Jim Clinton will have an opponent in the November election. Mike Roberts, 49, who is a former city of Bend employee, filed his candidacy with the city today.
Roberts, who is a former city of Bend building department official and is a registered independent, said he has nothing negative to say about Clinton and said he “flipped a coin” between running against incumbents Kathie Eckman or Clinton.
Two other positions in addition to Eckman’s and Clinton’s are also up for grabs this fall.
Tom Greene is vacating position one. Victor Chudowsky is the only candidate currently running for that seat. Mayor Jeff Eager is vacating position two. Four candidates are currently running for that seat, including developer Doug Knight and Pisano’s Pizza owner Ed Barbeau, who formerly lost an election for the Deschutes County Commission.
Roberts said he decided to run for an incumbent’s position instead of the two open seats because he wants to give new people a chance to express their views on the council.
Roberts is running because he believes his previous experience in government—he has also worked as a building official for Deschutes County and for Jefferson County—has prepared him to be an effective councilor.
“I don’t want to be one of the ones that sits on a couch and grumbles,” said Roberts. “So, I’m throwing my name in the ring.”
Roberts said he doesn’t want to criticize the current council but he has a priority if elected.
“My main interest is economic development and streamlining the process of development,” said Roberts.
Roberts grew up about 45 minutes west of Dallas, Ore., in a small company logging town called Valsetz, which was dismantled in 1984. Though there was no city council because the town was company owned, his father served on the school board there.
Roberts has himself never held elected office. He holds an associates degree from Chemeketa Community College and has an extensive experience in leadership of professional organizations.
He is a past president of the Oregon Building Officials Association, a past president of the Oregon Mechanical Officials Association, a two time past president of the Central Oregon chapter of the International Code Council. He was also named the 2006 Official of the Year by the Central Oregon Builders Association and the 2009-2010 Oregon Building Official of the Year by the Oregon Builders Official Association.
He now owns his own building code consulting business called NorthWest Code Consulting. He is married and has a son who is a senior at Mountain View High School.
“I thought, my son is graduating high school, I can turn my attention to the city council,” said Roberts. “I am going to take a step forward…give me the ball and let me see what I can do.”