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Meet the four newcomers just elected to the Bend City Council

Not just the first female majority on the council -- but six women, one man

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend is going to have four new faces on the seven-member city council, as voters tossed out two incumbents and filled two open seats on Tuesday.

Councilor-Elect Rita Schenkelberg said Wednesday, "The voters are saying there are a lot of needs that aren't being met here."

Fellow Councilor-Elect Melanie Kebler added, "I think Bend is really ready for some change in the local leadership here."

Kebler is one of the new councilors who hopes to bring about that change.

"I'd like people to know I'm a mom, I'm an attorney,” Kebler told NewsChannel 21. “I'm ready to work really hard for our city."

She said she wants to focus on affordable housing and climate change as priorities.

Megan Perkins, co-founder of Embrace Bend, will join Kebler as one of the two newcomers who defeated an incumbent.

"I think it's because I ran a very people centered campaign,” she said of her win over Chris Piper for Position 2. “I think I really talked about my ideas and my vision for the city."

Along with the pandemic, she agrees one of the biggest issues facing Bend is housing.

"One of the things that I've learned on this campaign is how many people don't have homes, or access to homes in our community," she said.

Housing was also a key issue for Schenkelberg, who's a mental health counselor.

She will make history, as she's believed to be both the first person of color and openly queer person to be elected to the Bend City Council.

"There are really exciting things about being the first, and there are really scary and intense part about being the first,” Schenkelberg said. “I'm excited to move, even it's just one, rock out of the way for something else."

It's also first female majority council in city history -- in fact, six women and just one man.

"I think it will just bring a different perspective and a different energy. And Melanie, Megan, Barb, Jenna, -- you know we are all widely intelligent, brilliant, strong humans," Schenkelberg said.

The fourth newcomer and only male on the council will be Anthony Broadman, another lawyer.

"I'm inspired by the people who were just elected along with me,” he said. “I'm also inspired by the three people on council that we're joining."

Broadman said his campaign focused on issues relevant to all Bendites.

"These aren't Republican issues,” he said. “These aren't Democrat issues. These are Bend issues. And I was thrilled to receive the most votes that anyone in the history of Bend has ever received."

Bend / Central Oregon / Election / Government-politics / Top Stories
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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.



  1. Out with the old, ill qualified….in with the new, ill qualified. Nothing against any of these candidates and I make no judgement on their intelligence, but this is why Bend is so poorly run. We rely on a city council system based on Mayberry standards with people that have no idea how to run a city. Bend has grown up, it is time we throw away this method of governing or we will continue to wallow in ineptitude.

    1. And still someone of your vast intellect and knowledge refused to step up and fix all our issues for us! instead, you waste your infinitely valuable time posting dispersions on folks who at least are trying!

      1. I never said I knew how to fix all the issues. I would count myself as an ill qualified individual if I were to be on the council, but I am not dumb enough to think I do know how to run a city with no experience. But I know what is not working and it is this current system.

    2. The Dunning-Kruger effect is what you are getting out – you are smart enough to know you don’t know. Those who aren’t very competent overestimate their abilities which is how they strike me. But let’s see if they can come up with a solution to the housing issues.

    3. If you think Bend is poorly run, take a look at portland, seattle, san francisco or for smaller cities, eureka, ca which has to take the cake as the worst run small city in the west.transients everywhere, drugs and crime, dilapidated streets, constant management turnover,high sales tax, and millions of dollars of unfunded pension liability and half the business locations boarded up.Of course it now has a liberal democrat supermajority compared to the conservative history of its once well run past.

  2. The Bend Swamp just got a whole lot deeper. I have never seen such an unqualified collection of miscreants elected to run a city, Oh wait….Portland maybe.

      1. I agree that accusing them of being criminals is arguably libel since its being published on a newspaper site.

        You troll boys better cite your misogyny or the Bend Squad might be able to unmask you and sue you and maybe KTVZ:)

        1. well, we troll girls don’t really care what a troll such as you has to say or think! That’s why we are trolls!

          And they are criminals much like you. No one really cares. They will do nothing for a while then fade off into their BS and some other group will show up! It really doesn’t matter unless they can’t keep downtown & the innkeepers happy (or at least willing to put up with them). If they can’t do that, they will be gone soon enough.

    1. Let’s see. They are all from somewhere else. Live in fancy homes, drive fancy cars and live high, but they are concerned about affordable housing and climate change!

      1. couldn’t agree more , transplants for sure, unfortunate where Bend has ended up, the leech field for Portland, Washington, and California, tragic, but true. was someone offering to help people move?

  3. These newcomers are foolish if they think the current council wasn’t focused on affordable housing. The state controls how much land is included in UGB’s. With a medium home price of $550K +/- Bend will never be affordable without job and wage growth. $550 is nothing to the folks who are moving here. so the people who are “in charge” want it more affordable, yet the people moving here have bundles of cash to spend on a house, who wins? And great, they want to focus on climate change-we can really move the needle here in Bend. These people won because Bend has been turning more and more blue with every election and newcomer.

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