BEND, OR -- A panel of Bend city officials discussed the power of local elections and how the City Council operates, at a Chamber event, Tuesday night. “Why local elections matter” was the theme of the latest What's Brewing event.
Former City Councilor and panelist Scott Ramsay said it is crucial for voters to do their research on Council candidates before casting a ballot. “That Council can make a decision on any given Wednesday that will affect all of your lives on Thursday. And it takes a lot of work to reverse it if you’re unhappy about it,” Ramsay told the crowd. “So, I think it is the responsibility of the voters to pay attention to who is running for office; how much knowledge do they have already of how the city operates? How much knowledge do they have about projects that are in the pipeline now?” Ramsay believes frequent turnover on the Council drags out some city projects. He notes city projects that were in process when he first joined the Council are still being worked on, two years after he left.
Former Councilor and fellow panelist Mark Capell had sharp criticism of current members. He said, “There are a couple of councilors who I think are leaders and work to move things forward. And I think the rest of it is fragmented and sad. And so I think this next election is critically important.”
Also on the panel were outgoing Councilor Victor Chudowsky, City Manager Eric King and Chamber Political Action Committee Chair Troy Reinhart.