My “opinion” is the people of Oregon love Bend’s parks and recreation system. Bend Park & Recreation District is a vital community asset and should retain its integrity and independence.
Beginning March 4, I spoke with 1,364 citizens, residents and businesses while knocking on 3,037 doors. It is “documented” fact. Ask the people! No one from the city of Bend or BPRD has reviewed any factual and numerical data. The methodology is defined as an active grassroots campaign. It is the “revolutionary” technique that defeated the British Empire. A “vote” of the people will occur on May 21.
The following response is offered to the recent endorsements of Craig Chenoweth. I have the following concerns regarding his candidacy:
• A perceived conflict of interest relating to his paid employment at the City of Bend.
• A lack of regular attendance at board meetings and BPRD events.
• A real and overt possibility of City of Bend resources being used regarding BPRD planning, development and review.
The role of government is to manage social change and civic infrastructure: parks, police, water, fire, education and other “shared” community assets. Individuals differ in their level of use and involvement. Beginning in 2008, economic hardships began to affect us all.
My concern is that property owners, renters, and visitors financially support the entire system and not just specific pieces. Is an individual who pays for activities more valuable than someone who casually strolls in a park at no cost? Under the current administration, the answer is “yes.” The philosophy is propelling the organization in a biased direction toward existing “money” instead of community “wealth” and “posterity”; capital improvement vs. community investment. A park user cannot be specifically defined by pay-to-play programs and participation.
My goal is to represent all park users. Financial capacity is irrelevant in regard to the public trust and resources; “every child will learn how to swim.” When mom and dad are not around, children still need to tread water. Each day, I wonder why so many living in our city, state and country are failing to swim. Everyone is someone’s child. This is a multi-generational problem. Seniors, families and individuals are experiencing significant hardships that are contrary to the notion of an “American dream.” It is our “neighborhood” in the State of Oregon; all politics is local and America is the New World.
As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes argued, America only survives and grows because we share ideas — the good, the bad and the ugly. There is no single correct answer; only “hope” and an unknown future. I suggest that we all heed the advice.
As a government, BPRD can address big issues. I only intend to bring a new and different “voice” to the table; that of the “Great Recession.” It requires a majority vote of directors to enact any change in policy, procedure or park law (Comprehensive Plan).
In conclusion, I would like to clarify my position on Mirror Pond. The recent BPRD survey and questionnaire was poorly developed, written and executed. It only scratched the surface of multiple options and opportunities. The dam must be removed or replaced; even still, the silt/sludge will continue to build in the riverbed. These are the facts that need debate!
Our community must discuss the future of downtown Bend’s riverfront in relation to the larger Deschutes River Trail. My visioning process is macro-development not micro. I look at the entire forest and not just a “tree.” I envision returning the river to a free flowing state while retaining a Mirror Pond “feature.”
It would be a privilege to represent the people as a district director. Please remember to “vote.”