Politics & Government
6:07 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Eugene City Councilwoman Still Prefers a Refitted Hall Over Building Anew

Eugene City Hall
Eugene City Hall
Credit sworegonarchitect

Betty Taylor, at age 88, is the senior member in age and service on the Eugene City Council.  She’s represented the City’s Ward 2 since 1997. Of the Council’s eight members,  she’s the only one advocating retention and remodeling of the current City Hall, even as the Council seems to have moved on by approving design work on a new building.       Tuesday, KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher asked her why she remains the lone holdout:

Taylor: “I agree that it’s already out of the barn, but I still think it was the wrong decision, and that’s what I’ll say if I’m asked.”

Offenbacher:  “Do you have any sense as to what citizen support you have in this?”

Taylor:  “No, I think people are not that much aware of what’s going on. When they see a surface parking lot and a small City Hall they will probably get concerned.”

When the motion to move ahead on a new City Hall passed, Taylor says there were some expectations expressed:

Taylor:  “Originally when we passed the motion, what we asked was to retain the Council chamber, the arts, the parking, and as much of the building as was possible. That has gone away. We are no longer saving the Council chamber and parking is going away.  There’ll be some surface parking, which I think is not a good thing for downtown.”

Taylor says the existing Eugene City Hall won prizes when it was first built…

Taylor: “…but it’s been neglected. There’s been no repair, no replacement of anything. People talk of the thin windows…well, in my house, I’ve replaced all the windows since I moved here. I couldn’t afford to do them all at once, but I’ve replaced them all because they were flimsy.  If I hadn’t done anything to my house, it would look like it should be demolished also.”

Eugene Councilwoman Betty Taylor is the only member of the Council favoring refitting the existing City Hall rather than building it anew.  Claude Offenbacher.  KLCC News.