Although quickly dismissed by our local daily newspaper, I think current Bend Mayor Jeff Eager is correct in suggesting that our mayor should be elected.
I served as mayor from 1997 to 1999 and while thankful for being selected for the position by my fellow councilors, the job proved to be purely ceremonial. As mayor, you run the council meetings, cut ribbons at openings and represent the City at important events. That may have changed since my days in office and perhaps Mr. Eager is doing much more. That noted, the mayor’s position is still one without much authority.
I’d like to see an open race for the mayoral position with the candidates running on a platform. Once elected, they would be held to the task of implementing their agenda.
Sounds simple and I think an effective elected mayor could greatly help move things along and break up any logjams at City Hall.
Of course, I’m also all in favor of going back to a “beauty contest” election instead of the current “by position” electoral system. And while this idea has merit for offering better, in my mind, representation of our citizens, it like the electing of a mayor may never become a reality.