While most eyes are on the primary with the May 18 election fast approaching, there is already some preliminary jockeying for the three Bend City Council seats up for grabs in November. Local businessman and BendFilm board member Scott Ramsay was the latest to announce his intention to run. Ramsay said in a press release that he had filed preliminary paperwork with the state to run for the seat currently held by former mayor Oran Teater who recently announced that he would not be seeking re-election this fall. Teater was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Chris Telfer after she was elected to the state Senate where she now holds the seat vacated by the late Ben Westlund.
For his part, Ramsay said he has long been vocal about his political views and decided to run for council thanks in part to the encouragement of current City Councilor Jeff Eager, who is a family friend and has worked as an attorney representing Ramsay’s businesses that include the Sun Mountain Fun Center and the variety shop Casarama. Ramsay describes himself as a fiscal conservative with an open mind who expects government to accord itself with the same kind of responsibility and restraint that society expects of individuals.
However, he added, “I certainly wouldn’t call myself a thundering conservative in all realms.”
As far as a platform, Ramsay said he believes the city needs to do a better job of creating a positive environment for business that will help grow our local economy and sustain our tax base.
Ramsay has a little bit of practical experience to draw upon when it comes to the city’s business friendliness. His plan to redevelop the corner around Casarama at Division Street and Revere Avenue was stymied by the city, which, according to Ramsay, demanded $600,000 to $700,000 worth of adjacent road improvements just to break ground.
It’s still a few months before candidates can officially file petitions to run for city council, but the race for Teater’s seat is already taking shape with Downtown Business Association Executive Director Chuck Arnold having already announced that he will be seeking the seat. Other seats in play in November include that held by Mayor Pro Tem Mark Capell and that of Jodie Barram.