Changing Demographics: Central Oregon is Running Out of Employees

Originally published in the Bend Business Edition – April 2017 The good news: unemployment is down in Central Oregon. The flip side is a tightening labor market. As the boomer generation moves towards retirement, the demographics of Central Oregon are changing. The long-term trends are challenging but can be solved, according to Workforce Analyst Karla Castillo with the Oregon Employment Department. But in the short term, the region’s supply of available labor is shrinking. Few can dispute the fact Central Oregon is experiencing a growth spurt. Recently released statistics from the Population Research Center at Portland State University (PSU), show Deschutes and … Continue reading Changing Demographics: Central Oregon is Running Out of Employees

Redmond Airport – Taking on a Growing Region

Originally published in Bend Business and Lifestyle Magazine – 2017 It is five o’clock in the morning. Alaska Airlines’ Bombardier turbo-prop is taxing out from the ramp at Roberts Field in Redmond. Passengers from all over Central Oregon are on their way to Portland. Next door American Eagles’ Canadair RJ 700 is being readied. In less than two hours, passengers will leave on a non-stop flight to Los Angeles. It’s been a long time coming. From its humble beginnings in the 1920s, the Redmond Municipal Airport has become a key player in Central Oregon’s powerhouse economy. The growing community is … Continue reading Redmond Airport – Taking on a Growing Region

Citizen Group Recommends Changes to Bend City Charter

Originally published in the Bend Chamber Business Edition – February 2, 2017 With support from Bend Chamber of Commerce, Bend 2030, and the City Club of Central Oregon, a group of Bend citizens have explored the city’s current governance model. Based on input from two citizen meetings last year, the Bend City Governance committee presented their findings in front of the city council last night. According to the report, the citizen’s input group favors a publicly elected mayor as well as the creation of a ward system to give all citizens in Bend fair representation in city council. Presented by … Continue reading Citizen Group Recommends Changes to Bend City Charter

City Council Float Public/Private Partnerships at Financial Strategy Meeting

Originally published in the Bend Chamber Business Edition – March 23, 2017 If three words could some up the Bend City Council’s Financial Strategy Meeting Wednesday, it might be Money, Money, Money… With the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) approved last fall, Councilors are in the midst of how to move forward with the “opportunity” and “expansion” areas identified in the plan. In total, more than 90 procurement decisions will fall in the Councilors lap within the foreseeable future. But according to council and staff, there’s not enough funds in the city coffers for all the projects. Bend City Councilors and … Continue reading City Council Float Public/Private Partnerships at Financial Strategy Meeting

Are City Council Meetings Too Long?

Originally published in the Bend Chamber Business Edition – January 13, 2017 Bend’s new Mayor, Casey Roats, wants City Council to get down to business. As his first comment to the new council at yesterday’s City Council Special Meeting at the Administration Building at Simpson Fire Station, the mayor laid down the framework for what will be the new norm for the council. As the new city council takes up position on the dais at City Hall next Wednesday, Mayor Roats is all about making council meetings to stay on track. “One of my main concerns is that we follow the … Continue reading Are City Council Meetings Too Long?

City Council Softens the 90-Day Eviction Ordinance after Input from Community

Originally published in the Bend Chamber Business Edition – December 21, 2016 Thanks to input from several local organization, among them the Bend Chamber of Commerce’s EVP Community Affairs Jamie Christman, the Bend City councilors decided to “soften” the controversial 90-day “no cause” eviction ordinance at their December 7 meeting. Introduced at the council work session, the new version leaves the existing 30-day “no cause” ordinance in place, with a 90-day “no cause” eviction requirement taking effect after one year of occupancy. The current local ordinance allows landlords to evict month-to-month renters with a 30-day notice. With a “no cause” eviction, … Continue reading City Council Softens the 90-Day Eviction Ordinance after Input from Community

Transportation Issues and Potholes Loom Large at Council Meeting

Originally published in the Bend Chamber Business Edition – March 2, 2017 Transportation issues loomed large at last night’s city council meeting. The future of the upgraded 14th Street Corridor and approval of Uber and Lyft-type transportation options were approved. And the issue of potholes weaved in and out of the discussions throughout the evening with public frustration topping the visitor section. Uber/Lyft Ride-hailing Services Approved After weeks of heated debate, amendments; and long-winded discussions about horse-drawn carriages and pedicabs, the council finally approved the repeal of the Bend city code regulating taxicabs with updated language that factor in ride-hailing … Continue reading Transportation Issues and Potholes Loom Large at Council Meeting