BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors continue efforts to fill the vacancy on Council created when Sally Russell was elected Mayor. They interviewed their top six candidates during a special meeting, Monday night. Kathy Austin, James Dorofi, Kerani Mitchell, Andrew Davis, Chuck Allen and Chris Piper were selected from among nearly 40 applications received earlier this month.
Councilor Barb Campbell acknowledged it’s difficult to choose someone for a seat that’s normally elected by voters, "My experience is, sometimes the voters want a complete outsider who has never set foot in City Hall, sometimes they want someone with a great deal of experience." But, she said she didn't think readiness was going to be an issue with this pool of candidates, "Looking at this specific list, I don’t see any of these folks that make me worried that they’re not going to be able to get up to speed."
The six Councilors agreed all of the finalists had good things to say and represent a broad range of ideas. But, after several hours of interviews and deliberations, Councilor Bruce Abernethy told the small crowd gathered in Council Chambers they would push a final decision to Wednesday’s regular meeting, "Unfortunately this is probably not what the candidates are going to want to hear. But, again, you are getting a sense of what you may be getting into, and that it’s a little bit messy. I think there was some really good discussion; we’ll get a chance to sleep on it and reflect a little bit more."
Wednesday's Bend City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m.