Candidates’ responses to questions

During Fall 2022, the three candidates were encouraged submit responses to a series of questions from Ward 7 voters.

The responses from Janet Ayres and Barbie Walker are below. Lyndsie Leech did not respond to any questions during that period.

All three candidates were invited by email on March 28 to update and/or complete their responses to the same questions. Word limits were eliminated, and candidates were allowed two weeks for submissions. The responses will be posted as soon as practicable after the April 12th deadline.

You can find further information about the candidates at these links:
Janet Ayres
Barbie Walker
Lyndsie Leech

Responses from candidates

Question 1. In which of the following 2022 elections did you vote? (Yes or No for each election)

  1. May Primary Election
  2. September Special Election for Recall of Ward 7 City Councilor
  3. November General Election
 Voted 2022 PrimaryVoted 2022 RecallVoted 2022 General
Barbie WalkerYESYESYES
Lyndsie LeechNo responseNo responseNo response

Question 2. What are your views about the following four issues, including the public processes, proposals, City actions, and any other aspects?

  1. The Ward 7 recall petition and vote
  2. The MovingAhead proposal for EmX on River Road
  3. The HB 2001 (“Middle Housing”) amendments to the Eugene Land Use Code and Metro Plan
  4. The “Eugene Renter Protections” regulations

1. Views on the Ward 7 recall petition and vote

Janet AyresRegardless of how Ward 7 voters decided when they cast their ballots, the recall process was a legal and proper exercise of citizens’ rights. If I’m a candidate in any election campaign, I will make my best case on the merits and accept the voters’ decision.       Claims that the petition statement was false were baseless, and attempts to discourage voters by assertions that a recall election was an “abuse” of the process were inappropriate.        I firmly believe that all partisan interests must encourage voters to cast their ballots and must stop sowing doubt on the integrity of our elections when they don’t like the outcomes.
Barbie WalkerI believe in “meeting people where they are”. What this amounts to is, listening, active listening and transparency. Doing your business in the light of day sort of speak. Connecting with and acting upon who you are representing. If that doesn’t occur, recalls can occur.
No response

2. Views on the MovingAhead proposal for EmX on River Road

Janet AyresAs an individual voter in Ward 7, I opposed the proposal for constructing EmX on River Road, based on my personal evaluation of the impacts. My role as a City Councilor representing the multiplicity of views among Ward 7 voters would be different.       If I have the opportunity to represent Ward 7 as a City Councilor, I will step back from my individual opinion, keep an open mind, and work to have LTD and the City Council revisit plans for River Road.       The two critical elements would be to conduct a more substantial engagement of residents, property owners, and businesses around River Road regarding potential positive and negative impacts, and approaching the future of the River Road corridor with coordinated plans for transportation and development.
Barbie WalkerIn order to sort this out. Transparency and real knowledge in regards to the who, what, when, where and why’s is what people want available or given to them. With no contradictions, false truths or what I call piggy backing of other agendas. Then, listen and act accordingly to what people say, represent them.
No response

3. Views on HB 2001 (“Middle Housing”) amendments to the Eugene Land Use Code and Metro Plan

Janet AyresI’m not deeply informed on the details of the new housing zoning standards, but it seems clear that the City Council and citizenry were seriously divided. In such circumstances, I think it’s wise to move judiciously; and yet both those in favor and those opposed agreed that the adopted code amendments went well beyond what HB 2001 required. I understand the resulting ordinance has been appealed and that no court decision has been made yet. If the appeal is upheld, I believe the Council should revisit those zoning changes that were considered to be the most problematic, for example greatly reduced lot sizes and increased lot coverage, which could have significant negative impacts on older neighborhoods, such as Whiteaker, Trainsong, and River Road. This is another issue for which I want to be sure the Ward 7 councilor represents the views of Ward 7 voters, and I have heard a great deal of complaints that the city “doesn’t listen to us.”  
Barbie WalkerApologies, I would need more time to properly answer.
No response

4. Views on the “Eugene Renter Protections” regulations

Janet AyresAs a small-scale landlord (I live in one unit of a 1928 duplex and rent the other unit), I know firsthand the difficulties that both lower-income renters and local landlords face. Covid-19 was a huge hit on many renters’ incomes and the restrictions on landlords also hit small operators hard.    I will need to learn more from both tenants and other local landlords before I can offer pragmatic suggestions for both regulations and economic support.    My initial sense is that some of the proposed regulations, such as the very low cap on application fees, may result in local landlords abandoning the market and potentially selling their rentals to national investment companies. This could have counterproductive results for renters because of increased rents and on the local economy as rental income would leave the Eugene area.
Barbie WalkerThere is a morale compass that need to be addressed in regards to lessors and lessee. Both sides need to be protected and not exploited. There is research, questions and work that needs to be done with both sides, that is well over due but we can do it. Now is time. Housing is needed!
No response

Question 3. Which policies should the City take regarding new housing development standards within the Willamette River Greenway on the WEST side of the river?

Select one of the three choices for each standard, below. Optionally, add up to 25 words of comment for each standard. Note that most of Ward 7’s neighborhoods, including areas within the Willamette River Greenway, is zoned R-1 Low-Density Residential Zone. (Click here for the zoning map.)

1. The R-1 Low-Density Residential Zone allows a maximum density of 14 dwellings per acre. Should the maximum density of new housing within the Willamette River Greenway:
a) Require new housing to be less dense than the Low-Density maximum density; or
b) Keep the same allowable density as the Low-Density maximum density; or
c) Allow new housing to be more dense than the Low-Density maximum density?

Janet Ayresb) The same. But limit to one single family home and an ADU or a duplex.
Barbie Walkera) Less dense. [* Updated] Established neighborhoods along the WRG accompanied by beautiful biodiversity and public land use parks nestled along Bascom Riverbank Path deserve respect of preservation.
No response.

2. The R-1 Low-Density Residential Zone allows a maximum building height of 37 feet for structures with sloped roofs, 30 feet otherwise. Should the maximum building height of new housing within the Willamette River Greenway:
a) Require new housing to have lower heights than the Low-Density maximum height; or
b) Keep the same allowable height as the Low-Density maximum height; or
c) Allow new housing to have higher heights than the Low-Density maximum height?

Janet Ayresa) Lower. Just remove the 7 foot add-on. Thirty feet would still allow two stories.
Barbie Walkerb) The same. Keep as is.
Lyndsie LeechNo response

3. The R-1 Low-Density Residential Zone allows structures, including dwellings, garages, and accessory buildings, to cover a maximum of 50% of the lot area. Should the maximum lot coverage of new housing within the Willamette River Greenway:
a) Require new housing development to cover less of the lot than the Low-Density maximum lot coverage; or
b) Keep the same allowable lot coverage as the Low-Density maximum lot coverage; or
c) Allow new housing to have greater lot coverage than the Low-Density maximum lot coverage?

Janet Ayresb) Lower. Fifty percent is OK, but count driveways, parking, etc., in coverage. Generally, we must protect the precious natural environment of the Greenway.
Barbie Walkerb) The Same. This deserves more than 25 words to thoroughly explain how changing this can possibly adversely cause unintentional consequences to more areas (future) of Ward7.
No response

Question 4. 
a) Have you added your name to the Petition to Eugene City Council advocating for a transparent appointment process that reflects the opinions of Ward 7 voters? (Yes/No — respond “Yes” if you have signed the petition at any time prior to submitting your response.)

Janet AyresYES.
Barbie WalkerYES.
Lyndsie Leech(Lyndsie Leech did not respond to the question, but has signed the petition)

Question 5. (Directed at a person who is not a candidate.)

Question 6.
Do you think the City should allow any homeless camping in City parks? (Yes or No)? Optionally, add an explanatory comment to your response.

Janet AyresNO. Eugene must comply with legal requirements for sufficient places for homeless individuals to sleep safely. However, the City should do that elsewhere than public parks.
Barbie Walker NO. Apologies if this upsets some. Public Parks are for Public use. Everyone should have access to them equally, with no boundaries of territorial homesteading.
No response

Question 7.
What minimum hours per week are you’re willing to commit to this position?

Janet Ayres30. On average.
Barbie Walker40. I believe this will be fluid. As much time as needed to always be adequately available, always make reasonable effective efforts for whatever is needed.
No response