Bend City Councilor Bill Moseley and a local disability rights advocate who once filed a U.S. Justice Department complaint against the city are running for mayor.
Moseley and Brian Douglass, the chief advocate of Advocates for Disabled Americans Inc., picked up petitions to run for mayor. They, along with fellow mayoral hopefuls Sally Russell, mayor pro tem, and Bend resident Charles Baer, have to collect 150 signatures from residents before they can make the November ballot.
Moseley, the owner of software company GL Solutions, was first elected to the City Council in 2016, defeating incumbent Doug Knight. He set records for campaign fundraising during the race, bringing in $82,200, including $30,000 each from the Bend Chamber of Commerce and the Central Oregon Association of Realtors.
During his year and a half on the City Council, he’s advocated for road spending and a new committee of neighborhood leaders that focuses on livability issues and has spoken against tourism.
“We’re at a critical juncture in the city’s history,” Moseley said. “Growth is on a runaway path and we’re in a housing crisis.”
Moseley said he doesn’t have any criticism of how current Mayor Casey Roats is doing the job, but said he could take a strategic view to managing growth. The mayor is only one of seven on the City Council and needs support from at least three other councilors to make any decisions, but because the mayor works with the city manager to set meeting agendas, Moseley said he’d be able to have more influence on city policy as mayor than he does as a councilor.
If Moseley or Russell is elected mayor, the new City Council would have to appoint a replacement to finish the remaining two years of the winner’s term.
Douglass, a volunteer disability rights advocate, has not previously held or run for elected office or served on city committees. He said his 30 years of working on disability issues gave him enough experience working with city staff.
“I think I have the experience and the knowledge to make a good mayor,” he said.
He was one of four Bend residents who filed a complaint against the city of Bend in 2001 for not doing enough to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. That complaint resulted in a settlement between the Department of Justice and the city of Bend that requires the city to upgrade about 600 curb ramps and other public facilities.
Douglass most recently has protested city plans to add a crosswalk at the intersection of 27th Street and Conners Avenue and announced plans to submit a bond proposal focused on accessibility projects. He said tackling infrastructure holes, including the city’s 7 miles of unpaved travel lanes and hundreds of miles of nonexistent sidewalk, are key issues, as is opposing a proposed extended-stay hotel near St. Charles Bend.
Along with the four candidates running for mayor, perennial City Council candidate Ron “Rondo” Boozell has picked up paperwork to run for the council seat now occupied by Councilor Nathan Boddie. Boddie is the Democratic nominee to replace Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, in the state Legislature.
The other two councilors whose terms end this year — Roats and Barb Campbell — have not yet picked up petitions or announced whether they plan to run.
— Reporter: 541-633-2160; firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note: This article has been corrected. The original version misstated the nature of Douglass’ complaint against the city. The Bulletin regrets the error.