The Recall of Claire Syrett was initiated by Ward 7 residents and registered voters - over 2,000 of whom signed recall petitions when only 1,365 signatures were required.
The Recall is supported by people throughout the city who are being adversely impacted by Claire Syrett's inept leadership as President Eugene City Council and as Councilor for Ward 7.
Her imperious decision making affects everyone in the city. She refuses to engage in prioritization and documentation of NEEDS, lacks complete transparency, undermines genuine public engagement, bases decisions on personal biases instead of credible facts, and opposes giving voters a say in consequential decisions.
Dissatisfaction with Councilor Syrett is shared by many renters, homeowners, and local business owners. Her decisions have been counter to Ward 7 voters who have recently moved here, as well as citizens who have lived here their entire lives.
These are non-partisan issues and those wanting Syrett recalled span the political and economic spectrums. Regardless of where a Eugene citizen resides, every citizen has a right to expect our elected officials to act in the best interests of our community. Councilor Syrett has failed to do that as she acts only on behalf of a narrow set of special interests.
RECALL CLAIRE SYRETT AND SEND A MESSAGE TO THE CITY COUNCIL THAT CHANGE IS NEEDED
WHOLE COMMUNITY NEWS
"Analysis: Recall vote could affect future public outreach."
by John Quetzalcoatl Murray
The first Eugene City Council recall election in history could change how local agencies conduct public engagement.
Citizens took offense when Ward 7 Councilor Claire Syrett denied hearing any opposition to the MovingAhead transportation project. The citizens had discovered preliminary engineering drawings for local transportation corridors, shared the drawings with surprised business owners, and presented the council with a stack of nearly 500 signatures opposing the project.
While city transportation and LTD staff reported “robust” public engagement during a joint meeting of the council and Lane Transit District board of directors on Feb. 28, 2022, Councilor Mike Clark expressed doubts.
“I have a constituent in my ward, who, in a very short time, mostly by herself, has managed to get just less than 500 petitions signed, saying that those folks immediately adjacent to that Coburg leg are absolutely against the idea,” he said. “So I’m wondering if staff can help me understand how to square up, this looks like robust public engagement to me, but that’s what she did and I’ve got a pile of signatures, you know, three, four inches high here. Anybody want to try and resolve that for me? Help me understand what’s going on.”
Despite Councilor Clark’s opposition, the city council designated MovingAhead as its locally-preferred alternative, allowing staff to seek funding for the next phases of the project.
As Councilor Syrett continued to deny hearing of any opposition to the MovingAhead project, citizens proceeded to collect nearly 2,000 signatures to force the upcoming recall election.
MovingAhead is just the most recent high-profile policy decision that saw citizens protest their exclusion from the decision-making process:
An internal City whistleblower revealed that the city’s planning staff deliberately bypassed neighborhood staff and neighborhood associations on middle housing. Although previous efforts with the neighborhoods drew over 4,000 participants, HB 2001 drew only 741 hand-picked responses.
As the city de-emphasized neighborhoods by renaming Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement (HRNI) as the Office of Equity and Community Engagement, that office also alarmed members of the Neighborhood Leaders Council by unilaterally initiating changes to its Neighborhood Organization Recognition Policy (NORP).
Southeast Eugene moms collected hundreds of petitions and participated in two years of LTD board meetings to save neighborhood bus routes threatened by LTD’s Transit Tomorrow project. Their efforts were also largely ignored as LTD claimed widespread support from a robust public engagement effort. The MovingAhead project website still lists potential benefits from its connections with Transit Tomorrow.
Citizens have pressed the City and LTD for public engagement beyond informational “dog-and-pony shows.” They have repeatedly asked for engagement that would consult, involve, collaborate, and empower citizens.
Check back for additional information coming soon.
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