EUGENE, Ore. — Lane County commissioners know that even if a public safety levy passes in May, they have a lot of work to do to shape up the county’s future.
As May elections approach, discussions have increased about the county public safety levy or measure 20-213 and its impact to the jail.
The county’s struggle with money and its impact on the public safety system isn’t news to anyone, but it is a big problem that administrators are working to solve.
“You know I look at it from a business standpoint and it’s almost like developing a business plan,” said Sid Leiken, Lane County Commissioner.
That’s what county staff and commissioners are trying to do that Tuesday’s meeting, they decided to move forward with creating an administrative task force to manage the county’s future.
“I think the challenge Lane County has had in the past is that they tried to deal with every need all at once and that’s just too much. And not just the cost of it, it’s just a lot of information; it’s information overload,” Leiken said.
Many commissioners agreed so many studies have been done and so much information has been gathered, but now they need a plan.
“I just want somebody to sit down and think about this. How do we get from our completely inadequate public safety system we have now to one that’s actually functional,” said Jay Bozievich, Lane County Commissioner.
County administrators say while the upcoming levy will help the jail situation, they want the public to know it’s only one part of the solution.
“We know that there are other pieces to that system and we haven’t forgotten that. This is a much larger conversation about how to rebuild a structure,” said Alex Cuyler, Lane County Relations Manager.
Commissioners think having a clear plan in place will increase their chances of doing that successfully.
The plan is a work in progress. Tuesday’s decision will set up how the process will be managed from here. County staff will return May 7 with ideas on what parties they believe should be involved in the administrative task force.