Ex-City Councilor Peter Gramlich is leaving Bend for greener - and more progressive - pastures in Portland.
Gramlich, an architect who was appointed to the council to replace John Hummel in 2007 and was narrowly defeated in his election bid last November by Tom Greene, said in an e-mail to friends that he's leaving to become the chair of the college of drafting and design at ITT Tech in Portland.
"With the architectural economy in the tank, I knew that my business model (wait for the phone to ring and if it doesn't, rejoice and go play in the mountains) is not sustainable long-term in Bend," Gramlich wrote. "So I pursued my fallback, namely academia."
Gramlich added that the move is motivated by finances, not politics: "Counter to how it may seem, this is not a reaction to the political tide shift in Bend. If I had won the election, I'd be resigning my seat, because we have to first and foremost make a living. And that living, for now at least, is in Portland."
But he added: "Certainly, being in a progressive city will be a nice change."
Gramlich said he holds hope for returning to Bend someday, depending on what happens with the economy.
"We have no idea how long [the stay in Portland] will be: obviously my nirvana remains working for myself and being in the mountains whenever possible, and I imagine with a better economy under a real president, we may return to that someday."