BEND, OR -- Chris Piper expects to become Bend’s newest City Councilor, at the end of the month. Councilors selected him Wednesday night, from among six finalists, to fill the vacancy created when Sally Russell was elected Mayor.
Piper was out of town on business and watched the meeting on the live stream. "When I learned of the appointment I, actually – in all honesty, was numb with excitement," he told KBND News Thursday, from his hotel room, "And then the energy started kicking in and I started writing down things that I’m looking forward to addressing with the Council as a whole." Those top priorities include identifying and addressing transportation and affordable housing needs, and getting to know the rest of Council and constituents. He acknowledges he has extra work to do on those relationships because he didn't go through a traditional election, "The personal piece of it was missed. Because in campaigning, you know, that’s where you really get to connect and get to know the individual running and to truly get to understand that individual as a person and then also as someone you want to begin to know and trust to take the city forward. With the application process, that’s very difficult."
He has lived in Bend 14 years, and works from home for Proforma, an Ohio-based marketing company, "Telecommuting has gotten me to get very engaged with the community by working at some of the workspace centers – the tech service on Emkay, the coffee shop downtown, and that was one of the reasons I took the opportunity to apply." Bend leads the nation in telecommuting workers, according to a new study, and some Councilors supported Piper’s appointment in part because of his remote work. Click HERE to listen to City Manager Eric King explain the selection process and rationale.
Piper is expected to be sworn in to office during the January 30 City Council meeting.