Strangulation Felony, Contempt of Court, Assault 4, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Interfering with Making a Police Report.
In the aftermath of the November 6 election, its important to remember how much stays the same.
Political observers in Lane County had better remember one thing about Lane County’s non-partisan politics: The county ain’t the city.
It’s fair to point out that nonpartisan candidates in recent years have had unofficial labels. The contest have been between progressive candidates (Piercy, Fleenor, Rust, Riggs, and Handy) and pro-business candidates (Torrey, Morrison, Bozievich, Leiken, Green and Farr).
The election results are reasonably consistent along these lines. Pro-business candidates will hold four of the five county commission spots come January.
Eugene-style progressive candidates have a much tougher time in the county. Jay Bozievich’s victory over Jerry Rust, Sid Leiken’s win over Pat Riggs, and Faye Stewart’s lack of any strong challenger at all are testimony to this advantage. The county board and Springfield’s city council are both much more business friendly than Eugene’s city council and mayor.
Nevertheless, Eugene is not monolithic. Polling consistently shows about half of Eugeneans approve of and like Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy’s. That reflects the evenly divided city council. South Eugene, not North Eugene, is Kitty Piercy’s and the progressives’ base. The 2008 Eugene Mayoral results demonstrate this.
In recent years, progressive county board candidates running outside of South Eugene, when they win like Fleenor and Handy did, have only been able to hold their seats for one term.
One way to see the gap between Eugene and the rest of the county is to take a Eugene matchup and move it into the county as a whole. Polling consistently shows a huge countywide gap between Kitty Piercy and Jim Torrey. Torrey has an absolutely massive lead countywide despite having a much lower Name ID.
Though the rest of the nation might or might not be undergoing a political realignment, Lane County is unlikely to be affected. Candidates running under the “progressive” banner outside of Eugene are going to have a tough time against candidates running under the “pro-business” banner.
In 2014, the East Lane (Stewart), Springfield (Leiken), and West Lane (Bozievich) county commission districts will be up for election.
Recent polling shows a strong support from Eugeneans on selling water to Veneta. The support has remained steady throughout the polling period.
Pat Farr is the first pro-business challenger to defeat a progressive county commission incumbent running for re-election in Lane County in more than a quarter century. That last time was in 1986 when Ellie Dumdi defeated Chuck Ivey in the West Lane District.
Recent polling shows a strong disapproval rating on the job Lane County Commissioners are viewed as doing. Currently 62% of Eugeneans rate the job the Board is doing as poor.
Similar to the Lane County Board of Commissioners, the Eugene City Council faces a daunting 63% disapproval rating. The Council has fared a bit better than the Board of Commissioners on the approval rating, carrying a 33% currently.
Below is the Lane County Sheriff’s Monthly report. This report highlights current public safety information as well as an article written by Chief Deputy Doug Hooley in regards to the value of a Corrections Officer. It also contains important information about the current financial situation the Sheriff’s office is facing as well as the recent release of inmates.