Bend Should Elect Its Mayor


Bend City Councilors are in the process of deciding whether to elect its mayor or keep the long time tradition and city charter requirement in the constitution that councilors appoint the mayor among themselves.

Although the council voted last August to keep the mayor an appointed position, Councilor Jodie Barram has asked the councilors to reconsider the decision. She is supported in this effort by current Mayor Jeff Eager and Council Jim Clinton.

One thing to consider in supporting the change includes the fact that Bend is the largest city in Oregon with an appointed mayor. According to a recent Bulletin report, the next largest municipality is Baker City with a population of around 10,000.

The mayor’s position has several duties above and beyond serving on the council including setting the council agendas, acting as a figure head for the city and conducting council meetings.

If the council decides to take the mayor’s position to the voters it would mean a charter amendment placed on the ballot, which could happen in May at no extra charge to voters.

Why should a few people sitting on the council decide the leader of the city?

Bend residents should have an opportunity to elect their own mayor, not because other cities our size do it, but because this city needs a vision. And the person serving as leader of our city should answer directly to the voters. It would be nice to hear what the top elected official in the city saw as the primary goals of the city: how to solve our water issue, taxes, transportation, handicapped access and a myriad of other challenges facing Bend. We should be able to choose a leader who best fits our views of the current challenges as well as a vision for the future.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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