Bend councilors pick Clinton as new mayor

Barram, Capell withdraw nomination before vote

POSTED: 10:46 PM PST January 16, 2013    UPDATED: 10:51 PM PST January 16, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

The vote for Bend's next mayor took a surprising turn Wednesday night at the packed city council meeting. Two of the three city councilors withdrew their names.

"If being mayor is what you really want, and I believe that it is, then I want that for you" Mayor Pro Tem Jodie Barram told colleague Jim Clinton. "So I am withdrawing myself from consideration as mayor."

"I also will withdraw as candidate for mayor," said Councilor Mark Capell

The announcements came as a surprise not only to people in the room but family members of those in the race.

"I didn't even look out into the audience," said Barram. "My husband didn't even know I was going to do that."

That left Clinton running unopposed and elected mayor by unanimous vote.

Next on the agenda, figuring out who would be his second in command, mayor pro tem. The two people nominated, the same two who withdrew from the mayor's race.

"I would fight for this," said Barram. "I know I bring a unique voice to this council."

"Spend an afternoon with Mark Capell downtown," said newly sworn in Councilor Victor Chudowski. "You get the impression that there is not a single person in the city of Bend that Mark doesn't know. I really think that speaks for something and I support him for pro tem."

The race came down to a 4-3 vote, appointing Barram to the post.
 
The newly sworn in councilors -- Chudowski, Sally Russell and Doug Knight -- each told the council they enter their term with an open mind and are ready to work together for the people of Bend. Clinton also was sworn in, re-elected to a new term last fall.

Capell told them he is hoping the new members won't be as "boring" as the last council. He urged them to have the same passion and fire he does to move Bend forward.

And there are big issues ahead, from a huge sewer project to that controversial water project and the future of Mirror Pond, not to mention the other budget choices that always prove challenging.