City Concerns

From homelessness to recycling to the form of government in reader letters


This afternoon I came home to find workers in the process of putting up a chain link fence near the home I’ve lived in for five years on a grass walkway between 13th and 15th avenues and the blocks of Lawrence and Washington streets. Before that there were posts put up, but apparently either the city decided to put one up or some neighbors complained about homeless folks using the walkway and very occasionally putting tents up.

Prior to these barriers being put up, residents of the city had been using this path for years, including me. For what it’s worth, I asked the workers putting up the fence if they knew the reason why this was being done. They confirmed that it was indeed being done to keep out the homeless.

Same song, different verse. Let’s make it as difficult as possible for the homeless in our communities to even exist. Hopefully, if we work hard enough, they will just magically vanish, just like the 45 virus was back in 2020.

Oh, well.

Neil Burton



Every day in my neighborhood, I’m pestered by the loud and polluting diesel trucks which go up and down our street. These busy recycling and trash trucks are supposed to be cleaning up our city, but the recycling trucks are frankly making things worse. Diesel fumes, loud noises, and less kid-friendly streets are what they bring instead of helping to protect our environment.

There’s a better way: Each neighborhood should collocate its recycling and trash into a recycling and trash center. One truck can come by and pick up each load. This system can reduce our rats and ruckus, and it also fosters more informal social interactions amongst neighbors. Let’s continue to be progressive, Eugene. There are other countries doing this that we could look at too, like the Netherlands.

Giffin Glastonbury



The city of Eugene is run by corruption and incompetence. City manager and code enforcement staff are committing fiscal irresponsibility, malfeasance and negligence, and are taking the public’s money and not doing their jobs. The City Council is negligent in its fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers favoring city employees. Lack of competition and government requiring you to use their services results in entrenched, way-overpaid public employees that can’t be fired and even send emails refusing to do their jobs. City staffers are so professional at writing regulations and such that not doing their jobs is doing their jobs. 

Government funding increases of 3 percent a year far exceeds the rate of inflation, many times doubling it. The overpayment to government is compounded each year such that if a person does the calculations, government employees have been substantially overfunded. Social security recipients get the rate of inflation, and the working class hasn’t even kept up.

There is nothing the city manager and staff is doing that can’t be done more efficiently and effectively saving taxpayers substantially if services are subbed out and privatized. The city manager should be replaced with someone from the private industry that is experienced in turning wasteful inefficient organizations around with the clear objective to reduce government expenses to compensate for the years of overpayment. The new manager should be directed to put taxpayers first and remove the entrenched bureaucrats.

One example, the entire planning and building departments can be privatized and competition allowed saving taxpayers substantially, and improving services to all.

Gary W. Cook


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