Should there be a caretaker?

We ran a Guest Opinion, “EWEB Park to lose caretaker,” in the July 5th edition of River Reflections. It was supportive of the man who’d held that job until being informed he was being terminated in seven days - and would have to move out of his Eugene Water & Electric Board supplied housing at the Lloyd Knox Waterboard Park within another 30 days.


We didn’t write that opinion, but we got the blame for it from a reader who canceled his family’s subscription because, “ You don’t know the half of what is going on.”


A week later, a Letter to the Editor called for the utility to use common sense when looking for, “Reasonable ways to economize.”


That was followed up in our July 26th paper with another Letter to the Editor from a former caretaker (and wife of the park’s namesake, Lloyd Knox). She said there are two sides to every story, and weighed in on EWEB’s side, arguing that the utility isn’t, "A big mean monster.”


It all will continue again this week with a Letter to the Editor from an EWEB spokesman arguing that, “The Eugene Water & Electric Board’s recent decision to eliminate the Lloyd Knox Park caretaker position, along with another 52 positions throughout the utility, was difficult but necessary as EWEB works to reduce operating costs in an effort to decrease the amounts of future electric rate increases.”


It all reminds me of the churning that occurred before the park was named for Lloyd. Without significant community activism & support, that naming never would have happened before Lloyd’s untimely death - because of what can at times is an unfortunate "rural-urban disconnect."


Does the utility again need some local input for their decision processes?

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.