EUGENE, Ore. -- An incumbent mayor versus a former mayor: Eugene's November ballot will decide if Kitty Piercy retains her office or if Jim Torrey regains the mayor's seat.
David Walker of KVAL TV asked you to send in your questions for the candidates. Then he sat down and got answers.
The issue for Tuesday, Sept. 23: the downtown exclusion zone, which bans people convicted or even accused of crimes downtown from the downtown area. | STORY
Tune in at 6 p.m. or 11 p.m. today and all this week and next to hear the candidates respond.
The issue for Monday, Sept. 24, was public safety.
To hear them in their own words, click on the video icon above. Here is a transcript of their responses.
David Walker: "It's an issue that comes up a lot and has some people wondering if it's safe to be living in Eugene. Assess the state of law enforcement in Eugene and Lane County."
Jim Torrey: "Well in the case of Eugene, we've got a real challenge facing us. The city council a few years ago did something called the Magellen Study which tried to identify how many police officers Eugene needed in order to be at a minimum standard of coverage for the community and it became evident very quickly that we're way understaffed, in fact to the point of being 40 percent understaffed.
"And when you ask the question, how safe are we, it's a matter of where the police officers are at the time you need the service. For example, Friday there was a statement made at a debate I was in. The council and the mayor had brought in 30 new police officers. What they failed to identify is that they actually hired 43, but they replaced 40 plus three who have submitted their resignations. So we are understaffed, and we will not be able to provide the protection until we get staffed. That's why it's a priority for me in this campaign."
Kitty Piercy: "Well first, I know that everybody wants to live in a safe community. That's part of what we try to provide for our city, part of what everybody expects.
"I talked to Chief Lehner this week and he, what he has told me, is that for cities our size, we are one of the safest cities of our size in the country. But for those who are victims of crime, that makes no difference at all. People who experience criminal activity want a response to that.
"One of the things that I think that I want people to understand is we can have our officers arrest people, and then if the county's part of the public safety system is broken, then they may not be able to process them, they may not be able to do the judicial process, they may not be able to incarcerate them. So it is the whole system that needs to work, and that system is under real stress right now."
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