EUGENE, Ore. — In May, voters will choose who will serve on the Eugene City Council, but it won’t be much of a decision. Four positions are open, and not one person is running against the incumbents.
That means Alan Zelenka, George Poling, Mike Clark and Greg Evans are guaranteed re-election to the ward 3, 4, 5 and 6 positions respectively on the city council.
We asked voters what they think is behind the lack of competition.
“The city is not subject to change. They don’t want change here. Apparently they don’t even want growth,” says Edward Williams.
Sarah Theophane says, “In order to have checks and balances, I think it’s important to make sure that there’s a fair amount of competition.”
Voter apathy is often cited as a cause of low turnout among voters. In Lane County, records show turnout for the last primary election in 2012 was 37.5 percent. That’s a decline from the primary before, which had a 42 percent voter turnout.
It’s the same story in Springfield. Three candidates have filed for the ward 1, 2 and 5 positions. Those are all incumbents, with no opponents.