North Eugene County Commission discussion at City Club involved talk of the Human Services Commission. by Pat FarrMonday, April 16th, 2012
I had a debate with Rob Handy and Nadia Sindi on Thursday April 12 at a special meeting of the Eugene City Club held at Trinity Methodist Church on Maxwell Road in North Eugene.
The format is not exactly debate: the other two and I only had about six minutes to ask questions of each other, the rest of the time being spent responding to questions from the mediator or the audience. Still it was a good opportunity to air some issues.
(I would welcome a Lincoln-Douglas debate format which involves direct discussion and questioning of one another by the debaters.)
I took time to talk about issues such as public safety, water rights, environment and human services. The others spent some of their time tossing remarks at their competitors. Nadia, for instance, spent a lot of time talking about ethics and secret meetings while looking at Handy, who spent a lot of time talking about my “ultra-conservative” leanings.
Nadia’s comments seemed to be an accurate reflection of what has been reported often in the media while Handy’s seemed more of a rant, at one point suggesting falsely that I had received contributions from a source that had not contributed to my campaign. Such is campaigning for some.
One point I wanted to make was that the Human Services Commission is conducting a “Thriving Communities Summit on April 24 at the U of O Ford Alumni Center Ballroom. Follow this link for more details. It will be a gathering of more than a hundred engaged men and women from the community to see how we can meet the challenge of building a healthy, prosperous, safe and educated Lane County based on our collective strengths and efforts. My wife Debi Farr and I are among the invited participants.
There are three stated purposes of the Summit:
1. Explore ways for organizations bo build a thriving community together.
2. Strategize how to leverage recent community innovations to meet current and future challenges, and,
3. Learn about successful efforts that have made a difference in the quality of life for many local residents.
It’s a four-hour round-table that will actively engage the delegates who represent local business, education, government and human services.
When I spoke of my participation in the planning effort, Handy unfortunately disdained it, saying that he had been involved with the Human Services Commission since he took office about three years ago while I had recently become involved in human services “Just in time for the election.”
The audience largely sniggered, most of them knowing about my decades of work with hunger, shelter and education .
I fell into the spirit of the debate for a moment by letting Handy know, it seems for the first time, that Mayor Ruth Bascom first appointed me to the Commission 17 years ago.
You can listen to an hour of the City Club discussion on KLCC tonight (April 16) at 6 pm. You can listen to the audio archive of the discussion here.
For more about the election go here.