-for seat #1, presently occupied by Councilor Victor Chudowski
Working for real people, not real estate
SLOW SMART GROWTH
that benefits everyone
26-year resident. US Navy Veteran. Cyclist-commuter 365.
environmental-conservative * social-liberal * community volunteer and activist
November 2016 Voters Pamphlet Statement
(filed with the Deschutes County Clerk)
GROWTH in Bend = PROSPERITY in Bend?
If you are new to Bend. Welcome.
Bend has been my home for twenty six years. This is my
and at the same time, destroys the livability of Bend.
SAVE TROY FIELD
Editorial: Can the Bend Chamber make its election events free?
Published Aug 31, 2016 at 12:04AM
One of the best places to see local candidates debate will again be at the Bend Chamber of Commerce’s What’s Brewing Election series.
The chamber has debates scheduled for the contested Bend City Council seats, the Deschutes County Commission and county sheriff. The debates in the past have been civil and informative. The panelists ask good questions, though there has been a need for follow-up questions that were never asked.
You don’t have to be a member of the chamber to attend. They are open to the public.
All that said, the debates do have a problem. We were reminded of it in an email from
Ron “Rondo” Boozell, who has announced his intention to run for Position 1 on the Bend City Council. He wrote that he would not be attending because the debates aren’t free.
It costs $20 per event or $15 per event for members of the chamber. There’s a discount for buying a pass to all the events.
The chamber is not a public entity and it can charge whatever it wants. But it’s a shame it can’t find a way to make the events more accessible to the public by being free.
We called the chamber and did not hear back by our deadline.
There are obvious problems with a free event. The chamber would still have to pick up the associated costs and many more people might show up, overwhelming the space at Deschutes Brewery’s taproom downtown. Other What’s Brewing events in that venue can already get reasonably crowded.
There will be other candidate forums held by the League of Women Voters that will be free. But if the chamber could find a way to make its election debates free, they could be even more of an asset to the community. Ignorance is costly.
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In my view
By Ron Boozell and Jim Porter
Published Nov 22, 2015 at 12:02AM / Updated Nov 22, 2015 at 08:05AM
Editor’s note: Ron Boozell asked Bend Police Chief Jim Porter to respond to his questions about the city’s expanded exclusion zone. Bend Police can issue an order to prohibit an individual from entering city parks and much of downtown for 90 days.
Bend’s exclusion zone is unfair
In my observation, most racists don’t believe that they are. Homophobes seem to unconsciously overcompensate. When near a wheelchair, most of us look away without even realizing. When we see homeless people, we just want them gone.
We like to believe that we are good and compassionate people. Maybe we should ask ourselves if we are a good and compassionate city of Bend. Maybe we should just speak truth to ourselves for a moment and ask what it is that we don’t like about homeless people, and why we don’t like looking at them.
It has been suggested that the exclusion zone is a tool to move homeless people out of our downtown. Bend’s Police Chief Jim Porter disagrees. The Source Weekly in early July published an interview with our police chief about the exclusion zone:
“Source Weekly: Where and how did the conversation about expanding the civil exclusion zone begin? Was it initiated by downtown business owners, City Council, or police concerns?
Jim Porter: The Civil Exclusion idea came out of one of the very first meetings we had with the downtown stakeholders group. The example of the exclusion area in the parks was mentioned and the police department moved forward with the concept.”
This was a great question, but an insufficient answer, in my opinion. It raised more questions:
1. Where did this conversation begin?
2. How did this conversation begin?
3. Were there police concerns? Council concerns?
4. Who directed the police department forward with the concept?
5. Who sought an example of the exclusion area and why was it mentioned?
6. Who is the downtown stakeholders group?
7. What is the problem?
8. Why is an exclusion zone the answer to the problem?
9. What is an exclusion zone?
10. Who are we?
These questions I feel deserve to be answered. Our police, and our police chief, are valuable resources. We don’t want to waste them or misuse them. All in our city deserves dignity and respect.
I believe that the problem is not crime, and the title seems to say it clearly. If exclusion works, maybe we should turn our country into an exclusion zone. Bend can build walls, too, apparently, if the downtown stakeholders desire. I inquired at various businesses downtown. Not one complained of crime. Many are upset about homeless people using their toilets.
I have no reason to believe that our police chief is not completely sincere. I believe that he loves Bend and serves it well. He knows that I question the concept of an exclusion zone. I ask these questions because I still don’t know what an exclusion zone is or what it does — if it isn’t about excluding the homeless.
We already have laws to deal with criminals. This seems redundant and makes me question intent. I have asked Porter to indulge me as I submit these questions to him. He has agreed. He is free to answer some, all, or none.
I don’t expect him to answer the last question. That one is for you.
— Ron “Rondo” Boozell has been a candidate for Bend City Council.
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Measured response to an issue
Conversations on how to make the downtown area safer were taking place in numerous locations in numerous groups throughout the city, but most importantly, the conversation on making downtown safe had taken the form of a goal for police staff. The process used by the police department to address this goal was the “Problem-Oriented Policing” model. The POP process recommends you identify the problem, incorporate data, develop methodology, incorporate past police experience with the problem, encourage broad-based solutions and bring in stakeholders to identify a solution.
We used data to identify the downtown area represented only 0.33 percent of area for the city of Bend but was responsible for generating 5.6 percent of the total calls for service for the Police Department. We then reached out to those who had a stake in a safe downtown: Bend Park and Recreation, Downtown Bend Business Association, the Deschutes County Library system, representatives from the Family Kitchen, representatives from the Homeless Leadership Coalition, and the police.
We identified that increased police patrols have a positive impact in reducing crime, but the funding for these patrols was not sustainable. Additionally, we found the criminal behavior by a small proportion of individuals accounted for a disproportionate amount of calls for service and crimes. We also recognized the backlogs in the courts often meant an offender would not be held accountable for up to a year after committing crimes in some cases. We also recognized that two officers had been threatened with knives and another seriously attacked in the downtown area in broad daylight in less than 13 months.
We identified the success of the park exclusion zone and determined expanding the zone to include the downtown area as one possible solution, which was approved by the City Council. I will return the City Council next summer with a report on the status of the exclusion zone. Some have attempted to define the implementation of the expanded exclusion as a tool to harass the homeless, scare off those asking for donations on the streets or those suffering from mental health challenges; nothing could be further from the truth.
The exclusion zone is in place to address criminal conduct, not social status or constitutionally protected activities. The Bend Police Department has an exceptional record of protecting those most at risk in our community and has been recognized by Trillium Family Services and Deschutes County Public Health for our progressive work with the mentally ill.
In crafting the ordinance authorizing the exclusion area, strong due process and constitutional protections were built into the process. These include that no suspect will be excluded from the downtown prior to having an opportunity to challenge the exclusion or have their case heard before a magistrate, and exclusions will not exceed 90 days in duration.
Often the focus is exclusively on the rights of those being excluded after the have violated the law. What needs be included in the discussion is the fact the police are tasked with protecting everyone’s rights, no matter if they are those holding signs on corners, those who want to visit downtown without being attacked or harassed by a dog, those who would rather not step over human defecation on sidewalks, or property owners who don’t want the windows broken out of their buildings or have their vehicles damaged. The bottom line is individual rights come with individual responsibilities.
— Jim Porter is Bend’s police chief.
Conversations in past campaigns hosted by The Source: