Mayoral candidates weigh in on exclusion zone

Mayoral candidates weigh in on exclusion zone »Play Video

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. to hear the candidates respond to your questions.

David Walker: There's a lot of talk about the downtown eugene exclusion ordinance. You've talked about it a lot. What's your stance on where we are with that and what you think of it?    

Kitty Piercy: You know I did actually have a press conference on that where I took the position that I am not a real fan of exclusion zones, but in our case I thought we had a real serious situation downtown.

I was supportive of a very narrowly focused exclusion zone for repeat offenders so that we can keep them out of our downtown so we don't have to keep dealing with the same folks doing wrong things in our downtown area, and we're in the process of putting the protocols in place. I hope it will be a very useful tool and help our officers and make our downtown a safer place for everyone.

Jim Torrey: Well, I'm very supportive of the exclusion ordinance, and the reason I am is not because of what someone might look like that's downtown, but the actions of the people.    

If they are breaking the law we must make sure that they are held accountable for that, and one of the issues that we face is that certain people downtown have total disrespect for either businesses or people. Some of the language and some of the activities aren't for afternoon television or even lunchtime or dinnertime television.    

The fact is we need to make people feel safe downtown. We need to make sure that people have a good reason to come downtown, and frankly I believe that the exclusion zone is a good step forward to make that happen and I want to thank councilor Clark and councilor Ortiz for having the courage to bring that up.