By Monicia Warner
Foster Fell, local activist and co-founder of Slower Safer Bend, filed Monday to run for Mark Capell’s city council seat. He’s currently the only challenger for Capell, who announced on June 25 his intention to run for a third council term.
Fell said Thursday that while he respects Capell and voted for him in the last city council election, he’s concerned that City Hall isn’t listening to Bend citizens.
“I come from a generation where we came to like the early Dylan, the early Elvis — I liked the early Capell, but I’m not sure what he’s turned into,” he said. “I think City Hall should be a welcoming sanctuary for anyone seeking justice.”
According to his candidate filing, Fell is a respiratory care practitioner with bachelor’s degrees from Portland State and Oregon State universities and an associatedegree in respiratory therapy from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham
Among the issues Fell addressed were creating safer, integrated solutions for sidewalks and implementing more access for people with disabilities .
“I would support integrated neighborhood street sidewalks and disabled access,” he said. “We need to continue at full speed to resolve the needs of our disabled community, as much as the city can do.”
Fell also wants to make sure there is basic infrastructure for Stone Creek, the new planned residential and commercial development in southeast Bend approved this week by the City Council.
“Our planning seems to be merged from a bizarro world; we put the cart before the horse,” Fell said. “Approving construction on 600 homes without the infrastructure to support it. They’re going to go hog wild building homes without the safety and roads to go along with it.”
Fell credits his work with Slower Safer Bend, helping to implement signs around Bend that show driver speeds and collect data. He said the organization has also gotten a City Hall staff member appointed who deals with the city’s backlog of traffic complaints.
“There have been hundreds of complaints, at least four or five years’ worth,” he said. “Out of those complaints, only two have been addressed.”
Fell said he expects to turn in petition signatures in a week or so and hopes to introduce an open-door policy at City Hall.
“I think it shouldn’t be an extraordinary thing for a citizen to run for office,” he said.
“Anyone with a head full of ideas and a heart full of concern, I don’t think there’s any reason they should not run.”
— Reporter: 541-633-2117, firstname.lastname@example.org