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City Hall Office Controversy

Are Eugene city councilors getting left out of the loop when it comes to the construction of the new City Hall and their future offices there? Or lack of offices, as the case may be.

Recently more than half the City Council questioned City Manager Jon Ruiz on the latest developments with the public building under construction.

In an email to Ruiz and her fellow city councilors on Jan. 30, Councilor Betty Taylor writes, “As I told you during our recent conversation, I am shocked that plans for the new City Hall do not include councilors’ offices.” Instead, she says in the email, the plans now call for “work spaces.”

Taylor continues, “You said that individual councilors told the planners (architects?) that they would not use the offices. They did not ask me, but that is not my main point.”

Taylor goes on to detail the many reasons City Hall would need offices for its elected officials, from having office hours open to the public to the ability to have a “conversation without the risk of discussing council business with a quorum outside of a public meeting.”

The current plans apparently call for the mayor and city manager to have offices separated by two floors from the “work spaces,” she writes, adding that this “indicates a lack of respect for the positions of ward-elected officials.”

Read more in Thursday’s EW