The primary election in May doesn’t get the buzz that November elections get, but here in Oregon, the primary matters a lot, especially when you are looking at races such as the Lane County Board of Commissioners where a candidate who gets 50 percent of the vote plus one is the only name that goes onto the fall ballot. This basically means the election gets won in the spring.
Each year, EW staffers send out questions, do research and interview candidates to figure out who’s the best person for the job and tell you who or what we endorse (spoiler alert, in case you can’t tell from the cover, we totally endorsed the elected, independent auditor).
This year, as has happened a time or two in the past, our editorial board didn’t agree on a couple races. In the race for state representative Marty Wilde and Kimberley Koops each have their pros and cons, as do Heather Buch and Kevin Matthews for the Lane County Commission. While we love a candidate who challenges the status quo, we also love consensus and coalition builders. So we decided to dual endorse. That’s not helpful, you say? Then go with what matters to you at your core, whether it be more women in politics, a record of military service, affordable housing or land use.
It’s nice to know, in a time when elections have been angry and have built hate, that we have multiple candidates we can get behind.
So go vote.
Kate Brown v. Candace Neville and V. Knute Buehler v. Greg Wooldridge v. et al
BROWN STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD
Val Hoyle v. Jack Howard v. Lou Ogden
GO VAL OR GO HOME
The vote cast for Val Hoyle for commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries is one of the most important votes in the May primary. She needs 50 percent plus one to win this “nonpartisan” state race now rather than fighting it out in the November election. It’s all about turnout. Dems and progressives should go all-out to get those ballots off the kitchen table and into the mail. If Republican Lou Ogden wins, it’s another inroad by the radical right into this narrowly blue state. The unpaid mayor of Tualatin, Ogden has a truly disgraceful record as described by The Oregonian, not exactly a liberal newspaper, in our news section and by our own Tony Corcoran in a column on April 12. Meanwhile, Hoyle was majority leader of the Oregon House, a representative from 2009 to 2016, and has 25 years of experience in retail management and retail sales. She’s endorsed by Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, plus a long list of labor unions, Planned Parenthood PAC, and the Oregon Home Builders Association. We give her our must-win endorsement.
Kimberly Koops v. Marty Wilde
VOTE FOR EITHER
really helpful to know that Powell regularly posts racist and anti-Semitic statements on social media and the Republican Party does not back him as a candidate.
West Commissioner, Position 1
Jay Bozievich v. Nora Kent v. Beverly Hills
There are two things that crack us up about this race. First that it’s “nonpartisan,” which means technically it’s not about the political parties. And second, someone named Beverly Hills is running and will probably get some votes on the name alone.
But we say vote for Nora Kent.
Sid Leiken v. Joe Berney
FEEL THE BERNEY
Heather Buch v. Kevin Matthews v. Gary Williams v. Frank King v.
James Barber v. Tim Laue
GO EAST, YOUNG VOTER
Alan Zelenka v. Thomas Bruno v. Hugh Paterson III
STAY THE SAME
For Ward 3, the university area, our endorsement pick is incumbent Alan Zelenka. Going into what would be his fourth term, if elected, Zelenka says he’s proud of his accomplishments, but adds, “There’s still a lot to do.” He says his main focuses are affordable housing and homelessness, public safety and neighborhood protection, sustainability and preparing Eugene for tech jobs.
Zelenka has already been a part of spearheading projects to help the homeless, such as Opportunity Village and the rest stops. He says he wants to see more projects like those in the future.
Being the councilor for the university area, Zelenka has a track record of helping improve traffic and parking in the area, notably from the Matthew Knight Arena. He says he’ll also be working with whatever comes of the new plans for Hayward Field.
Zelenka has always been very focused on Eugene’s environmental sustainability and is proud of Eugene’s climate ordinance, but he says he is still working on ways to make Eugene more sustainable. He also helped create the Sustainability Commission.
He also says he’s always been focused on bringing civility to council meetings and having thoughtful discussions. He says even though he may have opposing viewpoints with other councilors, he always puts that aside to have intelligent and civil conversations about issues — something we think is great to have on the council.
Although there are some issues we don’t agree with him on, such as his support for an appointed city auditor, we think Zelenka is still a good choice to remain as Ward 3’s city councilor.
Jennifer Yeh unopposed
LET IT RIDE
We often encourage voters to write in candidates in unopposed races to remind city councilors not to get complacent, but Jennifer Yeh is still pretty new, so let’s give her some time. Give her a vote if you like her — it’s worth noting who gets votes and stays in office and who gets barely any at all and stays too.
Mike Clark v. Christopher Dean
A New Citizen In town
Greg Evans unopposed
Wards 4 and 5
John Brown Unopposed
Victor Odlivak v. Zach Mulholland v. Mindy Schlossberg
THE MINDY PROJECT
Zach Mulholland and Mindy Schlossberg are both strong candidates and regardless of the outcome, we hope they stay in the public arena. Mindy Schlossberg has shown leadership qualities, understands budgets and balance sheets, and seems better qualified to represent all 88,000 rate payers at this time. We agree with one of the current board members who says a woman is needed for the EWEB board. “For too long it has been dominated by middle-aged males.”
Amends Charter: establishes office, duties of independent elected city auditor
Amends Charter: establishes council-appointed performance auditor, audit review board
MAKE AUDITING GREAT AGAIN!
Who doesn’t want genuine oversight of the doings of city government?
Well, the backers of Ballot Measure 20-287 don’t, for one. The measure is the Eugene City Council’s cynical response to a previously filed citizens’ initiative — Ballot Measure 20-283 — that would create an independent and separately elected city auditor.
The backers of the city-approved auditor proposal would have you believe otherwise, but the timing of their ballot measure makes it clear that 20-287 is nothing but a poison pill — a tried-and-true tactic in Oregon and elsewhere in which established interests try to undermine a reform proposal by offering a watered-down version of the original idea on the same ballot. The goal is to muddy the issue and split the vote so that neither measure passes.
The original measure in this case — 20-283 — would create an independent elected performance auditor to oversee city programs. The auditor would not be appointed by the city council but would be elected directly by the citizens. The measure also establishes a budget for the auditor’s office of 0.1 percent of the city budget, a reasonable sum.
The council’s watered-down version would have the council appoint its own auditor and give the office about a third of the originally proposed budget to work with. Both ideas weaken the auditor so much that the office would become just one more drag on the city’s budget without providing a clear benefit.
Vote for a real auditor with a “yes” on 20-283 and a “no” on 20-287.
Five-year parks and recreation operations and maintenance local option levy
Bonds to fund parks and recreation facility projects