City budget writers have put the brakes on a proposal by Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz to allot $500,000 in the coming budget year toward Eugene’s preparations for the 2021 IAAF World Championships.
The budget that the City Council adopted this week puts the money in a designated reserve fund. The new fiscal year begins Friday. The money can’t be moved out of the reserve and spent until Ruiz returns with clear criteria for how the $500,000 will be used.
… Some budget panel members said they can’t support Ruiz’s request without more details.
“When you have an amount that is as large as $500,000 and are not able to say really what I plan to do with it, that … would naturally make people uncomfortable,” Councilor Chris Pryor said at a meeting last month.
Committee member Joshua Skov, who is running for a seat on the City Council, said at the same meeting that the request puts the committee in a “tricky position for there not to be a little more definition.”
Skov noted that mistrust has built up among some residents around expensive city projects, including construction of a new City Hall. That will predispose them “to see that half-million dollars as money that’s being spent with little accountability or being spent without really clear definition ahead of time,” he said.
You can find out more Skov and his campaign for the Ward 1 city council seat on his facebook page here. Full disclosure: he’s an economist.