Mayor Kitty Piercy cast the tie-breaking vote to permanently kill the West Eugene Parkway. Once again, an elite cabal of five individuals has thwarted the will of the people. This is in many ways similar to a single judge killing Measure 37.
Measure 37 is the reincarnation of Measure 7. In both cases, an overwhelming majority of the people told the government that individual property rights matter. And in both cases, one judge had more power than a million Oregonians. The West Eugene Parkway has twice been approved by the people of Eugene. And now one person has killed it.
I am so angry I can barely contain myself. I live in the unincorporated Santa Clara region of Eugene. That means I can't vote for or against Kitty Piercy come election time. But my home is literally right next to where the West Eugene Parkway would have run. It would make my life so much better. It would help the city. It would bring in jobs. It would allow new businesses to come to the area.
This issue has a huge impact on me, and I get no vote.
Now it's dead.
The West Eugene Parkway was originally passed by the people TWENTY YEARS AGO. Since then, traffic has only gotten worse. Will it be another 20 years before a new road is built in Eugene?
The time has come for serious changes in our government, at all levels throughout the state. We need a new Governor who will work for the people. We need new legislators who will represent us instead of special interests. But it goes beyond that. We need a new Secretary of State who won't use the position to be a partisan hatchet man. We need new County Commissioners who understand the importance of land use. We need better voices in Washington. And we need a new city council. Eugene is becoming a wasteland as existing business close up shop or leave town and new business fear to tread. The rest of the country is seeing an economic boom, yet Eugene has massive unemployment and economic malaise.
Our city council is run by environmental extremists who think that magically-defined "wetlands" are more important than roads, homes, and business. What they don't tell you is that most of these "wetlands" were farmland a few generations ago, but have seen been redefined to stymie growth. They think it's wrong to convert a farm to another profitable venture, but it should be mandatory to convert a farm into a swamp.
All we have to do is look across the river to see how it should be done. Springfield is growing. Springfield is building new roads. Businesses are coming to Springfield. There are jobs and new homes in Springfield. In 20 years, Springfield will be the center of commerce in the Willamette Valley. Eugene will just be a dried-up college town where ex-hippies go to die.
But it doesn't have to be so. It's time to stand up and take back our government. It's time for government to work FOR the people instead of against them. And we need to send a message about the West Eugene Parkway. I can think of no better way than to vote the bastards out of office.