By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
The Bend City Council will look very different in the new year.
It will have its first female majority in history and a person of color who is openly queer.
“Twenty-eight thousand people know my name! Just the shock of that and the excitement of that,” Rita Schenkelberg said of watching election returns.
Schenkelberg, a mental health counselor, defeated challengers Michael Hughes and Bubba Walters for Position 4.
Central Oregon Daily News caught up with councilors-elect Anthony Broadman, Melanie Kebler, Megan Perkins and Schenkelberg.
“We’ll be sworn in January,” said Anthony Broadman. “I am thrilled about the opportunity to be a public servant here in Bend.”
Anthony Broadman, who won nearly 80% of the vote for Position 2 and will be Bend’s only male councilor next year, said he’s already working to help businesses survive the COVID pandemic.
“Spearheading the effort to open more public space downtown so that restaurants can keep workers safe, keep patrons safe. I’m taking every opportunity I can right now for us as a new council to prepare for us to hit the ground running,” he said.
“I’m ready to get to work on the big issues for Bend that Bend cares about,” said Melanie Kebler.
Kebler defeated incumbent Justin Livingston for Position 1.
She said she’s ready to jump into city council business.”
“Not just the pandemic but housing, transportation, climate… everything that I’ve been talking about on the campaign trail,” Kebler said.
Perkins defeated incumbent Chris Piper for Position 3. She believes city council will look and operate differently.
“The four of us that sort of ran as a slate, we have just enjoyed so much collaborating together on this campaign,” Perkins said. “I think there will be a lot more working together. Hitting the important issues; climate, getting around the city easier, making sure that everyone has a home. I think we are all really excited to get to work,” Perkins said.
Perkins, Kebler, Broadman and Schenkelberg will join Barb Campbell, Gena Goodman-Campbell and mayor Sally Russell on the Bend City Council in January.