BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors will formally prioritize budget goals in a couple of weeks. New Councilor Bill Moseley made clear at a recent budget workshop that he favors significantly increasing streets funding.
"From a businessperson's perspective, I'm walking back this plan. I'm saying, 'what's the number one thing we need to do? We need to build confidence. And what's the quickest way to do that? Pour money into the roads system so we can actually have a system that serves our community well,'" Moseley tells KBND News. "And, it's not just the potholes and maintenance. I would also put money towards construction to relieve congestion in key areas; Reed Market Road would be one of those." He adds, "For the long run, that's really my end game: I want residents to feel like their city government works for them, that they can trust them with the money they give to them and it's going to be spent wisely. [In] the very near-term, like what's going to happen in this next year on the budget, I'm thinking, 'what's the greatest way we can build confidence in our city government?' And, we can do that by fixing the roads."
City officials anticipate an additional half million dollars in revenue from the local sales tax on marijuana. Most of the Council wants to split that money evenly between police services and road maintenance. Moseley would like to put nearly the full amount toward streets. "I hear the public safety issues; I'm empathetic. I don't have any problem with either the functioning of our police department, and I think we need to be safe in our community. But, the reality is that there's only so many resources to go around, so we're going to have to make hard choices. And, leaders make hard choices; they don't split the difference."