Throughout my mayoral campaign, Team Piper had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of Bend residents…we learned several things:
First, Bend is a great place to live and is universally loved by its residents. People came here for beauty and outdoor recreation, but they stay here for the quality of our community life. This is truly a great place for people to live, work and play.
During the campaign journey, it was an honor to meet with Bendites to address the challenges we face, and together to embrace the opportunities for Bend that we all want. Although there may be some differences in perspective and approach, one thing is clear: We all care deeply about our community and want to find ways to realize the promise of a better Bend.
As councilors commence with their goal setting session, I remind them that public service is a community effort and a great responsibility. I am hopeful that our elected City Council will create a foundation of balanced government.
Our community is looking for a shared future and to be part of the governance process. In the next four years, it is paramount that our City Council hold true to the nonpartisan elected seats and that we as a united community keep our elected City Council accountable. There were many voices that I heard during my mayoral campaign who say much the same thing, but often from a different perspective:
“We are better working together than we are when we stand alone. We need to make sure there is room in the public conversation for all voices to be heard.”
As a community we must commit to working together helping our City Council hear those voices and staying focused for the greater good of our community.
One of my key priorities during the campaign was to encourage business summits for our local economy. Our people, especially our young people, have the creativity, talent, and drive to build a robust economy based on innovation and emerging technology. EDCO, OSU Cascades, and COCC set the tone for this, but we must encourage local enterprises to build those small-business jobs on which many of our residents depend.
Everyone should have a home that is safe and affordable. I ask our City Council to work with us, listen to us, finding ways to build new housing and put young families in their first homes.
Likewise, we have the collective responsibility to care for the houseless and find alternatives to being homeless. This is one of our greatest challenges, but we should also recognize that the City Council has already made a good start to addressing this complex challenge but a strategic plan that’s metrics based with clear goals must be established and accountable. Let’s redouble our efforts, as a community, to care for those most in need.
I ask the council to address these issues during its council goal setting session.
Because of the beauty and livability of our community, we are one of Oregon’s fastest-growing cities. We can balance growth and livability to continue our legacy as one of Oregon’s great places.
Fellow Bendites, the keyword in all these issues is balance:
• Balancing growth and livability.
• Balancing collaboration with clear, effective policy leadership.
• Balancing a strong economy with meeting the housing needs for all residents.
As a community working together, we can find this balance. We can make Bend better together.