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MINUTES <br />Eugene City Council <br />McNutt Room —City Hall <br />777 Pearl Street—Eugene, Oregon <br />December 12, 2011 <br />5:30 p.m. <br />COUNCILORS PRESENT: Betty Taylor, George Brown, Andrea Ortiz, George Poling, Mike Clark, <br />Chris Pryor, Alan Zelenka, Pat Farr. <br />Her Honor Mayor Kitty Piercy called the December 12, 2011, work session of the Eugene City Council to <br />order. <br />A. WORK SESSION: <br />Occupy Eugene <br />City Manager Jon Ruiz introduced the item. He emphasized the ongoing cooperation between the City of <br />Eugene staff and representatives of Occupy Eugene. <br />At the request of City Manager Ruiz, Police Chief Pete Kerns discussed the experience of the Eugene <br />Police Department (EPD) with the Occupy Eugene encampment in Washington- Jefferson Park. He noted <br />the growing number of homeless people now living in the camp. They included homeless youth, <br />homeless people who received services in Lane County, and homeless people who suffered from drug and <br />alcohol addictions, severe, mental health afflictions, or a combination of the two. He reported that as the <br />encampment's population grew, incidents of disorderly conduct and assault also grew. There was a <br />steady increase in the demand for homeless services. <br />Chief Kerns shared examples of the problems EPD officers were encountering when they toured the <br />encampment, which included illegal warming fires, illegal drug use, assault, runaways living in the camp, <br />known sexual offenders living in the camp, and stolen property sales. Campers were carrying knives and <br />axes openly and on occasion those implements were used as weapons. Tents were grouped together with <br />tarps overhead, obscuring the view of officers responding to calls for service. Chief Kerns expressed <br />concern about the safety of officers who entered the encampment, which he characterized as an <br />unpredictable environment. <br />Chief Kerns acknowledged that many things had gone well with the encampment but other issues were <br />very difficult to deal with given the nature of the people residing at the camp. <br />Building Official Stuart Ramsing shared his findings from a tour of the encampment and reported on the <br />building, fire, and electric code violations he discovered and the remediation that occurred. He suggested <br />there was a potential of hazard to the community from the structures that had been constructed on site, <br />which could blow into the street. Councilors asked questions clarifying the details of Mr. Ramsing's <br />findings. <br />City Manager Ruiz reminded the council of his three objectives: 1) ensure free speech rights were <br />protected; 2) maintain a safe and healthy environment for Occupy Eugene participants, campers, City <br />MINUTES— Eugene City Council December 12, 2011 Page 1 <br />Work Session <br />