Why does the Bend Radio Group hate Bend City Councilor Bill Moseley so much? You may have asked that question after hearing campaign ads attacking Moseley, a mayoral candidate, on one of the group’s five FM stations.
The ads themselves are harsh, but otherwise unremarkable: Critic attacks candidate. Yawn.
What is a bit different is the acknowledgment at the end of each ad that it’s brought you by the ownership of the radio station itself. If you’re anything like us, you’ve said, “Huh. What’s up with that?” Typically, the hand holding the hatchet belongs to the campaign of another candidate.
We asked Bend Radio Group President Jim Gross about the ads, and he provided a written statement that appears in full below this editorial. Gross doesn’t cite any specific disagreement with Moseley, but points generally to his past statements, policy positions, personal qualities and vision.
Fair enough, but Moseley must have done something to incur such wrath, right?
Of course he did. And you don’t have to dig too hard to discover the likely culprit. Moseley is one of four councilors who voted early this year to limit the number of temporary change of occupancy permits a business can receive each year.
Such permits allow businesses to exceed occupancy limits by, for instance, packing more people into a concert venue than it otherwise would be permitted to hold.
At the time the council voted to limit temporary occupancy-change permits, one site in particular stood to experience a significant impact. The Century Center on Bend’s west side received seven such permits in 2017, which is more than twice the limit imposed in February by Moseley and fellow councilors Justin Livingston, Bruce Abernethy and Casey Roats. The Bend Radio Group wasn’t happy about the change, as it hosted a popular outdoor summer concert series at the Century Center.
The council’s vote capped a long period during which many people living near the Century Center had become frustrated by the noise produced by nocturnal concerts. When many months of mediation produced no results, says Moseley, city staff expressed safety-related concerns about the location’s large number of temporary occupancy change permits. There’s a reason occupancy limits exist in the first place.
The result was the council’s vote this year to cap temporary occupancy permits at three per year for each business location. Councilor Sally Russell, who’s running against Moseley for mayor, opposed the cap.
The Bend Radio Group’s ownership is entitled to pound away at Moseley to its heart’s content. It’s a free country.
Moseley, meanwhile, should continue to remind people what he did to earn such antipathy: He and three colleagues stuck up for neighbors and public safety at a time when Bend’s success as a tourist destination had come to threaten the very livability that brought many of us here.
If you think defending livability and public safety are bad things, Moseley’s not the candidate for you.
Statement by Bend Radio Group President Jim Gross:
In the twenty year history of Bend Radio Group, ownership has never taken an editorial position concerning a political candidate for an office; until now.
The City of Bend is at a crossroads … possessing a rare opportunity to implement intelligent and innovative planning in the midst of the fast growth we find ourselves in. What we do now will be our future. Should we miss that opportunity or make the wrong choices, Bend will become Anytown, USA. On this point I am confident Bill Moseley and I can agree.
Based upon direct experience with Mr. Moseley, and a thorough review of his past statements and policy positions of the moment, I am convinced he possesses neither the qualities or vision to lead Bend as Mayor during this critical juncture in its history. As a Bend resident and business owner finding myself in a unique position to inform and educate, I felt a responsibility to do so in this instance. My hope is that my editorials will make for a better informed electorate. I strongly encourage everyone to engage in their community’s future and vote on November 6th.