Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell walked out in the middle of city meeting Wednesday night. She packed up and left frustrated about a councilor participating by phone and frustrated with national immigration policy. It was a show of questionable temperament for a councilor.
Campbell walked out at 6:17 p.m. during a discussion of the Bend Urban Renewal Agency. The BURA board, which is made up members of the Bend City Council, was discussing an advisory board for a plan to revitalize the area near the parkway.
Campbell proposed adding a renter who lived in the area to the board. Councilors rejected that 4-2. Councilor Bill Moseley didn’t want the board to include members from within the district, because it could create conflicts of interest.
Councilor Nathan Boddie then asked if councilors are able to vote when attending a meeting by phone. Moseley was participating in the meeting by phone and voting. He was out of town to attend his mother’s funeral in Kansas.
There was a brief discussion. The decision was that Moseley could vote. It has happened before. Campbell began to leave.
“That’s awesome,” she said. “I’m going to go home. I’m going to go home and make phone calls to senators and see if I can get them to let babies out of cages. Thanks for being here Bill (Moseley). I appreciate your service to keep the city running and the firefighters at work. It’s going to take four of you. Have a nice evening.”
Campbell explained why she left in an email. “I have spent as much of my spare time as I could bear this week making phone calls, sending emails and filling out online contact forms of senators, DHS personnel and the White House, trying to put a stop” to the practice of separating families in my name, she wrote. She was surprised that Moseley was participating by phone, which she had not seen done before. “Once the city attorney said that was allowable, I left to continue fighting human rights abuses taking place in my country in my name,” she continued. She returned for the regular Council meeting at 7 p.m.
It’s easy to understand Campbell’s passion about immigration policies. But it’s hard to understand how her lack of professionalism was appropriate for a Bend city councilor.