[NLC] Neighborhood "empowerment" and EE
pconte at picante-soft.com
Wed Jan 12 20:46:36 PST 2011
Thank you for bringing to the attention of the
City Manager and Planning Division the serious
problems the Envision Eugene process is creating
for effective participation by neighborhood organizations.
Unfortunately, Terri Harding did not provide a
satisfactory response to the issues raised.
The City Manager did present the "neighborhood
livability" theme supported by over fifty
neighborhood leaders as one of the "seven
pillars" of Envision Eugene that he presented to
Council at their work session today. However, in
response to questions from Councilor Clark
towards the end of the work session, the City
Manager backed away from firm advocacy of any of
these "pillars" and seemed to leave it up to the
CRG and Council to decide what they wanted to do.
While Council clearly has the ultimate decision
on any matters related to Envision Eugene, I had
hoped the City Manager would take a more
proactive stance in support of this principle. We
will be watching closely for the results of the
CRG meeting tomorrow when the 25 or so CRG members consider these "pillars."
The CRG has only three meetings (not four, as
Terri stated) between now and February. At the
fourth CRG meeting on February 1st, the CRG will
discuss the City Manager's draft recommendations,
only one day after the City Manager makes them
public. As with the unrealistic time for the
public to meaningfully engage on the "library of
strategies" (as I discussed in an earlier e-mail
to the NLC), one day is an absurdly short time
for the CRG to have the draft recommendations in
hand before serious discussion and (presumably)
advice to Council on these recommendations.
Most glaringly, Terri didn't address at all the
critical dilemma for neighborhood associations:
The EE schedule does not allow neighborhood
boards and memberships anything close to a
reasonable amount of time to publicize and
thoughtfully consider the staff recommendations
and then to formulate and present well-informed
testimony and recommendations to decision makers in a timely manner.
Neighborhood organizations and the general public
continue to be egregiously cut out of the real
decision process while 25 or 30 CRG members and
staff hold the actual power in the EE process.
I'm sure you can see this as clearly as the rest
of us, and so I encourage you to go back to the
City Manager and Planning staff and ask them to
address the real issue: How are neighborhood
organizations going to be able to conduct their
consideration of these important issues in a
reasonable way under the unrealistic schedule that staff has established?
Thank you again for your advocacy on on behalf of
real, not sham, neighborhood empowerment.
Paul Conte, Chair
Jefferson Westside Neighbors
2010 Eugene Neighborhood of the Year
At 05:39 PM 1/12/2011, KINNISON Michael J wrote:
>Hello Paul. Your concerns were shared with the
>City Managers office and Planning
>Division. Please see the following
>response. It includes clarification on when
>Envision Eugene staff recommendations will be
>available to the public, existing opportunities
>to stay informed and provide input as well as an
>update on recent deliberations on the theme of Neighborhood Livability
>I have included all the signatories to the memo
>on the Neighborhood Livability theme on this
>message with the exception of the following as I
>do not have email addresses for them: Joni
>Dawning, Charles Snyder, Carol DeFazio, Erika
>Seiferling, Angela Rooney and Krista
>Rojas. Your help in forwarding this
>information to them is appreciated. Thanks.
>Michael Kinnison | Manager | 541.682.5009
>City of Eugene | Neighborhood Services |
>Dear Neighborhood Leaders,
>I wanted to let you know that the memo on the
>Neighborhood Livability theme that was sent to
>the Envision Eugene Community Resource Group was
>included in the City Council packet for the work
>session on Social Equity and Envision Eugene
>that occurred earlier today (see Agenda Item
>You can watch the webcast on the internet at
> after tomorrow, or at various times on Cable
>Channel 21. The livability issues stressed in
>the memo are supported by staff and several
>councilors expressed explicit support for the
>contents during todays discussion.
>The Community Resource Group has four meetings
>planned between now and February. Tomorrow,
>January 13th, is the first meeting from
>9:00-4:00 at the Hilton Vista Room, and the
>subsequent meetings are planned for January
>20th, January 25th, and February 1st (all
>9:00-4:00 at the Hilton). Livability is a
>central pillar of the Envision Eugene work and
>we welcome your contributions to the CRG
>discussion. If you plan to attend, please do
>let us know so we can have enough lunches for everyone
>In terms of opportunities for neighborhoods to
>stay informed and engaged in the lead up to and
>discussion of a set of draft strategies to be
>recommended by the City Manager, I would
>encourage neighborhoods to use the website,
>disseminate the project e-newsletter to their
>email lists (available online and through
>Neighborhood Services weekly e-packet), and
>attend one of the two Open Houses scheduled for
>February 3rd and 10th in North and South Eugene, respectively.
>Additional important dates for you to be aware of include:
>· January 31st, when a draft proposal
>will be available for public comment. We will
>coordinate distribution of the proposal with
>Neighborhood Services so that all neighborhood
>leaders have the information on the 31st.
>· February 22nd, for a public hearing
>opportunity before the City Council. This is the
>councils regular hearing date due to the
>Presidents Day Holiday, and we recognize it
>conflicts with the regular monthly meeting time
>of NLC. Unfortunately, that conflict cannot be
>avoided given our project timeline.
>· February 28th, when the Council will
>deliberate on the City Managers recommendation.
>Your feedback is critical and we appreciate your
>leadership in discussing these important issues
>within your neighborhoods. We understand this
>is a lot of information to take in and turn
>around for the neighborhoods in a short amount
>of time. Staff are available to attend a
>neighborhood meeting during the month of February should you request it.
>Please contact me if you have any questions or
>concerns, and again, thank you for all of your efforts.
>Envision Eugene Public Involvement Manager
>City of Eugene Planning Division
>From: paulconte at msn.com [mailto:paulconte at msn.com] On Behalf Of Paul Conte
>Sent: Friday, January 07, 2011 9:23 AM
>To: KINNISON Michael J
>Cc: OSBORN Keli M; KANE Rene C; Eugene Neighborhood Leaders Council (SMTP)
>Subject: Neighborhood "empowerment" and EE
>January 7, 2011
>Please consider this a formal request on behalf
>of the Jefferson Westside Neighbors.
>As you'll be aware, the City Manager has
>established a schedule in which, as he calls
>them, major "deal points" for Envision Eugene
>will be decided by City Council at a work
>session on February 28. (Note that public
>comment is not allowed at work sessions.)
>A "public hearing" on the CM's recommendations
>to Council is scheduled for February 22.
>According to the CM, a first draft of the
>recommendations will be presented to the EE
>Community Resource Group before the CRG's
>February 1 meeting. If past history is any
>guide, the information will be distributed just
>a few days prior to the CRG meeting.
>The JWN Executive Board meets next week, and the
>JWN General Meeting is February 8, which means
>the board is very unlikely to have a chance to
>consider the draft EE recommendations prior to
>our general meeting. It also will be very
>difficult to prepare for a well-informed
>discussion of these important issues in the
>short time prior to the general meeting.
>Obviously, we also cannot include any
>information about the draft recommendations in a
>printed neighborhood newsletter mailed to all
>JWN members prior to the February 8 General Meeting.
>Consequently, the EE schedule effectively
>precludes the JWN membership from any reasonable
>ability to take a well-informed, thoughtful
>position -- as a neighborhood association -- on these critical recommendations.
>I believe most other neighborhood associations
>are in a similar or worse position.
>I would like to request that you take this issue
>to the City Manager on behalf of neighborhood
>associations and advocate on our behalf for a
>public process that doesn't cut the City's
>chartered neighborhood associations out of this
>critical stage of Envision Eugene.
>Please know that the JWN board and I are very
>appreciative of all the work and genuine support
>you and your Neighborhood Services staff provide
>our neighborhoods and volunteer neighborhood leaders.
>Thank you and best regards,
>Paul Conte, Chair
>Jefferson Westside Neighbors
>2010 Eugene Neighborhood of the Year
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