Endorsements – Lane County – Eugene Weekly
Lane County Commissioner, West Lane, Position 1 (nonpartisan)
A lot is on the line with this race for the Lane County Board of County Commissioners’ largely rural West Lane seat. Commissioner-elect David Loveall eked out a win over incumbent Joe Berney in May for the Springfield position, so the winner of the race to represent west Lane County could tip the board’s political ideology either to the left or the right, which will make a huge difference in how Lane County government operates over the next two years. And the board will likely weigh in on important decisions in the near future, which could include reproductive rights, natural resource extraction projects and green investments.
Retiring Commissioner Jay Bozievich hand-picked Ryan Ceniga as his successor. That’s like an anti-endorsement from where we sit. Ceniga tells EW that he wants to advocate for more timber extraction in the county and that he’s pro-life, except for certain conditions, such as rape and incest.
Dawn Lesley previously ran for the seat — back in 2014, when she lost by a mere 74 votes. With her on the board, we could avoid having Lane County move backwards on previous actions. For example, Lane County commissioners rejected a yearslong debate over extracting gravel from TV Butte in Oakridge. The owners behind Old Hazeldell are seeking $15 million from the county in a lawsuit filed earlier this year. But with Ceniga on the board, it’s possible that we could see commissioners change their view on the mine and OK a quarry at TV Butte, as well as other natural resource extraction projects, despite the concerns of the rural communities they affect.
With the possibility of a Republican governor, county commissioners, who also serve as county public health leaders, could play a larger role in divvying out money to support reproductive rights and even contraceptives. If Lesley is elected, we know she will do everything she can to support those of us who have a uterus we’d like to protect.
As climate change continues to warm our planet, Lesley would be the commissioner who maintains the Lane County’s investments in future technologies, something that will not only address the county’s greenhouse gas emissions but also stay ahead of the curve as economies throughout the world go green. Over the past four years, we’ve seen the commissioners move ahead on inventorying Lane County’s greenhouse gas emissions and coming up with plans to cut them. The next steps are finding ways to be on the forefront of green technology. Lesley, an environmental engineer, has the expertise and drive to make Lane County more sustainable while staying efficient.
West Lane County residents have two very different candidates to vote for on county commission. Ceniga would be a part of a majority to try and undo the progress we’ve seen Lane County take. Lesley will not only protect individual liberties if need be — such as reproductive rights — but also continue the county’s steps on being on the forefront of clean technologies. We’re on board with investing in our future.
East Commissioner Position 5:
Springfield Commissioner Position 2:
Gun totin’ David Loveall beat outgoing commissioner Joe Berney in the May primary, and that sucks.
Lane County, Investment in county parks, water access, restoration of natural areas, YES.
Who doesn’t love our Lane County parks? From Mount Pisgah Arboretum and Howard Buford Recreation Area to the North Jetty near Florence, they provide wonderful places for weekend camping trips and less elaborate quick R&R. The thing is, they cost money to maintain and operate. Lane County Parks is seeking a $31 million five-year tax levy to provide money for everything from increased security from sheriff’s deputies to sprucing up water access and working on restrooms around the system. If passed, it would cost the average homeowner $40 a year. That’s a perfectly reasonable amount of money for what we all get.
He’s unopposed, but so far we’re impressed at Sean VanGordon’s leadership and lack of divisiveness during divided times and wanted to say so. We give him our nod.
City of Springfield, Renews 5-Year Local Option Levy for Jail & Police Services, YES.
We’re not big fans of continuing the broken system of our policing and prisons, so we view this levy renewal with skepticism. And Springfield police’s mistreatment of Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020 — and the resulting lawsuit — is hardly a good use of public money, but if the folks in Springfield want to support this, we aren’t going to tell them not to, for one main reason: Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon told The Register-Guard that without the money, the city would need to have a “‘serious conversation with the community about priorities,’” including extra programming like funding for CAHOOTS and a potential treatment court.”
City of Eugene, Bonds Funding Street Repair and Walking, Biking, Safety, Tree Projects, YES.
Eugene City Council candidates running unopposed in the general election:
Alan Zelenka, Ward 3; Jennifer Yeh, Ward 4; Mike Clark, Ward 5; Greg Evans, Ward 6.
EWEB Board Member At-Large:
EWEB Wards 4 & 5:
John H. Brown
OTHER LOCAL MEASURES
Measures prohibiting psilocybin-related businesses within the cities of Creswell, Cottage Grove, Junction City and Dunes City, and a measure for a temporary ban on psilocybin service centers and manufacturing products in Coburg. NO.
What is this, the 2020s version of Reefer Madness? The state of Oregon has not made it legal for hippies to run naked through town high on ’shrooms. Research out of institutions including Johns Hopkins has shown regulated psilocybin therapy has helped reduce anxiety in some cancer patients, facilitated smoking cessation, helped with depression and more. Let’s not make it harder for rural patients to get valuable treatments.