(Update: Councilors OK putting two ballot measures proposing city charter changes on ballot)
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Redmond City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday evening to send three city charter amendments to the May 21 ballot. They did so after making just one change: Rather than have them all be in one ballot measure, the city will file two measures, one regarding councilor and mayor term limits and another to bar family members from serving at the same time.
It was the second council meeting where the proposal is discussed and councilors were receive public comment about referring the issues to voters. Only one person testified at a Jan. 23 work session and no one showed up to speak on the topic Tuesday night.
The proposed city charter changes were prepared at the request of Mayor Ed Fitch, with concurrence from fellow councilors, an issue summary from City Attorney Keith Leitz stated.
Three councilors are currently elected at each general election, for a term of four years. The proposal would limit each councilor to serving two consecutive terms, and then to be eligible to run for mayor. After that, they could run for councilor again in subsequent elections.
The mayor is elected to two-year terms at each general election. The amended language would make for four-year terms, starting in the 2026 general election, and then can serve in two consecutive terms, if re-elected. They could run for council and could run for mayor in subsequent elections.
As for the nepotism issue, the city charter would be amended to state: “No person shall hold elective office while he or she has a spouse, domestic partner, parent or child who is a current mayor or councilor.”
Tuesday evening, before the vote, Councilor John Nielsen asked why the proposals were all moving forward together, as a single item. While Fitch said he’d prefer they be presented that way, City Attorney Keith Leitz said they could broken up into two or three measures, if the council wanted.
Nielsen said he was “fine with the term limits” proposals, but that he had a “philosophical objection” to the anti-nepotism amendment as presented.
Fellow councilors quickly agreed to an amended motion, then voted unanimously to direct staff to draft the two ballot measures for the May 21 ballot.
The council meeting can be viewed here: https://redmondor.portal.civicclerk.com/event/673/media.
Ballot title texts must to be drafted and filed with the Deschutes County clerk by March 1 to make the May ballot.
Tuesday's council agenda packet included a letter from former mayor George Endicott opposing all three of the proposed charter changes.
“I have always held the position that the citizens have the opportunity to change mayors every two years, or councilors every four years,” Endicott wrote.
Endicott served as mayor while his wife, Krisanna Clark-Endicott, was also on the city council.
The current, voter-approved Bend City Charter does not set term limits for those holding council or mayoral positions.