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Crowds Gather for State of City Address

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EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy laid out her plan of action for 2014, in Wednesday’s State of the City Address.

She also talked about her personal plans for the future.

The election is three years away, but Mayor Piercy says unless she has a major change of heart, this will be her last term.

But she says there’s plenty of work to do before then, and she’s ready to focus on the year ahead.

“Eugene’s top story for 2013 is the redevelopment of the city’s inner core. The rebirth of downtown has created hundreds of jobs and preserved hundreds more while adding quality of life to the region,” said Piercy.

Downtown development was just one of the key issues the mayor touched on.

She also talked about the economy and state passenger rail.

“We may be a modest sized community on the Cascade Rail Corridor between here and Vancouver, British Columbia, but we can take credit for restarting the rail conversation for the state of Oregon,” said Piercy.

Piercy says there were plenty of successes in 2013: passing the plastic bag ban, the Eugene Library was recognized in the top 3 percent of the country — and miles and miles improved roadways.

“Over the past three years, Eugene has repaired over 45 miles of improved streets – an all-time high in the history of our city and all because of you, the voters,” said Piercy.

But there were also a fair amount of challenges, with homelessness taking center stage.

The mayor believes the city needs to take a wellness approach to get more people off the streets, something Councilor Claire Syrett also supports.

“Looking at it more from a services approach, connecting them with the things they need to really bring their lives back into a better place, is what I’d like us to be doing,” said Syrett.

And Mayor Piercy says as we look ahead to the new year, it’s important to remember how our past has gotten us to where we are today.

“We’ve learned a lot, experienced a lot and accomplished much together. I am proud of this city,” said Piercy.

 

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