BEND, OR -- The Mayors of Bend and Redmond and a Deschutes County Commissioner plan to talk Friday with Governor Tina Kotek about Central Oregon’s homeless crisis. Commissioner Patti Adair says they’ll meet over Zoom. "We’ve been asking for - you know, the letter that we’ve been sending to the Governor, regarding having a managed camp outside of the UGB. We are having that conversation. Hopefully the Governor is going to respond with positive back and forth," Adair said Wednesday, "So we can actually get those camps, so that the people can actually move somewhere within Deschutes County. But, we really need to get them out of China Hat." The county needs to create a managed camp before it would be allowed to enforce a proposed camping ban on county-owned land.
Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch says the region needs more flexibility from the state, "It’s difficult to site these homeless facilities in town, given the conflicts with adjoining properties and neighbors." He told KBND News, "We also see the need for some additional infusion of money for the capital part - that is, building these homeless camps so they can be in a safe location and there won’t be as much conflict with the community."
Kotek said last month she’s hesitant to approve what she called “unprecedented” waiver authority without proof the region has exhausted options for a camp inside the Urban Growth Boundary. Her office confirms she's scheduled to meet with the Mayors and Commissioner Adair Friday.