Bill Moseley won’t seek 2nd term on Bend City Council; says leadership is ‘adrift’

By TED TAYLOR
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Saying Bend is “adrift” and lacking leadership, city councilor Bill Moseley announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection in November.

Moseley, owner of local software company GL Solutions, was elected in 2016.

In a statement, Moesely said he believed his service on the council would “alter our trajectory,” and mentioned a couple of major infrastructure and street safety projects he championed.

“Ultimately though, a change in our trajectory requires leadership from the top, something we sorely lack.” he said. “While I believe every member of the council cares deeply about Bend, more than care is required to address our challenges.  We need a mayor with vision, skill and leadership experience.  We also need city policy set by our elected officials, not city employees.”

Moseley ran an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2018, losing by 10 percentage points to Sally Russell.

“From filling the council vacancy, to the handling of public safety concerns, to the city’s COVID response, I feel we are adrift,” Moseley continued. “Given the state of our leadership, I’ve come to the conclusion that the wisest use of my time lies with my business and family.”

Moseley said skyrocketing housing costs are shrinking the middle class in Bend, a different experience than when he started his company here more than 20 years ago.

“If asked today, I would warn new businesses not to come to Bend,” he said. “Find a community where your employees can afford to live; public officials value employers; and, private sector employment pays more than government employment.”

New residents are driving the housing prices and deteriorating the way of life here, he said.

“Many also bring their opinions and judgements that corrupted their former homes and now threaten our way of life too,” he wrote. “I fear that homeless camps, wide income disparities and other big city problems will soon come to a neighborhood near you – if they have not already.  Bend has become a place where a vocal minority opines to the “deplorables”.

Three candidates, Anthony Broadman, Michalla Garcia and August Paul Johnson have filed to run for Moseley’s position 2.

In a text, Russell said “on his way out the door, it was unfortunate Bill Moseley has decided to malign the critical efforts of hard-working city staff and his colleagues on the Bend City Council.”

She said it was clear Bend voters didn’t align with him when he lost his bid for mayor.

“I am proud to lead with a dedicated City Council along with brilliant city staff,” Russell said. “We will continue to face and address head on many difficult issues the public is well aware of.  While I am sad that councilor Moseley chooses to continually criticize our staff and council, I wish him well in his future private sector endeavors.”

Moseley’s full statement is below:

After a great deal of consideration, I have decided not to seek reelection to the Bend City Council.  Our city faces many challenges including managing growth, providing housing, preserving livability, and relieving traffic congestion.  When I moved to Bend more than 20 years ago, one could afford a home with a yard where the kids could play.  Now, only those bringing equity from big west coast cities can afford a home in Bend. 

Skyrocketing housing costs make everything else expensive too – from coffee to groceries.  While wages have risen to keep up with housing costs, the real standard of living has fallen for many.  Our middle class shrank 10% in the last decade.  Those on fixed incomes, like retirees, find themselves being priced out of their own homes.

I began and grew my software company in Bend from nothing to more than 50 employees.  At one time, I marveled at Bend’s affordability and warm entrepreneurial environment.  If asked today, I would warn new businesses not to come to Bend.  Find a community where your employees can afford to live; public officials value employers; and, private sector employment pays more than government employment.

New residents bring more than skyrocketing housing prices.  Many also bring their opinions and judgements that corrupted their former homes and now threaten our way of life too.  I fear that homeless camps, wide income disparities and other big city problems will soon come to a neighborhood near you – if they have not already.  Bend has become a place where a vocal minority opines to the “deplorables”.

With some naivety, I hoped my service on the council would alter our trajectory.  I do feel a sense of accomplishment.  After decades waiting, my efforts led to the construction of the new Empire connection.  I also take pride in getting the Murphy road and many other street projects funded.  We fixed our roads without a gas tax.  I led the creation of the neighborhood street safety program and the formation of a city committee where livability issues could be addressed.  I pushed for better strategic planning and management.  I also encouraged our efforts to clean up downtown.

Ultimately though, a change in our trajectory requires leadership from the top, something we sorely lack.  While I believe every member of the council cares deeply about Bend, more than care is required to address our challenges.  We need a mayor with vision, skill and leadership experience.  We also need city policy set by our elected officials, not city employees.  From filling the council vacancy, to the handling of public safety concerns, to the city’s COVID response, I feel we are adrift.  While some would praise our subsidized housing initiatives, I simply reply that if they were so successful, we would see housing people could afford.  Given the state of our leadership, I’ve come to the conclusion that the wisest use of my time lies with my business and family.

I appreciate the trust and support placed in me.   My experience as a Bend city councilor touched me in many ways.  I’ve encountered so many kind and generous people.  I did my best to serve the people of our city.  I look forward to completing my service and sincerely hope that the next council exceeds my expectations to address the pressing problems we face.

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