As a longtime observer of Eugene City Council, it seems to me that there is a great deal of truth to the criticisms leveled against it. Although it is a deliberative body, its majority often rushes to consensus on issues without fully debating and examining issues. It also often fails to do due diligence on proposals brought forth by the city manager.
Because of this, I have come to appreciate the role that Mike Clark has played on the council. Clark has not been afraid to ask questions, to actually debate issues and to give reasons for his votes.
He also isn’t afraid to do research and back up his positions with facts. Clark’s independence stands in a marked contrast to the almost Borg-like silent march of consensus that many of his fellow councilors often show. I usually disagree with his positions, but I think he plays a valuable role on council.
As the lone Republican on council, he also does not get credit for often breaking with current Republican orthodoxy, notably of his vote to make Eugene a sanctuary city.
With a Republican Party increasingly dominated by a lunatic fringe, one can hope that his independence and reliance on reason will be a brake on the Republican Party as well.