Lane County Voters: review both sides of your ballot! by Pat Farr

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Review both sides of your November 8 ballot

Ballots are arriving in the mail of registered Lane County voters. Before turning in a ballot, voters should remember to review both sides of the ballot.

 
“Lane County Elections wants to remind registered voters to review both sides of their official ballot. All registered voters will have additional voting opportunities on the back of their ballot,” said Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart. “Once a ballot has been returned it cannot be amended or recast.”

Registered voters anywhere in Oregon who have changed their address still have time to update their registration and qualify for a full ballot. Those with any election-related questions should contact Lane County Elections at 541-682-4234.

Voters may drop off their ballots at one of many official drop box locations listed in the insert included with their ballot. Drop boxes are now open and will remain open until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Click here for a list of drop box locations.

Lane County voters can also sign up to track their ballots via a new service called BallotTrax, which allows voters to sign up online to receive alert messages via text, phone or email. Voters who sign up will receive messages when their ballot is mailed out and when it is accepted for counting.

Voters can sign up for BallotTrax at lanecounty.org/elections by selecting the “Track Your Ballot Alerts” link.

Lane County Elections is located at 275 W. 10th Avenue, on the corner of 10th and Lincoln in downtown Eugene. Our public office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. On Election Day, November 8, 2016, the Lane County Elections Office will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Lane County is working with city of Eugene in unprecedented ways to coordinate city hall, courthouse placement. by Pat Farr

Monday, October 17th, 2016
City of Eugene and Lane County public information officers Jan Bohman and Devon Ashbridge coordinate messaging and outreach to inform Lane County residents about the facilities placement process

City of Eugene and Lane County public information officers Jan Bohman and Devon Ashbridge coordinate messaging and outreach to inform Lane County residents about the facilities placement process

Lane County, Lane County Circuit Court and the city of Eugene have appointed a task force to work through the options and details of placement of the new County Courthouse, Eugene City Hall and a permanent year-round farmers’ market.

The multi-jurisdictional group, called the Coordinated Downtown Development Task Force has met four times and coordinated a joint meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Eugene City Council and court officials.  We will continue with an aggressive schedule of meetings, both of the task force and Joint Elected Officials between the current November 14 deadline for recommendations to the elected bodies.

The task force consists of Lane County Commission officers Faye Stewart and me; Eugene City Council members Mayor Kitty Piercy, George Poling and Chris Pryor and Lane County Circuit Court presiding judge Karsten Rasmussen.  Both county administrator Steve Mokrohisky and Eugene city manager Jon Ruiz are participating along with key staff members, who are conducting the research and compiling presentations for the elected officials.

The work is fast-paced and on target.  It is being coordinated and facilitated by four-star local architectural firm Cameron McCarthy, led by Larry Gilbert.

Brian Criner, Lane County administrator Steve Mokrohisky, Liz Rambo and city councilor George Poling during a task force presentation on October 14

Brian Criner, Lane County administrator Steve Mokrohisky, Liz Rambo and city councilor George Poling during a task force presentation on October 14

Two meetings during the week of October 17 will offer opportunities to learn more about the City and County’s collaborative exploration of opportunities to site City Hall, the County Courthouse and the Farmers Market in ways that support vitality and growth downtown and make efficient use of public resources.
 
There are two opportunities to receive an update and provide comment next week:
 
Public Open House: On Tuesday, October 18, a public open house will present information on the facilities and sites under discussion and will seek comment from attendees. City and County staff as well as representatives of the professional facilitator, Cameron McCarthy, will be present to provide information and answer questions. The open house is from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., in the lobby of the Atrium Building (99 W. 10th Avenue, Eugene).
 
Joint Elected Officials Meeting: On Wednesday, October 19, the County-City Joint Elected Officials (full Lane County Board of Commissioners and Eugene City Council) will meet at 12:00 p.m. to hear an update regarding program requirements of the three main facilities, including square footage, parking and other factors; a set of prerequisites and considerations by which the development models may be reviewed; and preliminary options for possible development models. The meeting will be held in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene).
 
Community members can also visit www.downtownplanning.org to complete a brief survey and provide comment, as well as see a full list of future meetings.
 
In addition to opportunities for the public to engage in the process, the task force is reaching out to nearby businesses, property owners and partner organizations, as well as other stakeholders.
 
The task force will provide information to the City Council and Board of County Commissioners on November 14 regarding potential collaborative concepts that could deliver greater benefit to the community than the current plans each government has for its individual projects.

 

 

Oregon County Commissioners tour Lane County emergency and transitional housing sites. by Pat Farr

Friday, October 14th, 2016

 

Veterans Rest Stop operated by Community Supported Shelters offers safe, secure and clean transitional residences for homeless veterans

Veterans Safe Spot operated by Community Supported Shelters offers safe, secure and clean transitional residences for homeless veterans

On October 14, 2016 I will facilitate a tour of emergency, transitional and permanent housing facilities in Lane County for a group of Oregon county commissioners.  We will visit a variety of sites that are of interest to members of the Association of Oregon Counties who are hoping and expecting to develop and build a variety of types of housing in their home counties.

I am with Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall at Opportunity Village Eugene

I am with Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall at Opportunity Village Eugene

Following is the itinerary for the tour including links to the facilities we will visit and other facilities that provide a ladder of housing ranging from emergency shelters to permanent home-ownership opportunities:

County Commissioners facilities tour of Lane County veterans’ and other emergency and transitional housing facilities

October 14 2016

1:00 pm           Arrive at Opportunity Village 111 North Garfield, Eugene

Visit rest stop at Garfield and Roosevelt Avenues, on city of Eugene owned property, this rest stop has facilities for disabled homeless individuals.

Tour Opportunity Village Eugene, on city of Eugene owned property, on city of Eugene owned property, this facility has conestoga-dwellings, wooden huts, community food preparation, gathering and warming and sanitation.

http://www.opportunityvillageeugene.org/p/contact-us.html

2:25 pm           Travel to Veterans’ Safe Spot 1542 W 1st Avenue, Eugene, on Eugene Mission property.  Transitional housing for veterans.

http://communitysupportedshelters.org/eugene-safe-spots

Visit adjacent Nightingale Rest Stop:  transitional housing currently on Mission property, which has been historically located on Lane County property.  This facility elocates every six (or so) months

http://respectexistence.org/nightingale-health-sanctuary-full-description/

If time permits we will visit an emergency car camp on Lane County Property

The  tour was well attended, although accompanied by severe weather including thunder, lightning, hail, heavy wind and rain!  Thanks to Dan Bryant and Tod Scheider for guiding.

Dan Bryant explains to Oregon County Commissioners how the great hall at Opportunity Village serves the residents

Dan Bryant explains to Oregon County Commissioners how the great hall at Opportunity Village serves the residents

Other websites of interest regarding veterans’ housing, chronic homelessness and housing first efforts in Lane County:

Square One Villages, Emerald Village Eugene just broke ground on a tiny house project that will provide equity building opportunities for residents of the village:  http://www.squareonevillages.org/emerald

Operation 365 Veteran Homelessness website with links to partners in the project that housed 404 homeless veterans and their families in 2015:  https://www.eugene-or.gov/2942/Homeless-Veterans-Program

St. Vincent DePaul of Lane County Veterans’ Housing Project website, providing houses and apartments to veterans and their families:  https://www.svdp.us/what-we-do/affordable-housing/vet-lift/vet-housing-project-1/

Stellar Apartments includes 14 units for families of deployed National Guard soldiers and homeless veterans:  http://www.svdp.us/what-we-do/affordable-housing/rental-housing/completed-projects/stellar-apartments/

 

Pat Farr

 

 

 

 

 

United Way hosts nonprofits’ discussion with legislators. by Pat Farr

Monday, October 10th, 2016

On October 6 I moderated a discussion between Oregon State Legislators and the heads of 15 agencies funded by United Way of Lane County.

Noreen Dunnels, United Way of Lane County's Executive Director asked me to moderate a discussion between funded agency chiefs and state legislators on October 6 2016.

Noreen Dunnels, United Way of Lane County’s Executive Director asked me to moderate a discussion between funded agency chiefs and state legislators on October 6 2016.

More than 15 chiefs of Lane County’s largest nonprofit organizations, a total of thirty five participants, asked hard questions regarding how each of the legislators on the panel would support their priorities in the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session.

Questions for Oregon Legislators from the audience were direct and incisive.

Questions for Oregon Legislators from the audience were direct and incisive.

Included on the panel were veteran legislators Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield), Representative Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene and Brownsville), Senator Chris Edwards (D-Eugene), Representative John Lively (D-Springfield) and Representative Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene).

Representative John Lively listens as Rep Nancy Nathanson fields a question on affordable housing.

Representative John Lively listens as Rep Nancy Nathanson fields a question on affordable housing.

Each legislator had an opportunity to introduce themselves and their priorities before  the start of questioning.  While each talked of ranges of issues, their main focus was on the business likely to come before the committees they chair (each of the representatives is standing for reelection in November).  Beyer chairs the Senate Transportation Committee; Barnhart is chair of House Revenue; Edwards chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; Lively chairs the House Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee and Nathanson is co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

Each legislator paid particular attention to issues likely to be worked in the committees they will chair if re-elected and Democrats maintain control of both bodies.

Each legislator paid particular attention to issues likely to be worked in the committees they will chair if re-elected and Democrats maintain control of both bodies.

Questions and comments largely centered on budgetary priorities and each legislator talked about the difficulty of funding all projects and agencies that they would like to fund.  Rep. Lively summed up the budgetary question with the response, “As our economy continues to slowly improve, we have much work to do to make the incremental changes we can with the resources we have.”

Beyer, Barnhart and Edwards team up on a response regarding the affordable housing crisis

Beyer, Barnhart and Edwards team up on a response regarding the affordable housing crisis

uway-edwards-barnnhart-100616

Noreen Dunnells, Amanda McCluskey, Erin  Fifield, Kara Smith, Beverlee Hughes and others engage the panel.

Noreen Dunnells, Amanda McCluskey, Erin Fifield, Kara Smith, Beverlee Hughes, Jacob Fox and others engage the panel.

uway-opperman-100616

The main focus of everyone’s attention was the lack of housing at all levels in Lane County.  The low vacancy of rentals combined with the high expense of building new residences have combined to cause more families and individuals to fall into either impossibly expensive housing or homelessness.

Beverlee Hughes, Executive Director of FOOD for Lane County succinctly stated, “Four years ago when we asked clients ‘What single thing would help you most?’ the response was overwhelmingly, ‘Affordable health care.’ Today the response is, .Jobs and affordable housing’.”

uway-audience-100616

Agencies represented (not all are UW funded agencies) in the room included, ARC of Lane County, Volunteers in Medicine, Planned Parenthood, Lane County Human Service Commission, Kids in Transition to School, Oregon Social Learning Center, Salvation Army, Lane Independent Living Association, Boy Scouts of America, Parenting Now, Looking Glass, Centro Latino Americano, Direction Services, Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County, City of Springfield, Community Sharing of Cottage Grove, HIV Alliance, YMCA, FOOD for Lane County, Goodwill Industries, St. Vincent DePaul of Lane County, NEDCO.

 

Initiative process in Lane County needs to be reviewed and fixed, but not today. by Pat Farr

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
Board of Lane County Commissioners, Faye Stewart, Pat Farr, Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Pete Sorenson

Board of Lane County Commissioners, Faye Stewart, Pat Farr, Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Pete Sorenson

Today, August 31, 2016, Lane County faces the possibility of two lawsuits– one: if the commissioners change the current process for gathering signatures and filing for a voter initiative and, two:  if commissioners don’t change the current process for gathering signatures and filing for a voter initiative.  Hmm.  Looks like courts will likely be involved whatever action or inaction the commissioners engage in.

Clearly, with hours of public testimony and volumes of written testimony and drafts of law suites already heard and seen, Lane County Board of Commissioners (BCC) need to take time to take a close look at the current process that allows–in fact, encourages (as it should)–voters to gather signatures and file for an initiative.  But, with limited time actually spent in study of how the system works in the Lane County Charter and Code and how it fits into the system prescribed in the Oregon Constitution, now is not the time to make decisions on any changes.

Much work needs to be done, and much more public involvement in the process needs to be charted.  With three current initiatives in process any fast decisions on the part of the BCC would at least have the appearance of targeting specific initiatives and not addressing the system and process.

An article in today’s Register Guard (click here) partially covers the limited debate that BCC has had.

Three initiatives are currently in process.  Two lawsuits have been thrown into the melee.

Much more to come.

Homelessness can be reduced–and Lane County has a plan to do it. by Pat Farr

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

 

The Poverty and Homelessness Board (PHB) provides advice to the Board of County Commissioners and the intergovernmental Human Services Commission with the goal of reducing and preventing poverty and homelessness in Lane County.

Operation 365 was part of the Poverty and Homelessness Board's strategy to reduce homelessness in Lane County.

Operation 365 was part of the Poverty and Homelessness Board’s strategy to reduce homelessness in Lane County.

It assists the development of the delivery of housing and services to meet the specific needs of people who are impoverished or homeless improving their stability. It assists to maximize the allocation of local, state and federal funds made available for this purpose. It serves as the administrative board for the Lane County Community Action Agency and as the oversight board for the Lane County Continuum of Care.

On Thursday August 25, 2016, PHB Chair Pat Walsh, PHB member Mayor Kitty Piercy,  PHB Staff Steve Manella and Pearl Wolfe joined me in a discussion with Register Guard Editorial Board Jack Wilson and Ilene Aleshire about the makeup and strategies of the PHB.  They published an article in Sunday August 28, 2016 Register-Guard:  “Intractable, but not impossible” which gives the reader good insights about the PHB strategic plan to reduce homelessness in Lane County.

See the entire PHB Strategic Plan here.

Lane County Board of Commissioners agenda for August 2, 2016. by Pat Farr

Sunday, July 31st, 2016
Lane County Courthouse, home of Lane County Government, in 1908

Lane County Courthouse, home of Lane County Government, in 1908

To see the agenda for Lane County Board of Commissioners meeting August 2, 2016 click here.   This link includes links to all materials provided to the board for discussion.

To see all past agendas including links to all agenda material click here.

Messages or thoughts?  Contact me at pat.farr@co.lane.or.us

 

Open and accountable government: see what Lane County Commissioners are doing or have done. by Pat Farr

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

 

No secrets:  Lane County Commission actions and meetings are available online.

Board of Lane County Commissioners, Faye Stewart, Pat Farr, Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Pete Sorenson

Board of Lane County Commissioners, Faye Stewart, Pat Farr, Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Pete Sorenson

To view a meeting in progress or to replay archived and recent webcasts of meetings, visit:http://apps.lanecounty.org/webcast/default.aspx

To see upcoming agendas as well as recent and archived agendas (including links to details of all agenda items) visit: http://www.lanecounty.org/Departments/BCC/Pages/AgendaHome.aspx

To see all passed orders, actions, ordinances and resolutions visit: http://www.lanecounty.org/Departments/BCC/Pages/2016Orders.aspx.

I welcome questions and comments via email:  pat.farr@co.lane.or.us ; US mail:  Lane County Commissioner Pat Farr, 125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene OR 97401; or phone call:  541-682-4203.

 

Recent Eugene Area Net Partisan Swing Margins

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Partisan swing margins in recent Lane County contests can be seen here.

Recent Co. Comm. Vote Percentages

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Recent Lane County Commissioner vote percentages can be seen here.