May was packed with budget deliberations, my first United Front trip to Washington, DC, Council interviews of applicants for Boards and Commissions, review of transportation plans, railroad quiet zones, and progress on the potential land swap with the county for our respective public buildings.Many numbers fly around these discussions, some are preliminary or uncertain, but all call for transparency to anchor our public decision making.
The Budget Committee, comprised of councilors and eight community members worked through long weekly meetings to grapple with the status and challenges in city departments and understand the City Manager’s recommendations for the FY 18 budget.
Coming up for Council approval, in addition to the budget, will be adoption of the Transportation System Plan and final approval for Envision Eugene and the Urban Growth Boundary. Of the first decision, the Transportation plan is a long list of projects, most of which do not yet have committed dollars. When Council adopts that plan, they are approving the list and the basic framework, but the decision about which projects are built will be determined through the 20 year timeline of the plan.
Envision Eugene and the Urban Growth Boundary decisions are overdue, and council will vote on this plan to satisfy our state requirement to have a 20-year land inventory for housing, schools, parks and industrial use. Once this is approved, planning will begin immediately on the next stage, which will include a study of Urban Reserves – areas designated for growth in the coming 50 years that will be a guide toward our gradual expansion of the UGB.
And finally, in June the council will appoint a new councilor to complete George Poling’s Ward 4 term. We look forward to having a full roster of councilors for the decisions ahead.