BEND, OR -- After nearly three hours of of public testimony and discussion, the Bend City Council voted Wednesday night to approve a resolution to move forward with the alternative vision for Mirror Pond. Nearly 2-dozen residents and business owners spoke to the council, many strongly opposing the concept which would remove the current dam and encourage more river-front development in downtown Bend. Just before the vote was taken, Councilor Barb Campbell voiced her frustration, specifically with the idea of a new parking garage, directing remarks to fellow councilors Casey Roats and Sally Russell. "The only way we’re going to get enough from the economic development is by going up three or four stories where the old Mirror Pond parking lots were. The public has indicated they want no part of that – the public, including Sally who has said ‘oh my gosh no, I don’t support this picture, but I want to support the vision.’ And, I just don’t see the difference between the picture and the vision."
Roats responded to Campbell and fellow Councilor Nathan Boddie, "In terms of this economic development, you guys ran on a platform – you guys beat the hell out of me for thinking that we should expand the Urban Growth Boundary. The political camp you guys came out of, made it sound like I was going to pave the Badlands, next. So, when you guys get up here and rail on about how you’re not gonna let that kind of change come to the part of town that means so much to you, from here on out, you’re not going to have it both ways."
The vote was 4 - 3 in favor of continuing to study the concept already approved by the Bend Parks and Rec board
. Boddie, Campbell and Mayor Jim Clinton voted "no." City Manager Eric King tells KBND News the vote is not an endorsement of the plan; rather, it gives the city direction to continue to study the ideas included in the proposal.
To hear more on the vote and the concept, listen to our full interview with Bend City Manager Eric King at our Podcast page