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For Bend City Council: Mark Capell 

t’s not the money, or the free food (yes councilors are still provided meals before their meetings) and it certainly isn’t the prestige that attracts people to the job of city councilor.

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It's not the money, or the free food (yes councilors are still provided meals before their meetings) and it certainly isn't the prestige that attracts people to the job of city councilor. The long hours, late meetings and the scrutiny of an entire city aren't terrific incentives either. But we still manage to get a few city councilors who are willing to serve simply because they believe in keeping Bend a great place to live while helping the city meet the growing challenges of the 21st century.

Mark Capell is one of those people. While his stubbornly moderate positions have sometimes frustrated the community's more progressive residents, Capell reflects the kind of middle of the road politics that are almost refreshing in today's climate of polarized partisanship.

A one-term veteran on the city council, Capell has helped see the city through some of its most difficult times, including multiple rounds of staff layoffs, while making sure that the city continues to provide its core services and plan for future needs. Capell was among the councilors who helped bring in much needed new leadership when the city faltered under former city manager Andy Anderson. While Capell's major opponent, former Freightliner executive Mark Moseley, faults him for not cutting deeper into city services, we applaud Capell for holding the line on items like Bend Area Transit, which the city has continued to fund during these difficult times, providing a large segment of our population with a reliable way to get to and from work, the grocery store and medical appointments. While there is certainly a shrinking range of services that the city can provide, we're leery of candidates who believe that it's time to gut city services upon which many taxpayers rely.

And while all candidates agree that the city needs to do more to recruit new industry and family wage jobs, we're skeptical that the way to do that is with across the board fee reductions, which will only add to the city's financial woes. Capell understands this. His opponents take a different view. Similarly, we're inclined to agree with Capell's vision for Juniper Ridge, which entails partnering with a professional developer to implement the city's vision of a high-tech industrial campus with room for a four-year university. The alternative is to turn the entire project over to a developer and give that person carte blanche, leaving the city with little ability to control the ultimate product, but still holding the tab for the costly road, street and sewer improvements.

These are tough times, to be sure. And many Bend residents are feeling the pain of the ongoing recession. There's very little that the city of Bend can do to mitigate that economic hardship, however, the city must find a way to provide a basic level of service that its citizens expect and deserve. With his experience and track record, we believe that Capell remains the best person to have at the helm right now.


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