• One last word from us on the elected auditor measure on the May 15 ballot: Opponents of Measure 20-283 complain it was drafted behind closed doors with no public process, but it’s actually the product of decades of discussion in public meetings and even at City Club of Eugene. The final language of the measure was crafted by a group of well-informed, civic-minded folks, including two exceptional former city councilors, Bonny Bettman McCornack and George Brown. The measure reflects massive research into auditor best practices around the country and was refined to fit with Eugene’s form of government. Guiding the process was auditing expert Gary Blackmer, former auditor for the state of Oregon and the city of Portland.
Eugene is not burdened with Chicago-style corruption, but we do have a city staff that sometimes stumbles along, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars in the process. An adequately funded and independent city auditor will work with our city departments to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability. Vote “Yes” on the elected auditor Measure 20-283.
• A transplant from New Jersey was elected president of the City Club of Eugene May 4. Joel Korin retired from his practice as a trial lawyer, moved to Eugene to be with his kids and grandkids, and both he and his wife started volunteering in this community. Korin advocates for the “civil and civic discourse” that the City Club represents. He succeeds current City Club President Sandra Bishop and Eric Richardson of the Eugene Springfield NAACP is president-elect.
• What would Bill Bowerman do? Everybody from the president of the University of Oregon to the editorial writers of The Register-Guard has a take on that question to fortify their positions on the proposed total destruction and rebuild of Hayward Field, including the fabled East Grandstand. We think it is safe to say that Bill Bowerman would not have liked the huge tower that is part of the current plan. Who does like it?
• After listening to Bhairavi Desai speak May 4 as a guest of the Morse Center for Law and Politics on the campus, we wonder about calling Uber to haul us around any city. Her topic was “On the Frontlines of the Gig Economy: Organizing Taxi Workers under Ubernomics.” Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, talked about the obscene gap between income of Uber owners and drivers. She said many drivers don’t even receive minimum wage. On the other hand, in New York City, some Uber drivers have joined the taxi workers union. “How does that work?” asked one of Eugene’s labor leaders. We wonder.