REDMOND, OR -- Redmond candidates for City Council and Mayor met in a public forum, Thursday, hosted by the Central Oregon Association of Realtors. The six candidates discussed topics like growth, jobs, marijuana and affordable housing.
Incumbent Mayor George Endicott is pleased with the city’s application for a pilot program that could bring more than 480 housing units, if approved by the state. "It’s a 40-acre plot that’s out there on the northeast side of town; which, not only would be a piece of land that’s going to be 50% affordable housing and 50% market rate, it’s destined to be an incubator for the rest of the northeast part Redmond to develop." But, his challenger, attorney and former Mayor Ed Fitch, says the location isn’t right, "You put low income people way down on the northeast side, there’s going to be a problem. How are they going to get around?" He’d prefer to see more development closer to downtown, including improved sidewalks and more apartments.
The four candidates for City Council were asked what sets them apart from the competition. Incumbent Jay Patrick says his 20 years on Council have provided valuable experience, "I have been president of the Council quite often, so I can work with other people." Political newcomer Josefina Riggs believes her diverse background is an asset, while Councilor Jon Bullock says, as Director of Redmond Proficiency Academy, he’s the only one who has managed large, complex organizations. Krisanna Clark-Endicott believes her experience as a Sherwood City Councilor and Mayor will benefit Redmond; although, she confused her cities when presenting some of her ideas, "I’d like to bring a community garden to the city of Sherwood," she went on to say, "It’s a great way for us to be in community with each other."
Under current city ordinance, marijuana businesses are not allowed inside city limits. During Thursday's forum, Fitch stated the city has lost "approximately $60-$80,000 in revenue because of that decision," prompting KBND News to ask all six candidates to clarify their stance on allowing recreational and/or medical marijuana businesses. All would support sending the issue back to Redmond voters, but most are also concerned about future ramifications. Councilor Bullock said the city risks losing federal funding, "Particularly for the airport." That concern was shared by Councilor Patrick. However Fitch doesn’t believe it endangers federal money, "Portland has it, Salem has it, Eugene has it, Bend has it; not one of them have any issue with federal funding. I don’t use it, but I think it should be a choice. And, I do believe that that revenue will help with the police department." Mayor Endicott would rather the federal government regulate medical marijuana like a pharmaceutical, so dispensaries could be done away with; but he believes recreational pot puts the community at risk. His wife, Clark-Endicott added, "I think that it’s not only the actual financial cost, but also the cost with the exposure of recreational marijuana to our children."
For more coverage of the November mid-terms, visit our Elections 2018 page.
Top Photo: (l-r) Mayor George Endicott, Councilor Jay Patrick, Krisanna Clark-Endicott, Councilor Jon Bullock, Josefina Riggs, Ed Fitch