Fast Food Only Restaurant Tax Ballot Test

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Would you support the restaurant tax if fast food restaurants were exempted?

For complete poll results, click here.

Restaurant Tax Ballot Test

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Do you support or oppose a City of Eugene restaurant tax to make up the revenue shortfall?

For complete poll results, click here.

Dealing with Eugene Revenue Shortfall

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Should Eugene increase revenues or cut expenditures to solve the revenue shortfall?

For complete poll results, click here.

Where is Eugene’s Economy Heading?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

In general, do you feel Eugene’s economy is heading in the right direction or do you think things have gotten off on the wrong track?

For complete poll results, click here.

Is Eugene’s Economic Growth Fast Enough?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Do you believe that recent economic growth in Eugene has been too fast, too slow, or just about right?

For complete poll results, click here.

Eugene Budget: Raise Revenue or Cut Expenditures?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Should the city of Eugene increase revenues or cut expenditures to address the $6 million dollar shortfall?

For complete poll results, click here.

Welcome to Oregon: Where Trees Keep Growing. by Pat Farr

Friday, September 20th, 2013

 

Last year I was forced to remove eight cypress trees from my back yard because a spring snow storm had severely damaged the boughs, snapping a lot of them and causing a pretty serious hazard in my yard and my neighbor’s.  It was sad, especially because, in taking out the evergreens, the sub canopy of vine maple had been reduced to stump.  A little over a year later, however, the vine maple has returned to the point that it is nearly eight feet tall, with multiple trunks.  When it loses its leaves this year I will have to prune it fairly extensively.  It seems that trees just want to grow here in Oregon.

Forests keep growing 020316oregon_forest_file403

 

This is a picture of trees doing just that.  It shows at least four stages of harvest and reforesting.  Law requires that if forest land is harvested it has to be replanted in a timely fashion.  My experience is that even if law did not require it, that would happen any way.  Either naturally or by human intervention.  That’s just the way it is.

Compare the facts to an advertisement recently placed in Eugene’s Airport baggage claim area showing a clear-cut hillside and stating “Welcome to Oregon, Home of the Clear Cut.”  The owner of the advertisement proudly offers their website for travelers arriving in Lane County to visit.  (Portland International Airport, by the way, refused to place the ad.)  To see the ad and the related Register-Guard article, click here.

In place of the website offered in the misleading ad, I would offer the following link to see what is really happening in the great forests of our state:  Northwest Oregon State Forests Management Plan.

It includes guiding principles, of which this is number one:

1. The plan will recognize that the goal for management of Board of Forestry Lands is to
secure the greatest permanent value to the citizens of Oregon by providing healthy,
productive, and sustainable forest ecosystems that over time and across the landscape
provide a full range of social, economic, and environmental benefits to the people of
Oregon. The goal for management of Common School Forest Land is the maximization
of income to the Common School Fund over the long term.

Now doesn’t that seem like a plan we can grow with?

Lane County Board of Commissioners will Review the Annual Report on Tourism in Lane County. by Pat Farr

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

 

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has a goal of increasing employment in Lane County using our abundance of natural resources.  Along with forest land, agricultural and food processing opportunities and optimized land use, tourism ranks as one of our greatest assets.

The Eugene Cascades and Coast annual report  will be presented to the Lane County Board of County Commissioners at their Tuesday September 10 regular board meeting.  Travel Lane County recently received $1.7 million in allocation from the county’s transient room tax funds to promote travel and conventions in Lane County.  See the full report by clicking on the link above.

Over the weekend Debi and I traveled the Oregon Coast and spent time in Newport, Florence and on Heceta Beach.

Kelp oasis 0913

 

Yaquina Bay Bridge in the morning mist 0913

Newport Boat Basin 0913 with NOAA

Above are images of the Oregon Coast, a sampling of the attractions from Lincoln and Lane Counties that draw repeat visits and rave reviews, from top to bottom:  a kelp oasis washed ashore during a recent storm; Yaquina Bay Bridge in the early morning fog and on the bottom, Newport’s boat basin showing in the background the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fleet at its home dock on Yaquina Bay.  The Oregon Coast is an understandably popular destination for tourists from all over the world.  While photographing the bridge, above, I stood beside a man from Germany who visits the Oregon Coast annually.

Visits to Oregon often include a tour of coastal counties.  Travel Lane County is doing an increasingly effective job of making certain that Lane County is high on the list of tourist destinations on the west coast of the United States.

The Board of County Commissioners meets at 9 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday September 10,  Click this link to see the full Board of County Commissioners meeting agenda for September 10 2013.

 

Oregon Legislature in 2003 passed the Oregon Transportation Improvement Act of 2003, securing funding for the new Interstate 5 bridge over the Willamette River in Lane County. by Pat Farr

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

 

Whilamut Passage Bridge in Lane County

On Saturday July 26 the Register Guard published an article, “Right on track,” about a ceremony that celebrated the upcoming opening of the Whilamut Passage Interstate 5 bridge over the Willamette River in Lane County. What the article and the ceremony failed to detail was the yeoman’s work done by the 2003 Oregon Legislature in securing the method and means to pay for the bridge.

After the 2003 Legislature initialized funding for a massive upgrade of Oregon’s failing bridges by passing House Bill 2041, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) signed a contract with Oregon Bridge Delivery Partners (Oregon BDP), the private-sector firm selected to manage the $1.4 billion state bridge replacement program.  The selection of this particular contractor was based in part on their responses to the criteria listed below.

The Department included in their letter to the Emergency Board the specific actions proposed by Oregon BDP to meet the requirements set by the Legislature in their report. The Bill was written after being worked  by Representative Alan Brown’s (R-Newport) House Interim Committee on Transportation.  Because it was an increase in taxation, it was referred to the House Revenue Committee, chaired by Representative Lane Shetterly (R-Dallas).  House Revenue consisted of Chair Shetterly, Republicans Pat Farr, Vicki Berger, Wayne Scott and Max Williams, and Democrats Joanne Verger, Phil Barnhart, Mark Hass and Elaine Hopson. All Revenue Bills in the Oregon Legislature must pass through the House Revenue Committee.

On June 18 2003, while sitting on the House Revenue Committee I voted to send House Bill 2041 to the floor of the House with a do-pass recommendation. Five days later on June 25 the bill passed the House having received the required three-fifths Constitutional majority.  On July 23, House Bill 2041 came back to the House having taken on small amendments in the Oregon Senate and received final passage. 

Based upon the passage of the bill in the House of Representatives and subsequent passage in the Senate and signature by the Governor, The 2003 Legislature directed the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to contract with the private sector in managing the bridge repair and replacement program and the overall implementation of House Bill 2041 (2003), otherwise known as the Oregon Transportation Investment Act of 2003.

We required the following:

1.  Ease of traffic movement–contracting strategies that keep traffic moving will minimize effects on other industries and the public;

2.  Expedient delivery–quick project delivery will allow freedom of freight movement and ensures that products can be delivered throughout the state; and,

3.  Involvement of Oregon construction firms and employees–the use of Oregon firms and employees, emerging small businesses and minorities will result in economic stimulus that will benefit the state overall.

(many thanks are due to Scott Williams and Hamilton construction for meeting and exceeding these mandates)

This set the wheels in motion for a $1.4 billion dollar edict to replace or repair of hundreds of bridges in Oregon, including the due-to-fail Interstate 5 bridge over the Willamette River . On July 26 2013 I attended the ceremony for the opening of the Whilamut Passage  Interstate 5 bridge over the Willamette River.

I watched from the audience as elected officials who later joined the 2003 Legislature in its efforts toward getting the Whilamut Passage bridge built accepted applause.

Truth in Reporting (who can you trust?) by Pat Farr

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

 

The Eugene Weekly (EW, pronounced “ew”) reported on May 10, 2012 (just days before the primary election pitting Handy against me) that “Commish Handy Sues Opponent Pat Farr.”  That was the headline of a feature story (click here for full story).

On page 11 of today’s (June 13 2013) EW the tab reports on the Envision Eugene process.  Remember that Envision Eugene has already defined such important aspects of Eugene’s future as the amount of land needed for housing (both single family and multi-unit) plus how much industrial land will be needed inside the city’s Urban Growth Boundary to accommodate the projected population growth in the upper Willamette Valley.  It has also determined that no additional land will be needed for commercial development in the near future. See associated Forum Lane articles on Envision Eugene here.

EW states, “we’ve been skeptical about this project…In the past (such) plans  have gathered dust on shelves while developers do whatever they want.”  See the article here. Later on the same page the author writes that new and old restaurants plus new movie theaters have brought the vitality that City Manager Jon Ruiz and downtown businessmen and developers have struggled to revive.  (Doesn’t it seem that the operators of restaurants and movie theaters are in fact downtown businessmen?)

Regarding the May 10 story:  it simply was not the truth, nor was the untrue headline ever retracted.  Handy did not sue me.

Regarding the June 13 stories:  1.  Envision Eugene has already had an effect on the economic vitality of the city and is poised for continued progress, and, 2.  the author seems to both praise and disdain downtown businessmen in the same sentence.

What are we supposed to believe that is printed in the EW?