We opened Monday’s council meeting with a pledge of allegiance and appreciated hearing the presidents of our four Sister City committees as they took turns reading the Declaration of Independence in honor of July 4th. Many thanks to Candace Shorack, Eugene-Jinju Sister City Committee; Galina Groza, Eugene-Irkutsk Sister City Committee, Janell Saavedra, Eugene-Kakegawa Sister City Committee, and Harvey Blustain, Eugene-Kathmandu Sister City Committee for enabling us to benefit from knowing and understanding our Sister Cities.
In the work session, councilors in their roles as Riverfront Urban Renewal Agency Board members, reviewed and approved the terms between the city and Williams/Dame & Atkins for redevelopment of the riverfront. This initial step establishes the overall framework of the process, itemizing costs, commitments, responsibilities and other conditions. Approval of the terms does not commit the City to specifics – for example, some councilors expressed concern about MUPTE agreements. Those specific discussions are ahead of us.
Councilors also approved the initiation of several city processes, including land use code amendments and the creation of a local improvement district.
At the 7:30 meeting, council voted on two issues. They voted against Betty Taylor’s request to send a revised auditor measure to the ballot in November. This is a reflection of the council majority’s desire to have a longer and more inclusive conversation that could develop a measure with a strong, winning mandate. I look forward to working with residents holding all perspectives on this issue to find a path forward on an auditor measure that we can all support.
Council also approved an extension of the parking/tailgate hours at Autzen Stadium. The UO requested this extension with an eye toward easier traffic flow before games and more relaxed time for tailgaters, that would also reduce binge drinking. Councilor Yeh’s amended ordinance was approved. It permits the UO to initiate the extended hours for one year. In that time, the city asks the UO to gather data to confirm traffic, underage drinking, and exit and reentry to the stadium for drinking is reduced. If the change is positive, the ordinance will be extended; if not, the expanded hours will sunset in July 2019.
Finally, our nation is reeling from the impacts of the administration’s Zero Tolerance policy and our state is facing a November ballot measure to rescind our 1987 statute that restricts police from assisting in immigration enforcement. The city manager is crafting an administrative order to confirm our policy NOT to gather information on immigration status that is individually identifiable unless it is necessary in order for a person to access city services. The administrative order is a stop gap: council will have a future work session regarding a possible expansion of our ordinance to protect individual rights to encompass all city services.