Runaway City Hall

A public project has escaped public participation

The big surprise revealed about the new Eugene City Hall at the Wednesday, April 27, City Council work session was not that the cost had climbed from the original $15 million to $25 million. The surprise was that the council voted not to pause and become more knowledgeable and accountable for the situation. Councilor George Brown’s motion to hold “at least one more session” on the project’s budget, costs and financing went wanting when it failed to pass, garnering just three votes.   Continue reading 

Playing Offense at Kesey Square

Adapting a public space for people, not against people

Overhead view of Kesey Square

What is there about Kesey Square that needs fixing? It depends on whom you ask. Even the little bird sitting on Ken Kesey’s shoulder knows that there has long been a desire by those concerned with the need to improve the pedestrian and shopping experience downtown to fill up the space with a new building. Theirs is a defensive point of view. They see the square’s present clientele as a public nuisance that seriously detracts from their shopping mall ideal. Filling in the square would move that problem to somewhere else. Continue reading 

The Third City Hall Redux

Move the Council Chamber building to Oak Street?

Rhymes with aw-shucks, but since many of you have asked me what a new City Hall on the North Park Block might look like and what would happen to the existing council chamber and mural, I propose something like this. The Council Chamber building, as it turns out, has its own separate structure and is movable. It would need to be moved nearby anyway under the present 8th Avenue scheme, and I think it would have a much more striking, important and symbolic public presence if located on Oak Street (see map) across from the County Courthouse.  Continue reading 

Jerry’s Predictions 2013

Weiners, losers and sheep guts ahead

And it is written that: More and more polytheistic people will worship the plastic goddess Polly. Concealed whistle checks will be required for all government workers. And on the stand, the U.S. government will, instead of taking the Fifth, continue to take the Fourth. The NSA will create a vast meta-database of toilet flushes, mega-clip newspaper predictions, adopt Snoopy as its mascot and tag X-Box rats in recycled data dumps.  Continue reading