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Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis talks budget, climate change in final State of the City Address

Mayor Lucy Vinis announced in September that she would not seek a third term in office.
City of Eugene
Mayor Lucy Vinis announced in September that she would not seek a third term in office.

Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis delivered her final State of the City Address Monday evening. On stage at the Hult Center, she reflected on Eugene’s investments in housing and detailed its path forward on climate change.

“We are not the same city we were pre-pandemic, or when I first took office in 2017," she said. "Our resolve to meet the known and unknown challenges of the future is deeper and stronger because of the experiences and lessons of the last few years.”

Vinis said she learned the value of switching course last year, recalling when the city council tried to pass a partial ban on new natural gas hookups.

The council faced pushback, including a utility-funded effort to overturn it at the ballot. Ultimately, they pulled the ordinance after a court struck down a similar law in California.

Vinis said it was painful to give up on the proposal, but some business leaders felt they didn’t have a seat at the table.

“The goal this year will be a stronger consensus about the path forward in our response to climate," said Vines. "We all stand to benefit.”

Now, Vinis said with the city's Climate Action Plan in place, it's well-positioned to use the influx of federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.

She said this funding could support diverse clean energy projects.

Meanwhile, Vinis said she’s also focused on fixing Eugene’s budget this year. She said the community’s needs for services are growing, but the city lacks tax revenue.

"This challenge has always meant trade-offs, felt more in some sectors of our community than others," said Vinis. "But this time, without new revenue, the impacts will be felt very broadly."

Her other priorities include securing shelter funding, and getting healthcare services back to Eugene after the closure of PeaceHealth. This will be the mayor's last year in office, as she announced in September that she would not seek a third term in office.

Nathan Wilk joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.