Each Eugene City Councilor was asked to provide answers to four questions for inclusion in the State of the City Address booklet that was distributed last week at the event. While many more questions would need to be answered to complete any appraisal of the happenings in the City last year and the hopes and projections for this year, here are the questions and the answers as I provided them. The booklet will give you text of each Councilor’s answers.
(If you go to the Topics bar at the right of this column you can click on groups of articles that I and other contributors have written that provide insights, links and comments on issues as they broke throughout the year, example: click on “Envision Eugene” and you will find 17 articles). Follow Forum Lane to connect to breaking news as it unfolds.)
What does service on the Eugene City Council mean to you?
Returning to the Eugene City Council after my service in the Oregon Legislature and as Director of FOOD for Lane County has helped me to ascertain that working side-by-side with my fellow elected officials, rather than head-to-head is my preferred way of serving. The Council is responsible for establishing the policies that affect not only all of us living in Eugene and our visitors but also beyond our boundaries as we establish precedents that are viewed and emulated far abroad. Weighing every issue that comes before me and making judicious resolutions based upon facts not conjecture is essential to rendering judgments that best serve the men women and children of our city.
What are the top 2-3 issues our community faces?
- Without question facilitating ways to provide jobs in Eugene has to be the number one issue. In the depth of this recession land use decisions as plus a functioning and adequate transportation system will be paramount not only in attracting new businesses that will add jobs but making it possible for our home-grown companies to thrive and stay here.
- Maintaining the infrastructure—our roads, utilities, schools, buildings, etc.—is a challenge that will continue to strain our resources.
- Keeping a focus on the third element of the “Triple Bottom Line” (economics, environment and social equity). Social equity is often indefinable and nearly always hard to measure.
What did we accomplish in 2011 that you would like residents of Eugene to know about?
- Envision Eugene. The breadth and depth of the Community Resource Group that spent so many hours drawing a picture of the future of Eugene in terms of economy, environment and social equity.
- Starting to rebuild our city. What had been eyesores in our downtown are becoming potentially vibrant parts of a thriving city center. Much work needs to be done to ensure that the start we have made is followed through upon.
- The start of consolidation of services that will help our metropolitan partnerships use ever dwindling resources to provide ever improving levels of service.
- What are you looking forward to in 2012?
- Establishing policies and practices that will bring jobs to Eugene.
- Revisiting Eugene’s Urban Growth Boundary in a responsible manner.
- Responsive awareness to those in need who live around us. Reestablishing the Council Committee on Homelessness and Youth (or one with a similar charge).
- Working closely with our governmental partners to bring about coordination of services and efficiency of resource use.
Councilor Ward 6