River Road and Santa Clara community members and commuters voice their concerns of problems in the area, the main focus of each concern of problem being the need of more government support and legislative reform.
By Denisha Konyn
As local community concerns act as a reflection to the current concerns and issues in which the state faces, a few River Road and Santa Clara community member and commuters take the time to express their own concerns.
According to Banner Witt, 28-year-old Eugene resident and manager at the River Road JoAnn Fabric store, in response to what she thought the biggest problem in the community was she said, ” The Individuals that desire money from people by just asking. We have a lot of people coming into our parking lot and stopping people and asking them for gas money, and asking them for food. We have a gentleman that sits at the corner. We have them come in and make themselves comfortable at our pattern table. So it’d be the people that are taking advantage if the situation within the community that aren’t assisting, they are just taking. That’s the biggest problem I see.”
The lack of funding to the community affects the members of the community as well as the local businesses. Santa Clara Fire Station suffers as it struggles against annexation and the tax funds that are being taken away by the city and away from them. Firefighter Chris Anderson said, “With the Fire District right now, the biggest issues are annexation and funding through taxes…we have three paid staff, the Fire Chief, myself, and the other Chris. Then we have 40 volunteers.”
As way of solution to this problem Chris Anderson suggests an operating levy which would increase taxes, however as the tax base decreases the possible solutions appear less than fruitful. To join a Fire Authority or Guild as Lane Rural and other fire departments have been forced to do, is also an option to keeping the Santa Clara Fire Station alive.
Bob Hemble, a Santa Clara resident and employee at Knecht’s Auto Parts is experiencing first hand the issues created by the lack of government support and need for legislative reform. separated by a fence line, Bob Hemble can’t vote on a city level because he is considered out of district to the Eugene community and cannot vote for the mayor of Eugene.
“If you’re considered living in Eugene, you should be able to vote on who is mayor. My address says Eugene, not Santa Clara. You Should be able to vote on what happens in Eugene,” said Hemble. A simple fix, yet another concern that many community members face.
As the River Road community continues to expand, these pressing issues and concerns do as well. Aware of the lack of government and legislative support, the River Road community members and commuters do what they can to stand strong and united as they fight for change and support in their neighborhood.