Kitty Piercy has seen her share of controversies in four months as Eugene mayor: an increase in the gas tax, tax breaks for businesses...
EUGENE, Ore. — Kitty Piercy has seen her share of controversies in four months as Eugene mayor: an increase in the gas tax, tax breaks for businesses, an expanded toxic-chemical reporting program.
The latest is an upcoming Eugene-Springfield Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast. She says she won’t go, and that has ruffled some feathers.
An anti-Piercy Web site has sprung up, and there is talk of a recall.
“When you hold public office, you expect that no matter what you do, some people will be happy and some people will not,” Piercy said.
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A prominent local Republican, Jack Roberts, executive director of the Lane Metro Partnership, said critics are “stirring up … artificial controversies.”
But her decision not to attend the June 3 event organized by Christian residents in Eugene-Springfield has become a hot topic.
Piercy, a liberal Democrat, said that because the organizers call it the “mayors’ ” breakfast, she thought that her presence would give people the impression that city government was sponsoring the event.
She said she did not want it to appear that the city government is endorsing one religion over others.
On May 4, the day the news about Piercy’s decision was published in The Register-Guard newspaper, a woman called City Recorder Mary Feldman’s office and inquired about a recall campaign.
Feldman said the woman was told she needed to make an appointment to get recall paperwork. “We’ve heard nothing further,” Feldman said.
A week later, a man called the city manager’s office asking about having a recall rally at City Hall.
Piercy said she expects to meet with that man and some of his friends.
Meanwhile, a Piercy critic posted a Web site, www.notmymayor.com.
The person responding to an e-mail query from The Register-Guard to the site’s Webmaster address refused to identify himself, writing that “the liberals in this town would love nothing better than to launch smear campaigns against those who offer a voice of dissent.”
The Web site offers a free bumper sticker decorated with a red, white and blue Republican Party-style elephant that reads, “Kitty Piercy is NOT my Mayor!”
Some Republicans on Thursday disavowed the site.
“We had no idea about it, and it is not a Republican-sponsored site,” said Jay Bozievich, vice chairman of the Lane County Republican Party.
Mike Clark, a Eugene Republican political campaign consultant, said he disagrees with Piercy’s position but said the Web site isn’t what Eugene needs.
“We have a lot of things in this city that need to be addressed, and we need to spend more energy on the things that we agree about,” he said.