No More City Managers

In regard to your Slant on the departure of Jon Ruiz (EW, 9/19), this is the time to amend the Eugene Charter and to end the city manager system first established in the early 1900s to curtail democracy.

Control of the population for the benefit of the establishment — called “stakeholders” nowadays — is the job. This has led us to environmental and social catastrophe.

Our city manager controls a budget of $678 million, hiring and firing, has staff and consultants, and is the head of every agency. You write that staff “trusts” Sarah Medary. You write that “it’s a plus that she has a degree from the University of Oregon in landscape architecture and horticulture.”

I can only say: Maybe. There are a lot of unexamined assumptions here.

Our last city manager, with hawkish Ayn Randism, has been a disaster for us socially, environmentally and morally. We need a city manager that shares Eugene’s core humanitarian and environmental values. We don’t need green-stamping or other unexamined assumptions. Any new city manager must be vetted by the entire community through the democratic process.

We are blessed to have an opportunity to change the direction of this city. We are all stakeholders in our future.

Otis Haschemeyer


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