by Kelly Asay, Eugene Daily News
Kevin Prociw today officially made the mayoral election into a race. Citing what he calls a “deficit in leadership” in the mayor’s office, Prociw says that he not only felt compelled to run, but believes that Eugene is primed for a change.
Prociw faces Democrat Kitty Piercy, a 2 term incumbent who is determined to extend her time at the head of the city for another 4 years. She replaced former 2 term Mayor Jim Torrey in 2005 when he elected to forgo a 3rd term. Piercy has been a career politician since the 1980’s.
“Kitty (Mayor Piercy) is, if anything, consistent.. consistent at getting it wrong. On nearly all the major issues, she has provided a stunning lack of leadership. This is evidenced by the fact that the city is so divided. No efforts have been made to draw the community together in way that builds trust and consensus. The latest poll numbers show that 43% of Eugene voters would vote for someone else over Piercy (41%). (Source: Lindholm).” Prociw said.
Prociw points out that during her tenure Piercy has been criticized for her support for several issues including the West Eugene EmX project; the Beltline re-naming; the city sign code “free speech” controversy; the defeated “strong schools” tax, and the City Council “Pledge of Allegiance” issue that garnered national attention.
Most recently she has been under fire from the Occupy Eugene movement for voting to remove them from the Washington-Jefferson Greenway after previously casting the deciding vote to extended the stay for the Occupy camp.
Prociw is a member of the Independent Party of Oregon. He made an unsuccessful run for his first elected office last year as a candidate for state House of Representatives District 14.
The long time City employee is also a founder of the Lane County Citizens for Responsible Government (LCCRG). The LCCRG was formed out of a protest group opposed to the Beltline re-naming project. Prociw and others criticized the projected $250,000 cost to change highway signage, the secrecy involved, and the absence of a forum for public comment before the decision. An outspoken critic of the current state of affairs in Eugene, Prociw refers to his campaign theme of accountable, responsible government and indicated that it is his plan to adhere closely to the LCCRG mission.
“I want to see the government here in Lane County run in a common-sense and responsible way. All parties may not see eye-to-eye on every issue that comes up, but we need to have the common goal of wanting all government agencies that have an impact on our lives to conduct themselves in the best interest of the citizens and not special interests.” Prociw stated.
Prociw initially faced controversy over his announcement to run for Mayor when he was informed that city employees were not allowed to hold public office while in the employ of the city.
“There is no issue with running for office as long as I’ve resigned my position with the city by the time I’m sworn in.” Prociw clarified.
The concept of civic responsibility, while not conceived in ancient Rome, was certainly popularized there. Contributing to society by becoming a responsible and productive citizen was a hallmark of patriotism, and running for elected office was considered the pinnacle of civic responsibility. Things have changed considerably over time, elected office is now more commonly associated with partisan nest feathering, attorneys and deep political division.
“My campaign theme of Accountable Responsible Government is resonating with just about everyone that I talk to.” Prociw said. “I also look forward to the opportunity to debate Mayor Piercy on what Accountable Responsible Government means.”
The next regularly scheduled elections in Eugene will be the May 15, 2012, Primary Election and the November 6, 2012, General Election.
For more information on the campaigns: