EUGENE, Ore. — The City Council voted Monday to keep the 20 block Exclusion Zone Ordinance for one more year.
After listening to lengthy public comment from both supporters and opponents of the exclusion zone, the ordinance was amended. It was anything but a shoe in; the City Council was deadlocked 4 to 4 in a tie. Mayor Kitty Piercy broke the tie by voting in favor of a one year extension.
The ordinance won’t be exactly the same though. Mayor Piercy proposed the more violent and serious offenses, like theft or assault, still be included in a potential 90 day hiatus from zone. Some of the more minor crimes, like trespassing, will not warrant being excluded.
“I was happy with it the way it was before actually, I don’t think it needed to be watered down I still think we have a real problem with crime on the streets out there,” said Jeff Keim, Thunderbird Market Manager.
“I think it’s a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. With the violent more aggressive people downtown I think it’s a really good thing especially hearing there was a cop beat up recently,” said Travis Mackenzie, VooDoo Doughnuts Shift Manager.
Many opponents who spoke last night think the ordinance unfairly targets the homeless population downtown and that it violates due process, by excluding people before they’re convicted.