Phil Knight might have built a moat around the Jaqua Center and planted a forest around Autzen Stadium, but it’s former Eugene Mayor Brian Obie who’s built a kingdom in Eugene. After Eugene City Council gave Obie Companies tax breaks, raised the height restrictions in the 5th Street Market area — also known as Obie Town — and generally handed Obie the keys to the city, the council decided to make it official and crown Obie as king of downtown Eugene.
The council voted 6 to 2, with the stipulation that Obie must supply his own crown. Councilor Mike Clark was one of the dissenting votes, grumbling that the council is giving more attention to the city’s urban core than other areas that might also deserve designated royalty, and that more importantly it rules him out from being king. Councilor Emily Semple also voted against the coronation, pointing out that, once again, “5th Street Market is not downtown.”