City Council | Bent | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!

City Council

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Interview: Bend Police Chief Jim Porter on the expansion of the civil exclusion zone

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 11:43 AM

The Bend City Council recently approved an ordinance expanding the civil exclusion zone to cover downtown. We talked to Bend Police Chief Jim Porter to get the inside scoop on how the ordinance came about and how police plan to execute it.

Source Weekly: Where and how did the conversation about expanding the civil exclusion zone begin? Was it initiated by downtown business owners, City Council, or police concerns?

Jim Porter: The Civil Exclusion idea came out of one of the very first meetings we had with the downtown stakeholders group. The example of the exclusion area in the parks was mentioned and the police department moved forward with the concept.

SW: Why is the existing criminal justice process insufficient to address concerns about crime downtown?

JP: We are faced with two challenges with our current justice system: First, the time it takes to adjudicate a crime. For those who commit crimes it often takes up to a year or more before they are held accountable/sentenced. This is no one’s specific fault, the Deschutes County Circuit Court has been asking the state to provide Deschutes County with an additional magistrate for years. Without accountability there is seldom a change in an individual’s misconduct. The ordinance is written in such a manner as to bring accountability in a more reasonable time frame, after clear due process and protection of the individual’s rights.

Secondly, our municipal court is not a court of record, so it does not issue arrest warrants for those who do not appear in court once they’ve been cited. What this means is when we issue a citation, for example: drinking in public or a dog nuisance violation, the person being cited can just ignore the citation. The courts only option at that point is to turn them over to a collection agency.

SW: Who determined which crimes and civil violations should be included in the list of infractions that can result in exclusion?

JP: We used the crimes in the existing exclusion ordinance and added the ordinance addressing drinking on an unlicensed premises and dog nuisances. We have a large volume of complaints in reference to people’s dogs attacking other dogs and people.

SW: How do police determine whether or not to issue an exclusion? Is it automatic for certain violations, or do police have their own bar for when it is warranted?

JP: Like everything we do as the police, we take enforcement action based upon the totality of the circumstances at each incident. We leave the officer with the ability to exercise discretion and good judgement. While this may sound like it gives the officer the authority to play favorites, what it does is avoids the “zero tolerance” mind-set.

SW: How long has the smaller exclusion zone existed? How many people have been excluded in that time? How many

JP: Since 2012. I will attach our stats on the exclusions, crime, and re-offending numbers.

SW: Can you provide a chart of the number of exclusions by type of offense? Do you have a sense of how often a certain violation resulted in an exclusion?

JP: I will include the stats.

SW: How many of those previously excluded have appealed? Have any appeals been successful?

JP: We have had not appeals, and the stats show the number of re-offenders.

SW: Do you have data showing a correlation between the institution of the previous exclusion zone and a decrease in crime?

JP: No, our goal is to remove criminal offenders, those drinking on the streets, and unruly dogs. We want to make the downtown area a safe place at all hours.

SW: What steps have you taken to avoid the kind of legal challenges other cities have faced?

JP: We specifically built in pre-exclusion constitutional protections. Giving those cited due process before they are excluded, by not implementing any exclusion if they chose to appeal. And again, exclusions are only for 90 days. We codified the protection of those who need to be in the downtown area for legitimate reasons: to visit family, business meetings, meet with a lawyer, visit their church, etc.

SW: What kind of data do you plan to collect regarding the exclusion zone moving forward?

JP: Data on all arrests where the exclusion ordinance was used, arrests where it could have been used, and race and sex of those cited.

SW: Can you think of cities where civil exclusion zones have been heralded as a success? What other cities in Oregon (or other places similar to Bend) have them?

JP: What we looked at was the success of the present exclusion area in protecting those visiting our parks. The point I have most heard on this issue is “Bend is Bend.” We have a unique lifestyle and we don’t want to model our downtown after the downtown of Eugene or Portland.

SW: What other approaches has the police department considered or tried?

JP: We intensified patrols in the downtown area and pushed down person crimes and calls for service significantly in 2014, but at a cost of $62,000. We are a department which is operating with minimal staff, with competing important areas of call for service that require officers to respond, and cannot sustain the shift of personnel.

I have been approached by citizens who are convinced this expansion of the exclusion area is directed at those who are forced to panhandle for a living, or hang out, or just sit around; that is not factual. We need to reduce criminal conduct in our downtown. The men and women of the Bend Police Department have an exceptional record of how they treat those most at risk in our community.

Before next summer I will return to the City Council with the results of expansion of the exclusion area and a decision will be made at that time to assess its effectiveness.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bend City Council Votes to Limit Vacation Rentals

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:55 AM

  • Erin Rook
Last night, after hours of deliberation, a battle-weary city council voted unanimously to support the first reading of ordinances including a new short-term rental licensing program and changes to land use code that limit the concentration of what are frequently referred to as vacation rentals. 

Under the first ordinance, which passed with relative ease, new and existing short-term rentals will be required to obtain an annual license with the City. However, new licenses will not be transferrable with sale of the property (rather, following the owner) except under limited circumstances—transfers to family members following death or divorce, or continued ownership by an LLC so long as its membership remains at least 25 percent the same. 

The original ordinance language would have applied these transfer limitations on existing short-term rentals, but councilors opted to removed that regulation, largely in the interest of achieving a unanimous vote. By doing so, they were able to enact an emergency clause, allowing the ordinance to go into effect after the second reading (scheduled for April 15), rather than 30 days later.

A number of councilors who might otherwise been in favor of greater restrictions on existing uses, explained that they were willing to wait and see if the number of licensed short-term rentals in heavily affected neighborhoods experiences a natural attrition from the programmatic changes and re-evaluate at a later date.

"The intention is that over time we decrease that density," Councilor Nathan Boddie said, proposing a check-in after 18 months or so to see if the licensing program has had a sufficient impact.

Councilor Casey Roats also favored fewer restrictions, and said that he hoped to avoid adding to them in the future.

"If this programmatic side of things makes these homes be decent neughbors, I’m really reluctant to go in with a sledgehammer for the sake of reaching an arbitrary number," Roats said. "if I owned one of these, I would sue the City."

Though some short-term rentals owners have threatened legal action, City Attorney Mary Winters said such threats are to be expected, and that she believes the ordinances are legally defensible.

Part of the reason councilors were so eager to move forward on the changes is that fears about the outcome of this process have prompted a gold rush of sorts, with the number of approved vacation home rental permits spiking in recent months. In 2014, the City approved 262 vacation home rental permits—more than the number approved from 2007 to 2013 combined. As of March 31, the City has approved another 89.

"As much as I want to protect those neighborhoods now," explained Councilor Doug Knight, "I recognize we need to get something on the books and adopt this resolution in emergency fashion."
  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Attorney Withdraws Second Lawsuit Challenging Councilor Roats' Election

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 10:07 AM

  • Matt Fox

Local attorney Charlie Ringo has dropped his most recent lawsuit objecting to the way the City of Bend addressed the questions around Councilor Casey Roats' qualifications to serve. It was his second suit challenging the election the candidate in the four-way race for Council Seat 6, whose campaign was marked by questions about his residency and status as a qualified elector. 

Ringo first filed suit against Roats, the City of Bend and City Recorder Robyn Christie on behalf of local activist Foster Fell on Nov. 5—the day after Roats received the most votes of the four candidates—asking the Deschutes County Circuit Court to declare that Roats was not entitled to receive a certificate of election. The attorney had led the charge against Roats' qualifications, pointing out that the candidate had lived outside the city limits for 11 of the 12 months preceding the election. As a result, he argued, Roats did not meet the City Charter's requirement that candidates must have resided in the city limits for the year before their election. Further, he contended, Roats was not a qualified elector because he listed addresses on his voter registration and candidacy forms at which he was not physically residing. That latter point found its way into a complaint to the Oregon Secretary of State's office, which later found insufficient evidence Roats knowingly provided false information. 

Ringo's first lawsuit was dismissed by a local judge, who said there was not yet an issue ripe for consideration because Roats' election had not yet been certified. City Council ultimately weighed in on the matter, exercising the authority bestowed on it by the City Charter, and voted 5-2 in favor of confirming the election results.

In his second lawsuit, Ringo directed his challenge at the City, no longer naming Roats in the suit. He brought up a number of concerns about the way the City handled the evaluation of Roats qualifications. Ultimately, however, he decided to drop, but declined to elaborate on why.

"There were a variety of reasons that caused me to decide it was best to dismiss the action," Ringo said. "Time to move forward."

Roats said he was relieved to have the legal challenge behind him, but added it was bittersweet because he had looked forward to having his case heard by a judge.

"I'm appreciative that Mr. Ringo decided to drop the case before the taxpayers incurred significant expense," Roats said. "I'm confident that if a judge would have weighed in on the issue, I would have been found qualified for office. I wouldn't have continued on during the election if thought there was an even remote chance of being found ineligible."

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Survey: Bendites Like the Outdoors, Worry About Transportation

Posted By on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:02 AM

  • DHM Research
On the whole, Bend residents are happy with their quality of life, according to a 2015 survey conducted by DHM Research. The results of the survey, which polled 400 Bendites by cell phone and landline, were presented during a work session at last night's City Council meeting. They revealed a general upward trend in many major indicators (livability, economic opportunities and confidence in City government) and provided a window into the concerns, perceptions and habits.

An impressive 90 percent rated Bend as an excellent (62 percent) or good (28 percent) place to live.  And the reasons why are hardly surprising. More than 90 percent explained that they like living in Bend for reasons related to the outdoors, the environment, and recreation. 

"Bend is the gold standard for communities in Oregon. People live here because they want to live here," explained James Kendall, the DHM associate who presented the information.

Still, despite the generally rosy outlook, there areas residents would like to see improvements made. Most of those concerns were related to transportation. Traffic congestion and the condition of roads were high on the list of concerns. Overall, when it came to transportation issues, 47 percent of the responses concerned issues affecting travel by car. The top two transportation issues respondents felt the City should address were road infrastructure (26 percent) and traffic congestion (17 percent). Though fewer were concerned with multi-modal transit (bus system, biking, and walking), 24 percent cited some type of public transportation issue as their top priority. Only 6 percent of voters offered bike-friendly lanes as a primary concern.

These numbers are not surprising in light of the transportation habits revealed. The vast majority of those surveyed travel primarily by car, often alone. In fact, the ration of auto vs. non-auto travel has shifted even more in favor of cars (and solo trips) since the last survey two years prior. A whopping 93 percent of those surveyed typically drive. And walking (3 percent) beat out bicycling (2 percent) and taking the bus (2 percent).

Other highlights (or lowlights):
- 47 percent rate the condition of Bend's roads as poor or very poor. The other half (50 percent) say they are good. And 2 percent of those surveyed rated Bend's roads "excellent" (they probably don't get out much)
- 54 percent are very or somewhat concerned about their ability to meet their basic needs. This is particularly true of respondents living in NE Bend and renters. 
- 50 percent said they get most of their information from newspapers. TV came in close second at 49 percent.
- 39 percent are concerned or very concerned about vacation rentals, but 59 percent have little or no concern about the hot button issue. Not surprisingly, those living in NW Bend are more likely to be concerned.
- 56 percent say that repairing sidewalks should be a priority over the next 10 years. That's an increase of 17 percent over 2013.

Speaking of the future, Bend residents are split on whether it will get better, worse, or stay the same. Kendall says that's pretty typical. Why? Because it reflects perspectives on growth. Most residents attribute their optimism, pessimism or ambivalence on growth.

"This is pretty typical. You have members of almost every community who move there for a reason and when things change they don’t like it," Kendall explained. "And others who see as progress.”

Read the full survey report here and share your thoughts in the comments. Are the results surprising?
  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, January 9, 2015

State Finds No Violation of Election Law by Casey Roats, Closes Investigation

Posted By on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 9:21 AM

  • Matt Fox
The State Elections Division closed its investigation Thursday into whether new Councilor Casey Roats ran afoul of election law in his voter registration and candidacy filings after finding insufficient evidence of a violation.

The investigation was sparked by a complaint filed by local activist Michael Funke alleging that Roats knowingly provided false address information on election-related forms. Such an act is a potential felony under Oregon law, which states in ORS 260.715(1) that "[a] person may not knowingly make a false statement, oath or affidavit when a statement, oath or affidavit is required under the election laws."

The key word here is "knowingly." Though Roats readily admitted he did not physically reside at the addresses he provided — his Roats Water System office and the property on which he was building his new home — the state did not find sufficient evidence to show that he knowingly provided false information.

The state's decision letter, from Investigations and Legal Specialist Alana Cox, lays out the rationale:

In response to my letter of inquiry, you indicated your basis for claiming 61200 Brookswood Blvd. as your address on your candidacy filing in June, 2014, and for claiming 61147 Hamilton Lane as your voting address in November, 2013. You explained that you used the Hamilton Lane address, which is the address for a business, because that was the easiest place to locate you while you were living with your parents and building a new home. You explained that you used the Brookswood Blvd. address on your candidacy filing because you intended it to be your permanent address as soon as it was habitable.

You have explained that you did not submit the addresses knowing them to be false. Instead, you believed they were acceptable based on your situation. In the future, should you have any questions about matters relating to election law, I encourage you to contact your county clerk or our office for guidance.
After a review of the information submitted the Elections Division has found insufficient evidence to indicate you violated ORS 260.715(1) in this instance.

The complaint was filed as Roats was coming under heavy scrutiny for the fact that he lived outside the city for most of the year prior to his election to Council. The Bend City Charter requires candidates to have resided within the City limits for the 12 months before their election. However, the Charter gives City Council final authority on qualification questions, and Council ruled 5-2 in a special meeting that Roats met the Charter's residency requirement.
  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

City Council Swears in New Members, Elects Jim Clinton and Sally Russell as Mayor and Pro Tem

Posted By on Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 10:51 AM

  • Erin Rook
In a quick and largely ceremonial meeting, Bend City Council swore in its three newest members. After Casey Roats, Barb Campbell and Nathan Boddie took their seats, they joined council in voting unanimously to re-elect Jim Clinton as mayor and to elect Sally Russell as mayor pro tem.

"As many people may not know, it is the Council that chooses the mayor," Clinton explained. He followed up with a nod toward his belief that the mayor out to be elected by voters."Without any editorial comment on whether that’s a good idea or not, I will proceed to open nominations."

Though Councilor Doug Knight had mounted a campaign for mayor, he opted to support Clinton and Russell, citing a lack of support among his fellow councilors.

"I understand I am but one councilman’s vote short and am subsequently compelled to withdraw my name from consideration," Knight said after thanking those in the community who supported his bid. "I am confident that Jim and Sally will lead us in a direction that is productive for us all. Please join me in voting for these two candidates."

Following the unanimous vote, Clinton thanked Council for their support and shared his vision for Bend.

"I appreciate this vote of confidence to continue in this position for a couple of years," Clinton said. "I have never been more optimistic about the future of our city.... The goal is to make this the best city in the United States."

Councilor Victor Chudowksy nominated Russell for the pro tem position (essentially designating her as the mayor when the mayor is absent), noting their strong relationship.

"It occurred to me of all people on the previous Council it was probably Sally I communicated with the most," Chudowsky said. "She listens to everybody and then makes up her mind, rather than the reverse."

New councilor Roats seconded the nomination, adding that he is impressed by Russell's dedication to the position and appreciative of her "independent streak." Russell had been a vocal supporter of Roats' opponent Lisa Seales. 

Russell likewise expressed her appreciation for the vote and emphasized the importance of how the Council approaches decision making. 
"I’m going to suggest that content is important, but the way we expand dialogue," she said, "is almost the larger opportunity at hand."

If you'd had the opportunity to vote for mayor, who would you cast your ballot for?

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, January 5, 2015

Councilor Doug Knight Vies for the Mayoral Gavel

Posted By on Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 2:02 PM

When the new City Council meets for the first time on Wednesday, it's short agenda includes electing a mayor and mayor pro-tem. In Bend, the mayor functions similarly to the chair of a board. He or she helps create the meeting agenda in cooperation with the city manager, facilitates meetings (with the ever-so-official gavel), and represents the City in a largely ceremonial capacity. Rather than being elected by a vote of the people, these positions are determined by the council. 

This cycle, for the second time in recent history, one candidate is actively campaigning for the position, soliciting a show of support from members of the community.(Recently ousted Councilor Mark Capell made a bid for the honorary position in 2012.) Doug Knight, who was elected to Council in 2012, has thrown his name in the hat by encouraging Bendites — including Scott Morgan, founder of the Truth in Site Coalition — to recommend him to his fellow councilors.

In an email sent to Morgan and posted on the Truth in Site website, Councilor Knight makes his pitch:

Selection of Bend's mayor occurs by a vote of council this Wednesday January 7th. 
Based upon my long-time service to the Bend community and my recent successes
while serving on the Council, I am actively campaigning for the position. It would help
me immensely if you would put in a good word by emailing the other councilors and
councilor select advocating they vote for me as their mayor.

Topics such as preserving neighborhood livability from unruly vacation
rentals & excessive noise, protecting businesses from unnecessary ODOT
access closures from the HWY 97 re-route, and increased funding for our
long-range planning department to streamline the UGB remand are all topics
I’ve individually championed. If you recall, I was the only councilor to question
the OSU parking management plan as well.

Since being elected to the Bend City Council over two years ago, I have always
voted courageously with logic and fairness. Please help me by writing to those
listed below, and additionally, by asking your political contacts at TIS to do so as
well. Emails must be received by Tuesday evening 1/6/14.

We talked to Councilor Knight, who affirmed his interest in serving as mayor of Bend. 

"I think that having someone who is a team leader and used to working as part of a team wiould be very beneficial," Knight explains. "[Mayor Jim Clinton] is a critical thinker and scientist by nature and I think that brings an element of questioning to his modus operandi."

Knight also suggested that he would take a bolder approach, encouraging Council to adopt what he calls a "culture of yes."

"As of late, there’s been more of a culture among councilors of, "No, we’re not going to do that," for fear of, perhaps, being sued. I’d like to change that culture," Knight says. "Sometimes the right thing involves some inherent risk."

He adds that his development background would contribute to discussions about Heritage Square, systems development charges (SDCs), affordable housing and other pending projects. Knight also contends that his moderate, nonpartisan stance would make him a good spokesperson for the City.

"I think its important we have a moderate with support from all sectors of the community and that would be me," Knight says. 

Despite his call for support from residents, Knight says he favors keeping the mayor an appointed position, rather than opening it up to an election by voters.

"I think it should continue to be an appointed position," Knight explains. Otherwise, he adds, "it rapidly turns into a partisan pursuit, where those entities in the community recognize the mayor and pro tem set the agenda. As a moderate and nonpartisan I think it’s important to keep [partisan interests] out of all elections at the local level."

Sitting Mayor Jim Clinton says he would like to continue on in the position and that he feels he has the support of the majority of Council. Though he doesn't describe his activities as campaigning, Clinton says he has had conversations with his fellow city councilors and councilors-elect as well as City staff about what Council hopes to accomplish and who would be best for the position of mayor.

"I think my style and approach will help us get work done in a reasonable way," Clinton says. "I think I enjoy considerable support from the other councilors. Doug appears to have started this campaign on his own account. He certainly has a right to do that. Everything is open for discussion."

Still, he points out that actively campaigning among residents for a position appointed by Council is "a bit off of the point" and a relatively new trend. He says that he's not aware of it happening prior to Councilor Capell's bid, which led to Clinton and outgoing Mayor Pro-Tem Jodie Barram publicly declaring their candidacies

"This time maybe that was a new pattern to be established, looking to supporters in community to lobby on your behalf to be mayor," Clinton says. "I'm not so sure that is beneficial to the candidate promoting himself. It’s more about the confidence of colleagues than popular support for that."

The sitting mayor adds that he believes continuity in the position is particular important following a contentious election that saw two incumbents unseated and three new councilors elected. That perceived stability is one of the major reasons Clinton says he favors the mayor being elected by the voters and says he'll again push for Council to take that question on. When the issue was last broached, the proposal was one vote short of getting the go-ahead from Council, despite the support of then-Mayor Jeff Eager.

The Council will elect a mayor and mayor pro-tem at Wednesday night's meeting.

You don't get to elect the mayor, but if you did, who would you vote for? Choose your choice in the poll and share your reasoning in the comments.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Perennial Council Candidate Ron Boozell Joins Lawsuit Against Casey Roats and City of Bend

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 4:44 PM

A lawsuit spearheaded by local attorney Charlie Ringo, seeking to prevent the certification of councilor-elect Casey Roats, has gained a new plaintiff—one of Roats' three opponents in the race for position 6, Ron "Rondo" Boozell.

Ringo says the move was made in response to court concerns that the original plaintiff, Foster Fell, did not have standing as a voter to challenge the election.

Boozell, who has previously called for city councilors who endorsed a candidate in the four-way race to recuse themselves from ruling on Roats' qualifications or appointing a replacement, says he is taking a stand for fairness. 

He tells the Source:

"It is my position that the City of Bend has not yet facilitated a fair election this year for the seat of position six on our Council. Most of our sitting Councilors actively involved themselves or publicly endorsed candidates in campaigns for a council candidate on the ballot in my race. The City of Bend has a simple residency requirement for filing for office. This is not how we define residency; Business Address, PO Office Box, Strange-neighbors, nor is residency defined by intent. The story has already been told. The confession has been heard. Lisa and Richard and I qualified. The residents and businesspeople of Bend have legitimate questions why the one candidate who did not qualify gets special closed-door consideration. The people of Bend wonder why one class gets special treatment by this Council...and why others always seem to get shut out."

City Council will hold a special session to deliberate and decide on whether Roats' is qualified to serve on City Council. If qualified, his election will be certified during the Dec. 3 City Council meeting. If he is not qualified, the Council will have 30 days from the date Jodie Barram vacates her seat to appoint a replacement. For more on this story, see this week's issue, on stands and online tomorrow.
  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bend City Council Will Decide on Candidate's Residency Dec. 1

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 6:57 AM

Bend City Council will hold a special session Dec. 1 at 3 pm to decide if councilor-elect Casey Roats is qualified to serve on council. Roats won the race for position 6 despite questions around his residency. The City Charter requires councilors to have resided within the city limits for 12 months prior to their election—Roats admitted he lived outside the city from Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014. Candidates are also required to be "qualified electors"—the Oregon Secretary of State is currently investigating claims Roats committed election fraud.

Councilor Victor Chudowsky, who introduced a motion to hold the special session during the Council Action and Reports section of last night's meeting, said that there will not be a public hearing and attorneys will not be involved. After giving Roats an opportunity to present evidence in support of his qualification for office, the City Council will deliberate and come to a decision.

Chudowsky said that if Roats is found to be qualified he will be certified at the regular City Council meeting on Dec. 3. While no one on Council spoke last night to what would happen if Roats is disqualified, the City Charter provides two ways to fill a vacancy.

Should a vacancy occur, City Council may appoint any qualified individual as a replacement within 30 days. If it does not appoint a replacement, a special election may be held.

Mayor Jim Clinton acknowledged that he has expressed his disinterest in having City Council decide, but said he doesn't believe it's appropriate for the courts to be involved

"My attitude toward it is irrelevant. The fact is that’s what the charter says and that’s what we will do," Clinton said, adding, "We have an obligation to all the other cities to protect the authority of cities." 

City Attorney Mary Winters emphasized the City Council's role in making the determination, explaining that the question of residency in this case is not a matter of state law.

The Source is continuing to follow this story. Check the blog and next week's print issue for the latest.
  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tell the City How You Really Feel About Vacation Rentals

Posted By on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Want to weigh in on the vacation rental debate without joining a committee or showing up to a City Council meeting? You're in luck. The City of Bend has set up a forum on Bend Voice soliciting input to take back to the Vacation Home Rental Task Force, a committee comprised of stakeholders on all sides of the issue, which will identify concerns and work toward solutions (subject to approval by City Council, of course).

According to a City release, about 50 people applied for the task force and the Bend Planning Commission made a recommendation for 23 finalists. City Council will vote on task force members at its next regular meeting, Nov. 19. 

Learn more about what the City is doing with Vacation Home Rentals at and share your thoughts at

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite


Friday, November 7, 2014

Council Candidate Ron Boozell Calls for Recusal of Endorsing Councilors from Residency Decision

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Bend City Council candidate Ron "Rondo" Boozell is calling for councilors who publicly endorsed or supported candidates in the race to recuse themselves from anything to do with vacating or filling seat 6, currently the subject of a lawsuit alleging councilor-elect Casey Roats is does not meet the qualifications laid out in the City Charter. Boozell was one of the candidates running against Roats for position 6 and came in third place on Tuesday's election winning close to 8 percent of the vote. 

"It is my opinion that each City Councilor that used his or her position on Council during this election to endorse or promote or campaign publicly for a City Council Candidate has compromised their ability to select without bias a resident qualified to fill a vacancy on council, or determine qualification that might create that vacancy," Boozell wrote in a release. 

It's unclear whether Council will take the issue on. Some councilors have previously expressed reluctance toward being the deciding body, citing a similar concern regarding the split support for candidates among council members. Mayor Jim Clinton told the Source yesterday that the issue may be out of their hands.

"This issue is now before the court, so I don't have any comment until a judge issues a decision," Clinton said. "I think it very unlikely the Council will take up this issue until such a decision is released."

Even if the question of Roats' qualification is addressed by the Deschutes County Circuit Court, City Council would still have the option to appoint a candidate within 30 days of the creation of a vacancy. Council is permitted to appoint any qualified person, and is not required to appoint a previous candidate. But Boozell said he doesn't think potential-biased councilors should weigh in on that decision either, instead proposing a special election (permitted by the charter if the Council does not make an appointment). 

"I ask for a special public ballot to be printed as soon as possible, so the residents of Bend may choose between the remaining qualified candidates that appeared on the November 4th ballot," Boozell said. "If a candidate is found to have not met the residence requirements, then the November Ballot and the voting results from that ballot are skewed, and unrepresentative. If this is the case, then the people of Bend have been robbed of a fair election, and a true choice based on their values and judgement."

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

And the winners are...

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Barring a shift in the late number, here are your results for the Nov. 2014 election. For more details on the election, and the implications of the results, check out our print issue—online and on stands later today.

















MEASURE 92—GMO LABELING: NO (51 percent)
  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: ,

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation