Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy gave the annual State of the City address Wednesday night at the Hult Center. She expressed pride about the successes and new initiatives of the past year, but there was an undercurrent of sobriety because of the budgetary challenges ahead.
Downtown revitalization – it’s been an item on Mayor Piercy’s and the City Council’s to-do list for at least a decade. Now they’re checking it off.
Piercy: “Today you will find new apartments, a learning center, offices, retail stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, galleries, a teahouse, theaters and people of all kinds enjoying a re-energized downtown, and that’s good news.” The improvements have strengthened the city’s economy, helping cut what could have been a $5 million budget gap to $3 million. Still the city must develop a balanced budget.
Piercy: “Now our Budget Committee is asking the public for input on which service cuts should occur.”
The Mayor finished her address by creating a new to-do list for 2014 – including improving the economy, battling homelessness, MUPTI reform and a new City Hall.