Council is racing through a wide range of decisions before taking a summer break beginning July 26th.
Our Monday night meeting included performance reviews of Mark Gissiner, Police Auditor, and Jon Ruiz, City Manager. Both were very favorably reviewed in particular for community engagement processes: the auditor for a community meeting in December aimed at the Latinx community; and the manager for the police chief recruitment process.
The 7:30 meeting comprised seven public hearings and attracted 68 speakers. Three hearings focused on the Obie development of the expanded 5th St. Market; followed by a hearing on a 1000 foot buffer between marijuana retailers; a prohibition of smoking in downtown; and the adoption of the 30-year implementation plan for Eugene’s Parks and Recreation. The seventh hearing addressed a Measure 49 claim. All but the Parks and Recreation Plan, which was approved after the hearing, will return for council’s vote this Monday night, the 23rd.
On Wednesday, council heard a report from Dr. Gary Manross who polled 408 registered Eugene voters about their perceptions of public safety. Homelessness topped the list of priorities for public investment, followed by increasing the number of sworn police officers, enhancing police services and creating housing that people can afford. This survey is a step in the development of our priorities and strategies under the umbrella of “Community Justice.” In response to a question about awareness of the city’s Community Outreach Response Team (CORT), 70% of respondents had not heard of it; but once they learned about it, over half thought it should be a priority investment. With that in mind, here’s a link to a Metro TV video CORT.
And finally, I closed out the work week with a little theater. Three stairwells in the Overpark Garage at 10th & Oak host installations of local literary works: Step into Poetry, Step into Stories, and Step into Theater. The written works are augmented with sound and visuals thanks to Glimmer Technology -- enabling you to read and/or listen through your cell phone or pad. A highlight for me this morning was the short play about a “Butte-y” contest between Spencer Butte, Skinner Butte and Mt. Pisgah. Hike the stairwell (or ride the elevator) on the southwest side to find out who wins as our region’s most butte-yful.