BEND, OR -- It was a full house at the second forum on potential changes to Bend's city charter, Tuesday night. The meetings, hosted by Bend 2030, have focused on increasing Councilor pay and whether voters should elect the Mayor, instead of City Councilors making the decision.
Sisters Interim City Manager Rick Allen has been closely watching the discussions, as Sisters charter is set up in a similar fashion. He spoke at the Tuesday meeting, "I'm not sure you get a better candidate if you went from $200 to $500. Is that going to bring a better candidate? Because, if I'm unemployed, it doesn't take the place of a job; and if I'm employed, it certainly isn't a job. So, you still have to want to do it; you have to have the passion, the care and the drive to do it."
Bill Gregoricus attended the meeting because he says it's time to revisit these issues. He tells KBND News, "I think $200 a month is not enough [for Councilors]. Do I want to see something like $20,000 or $30,000? No. But, if you're having to hold a fulltime job, then something has got to suffer. So, I think some compensation more than what they're getting right now, is appropriate."
James Dorofi attended both meetings because he says the issues are important. "Although there are 80-some-thousand people who live here, there's really only a few hundred that are relatively active in the town; and they're going to be the ones that craft whatever gets presented to the voters. I just want to see what's getting developed and how; why."
Read more about the September meeting.
A majority of those at Tuesday's event were in favor of having an elected Mayor and of increasing Councilor pay. Bend 2030 plans to compile a report based on feedback from both meetings and hopes to present it to the City Council in January.