In the April 30, 2018, issue of the Register-Guard, Eugene resident Jayme Vasconcellos writes in a letter:
Here’s why you should vote yes on Ballot Measure 20-283:
City Hall’s original estimate: $11.5 million. Then, without notifying the council, City Manager Jon Ruiz blew it up to $18.8 million — and then to $27.85 million. Six million spent; nothing built.
From Mayor Lucy Vinis, most councilors, and Ruiz: smiling complacency.
Meanwhile, Eugene’s budget rathole has been deepening and darkening: The council granted Capstone an $8 million tax break; Capstone sold it for about $20 million in profit.
Now, the city proposes $7 million to silence trains, enabling an upscale development, and sweetening that with a proposed Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption of $6 million. That’s $27 million vaporized in just a few examples.
Opponents of Measure 20-283 are panicking: citizens will regain power chipped away by powerful interest groups; shenanigans may be exposed; accountability will be clear. Cynically, the council has hatched its alternative: a $250,000 rubber stamp (appointed auditor; appointed oversight).
Measure 20-283, in stark contrast, comes from a committed group of grass-roots citizen-volunteers and proposes the only effective and proven solution: an elected, independent, adequately funded and staffed auditor. It is high time we find out how our tax revenue has, is, and will be spent. Enough is enough.