Democratic Party of Lane County Chair Chris Wig (who is also running for City Council) has informed EW that on Thursday evening, Feb. 18, the DPLC voted to pass two resolutions:
1) The city should support a downtown visual arts center
2)Kesey Square should remain public, but improved
Read the full resolution language at the bottome of this blog post.
"The Jacobs Gallery vote was unanimous," Wig tells EW. "The Kesey Square vote wasn't unanimous, but it was an overwhelming majority."
As for Kesey Square, Wig says from what he hears in the community, people want to try to exhaust all other options to make Kesey Square a pro-social place before considering anything drastic and permanent like a building. Wig also says the 1971 deed uncovered by the R-G that stated the square was "forever dedicated to the use of the public” nudged people who had been on the fence about keeping the square.
"The potential for a protracted legal battle is not something they want to spend resources on," Wig says.
Wig continues: "If we can accomplish the goal of having a vibrant pro-social space in the center of our city for the cost of tables, chairs," and other amenities, then that would cost much less than a building.
The City Council is hosting its first-ever work session and public forum on Kesey Square Monday, Feb. 22. The work session is at 5:30 pm and this is where citizens can listen to (but not participate in) the City Council and City Manager discussing the agenda items. Then at 7:30 pm is the public forum, when any citizen can sign up to speak to the City Council. Each citizen gets a three minute time limit. This public forum is likely going to be a packed house so show up early to sign up if you want to speak.
Read the full resolutions below:
Resolution regarding Jacobs Gallery
Whereas, Eugene is “a great city for the arts and outdoors”; and
Whereas, the Jacobs Gallery is a significant gallery that provided anchoring functions to the art district downtown; and
Whereas, citizens have recently spoken out in support of a downtown visual arts center;
Therefore, the Democratic Party of Lane County urges the City of Eugene to collaborate with other public and private entities to maintain or create a publicly accessible indoor space for the display of visual arts downtown.
Resolution regarding Kesey Square
Whereas, the DPLC platform says we should “work for more public meeting places in Lane County, both indoors and outdoors;” and
Whereas, Broadway Plaza (Kesey Square) is the central point of our city and celebrates our famous author;
Therefore, the Democratic Party of Lane County urges that Kesey Square be maintained and improved as an open public space.