June 12, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Election campaigns in depth: Lisa Warnes, Ward 2

7 min read
Most election forums are conducted in one-minute snippets, so we contacted city council candidates with the opportunity to respond at greater length to statements made by their opponents.

John Q: Most election forums are conducted in one-minute snippets, so we contacted City Council candidates Matt Keating and Lisa Warnes, offering the opportunity to respond at greater length to statements made by their Ward 2 opponents. For example, speaking at City Club:

Matt Keating (Candidate, Ward 2): I pride myself in being among some of the most accessible public servants in the state.

John Q: Any response, Lisa Warnes?

Lisa Warnes (Candidate, Ward 2): A lot of people are messaging me now, and I’m getting a lot of Nextdoor messages as well, that he doesn’t necessarily respond to them. If he’s not going to gain any traction from them, then he loses them, and no more communication. Those are the people that said that they won’t support him.

[00:00:43] And I’m hearing that, sometimes when I tell them who I am, they’re thrilled that somebody’s running against him. There’s those people that are ‘Anybody But Keating.’ There’s those people that are willing to listen to me about the issues and seem to be very supportive of my running for this seat.

[00:01:04] Matt Keating (Candidate, Ward 2): We’re in an affordable housing crunch, a crisis. So we need more housing at all income levels: affordable federally-subsidized housing, missing middle housing, co-op housing.

[00:01:15] Lisa Warnes (Candidate, Ward 2): So, that’s basically my concern was the House Bill passage of 2001 and the relaxation of a lot of codes around town. I would say all between Willamette and Hilyard on 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, down around those areas that are slated for the infill projects. Those people are very concerned about the infill, about the developers are coming by knocking door-to-door, asking if they want to sell for cash. A couple of people I spoke to, different households, said that they’d been approached. And so they’re very concerned about that. I’m just really looking at this, possibly, this runaway train being a disaster.

[00:02:01] And then the other thing: the 10-year tax incentives given to developers. I mean, that has just got to stop. I mean, we need to be reasonable. I don’t understand why we continually do this.

[00:02:14] John Q: Speaking about his role in promoting a ban on new natural gas infrastructure for residential housing:

[00:02:20] Matt Keating (Candidate, Ward 2): I may be the fossil fuel industry’s least favorite city councilor.

[00:02:27] Lisa Warnes (Candidate, Ward 2): I’m happy with us signing on to being fossil fuel-free. We absolutely need to be. I’ll do whatever I can to support that. But I think it’s incorrect to say that we’re going to be the leader of it all. To me, that’s just bragging too much ahead of time. I want to be reality-based here. What can we do? Okay, what can we do: Stop building three-story buildings in solar access areas in neighborhoods.

[00:02:53] We need to walk our talk, and we’re not. So that’s another reason why I’m just disappointed with my opponent’s performance in his first term. And I am just very concerned that we need now, more than any time since I’ve ever been here, in 44 years, good representation in all wards.

[00:03:18] Matt Keating (Candidate, Ward 2): I’m endorsed by former Congressman Peter DeFazio, Congresswoman Val Hoyle, State Sen. Floyd Prozanski, State Sen. James Manning, former Rep. Phil Barnhart, Rep. Paul Holvey, and our Lane County Commissioners Heather Buch and Laurie Trieger, and former Commissioner Pete Sorenson. I have the relationships to help move the needle.

[00:03:39] Lisa Warnes (Candidate, Ward 2): Well, why aren’t you moving it then? I’ve been waiting to see that happen for four years.

[00:03:44] I am a Democrat. I’ve been registered Democrat since day one, since I could vote. Just from my observations through this campaign thus far, he is toeing the line for the Big Blue Machine, in my opinion. He just seems to be running James Manning’s campaign (for Secretary of State). I don’t see how he really honestly thinks that he can represent his constituents with that kind of a workload.

[00:04:07] I am endorsed by local community leaders because it’s the area I want to represent. I just want to bring it back from state and federal to Ward 2. I’ve been endorsed by Councilors Betty Taylor, George Brown, Paul Nicholson, Bonnie Bettman McCornack, neighborhood leaders Carolyn Jacobs, David Monk, Deborah Noble, Eben Fodor, Gavin McComas, Rachael Latimer, Ron Bevirt, Sandra Bishop, and William Collinge.

[00:04:41] Matt Keating (Candidate, Ward 2): As your city councilor, yeah, I’ve made some, I’ve ruffled some feathers.

[00:04:47] Lisa Warnes (Candidate, Ward 2): He’s ruffled mine! That’s why I’m running, I’m ruffled.

[00:04:51] I don’t know that he’s got a grip in reality on the financial scene because I mean, he’s just spending other people’s money, so I don’t think it occurs to him, honestly, or that he cares.

[00:05:02] I’m looking into not being able to retire until I’m at least 72. Financially. Yeah, it’s no picnic financially for me, so I really respect the value of the dollar.

[00:05:15] And, you know, in this neighborhood clearly, there’s a lot of retired women—in my field of work because I have a lot of those women as clients—trying to just make ends meet to pay their freaking taxes, even though their home is paid off and they’ve got to get a roommate. I have to probably put away $450 a month to pay taxes or—no, it’s going to be more than that this year.

[00:05:36] So that’s one room you can rent out, so that’s what people are doing. They’re literally, even if it’s not a fun process, is that people are actually sharing their house with people now. It’s like we’re expected to move over as, the older we get, ‘Move over, get out of the way, keep paying your taxes, but just get the hell out of our way and let us do what we want to do.’ I don’t like that.

[00:05:59] John Q: Matt Keating has ruffled a lot of feathers. He sought to silence those opposing his position on HB 2001 by shutting off the recording of a local neighborhood meeting.

[00:06:09] Matt Keating (Candidate, Ward 2): Is there a way to stop the recording for our conversation? So I can just have a frank—

[00:06:14] Zoom voice: Recording stopped.

[00:06:15] Matt Keating (Candidate, Ward 2): Thank you. That worked! I appreciate that. I just want to have an open, honest dialogue with you all.

[00:06:20] John Q: He suggested that Eugene residents participating in a recall election should be imprisoned and fined.

[00:06:27] Matt Keating (Candidate, Ward 2): Read the Oregon state constitution. It makes it very clear that the statements to recall a sitting city councilor, duly elected, elected official must be true. And supplying false information comes with consequences…Supplying false information may result in a conviction of a felony with a fine of up to $125,000 and/or prison sentence of up to five years.

[00:06:54] John Q: He deeply offended a fellow councilor.

[00:06:57] Councilor Greg Evans: I reject, resent that repugnant behavior… It’s racist. It’s repugnant. And it’s against everything in my 62 years on this planet that I have worked for, I have stood for… Never have I seen the partisan wrangling that Councilor Keating has brought to the table.

[00:07:22] John Q: The Southeast Neighbors asked the city to look into Matt Keating’s actions.

[00:07:27] Ela Kubok (Southeast Neighbors board): I think that it is within our role as a board to have an opinion about it, if it has to do with someone who’s representing our community. So I think like asking for an explanation and transparency from the city of Eugene, I don’t see why we wouldn’t do it as a whole board. Because we really just like, don’t know what happened.

[00:07:49] John Q: Neither Matt Keating nor the city ever responded. But another community leader agreed that Matt Keating’s behavior was racist: ‘He is willing to step on people, to get wherever he wants to get.’ That leader added: ‘He can be demeaning and dismissive of women and people of color.’  In your experience, is Matt Keating demeaning and dismissive?

[00:08:10] Lisa Warnes (Candidate, Ward 2): When we were at the City Club together, he sat next to me and every time he would speak, he would get up and stand up right in front of me. And that was rude, I thought, at best.

[00:08:21] I believe his brand would work better in that bigger political dynamic, but, for local politics, I would say: Definitely not. We need somebody who’s more immersed in local grassroots, and reaching out to our community, in a huge effort to reach out to community. And I’m trying to do that. I get back to everybody as soon as I possibly can, and if I miss anybody out there, I am so sorry. Text me, I will get back to you.

[00:08:51] John Q: Any closing thoughts about your opponent, Matt Keating?

[00:08:57] Lisa Warnes (Candidate, Ward 2):  Yeah, he’s a piece of work, all right. And so we need good, solid representation, and I am that person. Visit me at warnesforcouncil.org.

[00:09:08] I hope to have your support in bringing our community together in a more inclusive and transparent way where our public money is being spent responsibly, instead of going to tax incentives to developers. And when I am elected to council, I will be responsible with tax dollars.

[00:09:30] John Q: That’s Ward 2 candidate Lisa Warnes sharing her responses, to statements made by her opponent on the campaign trail. We’ve also reached out to Matt Keating and other candidates with the opportunity to go beyond the one-minute snippets of the typical candidate forum.

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