By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Four new city councilors were sworn into office Wednesday night, creating a historic governing body for the city of Bend.
“I am just really excited to work with the whole council, including the returning counselors and I am excited to get to work on the issues I have been talking about with constituents all year,” new City Councilor Melanie Kebler said.
COVID restrictions forced the councilors to take the oath of office virtually.
Rita Schenkelberg acknowledged her place on this historic council.
“As a queer person of color, imagining being elected official was not even a dream” Schenkelberg said during Wednesday’s zoom ceremony.
New councilor Megan Perkins also shared her priorities coming into office.
“My goal as your counselor is to work on a bend that is safe, equitable and affordable for everyone,” Perkins said in Wednesday’s zoom meeting.
This is the first female majority for the council with Schenkelberg, Kebler and Perkins joining Mayor Sally Russell and councilors Barb Campbell and Gena Goodman-Campbell.
Goodman-Campbell was selected to serve as Mayor Pro Tem.
Attorney Anthony Broadman, one of the new councilors, talked about his main focus.
“The number one thing ahead of us right now is bouncing back from COVID as a city,” Broadman said.
Growing up in Bend, Kebler has seen several revisions in the city.
“I have already seen Bend go through so many changes, you know,” Kebler said. “I remember when the parkway was put in when I was in Highschool. So I am ready to move forward with Bend as we change and grow and I think we can do that in a really positive way.”
The new council will hold a listening session on January 11.