BEND, OR -- After eight years, Bruce Abernethy says he’s ready for another run at Bend’s City Council. The Bend-La Pine School District Grant Writer served on the Council from 2000 to 2008, with those last two years as Mayor.
Abernethy plans to run for Position Four, currently held by Mayor Jim Clinton, who has not yet announced whether he’s running for re-election. "I have had some chances to talk with Jim, as I have with a number of other Council members," Abernethy tells KBND News, "My sense is that he is waiting to see who else is there, whether the people who do file in his seat are people he would want to run against or whether he feels comfortable that the things he supports, things that he works for, could be continued. My sense is I don’t think he’s going to run."
He says that over the past eight years, returning was always a possibility. "I really liked being on City Council. Even when I stepped down – I still had a couple of kids in the household before they went off to college – I knew at that point that I would certainly want to come back again; it was sort of 'when is the right time?'" He notes the city saw explosive growth during his previous stint and he says managing the current pace of expansion is a top priority for him, this time around … including increasing the city’s workforce housing options.
Abernethy believes he could be a voice of reason on a contentious Council. "To me, figuring out how you can listen to all sides of an issue; I firmly believe that to me 'compromise' is not a four-letter word. I think that right now, certainly at the national level and I even think at the local level, as well, the voices that are being heard, I characterize as the far left and the far right. And, I don’t think that they really speak for the bulk of the silent majority in the middle."