Downtown Eugene

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Decommissioning the Gravy Train

The organized opposition to the City's urban renewal boondoggle, was certainly fighting Urban Renewal in general. UR is a corrupt mechanism, chock full of anti-democratic legal protections, awarding privileges to certain property owners, and awarding contracts to a City's elite. With it, a "Gravy Train" mentality develops, where the rich and powerful in a City expect the Government to fork over money, regularly, for private work, unrelated to community interests.

Urban Renewal isn't the only mechanism by which governments provide luxury to those who already have it, at the expense of those who can't afford it. But it's a codified corruption mechanism, legally cocooned, and hard to defeat once in place.

So, we must get rid of it. Even the local daily, The Eugene Register Guard, which was for expanding Urban Renewal, is rethinking the Gravy mentality:

Voters in all parts of the city found reasons to oppose Measure 20-134. Those reasons were probably as diverse as the politics of the voters who united to kill the proposal. But the strong and widespread resistance to the council’s redevelopment plans, which had already been approved by the council before rumblings of a referendum led to a referral, suggests that the city’s leaders need to take care as they consider what to do next downtown. Given the Nov. 6 vote, it seems likely that Eugene voters would support a measure to eliminate urban renewal districts altogether.


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