Thursday: Our Downtown - City Hall Forum 6PM on 3/23/2006

Eugene, Oregon, USA: A forum for Friends of Eugene and discussion of Eugene-related land use, transportation, livability, environment, economic justice, and environmental quality issues.

Thursday: Our Downtown - City Hall Forum 6PM on 3/23/2006

Postby Kevin » Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:06 pm

*** Please Share Widely and Appropriately ***

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Are you concerned about how the city is investing public dollars for downtown Eugene? The next episode in the cascade of downtown plans, scams, and errors from Lake Sears to East Broadway/Whole Foods, West Broadway/Connor & Woolley, and beyond, is the City Hall Complex Community Forum this Thursday.

Please participate if you can:
There's still a chance to speak up early in the process in this one!

City Hall Complex Community Forum
Thursday, March 23, 2006
6pm to 8:30pm
United Methodist Church
1376 Olive Street, Eugene

Do these questions sound familiar?
How are public funds spent downtown?
Is the public being given the straight facts?
Is community input being heard?
Is there a private agenda to genericize our downtown?
Are community values being respected?

These questions point to some of the overlaps and parallels between the Garage Giveaway and the City Hall Complex planning process so far.

To work together in a positive direction, Friends of Eugene and other community partners will be convening a Community Meeting on Collaborative Planning for Downtown Eugene on April 27, 2006 at 7pm. But more on that important meeting later! FOR NOW, WE HAVE AN IMMEDIATE CHANCE TO SPEAK UP ON A SPECIFIC, CRUCIAL DOWNTOWN EUGENE PLANNING ISSUE AT 6PM ON THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 23!

Come to the City Hall Complex Community Forum, support the need for real community collaboration on downtown planning, and help us ask for answers to pressing questions like these:

- Why is the City Hall Complex planning team putting
out such biased information about history, options, and
costs? Don't we need to start with an unbiased set of
basic facts to work from, before we can have a valid
and productive discussion about the options? How and
when will this be accomplished?

- What integrity can be left in this planning process,
when the city council has just voted to give away half
of the prime site for a new administrative building
that would coordinate efficiently with a renovated city
hall? Is this a collaborative process, or just a big
PR job?

- How and why can we trust the City Hall Complex
participation process when the city council has just
shown us that despite everything, they still effectively
answer to the ruling families? How can they prove to us
that _this_time_ it is a real process, where our input
will have real impact?

- Why on earth should we even want to spend thousands
of person hours (across four forums) to talk about
spending tens of millions of city money to build
a new administrative palace, when they just took some
$9 million of public money and essential gave it to
the Giustinas?

The city hall planning process has started off looking very much like another official propaganda exercise, trying to sell us a new City Hall, with clear bias towards tearing down the existing structure that is known for its 1960's symbolically anti-authoritarian design, that puts the council chamber, our collective meeting place at the center - not the city manager's office.

It looks so far like the cost of readily achievable seismic retrofitting is being exaggerated to discourage citizens from supporting the option of productively recycling our city hall through a creative renovation. Yet when they interviewed for the contract, the planning team promised they were renovation and sustainability experts!

The same City Council that just did the garage giveaway, and last year gave us a losing police headquarters bond measure, is trying to keep this city hall planning process on a tight lease. But our downtown deserves real community-based planning!

Previous generations of hectic redevelopment, advocated by the business and real-estate sectors, thoughtlessly decimated downtown Eugene. They threw away our previous city hall and courthouse, and dozens of other beautiful old buildings we would treasure today. Now, today, we must stop throwing away our history, to give better to our future. Even the awkward adolescent-stage 40-year-old architectural history of mid-century modern cries for our environmental stewardship.

Any serious approach to sustainability demands renovation and reuse of important existing buildings. Isn't THAT the symbolism we want? Demolition of Eugene City Hall should not just be considered as one equal option among others - let alone a discouraged option. In fact, one sound way the consultants and city council could start restoring integrity to the process would be to take demolition of city hall off the table.

For some basic background on the architectural beauty of Eugene City Hall, including photos of its serene garden courtyard, please see: ... _Hall.html

For more references and background, and some examples of the (biased) presentation materials for the city hall forum, and to discuss these online, please see:

Please join us Thursday to help focus Eugene community values into the planning process for our city hall.

Best wishes,

Kevin Matthews
Friends of Eugene

Together it is within our reach:
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Official reminder for City Hall Complex Citizen Forum

Postby Kevin » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:52 pm

Official reminder notice:

Citizen Forum Participants:

A reminder that the first Eugene City Hall Complex Master Plan Citizen Forum is this Thursday, March 23, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street in Eugene. The forum will cover the following topics:

Project background
Public involvement process
Project Values
Space needs and Consolidation

Please arrive ten minutes early to get a bite to eat, get settled, and help us start on time.

We look forward to working with you toward a successful outcome of the project.

Maegan Vidal

Maegan Vidal
The JD White Company, Inc.
1111 Main Street, Suite 300
Vancouver, Washington 98660
WA: 360-696-1338
OR: 503-286-9485
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