By Kelsey Card
EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene City Councilor Pat Farr defeated incumbent county commissioner Rob Handy Tuesday night to become the newest county commissioner.
He’ll represent the North Eugene district.
So what is his outlook on the county budget and how does he plan to start fixing it?
Right off the heels of the primary, Farr says he is relieved that the campaigning is over, and he looks forward to walking across this bridge from the city side to the county side.
Farr says the county faces its most difficult budget balancing ever and that the county needs to seek out more sustainable options for long-term goals.
He mentioned the cuts to public safety in particular and says leaders must look for a long-term solution.
In general, Farr says Lane County commissioners must pinpoint ways to boost the local economy for the future.
“So everything is wrapped up in how do we get dollars into the budget and what do we use as the means for doing that? I have ideas, so I’m optimistic we can move in the right direction,” Farr said.
Another major issue he pinpointed was a need for the city of Eugene and the county to team up and bring more manufacturing and development to the area.
After Farr leaves, that creates an opening on the council, and it’s Farr’s fellow councilors who will decide who replaces him.
“The council would have up to 90 days to appoint an interim councilor, and they can either do direct appoint or create some kind of a process,” said Jan Bohman with the City of Eugene.
That process could mean accepting applications for the temporary position.
The official council position — Ward 6 — will then be open in the next May election.
The last time this happened was in 1997 when Jim Torrey was elected mayor.