April 22, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Southeast Eugene praises Don Nordin, asks LTD to redraw subdistrict 3

3 min read
LTD heard a request to keep South Eugene in an urban district. The board takes up redistricting next month,

LTD heard a request to keep South Eugene in an urban district. The board takes up redistricting next month.

One South Eugene neighborhood on Wednesday asked LTD to change its district maps.

[00:00:04] Linda Duggan: Hello. My name is Linda Duggan and I live in Southeast Eugene. First, I want to thank our LTD representative Don Nordin. He has been responsive to our needs as our representative. While I appreciate his service as our representative, for the future redistricting, I would ask you to seriously consider, after Don’s term is completed, having the South Eugene area be covered by a representative in the City of Eugene. Our needs sometimes differ from the rural areas and smaller towns in Lane County.

[00:00:39] Our neighborhood buses connect us to Downtown, University of Oregon, Lane Community College, 4-J schools, local businesses, hospitals, et cetera. Our concerns would be best served by representation in the Metro area. As these decisions have impact for years to come, it seems appropriate to ask for this change now.

[00:01:03] LTD Board Vice-President Don Nordin: Well, in response to Linda Duggan’s comment, as well as feeling like the sub-districts are not representing the areas, I had a thought years ago that perhaps these rural sub-districts and essentially the 90 routes be compiled into one board seat. And then the other board members would do the metropolitan areas. As it is now, our 90 routes are separated and Gino has Springfield going out to McKenzie Bridge, and I guess Susan has Veneta, and Emily has Junction City.

[00:01:37] John Q: Don said a larger issue is that many county residents are not part of the district.

[00:01:42] LTD Board Vice-President Don Nordin: The thing I’m mostly concerned about is the way the district was drawn in Subdistrict Three, because it was annexed as a citizen involvement, we had to only vote in the cities of Creswell and Cottage Grove and therefore many, many people outside of the district are not represented. They’re disenfranchised. I’ve talked with the county commissioner. It’s very difficult to change the way the district boundaries are drawn unless the Secretary of State chose to do so.

[00:02:16] I’m not sure what procedure would be necessary, but there all along Highway 99 and Sears Road and Dugan Road and Hamm Road, there are many, many addresses out there that are not included in the district. And as you see, the districts are drawn around, you know, the other areas, Veneta and Junction City.

[00:02:38] Oakridge and Florence and Marcola were left out. At the time the district was being formed these outlying communities were controlled by the timber companies, the mills that were there, and they didn’t want to pay the tax. So the district was not drawn accordingly and I don’t know how that can be changed.

[00:02:57] And I would recommend, I guess, the Secretary of State look into this and see if there’s any interest in this. Several years ago, when I was running as a state representative, I knocked on many of these doors and asked people about transportation services and they would all be in favor of being in the district.

[00:03:16] But we didn’t have a mechanism to do that. And I’m not sure we still have a mechanism to do that. unless the Secretary of State decides to do that. And I’m assuming because of the nature of the taxing, that there would be a lot of pushback. I’m just concerned about how many people are left out of the district because of the way it was formed in the (19)70s, and the way we had to get service into South Lane County and even into West Lane County, through these other mechanisms, to get any service. Marcola is totally not served and Oakridge is minimally served. And this is part of that early process of 30 years ago.

[00:03:57] John Q: But that would be a different process. For now, LTD is simply looking at adjusting district boundaries based on the 2020 census data. That discussion is coming up in April.

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