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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Big Cheese: Appointing or electing Bend's mayor

Oran Teater asks why Bend, Oregon doesn't elect its mayor.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Before heading off into the City Council retirement sunset, former councilor and mayor Oran Teater yet again brought up the question of why Bend doesn’t have an elected rather than an appointed Mayor.

Teater is absolutely spot on with his question, which is essentially pertinent this week, considering Jeff Eager was sworn in as mayor at last night's city council meeting.

Currently, the mayor’s role is strictly ceremonial. He or she runs the council meetings, signs official documents, cuts ribbons at openings and represents the city at social and governmental functions.

An elected Mayor would have to run on a platform and once in office try to guide the council on implementing that platform. This simply makes sense.

It’s no surprise that Bend is the only Oregon city of some size that still appoints its mayor. So, let’s get up to speed and make the position of Bend mayor an elected one.

And while we’re at it, why not consider altering the city charter to have four council positions elected by district. There would be Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Southeast districts with two at-large seats and the mayor’s position. The idea is to give people in the various districts better representation.

Will either happen? Doubtful as ceremonial title holders don’t pose a threat to anyone and districting is scary.

Photo: City of Bend


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Um, Did Pat Robertson Say That We Should Legalize Marijuana?

Conservative Christian commentator Pat Robertson comes out in support of decriminalizing marijuana.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 6:49 PM

Remember Pat Robertson, the aging hard-right Christian broadcaster known for, among other things, announcing that the earthquake in Haiti was a result of the nation's pact with the Devil?

Well, last week he seemed to indicate on his show The 700 Club, that he was in favor of decriminalizing marijuana (or perhaps reforming mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession), a statement that seems to fly in the face of the rhetoric Robertson and his followers typically espouse. His reasoning: we're spending too much on jails.

See for yourself:

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Arnold Concedes Bend City Council Seat to Ramsay

Scott Ramsay wins the hotly contested Bend City Council race after a recount.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Just off the phone with council candidate Chuck Arnold who informed that he has conceded the final council seat from last month's election to his opponent Scott Ramsay, following a hand recount that determined Ramsay edged Arnold by a razor-thin three vote margin. An upbeat Arnold said that he felt very positive about the recount process and confident that the hand recount was accurate. Arnold, who also serves as the executive director of the Downtown Bend Business Association, said he looks forward to working with the council and Ramsay.

"I'm still going to be around," said Arnold, who when asked about the possibility of a future campaign, said he had not ruled it out.

"A lot change in 24 months. I feel really good. It was a great campaign. I have no regrets about how any of this went."

Got to run, but I'll try to get a comment from Ramsay before the end of the day.


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