The mayor’s office and four city council seats are on the May ballot in Eugene. Eugene’s next city government will tackle economic issues such as development and logistical ones, like literally rebuilding the city hall.
Kitty Piercy faces two challengers as she seeks a third term as mayor. She says she wants another four years to continue work on projects such as Envision Eugene, a plan for long-term growth in the city of 156,185. She’s raised significantly more money than either of her challengers. Kevin Prociw currently works as a systems analyst for the City of Eugene, a job he’ll have to give up if he’s elected as mayor. He got into politics in 2010 when he started a government watchdog group called Lane County Citizens for Responsible Government. Jon Walrod is self-employed selling security systems. Like Prociw, he’s never held elected office. His campaign does not have a website explaining his platform, but he’s made public appearances with his opponents, where he’s identified himself as conservative and emphasized running government like a private business.
Incumbant Ward 2 councilor Betty Taylor is seeking a fifth term in office. At 86, Taylor isn’t looking to retire from public life any time soon. She’s garnered support from unions and an endorsement from the city’s alternative weekly newspaper. She voted against ending Eugene’s Occupy encampment in December of last year and she’s adamently against tax breaks for the controversial Capstone development project. Taylor does not have a campaign website. Her opponents are Juan Carlos Valle, a Social Security Administration employee, and Jim Ray, who is semi-retired from his job as a restaurant equipment repairman. At last count, Valle’s campaign had raised more than either of the others. He also got an endorsement from the Register-Guard. Valle is at odds with his opponents over the Capstone tax breaks, which he says could offer the city a significant economic opportunity. Ray says his top priorities are improving eduction and reducing gang activity in Eugene.
Three other city councilors are running unopposed.
Do you live in Eugene? Do you know how you’re voting in the mayoral and City Council elections? What would help you decide?