Bend residents have the opportunity to change things up (or not!) in Bend’s city government due to the efforts of a collaboration between Bend 2030, Bend Chamber of Commerce, and the City Club of Central Oregon. On May 15, in the primary elections, a ballot is on the table that could amend Bend’s Charter to provide for a directly elected mayor to include a four-year term. Currently, the City Counselors choose the Mayor from amongst themselves and it’s a two-year term. This ballot was the direct result of engaging the community in education and conversation back in September of 2016. The collaboration hosted two free information sessions to educate on different governance models being used and collect public input. The meetings asked a central question: Does our current governance structure give us the best leadership possible for addressing our complicated population, housing, transportation and livability issues?
The forum reports were presented to City Council in early 2017, which included public input and recommendations on mayor elections, creating a ward system for electing city councilors, and stipend increases for city councilors and the mayor position.
The council unanimously supported the mayoral recommendation. Now it’s up to the community to choose on May 15.
“This is a great success story on how important it is for local organizations to engage the community. City Club is a non-partisan organization. We do not take a side, – we help educate residents on all sides of an issue so they can make informed decisions for our community,” said Joey Drucker, City Club of Central Oregon Executive Director.
Join City Club on May 7th at Eagle Crest to hear from all the City Managers across Central Oregon in our annual City Manager forum. Engage in your community, join the conversation!