The Bend City Council will look significantly different in January after voters Tuesday ousted two incumbents and elected four new members.
Newcomers – and women – will rule the roost next year with Melanie Kebler defeating incumbent Justin Livingston for Position 1, while Megan Perkins appears to have ousted incumbent Chris Piper for Position 3.
Rita Schenkelberg defeated Michael Hughes for Position 4, which was left open after long-time Councilor Bruce Abernethy announced his retirement earlier this year.
And in Position 2 local attorney Anthony Broadman, an indigenous rights attorney, handily defeated August Johnson, a computer science student at OSU-Cascades.
Kebler, who was winning with 62% of the vote, said the biggest issue facing the city was a housing crisis she believed was standing in the way of Bend reaching its full potential.
Kebler is a career public servant who has worked as a state prosecutor and nonprofit victims’ rights attorney.
“Thank you Bend, for electing me to be your next City Councilor,” Kebler said. “I look forward to planning for a sustainable future that brings prosperity and opportunity to all Bend residents.”
Perkins, a local activist and co-founder of Embrace Bend, has said she would focus on several key issues including, creating a more inclusive community, becoming a more accessible city government, addressing and tackling economic equity, specifically affordable housing, transportation, and childcare.
“I’m honored to represent all voices of Bend, especially those that have been disenfranchised and overlooked,” sh esaid. “I want to thank my family for their support and all voters for engaging in the process. I look forward to getting to work for our city.”
She defeated Piper, who was appointed to the council last year, with 54% of the vote.
Schenkelberg, a mental health counselor at a youth facility, ran focusing on encouraging diversity and finding creative solutions to the city’s affordable housing efforts.
She’ll be Bend’s first openly-queer councilor and its first councilor of color.
She won with nearly 59% of the vote.
Broadman campaigned championing a more bikeable Bend, more sustainability to accommodate the city’s skyrocketing population and improving the connectivity of Bend’s east and west sides.
He’ll replace Councilor Bill Moseley who is stepping down at the end of the year.