Tuesday, in response to a Eugene city council proposal to expand downtown Farmer’s Market, county commissioners, while not voting on the land-swap proposal, agreed to take a closer look at it. By doing so, they effectively tabled the motion pending further review.
Downtown politics reporter Ed Russo of The Register-Guard did a commendable job of reporting yet another political non-event in Eugene, Or.. Thank you Ed.
At the heart of the growing debate is Mayor Piercy of Eugene, bumping heads with conservative Councilman George Brown.
In this instance I agree with Brown who contends that any land exchange at this time is premature.
As Brown states,” the entire block should be used to consolidate city offices.” There’s some true logic here when taking into account the annual lease expenditure earmarked for temporary city public works offices; public safety and housing for the mayor, council and city management.
What’s the hurry? City Hall has been closed for less than a year. In Eugene that’s just enough time for the moss to grow on a vintage Volvo’s window and door molding.
While one can certainly argue for the expansion of the Lane County Farmer’s Market, to the county’s Butterfly parking lot, I’m wondering why the parking lot can’t be utilized on Thursday and Saturday by the farmer’s market? And then returned to its primary use as a parking lot the balance of the week.
I don’t believe that every proposed activity impacting downtown Eugene should fall under the scrutiny of the city council or the Lane County commissioners. That’s a planning and permitting issue. Let’s let the farmer’s market management wrangle with city and county planning.
While I agree with Mayor Piercy’s words of wisdom, “ I caution you not to make it more complicated than it has to be,” I take her proposal a step further. Temporarily issue a county venue permit to L.C.F.M. for the expansion and use of the Butterfly parking lot.
Move forward with the demolition, planning and approval of the new City Hall and administration building.Then, look to the farmer’s market proposal; logical progression without political debate.