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MINUTES <br />Eugene City Council <br />Virtual Work Session <br />Eugene, Oregon 97401 <br />June 10, 2020 <br />12:00 p.m. <br />Councilors Present: Emily Semple, Betty Taylor, Alan Zelenka, Jennifer Yeh, Mike Clark, Greg <br />Evans, Claire Syrett and Chris Pryor <br />Mayor Vinis opened the June 10, 2020, work session of the Eugene City Council. <br />1. WORK SESSION: STAR Voting <br />Brooke Freed gave a presentation outlining the STAR (Score Then Automatic Runoff) voting system <br />for local single -seat elections, including the potential to eliminate the primary election for city <br />elective offices. <br />Council Discussion: <br />• Councilor Taylor - stated people want the right to vote on this topic and Council should give <br />them the opportunity. <br />• Councilor Clark- expressed concerns regarding costs and how the new system would affect <br />voter participation; stated the Independent Party of Oregon used a similar system recently and <br />experienced a large decrease in voter participation; said if the cost is high, a change is not <br />affordable at this time. <br />• Councilor Zelenka - stated any problems with an initiative petition process should be taken up <br />with Lane County or the State, not the City; stated he does not think our current process is <br />broken, and asked what problem this proposal attempts to fix; expressed concern that STAR <br />voting is complicated, could have unintended consequences, and could be expensive; stated <br />Council has higher priorities at this time. <br />• Councilor Yeh - stated if Council decides to send it to the voters, whether intentional or not, <br />Council is supporting it; expressed concern over the cost; supported no action at this time. <br />• Councilor Syrett - agreed with Council Yeh's comments and stated there are challenges in terms <br />of practical application; noted the Democratic Party used the STAR voting system recently and <br />voters experienced confusion using the system; said if Council does refer this to voters, it must <br />include realistic estimates of the cost to implement the system. <br />• Councilor Pryor - stated he has similar concerns as Councilor Zelenka and wondered what is <br />broken in the current system that needs to be fixed, particularly if it will cost a significant <br />amount; stated STAR voting is not impervious to manipulation. <br />• Councilor Clark - said he feels the STAR voting system will result in the most negative <br />campaigning ever heard of, as the only effective means of campaigning will be to get voters to <br />score one's opponents lower. <br />• Councilor Taylor - stated what is broken about the current system is that campaigning takes <br />almost a full year and that is too much; stated the current system is not infallible; said Eugene <br />voters are exceptionally well-educated and able to understand a system like STAR voting, so let <br />the voters decide. <br />• Councilor Zelenka - stated for Council to put this on the ballot, it needs to determine the current <br />process is flawed and he doesn't believe that; said implementing this system is not the City's <br />purview, it is Lane County's; it is not a neutral position for Council to put this on the ballot; <br />reiterated he is in favor of no action at this time. <br />MINUTES - Eugene City Council June 10, 2020 Page 1 <br />Work Session <br />