Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell is a woman who cares deeply about a host of causes. Unfortunately, her refusal to control herself renders her less effective in dealing with too many of them. She’s been at it again.
This week a constituent wrote Campbell and other council members to complain about the issue of people camping near Bend’s Whitewater Park. The letter was polite and asked the city of Bend to take up the matter. Campbell’s response basically blew the writer off with a series of questions and no hint of interest in improving the situation. At least one comment was downright snippy:
“Have you got ideas for how we could make it illegal for 20-40 year old males to chose a lifestyle where they travel around in their vehicles loaded with their skis, bikes, surf boards and dreams of just having fun in ski towns or towns with adventurous things to do?” she asked. The remainder of her response aimed to deflect responsibility for solutions on, in order, business owners, the campers themselves, every other city in America, the Deschutes County Commission, Bethlehem Inn and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River.
It was neither helpful nor particularly polite. It was, however, an all too familiar display of Campbell’s lack of restraint. Thus, in June 2018 she walked out of a city meeting, upset, in part, because another councilor was participating by phone. Then, at a council meeting two months later, she handed a Bulletin reporter a box of newspapers and a letter to the Editorial Board, describing us as “doers of actual harm” to the community and canceling her subscription, in addition to taking the mayor to task for missing a meeting.
Meanwhile, the city has been working to address parking problems around town. It has limited parking along Drake Park, a limit that could be extended to other parks, as well. It has considered issuing parking permits in some neighborhoods and shortening the amount of time between abandonment of a vehicle and towing it away. It’s a problem, in other words, that does have the city’s attention.
As for Campbell, she undermines her passion to improve the city by failing to act professionally.