LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Torrey puts priority on police
I'm very disappointed in the way public safety officers have been treated during Mayor Kitty Piercy's administration. Whatever happened to making public safety a priority in Eugene?
Why isn't the city supporting and encouraging our police?Public safety should be a city priority, and the mayor should be an advocate of safe streets and safe neighborhoods. Why isn't this happening?
Jim Torrey has placed public safety as his priority and will do everything he can to help our police and public safety officials. Torrey listens and this is important to Eugene voters who care about public safety. It's time for a mayor who understand the voters' concerns for safe neighborhoods and a safe downtown.
Business leaders support Torrey
Voters should pay significant attention to which candidate for mayor of Eugene can create and nurture a sustainable business environment - the source for family-wage jobs, taxes for community services, environmental improvements and expanded opportunities for goods and services.
Mayor Kitty Piercy, who has no personal business background, has wisely formed a task force and she recently outlined a 12-point plan, hoping to improve Eugene's economic fortunes through these difficult times and beyond.
Challenger and former Mayor Jim Torrey also announced his economic and sustainability blueprint, drawing upon his longstanding business expertise as well as community, educational and political service.
As a community, Eugene is well served by these proposals, the exchange of ideas and a robust debate during this important election.But it strikes me that Torrey's ideas have captured the attention and the financial commitment of many Eugene area business leaders, who, according to recently reported campaign finance records, have individually and cumulatively built longstanding, highly regarded and sustainable businesses.
If you are voting for a better economy, do you vote for someone who can talk about it, or someone who has done it? It is obvious to me that many people who have proven how to create sustainable businesses strongly favor Torrey for mayor. Action should speak louder than words.
Piercy protects local businesses
Wow, prime time television ads! No wonder Jim Torrey needs so much money for his mayoral campaign.
The donor-developers must be champing at the bit to make Eugene a huge city at citizen expense. I believe citizens are becoming aware that growth can be expensive for taxpayers when they see their increased Eugene Water & Electric Board and sewer bills to pay for new infrastructure.
Do we really want more traffic, more accidents, more billboards and more pollution? I seeTorrey signs along Coburg Road on construction plots and the Torrey billboards adding their permanent ugliness to our streets.
Mayor Kitty Piercy, with more than 6,000 visits to community events, has urged sustainable growth and support for local businesses that keep our money in our city. She listens to neighborhood voices and works to keep our community prospering and safe. Our local farms and local small businesses need a mayor who continually works for them in this uncertain economic time. I support Mayor Piercy.
Torrey brings people together
There's listening, and there's hearing. You know you've been heard when someone actually takes action based upon what you were saying. Lots of people listen, but they don't always hear.
Jim Torrey hears. He asks questions. He suggests solutions. He seeks ways to bring people who don't agree together. That's what he did when he volunteered to be the executive director of Kidsports. That's what he did when he said he'd chair an effort to recruit volunteers for this summer's Olympic Track and Field Trials. That's what he does every day.
If you want to be heard, you have to talk to someone who hears. Eugene deserves such a person as its mayor. Join me in electing Jim Torrey.
Piercy has shown leadership
Shortly after Kitty Piercy became mayor of Eugene, workers at Lane Transit District went out on strike.
With bus service halted and negotiations at a standstill, the strike had the potential to become a protracted conflict that would adversely affect not only workers and management but also the community. Mayor Piercy was instrumental in convening a team of community mediators who quickly gained the trust of the parties and were able to help broker an equitable settlement.
Intervening in such a visible, high-stakes event early in her term displayed the qualities of leadership that Mayor Piercy has consistently shown throughout her first term in office: a willingness to take political risks, the ability to bridge differences, and the perseverance to achieve positive results. These qualities have served Eugene well over the last four years and underscore why Piercy deserves re-election.
Piercy right to resist inventory
Jim Torrey is attacking Mayor Kitty Piercy for resisting learning whether the city satisfies a state requirement to have a 20-year supply of buildable land for new homes and businesses.
The state law is now absurd. The law must be changed. It is time to say: "Shut the door. We are full up. Stop population growth. We do not need more people, more businesses, more cars, more roads, more pollution."
We live in a finite world. The oil peak has been reached. There is no comprehensive substitute for oil. Supplies will steadily decline to perhaps 50 percent of current levels by 2030. Food production will diminish. Starvation will increase. We are long overdue in establishing negative population growth. But no politician seems able to tell the public the unpleasant truth.
California became a population hell-hole from my perspective, and so we moved here in 1993. The quality of living here has steadily decreased since then.
Torrey's backers are all familiar
I am confused. I thought Jim Torrey was an independent. I thought he left the Republican Party due to dissatisfaction with itspolicies.
But I read the April 17 Register-Guard article about mayoral campaign contributions showing he received big money from a Who's Who of big business and developers, including downtown landlord Dan Giustina for almost $4,000 and Hamilton Construction (of Springfield!) for $5,000. His list of donors looks like the usual pro-business interests that backed him in the past, and backed former mayors Brian Obie and Jeff Miller.
So I went to Torrey's Web site to check out why he left the Republicans to become an independent. No word there. I e-mailed his campaign asking why he switched parties, and the auto-reply said that I'd be hearing back from him shortly.
It's been over two weeks, and still no word. Why not? I wonder.
If I did hear back, I'd tell Torrey that I am not opposed to development and growth in our city. As our population increases, it is inevitable. And as a small business owner, I recognize that growth can be good.
But I prefer a balanced approach to development that also considers environmental issues, quality of life, and living wages instead of a blank check to the developers.
And speaking of a blank check, I cannot afford the $5,000 or $6,000 Torrey's backers are contributing, but I can afford the $50 that so many small contributors are making to re-elect Mayor Kitty Piercy.
Torrey didn't thwart district
I read the April 19 letter signed by Janet Heinonen and Sally Smith contending that Jim Torrey "thwarted" the south university historic district nomination with utter amazement and disbelief. As a homeowner within the proposed district for over 20 years, I cannot let their ridiculously one-sided and untrue accusations go unchallenged. They neglect to mention that the historic district nomination failed not because of lack of "leadership" or support by Mayor Torrey, but because half the neighborhood did not support the nomination and resented the heavy-handed tactics and smug and condescending attitude of the supporters group.
Mayor Torrey wisely withdrew his support when it was obvious that the nomination presented insurmountable problems and a sizable portion of the homeowners did not support it. The supporters still can't stand to admit that they lost, fair and square.
Remember to respect candidates
I saw my name on the front page on April 17, listing donors to Eugene mayoral candidates.
I could not help imagining the various spin-meisters working over the news contained in the article. It is easy to see how our campaigns for public office become emotional and personal. We too often engage in demonizing one candidate or another.
We need to think about it. Are we really getting it right when we describe one candidate or another as such a terrible person? Jim Torrey and Kitty Piercy both make great personal sacrifices to serve the public. I happen to think Torrey will make a better leader for Eugene. But I am grateful to Piercy that she is willing to serve.
How many others who might serve at some level of government shy away because of the way we treat our elections? Part of our dialogue about moving forward in Eugene should include less heated rhetoric and less of the "politics of personal destruction." And a little more respect for all of those who are willing to take on the duty democracy requires.
We all need to work together to be the best community we can when the elections are over. Let's remember that.
Piercy championed sustainability
Jim Torrey being worried about Eugene's future makes me laugh. Is that why he's so eager to tear up our prime farmland so that his developer buddies (and he) can make a buck?
Is that why he blocked citizen oversight of the police, even as the truth about the abuses of Juan Lara and Roger Magana were coming to light? Abuse occurred on Torrey's watch.
Is that why he did nothing toward creating sustainable business while he was mayor? Making sustainable business a reality in Eugene took a real environmentalist - Mayor Kitty Piercy.
Where does Piercy get numbers?
At a recent neighborhood meeting and during public debate, Mayor Kitty Piercy told the audience that the public safety problem in Eugene is solved because the Eugene Police Department is hiring 15 police officers this summer.
Initially, I thought this was a good thing. Hiring 15 officers may help the already overworked and understaffed police department. However, I found out that the department has no intention to hire 15 police officers this summer, making the mayor's statements inaccurate. Where is this mayor getting her numbers?
With public safety being one of the two or three primary concerns in our community, is the mayor using the city cops as a political football? It appears she's simply trying to placate her audience.
It would appear the mayor for all of Eugene is willing to tell people what they want to hear to get re-elected. Even if it's not true. When is common sense going to return to City Hall?
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|Title Annotation:||Letters Editorial|
|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||Apr 26, 2008|
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