Politics & Government

Politics & Government

Thursday was the filing deadline for four Eugene 4J school board positions. The final list shows Alicia Hays unopposed, Jim Torrey with two opponents, and Mary Walston with one challenger. The seat being vacated by Craig Smith has three candidates.

Oregon has no statewide ballot measures this spring. Lane County residents will vote on a motor vehicle registration fee. Benton County will weigh in on an ordinance addressing genetically modified foods.

Ballots will be mailed May 1st in Lane County for the May 19th special election.

City of Eugene

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy met with Uber this week. The city has filed a lawsuit against the ride-sharing service because it has refused to comply with rules around permitting. KLCC's Rachael McDonald talks with the mayor about Uber, train quiet zones, and the passing of former University of Oregon president Dave Frohnmayer.

City of Florence

Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner has been chosen as the new Chief of Police in Florence. Contract negotiations are still underway but Turner is expected to start his new job May 1st.

Sheriff Turner was instrumental in convincing voters to approve a funding levy for the Lane County Jail in 2013. Erin Reynolds is Florence City Manager. She says Turner has established good relationships in the region and will be an asset to the city.

Republican State Senator Jeff Kruse of Roseburg speaks on such topics as mandated vaccinations, statewide sick leave and climate change.

www.merkley.senate.gov

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley will host town hall meetings in Benton, Linn, and Lane counties this weekend. The Senator visits each of Oregon's 36 counties every year, inviting residents to talk about their concerns and suggest ideas to bring to Congress. Merkley will also update residents on his work in Washington, D.C. He will visit Corvallis, Halsey, and Eugene on Saturday, March 14th. 

Details are on Merkley's website, here.

Rachael McDonald

The old Eugene City Hall is almost completely demolished. The city council decided to tear it down and build new last year. KLCC's Rachael stopped by this Tuesday morning to check it out.
 

Mike Penwell is Project Manager with the City of Eugene. He says structural demolition is going faster than expected. And he says, the 50 year old building was more unstable than they thought. He says crews found additional weaknesses in the original construction.

Lane County's new internal auditor, Shanda Miller, started her job in mid-February. She was introduced to the public and the board of commissioners last week.

Miller spent the first few weeks in her new job meeting with various department heads, learning about what they do and the challenges of their jobs. County Spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis:

Levis: "As a performance auditor, her job very much is to look at efficiencies with the county, ways to do things better, ways to have cost savings."

John Rosman / OPB

The marijuana legalization measure Oregon voters passed last November says only the state can tax recreational cannabis. Twenty percent of that state tax revenue is earmarked for cities and counties. But a lot of local governments around the state say they need a bigger slice of that pie. Jackson County residents are voting next week on a measure to add a county tax on production and sales of both medical and recreational pot.

droregon.org

Oregon lawmakers are considering legislation which would require workers who don't currently have a savings plan set up, to set aside money for retirement. House Bill 29-60 and Senate Bill-615 would create a Retirement Savings Board and a payroll deduction plan for workers in the State. Joyce DeMonnin says people are more likely to save money if it's deducted from their paychecks.

Uber

The City of Eugene Thursday filed a lawsuit against the ride-sharing service Uber. The lawsuit was filed in Lane County Circuit Court. The city is seeking an injunction to stop the company from operating until it meets the city's minimum safety standards. This includes driver criminal background checks, proof of commercial auto insurance, and proof of vehicle maintenance inspections. The city also wants Uber to get a license to operate, similar to the ones taxis are required to have.

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