BEND, Ore. - Change is coming to the Bend City Council – and sooner than expected, in the wake of long-time Councilor Kathie Eckman's Election Night resignation letter to the city and her colleagues.
Eckman was defeated handily by long-time planning commission member Sally Russell, but her colleagues and city officials said it was a family matter, not the election result, that led her to take the step that likely paves the way for Russell to be sworn in early, likely later this month.
"It is with much regret that I submit my resignation from the Bend City Council effective immediately," Eckman wrote.
"It has been good to have served with you over the past four years and I wish you, the current council members and the staff all the best in the future," she wrote.
Later in the letter, she added, "I would like you and the council to strongly consider appointing Sally Russell to fill my position on the council to the end of my term" in January.
The City Charter gives councilors 30 days to name a replacement. On Wednesday night, the council formally declared a vacancy and Mayor Jeff Eager asked to schedule filling the vacancy at their next meeting, on Monday, Nov. 19. The municipal judge will be invited to administer the oath of office, presumably to Russell.
Colleague Scott Ramsay said the private "family issue" means Eckman might not have been able to continue in the position, even if she had been re-elected.