Downtown Bend is a place that people want to gather. It’s strong and vibrant which means we will attract all sorts of people, and sometimes problems.
On March 17, 2015, Chuck Arnold wrote a letter to City Council and copied approximately 35 others regarding the negative behavior of some of our more ‘colorful’ people.
Here’s the letter:
Thanks for being engaged in Downtown Bend regarding addressing issues surrounding negative behaviors.
First and foremost, we again owe great thanks to Bend PD for the efforts made to help keep downtown vibrant. The step-up of law enforcement has been great. The officers have done an incredible job, but problems still persist.
As a downtown community, we are incredibly frustrated at the moment. In particular, my staff and I have been becoming consumed with this issue. The past few weeks have been challenging and we don’t where else to turn but to alert you, the City, and those that are passionate about downtown. Our concern is that things may well likely get worse with the warm weather, the coming of the regional Rainbow Gathering in the Ochoco Mountains in May (and its resulting influx of transients in downtown), and the growing reputation that Bend welcomes this behavior.
I know many situations cannot be solved with law enforcement. The Chief of Police has convened a Livability Committee that has discussed dynamic ideas, but nothing has been put into action yet. We need to be proactive in our planning to have a dynamic and creative approach (legislative, law enforcement, AND community ownership) so we are better prepared for the challenges that may lay ahead
I keep hearing everywhere I go through Bend 2030, City planning, and community conversations just how much everyone values a ‘strong vibrant downtown’. I think we need to ask what that looks like day to day and we need leadership to help put it into action.
It is my intention to initiate a positive proactive dialog amongst those that are most invested in downtown, which is why I have cc’d a group of smart, creative people that I know who are passionate about Downtown Bend. Does anyone have any ideas?