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

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

Postby Kevin » Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:42 am

Next Steps to Reclaiming Downtown - Speak up at City Hall Planning Forum on Thursday 3/23 at 6pm

A quick recap: On Wednesday, 3/15/2006, the Eugene City Council ignored massive and cogent public input and voted for the garage giveaway without modification. The vote was 5:2 to spend $12 million (including financing) of public money, to build a new 260 space parking garage, on a no-bid contract, to become the new gateway for our designated "great civic street".

Only councilors Bonny Bettman and Betty Taylor voted against the giveaway. The councilors and mayor who voted for this anti-environmental project claim it is incidental that this garage project, proposed by the old-timber-money Giustina family, priced by the Giustina family, and to be built by the Giustina family, will enable that same family to create a new 53,000 square foot big-box retail facility (25% larger than the biggest Market of Choice in town) in a gateway location on another designated great street, with the predatory Whole Foods Market as their kick-off tenant.

The ruling families won their way. We need to reclaim downtown Eugene!

What is next for downtown Eugene?

While FoE looks into the feasibility of a legal challenge to the garage giveaway, the planning for additional downtown projects is accelerating. Please stay involved now to help influence these upcoming developments - to help reclaim downtown Eugene!

The next of these significant downtown planning and development decisions is an especially important one: whether to address City staff issues with Eugene City Hall:
1) by renovating the current purposefully non-authoritarian city hall built in the 1960s and possibly adding a new city police and/or administration building, or
2) by tearing down our city hall and building all new for the city, including police and administration.

You can see images of the artful courtyard space and communitarian symbolic form of Eugene City Hall here:
http://www.GreatBuildings.com/buildings ... _Hall.html
Although a quirky building which like many seniors has taken some hits from changes in the city around it, reduced maintenance, and unkind minor modifications, Eugene City Hall is one of the best examples of mid-century modern architecture in Eugene. It is chock full with the history of its four eventful decades so far, and it reaches back farther, with the mournful council chamber mural that includes the old courthouse, outstanding among the many subsequently-regretted demolitions in previous generations of Eugene redevelopment.

Despite a thoughtful and extensive hiring process for the master-planning consultant team, sadly, the Eugene city hall complex planning process is not off to a good start.

The consultant team has been hampered in designing a fair and open public involvement process by biased and constrained direction from the Eugene City Council. The consultant team has compounded this with early rounds of public information of a very low order of manipulative public relations. They should be putting out the facts and facilitating collaborative public decision making. Instead, they have being leaving out facts and pushing one kind of conclusions. Sound familiar, anyone?

This is now leading up to the first of four community forums, this Thursday, March 23, 2006 from 6pm to 8:30pm, at First Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street.

This "newsletter" is a prime example of the PR leading up to the forum. Note for instance what is passed off as the "history of City Hall":
http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... 060323.pdf

This is the official web site for the master planning process (propaganda? You be the judge...):
http://www.eugenecityhall.com/

This is the current version of the agenda for the community forum on Thursday, March 23, 2006, at 6pm.
http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... Agenda.pdf

It's not really clear where interaction (questions, comments, discussion) is intended in this agenda, but the only place where it is clearly indicated is the next to last item, "Small Group Sessions", which is followed only by "Questionnaire". In my experience, to take small group and individual feedback, but not allow overall discussion, is a classic tactic for top-down control of a community forum. (The memo (#18 below) does say, 'The forum will include both large group and small group discussions', but that isn't shown in the agenda we've received (#20 above).)

The following links go to the current versions of the handouts, presentation boards, or screen slides planned for the first (3/23) forum. Thanks to Charles Biggs for getting these from the consultants!

Agenda for a the city council discussions on City Hall Complex planning:
http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... Agenda.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... hedule.pdf

These values look nice at first glance, but try to analyze beyond their vagueness, to what they mean... Or are they so vague as to mean almost anything - to support almost any conclusions? What's the value in that?
http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... Values.pdf

(04 - Unknown)

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... eNeeds.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... Models.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... Matrix.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... ationA.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... ationB.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... ationC.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... ationD.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... Models.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... teria1.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... eria2a.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... eria2b.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... Values.pdf

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... ectrum.pdf

"The Community Forums are timed to serve the City Council’s decision-making schedule. In workshops prior to the forums, the City Council will decide which issues need public input."
"The first presentations to the editorial boards of the Eugene Register Guard and Eugene Weekly took place in mid-February to generate interest and help secure Phase 2 media coverage. A positive editorial appeared on February 20 (the following week) in the Register Guard. The project team anticipates additional meetings with these boards as project milestones are reached."
http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... Update.doc

http://www.friendsofeugene.com/files/ci ... umMemo.doc


Given what we've just been through on the garage giveaway... - at this City Hall Complex Community Forum we may want to ask for solid answers to questions like these:

- How can we trust this process? That our input 1) will be accurately recorded and relayed, in light of problematic past experience with city processes, and 2) will have real impact, in light of council action for the garage giveaway?

- What integrity can be left in this planning process, when the city council has just voted to give away (as part of the garage giveaway scam) half of the prime site for a new administrative building that would coordinate efficiently with a renovated city hall?

- Why on earth do they think we'll seriously consider spending tens of millions of city money to build an administrative palace, when they just took essentially $12 million of public monies and gave it to the Giustina's?

- 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 do they propose to start providing unbiased factual information? How will they redress the bias (correct and complete the factual foundation) that has already been introduced to the process to date?


http://www.FriendsofEugene.org
Last edited by Kevin on Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kevin » Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:13 pm

How sustainable would it be if a new Eugene City Hall project were to start with a tear-down of the existing city hall?
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