City’s Governance Model Sent to Committee

Courtesy: Tor Hanson, Special Projects Reporter

As one of the stated goals, the councilors have agreed to review the city charter. The last review was done in 2011, but in the end, no changes were made. Under the auspice of Bend 2030, Bend Chamber and City Club of Bend several public forums were held last summer to discuss the current governance model and suggest future changes.

Based on the input from the public forums, three areas were identified as important to the citizens of Bend.

  • What are the most important questions involved in whether Bend should have an elected mayor?
  • What are the most important questions involved in whether Bend should have a ward system?
  • What are the most important questions in whether to substantially increase councilor pay or give them staff.

The councilors have on several occasions discussed the current governance model and which of the three suggested focus areas should be put to in front of the voters next year. At their June 7 meeting, the councilors decided to remove the question about councilor compensation from the discussion and let the charter review committee concentrate on the following issues:

  • Should Bend have an elected mayor. Today the mayor is elected by the city councilors every two years.
  • Should Bend have a ward system. Today the city has 7 positions and they are all at large with no geographic boundaries.

Although the city councilors in principle have agreed to tackle the governance model, when it came down to voting on adopting the resolution to establish a Charter Review Committee, Councilor Boddie and Campbell decided to oppose.


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  1. Lynnea Miller says:

    Having lived in Bend since 1985, I have personally experienced the tremendous growth in the city. The town has reached a size in which representation by area is necessary – especially since there is little to no representation in most of the government committees, council, even Park and Rec by East Bend residents. This disparity needs to be corrected. We need a ward system – and great encouragement for all Bend residents to be represented in all committees.

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