The City of Bend Charter is clear: It says a councilor must have resided within the city limits for the 12 months immediately preceding his or her election to office. But it appears that city council hopeful Casey Roats, who was born and raised in Bend, may not qualify for that very basic threshold.
By his own admission, Roats only has been living within city limits for about two weeks out of the past year.
On Monday morning, accusations were leveled that Roats is not qualified to serve on City Council and may be running afoul of the law.
“He was not residing in the city limits of Bend, and is therefore not qualified to run for city council,” explained Charlie Ringo, a former state senator, local attorney and founder of Bend Good Government Committee, a PAC supporting candidates including Roats’ opponent Lisa Seales. “Further,” Ringo continued in an interview with the Source, “Roat’s Candidate Filing statement was not accurate and constitutes a felony.”
In response, Roats told the Source that he sold his Bend home last September and moved his family into his parents’ home east of the City while he built a new home near the Bend office of Roats Water Systems, where he works as owner/operator. He said that though he wasn’t technically residing within city limits from October 2013 to October 2014, he spent the majority of his waking hours in Bend, working and volunteering on infrastructure advisory committees.
He pointed out that he did not rent or own a residence outside the city during that time and argued that regardless of where he laid his head, his heart remained in Bend.
The full story—with interviews from Mayor Jim Clinton and city councilors’ reactions—will run in this week’s edition, on stands and online tomorrow.