Re-sig-na-tion. (Imagine it sung, plaintively drawn out, in the style of k.d. lang's "Constant Craving.") Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned his post at high noon, Friday the 13th. The day before Oregon's 156th birthday. His decision to step down followed a dog pile by media outlets and Democratic leaders calling for the Governor, mere months after being elected to a historic fourth term, to walk away before the growing ethics scandal drags the state down. Because Oregon has no deputy or lieutenant governor, Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in Wednesday as Kitzhaber's replacement. She'll have to run in a special election in 2016 to keep the seat for the remainder of Kitzhaber's term.
Continuing with the theme of knowing when to quit, local attorney Charlie Ringo says he's withdrawing his second lawsuit against the City of Bend seeking to challenge the election of Councilor Casey Roats. The suit claimed, among other complaints, that City Attorney Mary Winters did not appropriately guide Council in its deliberations of Roats' qualifications, and that the issue ought to have been held for the new Council to decide. Roats' candidacy came under question when Ringo revealed—and Roats confirmed—that the candidate had lived outside the city limits for 11 of the 12 months preceding the election, leading many in the community and on Council to ask whether he met the City Charter's residency requirements. Roats says he's relieved, but also kind of bummed, since he'll never get the court's validation.
Looking for ways to get involved in local governance? The City is currently seeking volunteers for two committees—the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) and the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). The AHAC specifically needs representatives from local lending institutions and affordable housing providers who are able to commit to a four-year term. The AAC wants volunteers with interest and experience in accessibility issues to advise the city on how to improve accessibility and emergency preparedness. This committee only asks for a one-to-three-year commitment. Interested? Check out bendoregon.gov/committees for more info.