▶️ Bend City Council hopes to fill 2 vacant seats by end of June


With former Bend Mayor Sally Russell and former Councilor Rita Schenkelberg both resigning from office, two seats on the Bend City Council are open for candidates.

There are currently 22 applications submitted for the available spots.

The City Council will appoint two new members over the course of the upcoming month, but they don’t really need to fill the seats to keep working.

“This is a temp job for seven months,” said Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins, “So we are not taking the power and responsibility away from the people in any way during this process.”

There are currently five City Council members remaining and only four are needed to pass measures.

“I don’t really love the process set forth by the charter,” said City Councilor Anthony Broadman “I want the people of the city of Bend to decide who’s going to fill these seats.”

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Because of the charter, the process will begin on Friday, June 3, where a council subcommittee will review applications.

That meeting, and the full council special meetings on June 7, 9 and 13, are open to the public to voice their opinions on the new appointees.

“And if we can all find candidates that we agree on, we hope to have the vacancies filled by our June 15 council meeting,” Perkins said.

City councilors are trying to instill more transparency into the vacancy process after the 2019 appointment of Chris Piper to the council.

“I think that was a misstep that I hope this council will avoid,” Broadman said.

“I ran for council largely because of the way the process was done the last time there was a vacancy,” Perkins said “You know, I feel like it was not transparent and that special interest made the decision for council.”

Whomever is appointed to each of the two vacant seats will only act as temporary counselor up until November elections, when a formal vote count determines the newest members.

“We have a lot of work to do for the city of bend and I want to make sure that whoever is appointed can be up to speed and ready to work on day one,” Perkins said.

Below are the meeting times and locations.

  • June 3, 2 – 4 p.m. Special Meeting for Council Subcommittee – review applications and prepare recommendation for full Council
  • June 7, 5 p.m. Special Meeting for full Council – receive recommendations from the Subcommittee, determine interview questions
  • June 9, 5 p.m. Special Meeting for full Council – interview candidates
  • June 13, 3-5 p.m. Special Meeting for full Council – June 13 – if needed for deliberations and decision

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