Bend's City Council position 1 race has two qualified and competent candidates running—and while the position is nonpartisan, the two bring differing backgrounds and philosophies. While it's true that a city council's role lies in handling the mundane business of roads and sewers and city codes, increasingly it's clear that Bend also is sorely in need of cultural and moral leadership. We believe Kebler can set the right tone.
Kebler is an attorney and an engaged resident who's gained a deep understanding of City Council business by regularly live-tweeting from Council meetings, helping us all stay better informed. While Livingston has served as a relatively even-handed councilor, too many votes that appear strictly oppositional—such as a recent vote, along with Councilor Bill Moseley—against referring the critical city transportation bond to the ballot, have us concerned.
Kebler is a proponent of supporting affordable housing by taking a deep look at city codes that could be changed to get more housing built, such as altering parking codes for multi-family projects, or finding other ways to incentivize builders to construct more "missing middle" housing like townhomes and microhomes. As the mother of a young child, she's also a proponent of getting the city more involved in solving the child care crisis. And Kebler believes that timely communication with the public is key to the role—one thing we especially hope she, and the rest of the Council, takes up. Vote Melanie Kebler for Bend City Council Position 1.
Editor's note: In the print version of this story, we stated that Councilor Justin Livingston voted against the City's Human Rights and Equity Commission. While he initially indicated opposition, due to what he characterized as the HREC needing more detail before drafting an ordinance, he ultimately voted in favor. We regret the error.