City response to protests at Councilor's home cost over $13,000

EUGENE, Ore. - The City of Eugene has spent over $13,000 on fencing and security measures since topless women in masks stood in front of a City Councilor's home at night and banged a gong.

The City put up a temporary chainlink fence at Councilor George Poling's home Dec. 30 after topless women with the letters to the word "Truth" painted on their chests protested outside his home.

It was the second protest at Poling's home in connection with Occupy Eugene in less than a week. People dressed as tents previously camped out in his driveway.

The City also installed a security system and stepped up police patrols near the home.

On Jan. 5, the City paid to install a permanent wrought iron fence at the Poling home. Jan Bohman, the City's Community Relations Director, told KVAL News at the time she did not know how much the fence cost.

KVAL News filed a public record's request the same day in an attempt to ascertain the cost. The City was still in the process of clarifying and fulfilling that request on Jan. 11 when Bohman told KVAL News she could provide the information via e-mail.

Bohman sent KVAL News the following accounting:

  • Fencing: $4,412.47 ($3,950 for the permanent fence, $395 for the temporary fence, $67.47 for repairs to a wood gate)

  • Security monitoring system: $2,649

  • Lighting improvements: $385

  • Eugene police security for the Poling home: $5,929.

All told, the security measures have cost the City $13,375.47, according to those figures.

KVAL News also sought information about bids for the fence and internal correspondence regarding the fence and police presence.

According to a City document in response to the public records request, the city did not seek a bids for the fence. "There are no documents responsive to this item in your request," City staff wrote. "No bids were solicited because the amounts were below the threshold requiring bids. Some phone quotes were obtained."

The City also found the request for correspondence regarding the fence and police security "very broad" and asked for clarification on the specific type of correspondence and the specific staff involved.