You can add "Police Chief" to the help wanted list for the city of Bend. After almost a decade serving as the head of the Bend Police Department, Chief Andy Jordan announced his retirement earlier this week.
The city council was told of Jordan's retirement at a work session Monday night and the city has yet to name a replacement to take over when he steps down at the end of March.
Andrea McCullough, the city's communications manager, told us that the city is hoping to name an interim police chief from inside the department within the coming week. The search for Jordan's permanent replacement is dependent on the ongoing hunt for a new city manager. Once the new manager is hired, he or she will oversee the recruitment of Bend's next police chief, McCullough said.
But given that the city manager hiring is still a few months out, the new permanent chief selection could loom even further out on the horizon.
The 55-year-old Jordan oversaw significant changes in the city's population and dynamic during his time with the force. He became chief in 1999, but had served with the department since 1987, and had previously been on the force from 1981-84.
Bus Me Gently...Bus Me Slowly
There's probably a good slew of Bendites (and maybe some city councilors included in that slew) who would like to see the city's busses, and of course the seemingly never-ending problem with city buses, disappear. But that's not the case, as the city is now taking our transportation woes head on - or so it seems.
In an upcoming work session (Jan. 16), the city council is scheduled to receive a report from staffers outlining results of research concerning additions and replacements to the city's current fleet of busses (some of which are widely considered "lemons," even by city councilors). The report took into consideration a number of factors including the fuel economy, emissions, life cycle, and of course the operational costs of potential bus choices.
In the end, city staff recommended that the city purchase four Eldorado Aero Elite busses which could be delivered within the year, but also plan on eventually purchasing a 32-foot diesel-electric hybrid to be delivered in 2009-10. So, those hoping for a quick fix to the transit situation aren't in luck, as the purchasing and delivery schedule spans the next two years.
Purchasing the busses would get a boost from $336,000 in grants from the Federal Transit Administration - which would make up about 80 percent of the total cost, which is estimated at $420,000.
Meanwhile, the city is rumored to be pondering a November transit ballot, which could determine whether the city is in the public transportation game for the long haul.