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?