Claire Syrett represents Ward 7 on the Eugene City Council. She is a proven leader and effective advocate for progressive issues. Her fair-minded, fact-based approach to tackling tough issues means she can work effectively with people of diverse opinions to move our city forward in a positive direction. Claire stands strong on her principles and works from her core values of equality, compassion and community in her role representing Ward 7 and the city of Eugene.
Claire represents one of the most diverse wards in the city of Eugene. Ranging from downtown to the northern edges of the city boundaries, this ward includes the Trainsong, Whiteaker, River Road and Santa Clara neighborhoods; each one having its own unique character and needs.
What's Happening at City Hall
The block that housed our former city hall is now a blank slate. Our community can look forward to seeing a more accessible and welcoming city hall developed on the southwest corner at 8th and Pearl. This new vision will include plaza space for visitors to enjoy the many pieces of art that were housed at the former city hall and other amenities designed to make our civic center a place people will want to visit and share with others. A new city hall is set for completion sometime in 2016. Keep watching as the project continues.
No Easy Answers to Homelessness Crisis
This past summer residents in Whiteaker raised strong objections to a proposal to site a rest stop near their properties. The rest stop proposal was ultimately rejected by the city attorney who issued an opinion that the chosen site on private property was ineligible due to its proximity to residential housing. The review by the city attorney was part of the process for siting a rest stop under the city's pilot program which also involves outreach to surrounding residents and business.
In spite of this outcome residents in the area are still upset that the site was even considered for a rest stop and many continue to vocally oppose having this private property used for any kind of shelter or housing for people who are homeless. A common theme heard from these residents is that they bear more than their share of the burden of providing social services in the area and they are tired of being asked to do more.
This points to the very hard reality our city is facing. We have a real need to find more shelter options for those without and at the same time residents worry about the impact of these projects on their own lives. Dismissing these objections as simply NIMBY is not helpful.
Homelessness is a problem with causes beyond the scope of our city government to address but the daily affect is felt in our parks and neighborhoods. We must find places to shelter those without housing, if we don't want them living in our wetlands and parks. But the city faces strong protests in almost every instance when a site is considered. How we move forward, as a community, is the real question here. We must find some consensus on what we will support as a community and move forward towards both short term and long term solutions.