RG19.2 Jon Ruiz, meet Phil Knight

I had coffee with new city manager Jon Ruiz last Friday. He asked for names of people he should call to learn more about the town and how to be effective. I gave him a list of maybe half a dozen names; people who wouldn’t be on the way to other people that he might not find on his own. (One was the owner of the coffee shop where we were sitting.) But then this weekend, thanks to Ron Bellamy and The Register-Guard, I thought I wish I had included Phil Knight. Goodness knows, he hears from people at the University of Oregon all the time, but when was the last time he heard from the city of Eugene? UO is many things, but UO is not a place. Phil Knight has demonstrated his love of the institution and the community has reacted with some skepticism. But might that be different if the city also offered a red carpet and allowed the legacy Oregon’s richest businessman wants to leave to include the place it all happened? Hey, it’s worth a phone call, especially if the purpose was to see what could be learned, more than what could be gotten.