The worst thing to happen to Bend’s Mirror Pond could be the two measures aimed for the November ballot. The measures ask the community to make up its mind about Mirror Pond’s future before getting the facts.
That’s bad enough. But then there’s the language of the measures. It has rightly earned a challenge from the Bend Park & Recreation District.
The two measures are twins. One essentially blocks the city of Bend from spending any money on a Mirror Pond solution unless it includes unobstructed fish passage, maintains current recreational access, requires no periodic dredging and enhances fish habitat. The second blocks the park district from doing the same thing.
They are a twin effort to block any option but taking out the dam.
Foster Fell, who has previously sought election to the park district board, has led the attempt to get them on the ballot.
We don’t expect anyone who has been following the Mirror Pond issue to be confused by the language of the park district measure. But, that said, if you haven’t swum in those waters, the language could be more clear.
The caption for the ballot title makes no mention of Mirror Pond.
The question in the ballot language mentions “certain conditions” but gives no hint about what the conditions are.
It’s no secret that we support finding a way to keep Mirror Pond. But it depends on the cost involved. No matter how you may feel about that issue, though, Bend residents have no answers yet to essential questions about Mirror Pond. How much would it cost to keep it? How much would it cost to remove it? Would the state let Bend keep the dam if it is no longer for the purpose of generating electricity?
The community should debate the pond’s future, but it should not make a decision before getting the facts.