Temporary Rest Stops for Homeless Vets Even More Strongly Supported

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Do you support or oppose Lane County providing temporary “rest stops” for homeless veterans?

For complete poll results, click here.

Temporary Rest Stops for Homeless Strongly Supported

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Do you support or oppose Lane County providing temporary “rest stops” for homeless individuals?

For complete poll results, click here.

Vehicle Registration Fee Yes % by Eugene Ward

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

The vehicle registration fee’s “yes” percentage, by Eugene ward, can be seen here.

Vehicle Registration Fee Yes % by Commissioner District

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

The vehicle registration fee’s “yes” percentage, by county commissioner district, can be seen here.

Emergency response in Lane County now has a plan. By Pat Farr

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Lane County logo blue

In mid-July, on a very hot night in 2014, Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner called me—at about 2:30 am—to alert me of an emergency.  Wild fires were burning out of control throughout south and east Lane County and spreading into Douglas, Deschutes and Klamath Counties.

State and Federal elite and emergency fire fighters were being airlifted into our area to risk their lives controlling the conflagration.  They needed a place to assemble.  The place had to be central to the lightning strikes that were causing the fires and had to be accessible to helicopters and large pieces of equipment.  Bunking and sanitation facilities were desired.

Such a place existed: it was the mothballed Lane County Forest Work Camp at Alta, located in the Coast Mountains 35 miles southeast of Eugene.  The Sheriff was asking for my authority to grant access to the county facility.

Of course I said, “Yes,” and the facility was opened and the suppression and control began.  The only problem was:  I did not have the authority statutorily to grant the authority to the Sheriff to open the facility.  I was in violation of law and potentially subject to penalty.

But under the circumstances, of course I had done the right thing.  And maximum resource use happened and the fires were controlled far more quickly than if the camp had remained closed.

Emergencies happen without a plan.  In this case all involved parties praised the decision, but I still acted without authority.

We are currently developing an emergency plan that would delineate absolutely the chain of command in authorizing use of county resources and facilities in case of emerging disasters.

Vehicle Registration Fee Trend and Polling Error Margins

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

The polling trend through election day on Lane County’s Vehicle Registration Fee, with error margins, can be seen here.

Vehicle Registration Fee Trend with Election Results

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

The polling trend through election day on Lane County’s Vehicle Registration Fee can be seen here.

Drought in Lane County? by Pat Farr

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015


Go here to view Lane County Board of Commissioners Agendas and accompanying materials provided for deliberation (dated from current back to 2003) .  (go here  for a guide on how to navigate)

The Lane County Board of Commissioners, after hearing testimony from staff and the State Water Authority has asked the Governor of Oregon to allow for certain provisions in the event of further deepening of the drought occurring currently in Lane County.

While the flow of the McKenzie River, while projecting historical lows, is not in jeopardy, the flow Willamette River (as clearly evident if you drive past Lookout Point Reservoir adjacent to Highway 58, The Willamette Highway) is in immediate danger of being inadequate to provide water to farms and other businesses down stream.

This order was passed on May 12.


ORDER NO: 15-05-12-07


WHEREAS, annual streamflows on the mainstem Willamette from snow pack, rainfall and stored water releases are 55% of normal and therefore insufficient to fully support public uses in streams and lakes; and
WHEREAS, the definition of “public uses in streams and lakes” inculdes fish protection, pollution control and recreational use; and
WHEREAS, restricting water rights to natural streamflows for two businesses in the construction industry in order to retain minimum flows for public instream uses would cause irreversible economic harm to the two businesses and, create financial hardship for their
approximately 200 employees and their families through potential layoffs; and
WHEREAS, Lane County has activated its “Emergency Operations Plan, Section ESF 7.2 Legal Services, Mitigation Phase” which provides legal advice to the Policy Group of Lane County to “advise and recommend county ordinance or orders to reduce the effects of disaster”;
WHEREAS, the Oregon Water Resources Department may exercise emergency water
rights authority following a Governor’s drought declaration to help industry in Lane County cope with low streamflows; and
WHEREAS, we find that appropriate response is beyond the capability of Lane County
because Lane County does not have the same authority as the Oregon Water Resources Department for addressing water rights which is the only remedy for this drought emergency.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of County Commissioners of Lane County ORDERS as follows:
1. A local drought emergency is declared within Lane County.
2. Pursuant to ORS 401.165 we are declaring a state of emergency for the purpose of protecting .local economy through the Oregon Water Resources Department’s authority to mitigate the impact of low streamflows on the Willamette mainstem.
3. Pursuant to ORS 401.165 that the Governor declare an emergency so that state assistance may be immediately released. 
ADOPTED this 12th day of MAY, 2015.

Pay more to register your car? Not now. by Pat Farr

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

People are telling me how to make Lane County roads last longer.  Here’s a sample of an email I received and my response:

Subject: Reg fee

I’m sorry your reg fee went down in vote but I am 66 years old retired and live on SS. My wife has a car with over 200 k and I have same. I also own a 1974 14 ft travel trailer I use 1 time per year so for a man on a fixed income of $1240.00 per mo to live on your reg fee was hard to choke down. So based on that my reg fees would have jumped from $255.00 every 2 years to $455.00 so I would be giving up almost 1/3 of 1 months income to you.

As it is I have difficult time keeping warm and housed. Let’s deal with all county vehicles sitting on streets in park, engines running to keep them warm and cool in summer for employees while 6 stand around watching 5 work. Spend a day with me sir lets ride around in one of those county vehicles I can show you first hand the waste of resources I see daily. Not just in county but city of Eugene as well. Reduce pollution shut the vehicles off same loads in fuel. That would be an interesting experiment for 60 days. You can tell me you have such a rule and maybe so but out on the street it just does not happen. Maybe a 3 cent gas tax in lane county for roads then everyone using our roads get to pay not just the few who try and live here the best they can. Ban studded tires which we all know do far more damage to our roads then my 1974 travel trailer.

How about the tons of log trucks that run highway 36 every day and take poodle creek road to avoid weigh station and overweight tickets. Maybe no good because there NEVER is an officer there to inspect.

It’s just not fair, to single out Lane county residents when thousands of non Lane drivers use our roads tear them up and drive away.

Not your issue but odot repaved hwy 36 last fall. Not 2 days after it was done log truck over turned cut big groves in the road. Messed cleaned up but the deep ruts cut into new road bed were left and not repaired do new surface already is being to become a pot hole on the road we just spent millions to fix. Did trucking company insurance get billed for road damage? Most likely not.


Thank you for your message.

I know that I am not alone in wanting to find ways, at all times, to use time and resources more effectively and efficiently. Your input is valuable and, by me, well-received.

I intend to work ever more closely with my colleagues and with the men and women who work hard every day in public works, health and human services, the Sheriff’s Department and throughout Lane County to make our place a great place to live, work and raise our families.

Please rest assured that my observation, and I have worked at school board, city, state and county levels as well as in private industry and non-profit, that our staff wastes little or no time in doing their work in as professional and effective a way as I have ever seen at any level.

I urge you to please remain in contact with me.

Pat Farr,
Lane County Commissioner,
North Eugene
From: Michael [antorf1@yahoo.com]



Big Gap Among Democrats by Region on Vehicle Registration Fee (Conducted May 11-12, 2015)

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Polling on the proposed Lane County Vehicle Registration Fee, by major party (and region), can be seen here.