May 22, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

City priorities survive legislative deadline

2 min read
The city's top three funding priorities—unhoused response, housing for Crow Road, and infrastructure for Clear Lake Road—survived a major legislative deadline.

The city is asking for money from the legislature. On behalf of the intergovernmental relations committee April 10, Councilor Greg Evans.

[00:00:08] Councilor Greg Evans: This is an update on the IGR committee. Last week the legislature passed a significant deadline to have bills out of the first chamber, which substantially thinned the number of active bills.

[00:00:21] We are 50% of the way through the legislative session with major policy items passed—the Governor’s emergency homelessness and housing package—but there’s more to come.

[00:00:33] IGR efforts are doubling down on our priorities: funding requests for unhoused response, housing development in the Crow Road area, and economic development with Clear Lake Road infrastructure.

[00:00:47] We have also secured one of the few unanimous bills to pass out of the House, which was our public records exemption for cybersecurity plans and information.

[00:01:00] As always, if there are policy-related questions, please reach out to the IGR committee, which includes myself, Councilor (Randy) Groves, Councilor (Jennifer) Yeh, Mayor (Lucy) Vinis, and, of course, our staff, (City Manager) Sarah (Medary) and (Intergovernmental Relations Manager) Ethan (Nelson).

[00:01:14] John Q: But if you work at the legislature, you may have to observe from a distance.

[00:01:20] Councilor Matt Keating: I have walked in in this very room at the start of an IGR meeting, recently, and been told that it would constitute quorum that I couldn’t even be in the room.

[00:01:33] John Q: City Attorney Kathryn Brotherton explained the quorum rules apply in specific cases.

[00:01:38] Kathryn Brotherton (City Attorney): It depends on how the meeting would be noticed. If the meeting was not noticed and operating as a public meeting in accordance with Oregon’s public meetings law and a quorum of councilors showed up, we would turn folks away because now we’ve got a quorum of councilors that could be hearing information ultimately that they’re gonna be making a decision on.

[00:02:02] Councilor Matt Keating: I mean, I complied and I’m happy to, cause I don’t want to trigger an open meetings violation. But if we’re also making, if we’re publicly noticing meetings and making them available online for everyone to observe, I would like to know more detail about what meetings are public, what constitutes participation.

[00:02:24] John Q: Councilor Keating should keep his distance for another reason.

[00:02:29] Mayor Lucy Vinis: Matt, that’s a different conversation with IGR because it wasn’t a public meetings law question there. It was your role in the legislature. (Oh, we were) We were talking about legislative policy, yes, it was a slightly different issue.

[00:02:41] John Q: Councilor Evans with an update on the 2023 session, as Eugene focuses on its top three legislative priorities. For more on public meeting law, see Open-Oregon.org.

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