BEND, OR -- Bend Mayor Casey Roats and City Manager Eric King presented the annual State of the City address Tuesday, at an event hosted by the Bend Chamber of Commerce. Roats, who is in his second year as Mayor, says Bend has achieved great things because residents share the load, "What gives me the greatest optimism about the future of our city and the strength of the city: I have seen our community come together in the last four or five years in ways that, in my lifetime before that, I hadn't, because of the collaborative nature of people setting aside differences and working together."
King focused on future transportation needs, when population is projected to hit 250,000 by 2060. He says the city has protected $65 million for road work to be completed over the next five years, "We've talked about our plans for Murphy and Empire Roads. Fifty of that $65 Million is going to those two projects."
Roats is optimistic about the city's future, "I think that we are changing. The 'poverty with a view,' I hope, will be something that my kids and your kids - people who work with you and work for you, that their kids - that it's something that is a paradigm that is their reality." He adds, "I think that a city should be a place that is dynamic, it changes, and preferably, grows in a controlled and thoughtful manner." But, Roats says, that "thoughtful manner" isn't the only thing that makes Bend a great place to live, "Bend is great because we have a world-class health care system. We have a world-class community college. We're developing a world-class four-year degree program institution in Oregon State University. We have excellent parks, excellent local schools, and those are things that are driving people to Bend, because they want the amenities that we have spent a long time and trouble investing in and developing ourselves as a community."