Eugene (KMTR) – The future for Occupy Eugene still hangs in the balance. The Eugene City Council was expected to vote Monday night on whether to extend an exemption of a Eugene ordinance against camping in parks to accommodate Occupy Eugene’s campsite at Washington-Jefferson Park. Instead, the council voted to put off the vote until Wednesday at the earliest.
City leaders want to review all their options on what to do about Occupy Eugene.
Plenty of people on both sides of the issues showed up to the council meeting Monday night, sharing their views on whether the Occupy camp is safe, effective, helpful or just a growing hazard. Many were passionate about reasons why campers should or should not be allowed to stay.
The Eugene City Council has decided to take time to consider options brought up by councilor Alan Zelenka. Those options include extending the exemption for 45 days and providing transitional services to the homeless people among the Occupy group. It's no secret the Occupy Eugene camp has become a refuge for people without homes.
Michelle Townsend of Occupy Eugene said, “I work in the hospitality booth. I see people come in and out that are so needy that they don't even have socks or a hat to put on their head and we provide that for them. Homelessness is an ongoing problem. It's not something that's going to go away. If we were to take away Occupy Eugene, we would still have homelessness.”The park camping exemption expires Thursday. The council plans to meet Wednesday at to discuss their options, and then, possibly, take a vote.