Knight, Moseley discuss housing, transportation, other issues
By Marina Starleaf Riker / The Bulletin
Bend City Council candidates Doug Knight and Bill Moseley exchanged jabs at a candidate debate held by the Bend Chamber of Commerce on Monday.
Although the debate was set up to be a discussion on community issues, it didn’t stop the candidates from accusing each other of things ranging from taking money from special interest groups to sending mean emails to city staff.
The Bend City Council position up for election is currently held by Knight, who was elected in 2012 and is a building designer and engineer. His challenger, Moseley, is founder and CEO of software company GL Solutions.
At the event held at Deschutes Brewery & Public House in downtown Bend, the two candidates answered questions from moderators, the audience and each other about issues in the community such as vacation rentals, street funding and Bend City Council leadership.
At one point in the discussion, Moseley went off-topic, denouncing Knight for sending “unprofessional” emails to city staff. Meanwhile, Knight said he tries to compliment city staff “as much as possible” and accused Moseley of supporting private interests.
Throughout the evening, Moseley criticized the council for lacking leadership and failing to address longterm problems such as housing affordability.
“At some point, people have to say it’s enough and there has to be a change,” said Moseley.
On the other hand, Knight said he has a proven track record for making rational decisions on the Bend City Council, adding that Moseley doesn’t have the time or understand the nuances of the job.
“I don’t see how you’re going to get the job done, my friend,” said Knight.
While the two agreed on increasing density to accommodate workforce housing, supporting the new OSU-Cascades campus and other items, they disagreed on issues ranging from Measure 97 to how Bend’s city government should be structured.
For instance, Knight supports Measure 97 — which would increase the corporate minimum tax by adding 2.5 percent on Oregon sales over $25 million — saying it would help align Oregon’s corporate tax structure with the rest of the country. Meanwhile, Moseley opposes the measure, saying it would harm businesses.
They also disagreed about whether Bend should elect its mayor; right now, Bend is the largest city in Oregon without an elected mayor. Councilors select a mayor from among themselves. Knight was against electing a mayor, saying it would make the race too expensive for councilors and end up costing the community.
“I don’t want an elected mayor where all of a sudden that race becomes a partisan race,” said Knight, adding he does support increasing city councilors’ pay from the current $200-per-month stipend.
However, Moseley said he was open to electing a mayor.
After being asked how to address workforce housing in Bend, Moseley said he supports decreasing fees and height restrictions for buildings to allow for more units. However, Knight defended some of the city fees, saying some are necessary to help the city fund the affordable housing projects that provide places to live for Bend residents with the lowest incomes.
When it came to a city proposal to tackle climate change and reduce fossil fuel use, Knight supported the plan, saying it would protect the city in the future and fell under the council’s current goals to preserve natural resources. Moseley disagreed, adding that he worried about implementing the plan without knowing the total cost. The plan asks for funding for a new city staff position — money that could have gone to more pressing needs, he said.
“The money that’s being used for climate change could be used to pay for the streets,” Moseley said.
The council has four positions up for election on the Nov. 8 ballot. Those running in the other three are:
In Position 1, Ronald “Rondo” Boozell, a U.S. Navy veteran, is running against Justin Livingston, a real estate broker. Councilor Victor Chudowsky is not seeking re-election.
In Position 3, incumbent Sally Russell faces challenger Wade Fagen of Fagen Tree Service & Wood Chips.
In Position 4, former Bend City Councilor and Mayor Bruce Abernethy is running unopposed. Councilor and current Mayor Jim Clinton is not seeking re-election.
— Reporter: 541-633-2160, email@example.com