Eugene Groupthink

Eugene City Council loves to pronounce imaginary doctrines like this, and repeating them endlessly they adopt them as the truth: They consider Eugene already in compliance with last week’s federal court decision that decriminalizes homeless sleeping on public property.

There are many other examples. City council members Betty Taylor and even Emily Semple have said that Eugene already permits Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) and is already in compliance with SB 1051 requirements — that all cities shall allow ADUs (second dwellings) on residential lots.

Eugene has 44,000 residential lots and has permitted two ADUs in each of the last three years, a rate of 5 in 100,000. You are more likely to die of whooping cough (5.5 per 100,000 per year) than to get a permit for an ADU in Eugene.

So the City Council would be equally correct to say, “Eugeneans are dying of whooping cough.” No, they’re not. They are dying of cancer and heart disease; they are not dying of whooping cough, and they are not building ADUs. They are paying half their income in rents and mortgages because of the financial bubble.

So, Eugene is being sued for noncompliance with SB 1051 because Eugene is in such deep groupthink, it is the only way for reality to reach them.

Todd Boyle