A Case of Big Government Overreach
A brief history.
For the past 6 years locally owned Bend Radio Group, GoodLife Brewing, and Century Center have produced a summer concert series and other entertainment at Century Center. During that time we have had excellent relationships with the City’s relevant departments. In the case of Bend Radio Group’s concerts and events we have been responsive and engaged on every level: unilaterally investing in sound proofing; patrolling and picking up trash in the neighborhood; ending concerts before 10pm; staffing those concerts with overwhelming security; voluntarily reducing shows to 5 a year; creating bike valets, and operating without noise variances. We even offered free hotel rooms to any frustrated neighbors … a gesture neighbor and anti Century Center zealot Patrick Griffiths in his 5/16/17 email to City Manager, Eric King, found offensive, “It’s bad enough that I and others have been offered hotel rooms, tickets, and such to allow these events to happen as have my neighbors.”
In February, under the authorship of Councilors Moseley, Livingston, Abernethy, and Mayor Roats the City Council recently passed a new, City wide policy; the excuse being safety concerns over Century Center and the occasional events and live music produced by Bend Radio Group and businesses there. But on February 21st Mayor Roats told multiple persons from GoodLife Brewing, including owner Ty Barnett, that he was sorry to drag them into this … and the City Council’s 2/21 vote was actually about forcing Century Center owner Dave Hill to make millions of dollars of improvements. While using one’s Council position to create discriminatory city wide policy for the purpose of punishing one property owner is outrageous enough, we believe there is much more to the motivations of these Councilors than the coercion of Dave Hill to pave Commerce Avenue. Recent denials of events at Crows Feet Commons and GoodLife Brewing, also for unspecified reasons of “safety”, suggest the City is already weaponizing the new policy in discriminatory fashion, and for the purposes of drastically curtailing the very authentic culture which is Bend and one of the primary reasons why people visit and we all choose to live here.
The City and certain Councilors falsely contend the number of concerts have been increasing at Century Center.
Over the years Bend Radio Group has actually reduced the number of concerts it produces at Century Center from a high of 6 down to 4 in 2017. In a 2015 meeting between City Manager Eric King, Lorelei Williams, Licensing Program Manager, former City Councilor Doug Knight, Bend Radio Group Owner Jim Gross, and Event Manager Thomas Cox, the City was told Bend Radio Group had voluntarily reduced the number of concerts and would not exceed 5 per year. Never the less their misinformation was proffered as fact by Lorelei Williams at the February 21st City Council meeting. Counselors Moseley, Abernethy, and Livingston were also informed of our unilateral reduction in shows in a 11/27/17 email from Bend Radio Group Owner, Jim Gross. At the Council meeting all three declined to correct the record. When Jim Gross attempted to set the record straight, Mayor Casey Roats threatened to have him evicted from the premises. Furthermore it was asserted that Bend Radio Group “goes to 999 because you hit another threshold at a thousand”. This assertion was also factually without merit. Bend Radio Group targets roughly 1000 tickets sold because the economic costs of hiring bands that would generate more in ticket sales makes contracting them economically prohibitive.
The City and certain Councilors falsely contend that concerts at Century Center have exceeded occupancy limits.
At the February City Council meeting, Joe McClay, Building Division Manager referred to people “all piling in there” (at Century Center), but Century Center attendance has always been well underneath the standing room only occupancy defined by City officials. Past concerts at Century Center have averaged well below 999 in attendance and the 1200+ occupancy defined by Licensing Program Manager Lorelei Williams.
9/21/17 – Gov’t Mule – 900 (sold out)
9/13/17 – Pepper – 893
8/5/17 – The Wailers – 900 (sold out)
6/21/17 – G Love – 703
8/23/16 – Silversun Pickups – 879
8/22/16 – Band of Horses – 900 (sold out)
8/3/16 – Steel Pulse – 900 (sold out)
7/20/16 – Grace Potter – 751
6/24/16 – Smashmouth – 780
6/4/16 – Craig Morgan – 900 (sold out)
9/25/15 – A Thousand Horses – 900 (sold out)
9/7/15 – Social Distortion – 900 (sold out)
8/30/15 – Frankie Ballard – 690
8/11/15 – Ziggy Marley – 900 (sold out)
6/27/15 – Steve Earle – 900 (sold out)
5/31/15 – Scott Weiland – 383
The fact is we have never been in violation … not even close. But remember, Century Center is not an enclosed space and therefore should not fall under the purview of TCOs in the first place. In a May 30th, 2017 email exchange between Riverwest Neighbor and City employee Patrick Griffiths and Licensing Program Manager Lorelei Williams she stated:
“Occupancy of Outdoor space is not regulated by the Building Safety Division (BSD) or Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC).” “The occupancy limit is determined utilizing table 1004.1.2, Assembly without fixed seats, using the appropriate load factor. The (Century Center) courtyard is approximately 8400 square feet, the occupant load for a concert would be 1200 with non-fixed chairs, could be greater for standing room only.”
The City and certain Councilors wrongly argue that Century Center has received a higher number of TCOs than average.
Lorelei Williams, Licensing Program Manager argued that Century Center received a higher amount of TCOs than any other entity in the city. The flaw in this assertion is that Century Center is not a single “location” but a collection of businesses covering nine tax lots in six separate buildings with 18 tenants. From a per business perspective, the average number of applications emanating from all Century Center businesses including Bend Radio Group’s concerts are not abnormally high. It is also worth noting, to the best of our knowledge, among similar comparisons City wide, Century Center is the only like “location” even required to file for TCOs by the City.
At first they tried to make it about noise.
Councilor Boddie – “A group of neighbors said they didn’t like the noise. And they wanted us to fix noise. And they were bothered by events; particularly at the Century Center. We had a group of event promoters and business owners who said we want to hold events. Figure out a way to let us hold events. Instead staff has brought this sort of side door thing about occupancy permits that doesn’t address noise and it doesn’t address how to hold events. What we need is an actual solution to the problems the community has brought to us.”
Everyone including the City Council knows it was all about noise for six years. The false claims related to the noise ordinance by Patrick Griffiths and a few neighbors are categorically without merit.
In six years Century Center concerts received a total of one violation of the noise code, they have complied with every safety related request from the City, and produced over 30 trouble free events. Beyond the lack of violations, video taped sound measurements at last year’s Pepper and Tribal Seeds’ performances confirm compliance with the City’s noise ordinance. At a Riverwest Neighborhood Association meeting November 16th not a single neighbor raised the issue of noise. In fact police records obtained by Century Center owner Dave Hill indicate the overwhelming percentage (83%) of all complaints in 2017 came from just two residents from the adjoining neighborhood to Century Center. 3 complaints occurred when there were no events at Century Center at all! In a 2016 spring meeting between representatives of Bend Radio Group, City Manager Eric King and Lorelei Williams, the City agreed there was no problem with noise relative to noise ordinance compliance. At that meeting Bend Radio Group was asked not to file for noise variances because of a small number of resident’s pressures. It agreed in exchange for future participation with the City to study and pattern noise emanating from Century Center concerts using City dBu meters and independent evaluators specifically for the purpose of understanding and further mitigating sound. During the concert series that summer, Bend Radio Group reached out to the City on multiple occasions to engage in the proposed sound analysis. The City chose not to respond or engage to that end. Bend Radio Group also reached out to the Riverwest Association in advance of every show with no response. In the fall of 2017 the City and those organized against Century Center changed tactics and the “issue” then became about “safety” and appropriate “use”:
Joe McClay, Building Division Manager – “It (Century Center) works well for the noise ordinance.”
Councilor Abernethy – “This is a safety issue not necessarily a noise issue”
Lorelei Williams – January 3rd work session – Events on Private Property: the “majority of complaints (on private property) are for reasons other than events.”
Has Century Center suddenly become “unsafe” as Councilors Moseley, Abernethy, Livingston, and Mayor Roats are now contending? Has Century Center been unresponsive to City requests for safety improvements?
If Century Center were “unsafe”, then how can City Councilors and City officials propose that concert goers at Century Center are safe for the first one to three concerts a year but unsafe after that?
Building Division Manager Joe McClay – “I’m comfortable (at Center Center) with one or two or three times a year”.
Over the past six years, every one of Century Center’s concerts have been approved and, as a result, consistently been deemed “safe” by Building Division Manager – Joe McClay, the Fire Marshall, and all relevant City departments. Century Center’s outdoor ADAs conform to code which Athletic Club of Bend does not. Century Center has three well defined exits to the North, East, and West; plainly visible with giant designating banners; two exits of which are wider than a street lane. The third exit to the north was approved by the City itself with the stage width constructed to meet the City’s own required exit dimensions. Century Center’s Concert Series has never exceeded occupancy limits, the venue has received zero safety violations from the City, there has never been one safety related accident at Century Center’s concert series, and Century Center has complied with every single request by the City regarding safety and concerts at Century Center.
Building Division Manager Joe McClay commenting on Century Center concert security – “I’ve met with these guys (Franklin Security) when they started the TCO and they have been great (at Century Center)”,
Lorelei Williams, Licensing Program Manager – “The owner (of Century Center) has worked with us regularly to address safety concerns.”
Building Division Manager Joe McClay – “He (Dave Hill) has done a great job bringing that thing (Century Center) back to life” “Kudos to him for taking something that was kind of forgotten and making it great”
Century Center owner, Dave Hill’s email to the City Council – “We have met with them (City staff) many times over the years and satisfied all concerns expressed by them improving exiting, increasing signage, increasing restroom facilities, and addressing ADA concerns. We have adopted all of their recommendations and adhered to them at every concert. They and the Fire Department stop by almost every concert to inspect the area and have always been pleased with our strict adherence to their recommendations.”
Councilor Russell – “If there were an outside venue and they had plain exits in three directions then we might not be having this type of conversation?” Building Division Manager Joe McClay – “Yep, it’s enclosure. It’s the pinch point. It’s the exit.”
Century Center does have plain exits in three directions, all approved as safe for six years by the City.
Whatever happened to the mediation between Century Center related businesses and the few residents from the adjoining neighborhood?
August 17th of 2017 was the last mediation meeting between Century Center and certain neighbors. At that time, the next step in the mediation process was for ‘opposing interest’ partners to team up and vet, for viability, ideas by topic proposed in previous meetings. But in September, the City’s own Crowd Sourcing Study was released indicating neighbors, even within a 1000 feet of Century Center, did not have meaningful issues with the activities there; this includes concerts and fund raising events (like the Subaru Outside Games). After the result of the Crowd Sourcing Study, the City mothballed the mediation and switched its “concerns” to those of safety. Knowing this, the following comment by Mayor Roats concerning the justification for his vote lacks sincerity at best:
Mayor Roats – “My thinking is influenced on this in the fact that there’s been an on going mediation efforts at that particular facility for a long time, that have yielded absolutely nothing … at all … absolutely no movement … absolutely no conclusion … absolutely nothing that I can tell, that anybody can point to that has changed anything.”
Counselor Moseley claimed neutrality and non interference but was instead “working behind the scenes” with others including City employee and anti-Century Center zealot Patrick Griffiths.
Multiple emails obtained by Dave Hill prove this. To add insult to injury, Councilor Moseley misled Century Center businesses and Bend Radio Group:
Spring of 2017 – Counselor Moseley to Jim Gross in an in person meeting in the Spring of 2017 – “I will not be advocating addressing the Noise Ordinance. My primary focus will be on infrastructure.”
Counselor Moseley while in the midst of mediation. 8/04/17 email to BNC and RWNA neighbors: “I’ve been continuing my behind-the-scenes efforts to get councilors on board for noise policy changes and a standing livability committee. We are close to success on both fronts.” “For the committee, I’ve been trying to get Bruce, Justin, and Casey on board.” “What do you think? I suggest one meeting with Justin, Casey, the NAs, and myself in attendance. (We cannot have 4 councilors present under public meeting laws). We want to get this done in August if possible to keep our momentum.”
Counselor Moseley in an email to Jim Gross on 11/8 in advance of an 11/16 meeting with Councilors Moseley, Abernethy, and Livingston assured him – “We desire not to interfere with the facilitation (mediation) process.” “I look forward to working toward resolution that works for everyone.”
City employee Patrick Griffiths has been lobbying Councilor Moseley, other council members, and City employees on City time.
Emails obtained by Century Center owner, Dave Hill prove this.
Mr. Griffiths’ lobbying behavior is a violation of City Employee policy.
Patrick Griffiths has repeatedly been soliciting City Council and City influence during work hours. He has had a restraining order placed against him by Century Center. Analysis of his emails to Councilors and City employees in 2017 indicate many examples of false and misleading misinformation being peddled to Councilors and City officials where Century Center and the entertainment there is concerned. These all represent clear violations of Ethics, Off Duty Conduct, and Political Activities as defined by the City:
Section 5.3 Ethics – “We expect you to avoid situations that might cause your personal interests to conflict with interests of our organization or to compromise our reputation or integrity. Off Duty Conduct – For that reason if you engage or are associated with illegal or other conduct that adversely affects us (including our public image or employee relations) or your own ability or credibility to carry out your employment responsibilities, you may be subject to corrective action up to and including termination. Political Activities – Any political activity is prohibited while on the job. This includes soliciting influence during working hours.
Shouldn’t Counselor Moseley have recused himself from the vote on 2/21? What has the City done about Patrick Griffiths?
We believe Counselor Moseley should have recused himself. We believe Patrick Griffiths, should be severely reprimanded. The City has known about about Patrick Griffiths’ violation of City policy for some time. He has been warned. To date the City has done nothing. A complaint will be filed.
Assistant City Attorney, Gary Firestone email to Patrick Griffiths on 3/25/16: “you need to be aware that you cannot use your position or knowledge of how the City works for your personal advantage. I know that you sent the email from your personal email and it is my understanding that you are not working this week, but you need to be very careful to make sure you totally separate your personal activities from your work and do not use city resources for your personal activities. I also note that some of what you say about the noise code does not seem to be entirely accurate.”
Councilors Moseley, Abernethy, and Livingston declined important information and data concerning Century Center and the concerts there.
A majority of City Councilors were aware that Bend Radio Group possessed video taped sound analysis from two 2017 performances, from multiple locations within the adjoining neighborhood, indicating compliance with the noise ordinance. In a November 16th meeting between Jim Gross, Dave Hill, Jordan Hill, and Councilors Moseley, Abernethy, and Livingston, the sound study was again raised; this along with the results of the City’s own Crowd Sourcing Study and over 2000 resident signatures of support. The Councilors were not interested in discussing this information. When this information was brought up at the meeting Councilor Livingston replied, “We live in a Democracy. We have to look out for the needs of the minority.”
Councilors Moseley, Abernethy and Livingston declined to respond to questions raised or facts shared in emails sent by the President of Bend Radio Group and the owner of Century Center.
Councilors Livingston and Abernethy declined to respond at all. Councilor Moseley responded after two weeks….declining to answer any questions or comment on assertions and facts raised in the emails. With regard to the email from the President of Bend Radio Group, Councilor Moseley cited his “volunteer” position and lack of “expertise” on the matter as justification for not answering a single question. By contrast, while Councilors Moseley, Abernethy, and Livingston would not answer any of our questions, Patrick Griffiths had no difficulties receiving hundreds of quick and comprehensive responses to his emails.
At the 2/21 Council meeting no citizens voiced support for the City Council’s proposed actions to reduce TCOs.
There was not one person at the City Council meeting who spoke in favor of the actions being proposed by the City; even though Bend Radio Group aired over $10,000 in radio commercials over its 5 stations designed to drive all concerned people to the Council meeting on 2/21. So why didn’t a single person in favor of the City’s policy changes show up at the meeting that night? Perhaps the opposition had been contrived or over stated. Maybe those who working “behind the scenes” with Councilors Moseley, Abernethy, Livingston, and Mayor Roats already knew the outcome of the vote.
Councilors Moseley, Livingston, Abernethy and Mayor Roats created city wide policy with intent to target one business – Century Center.
This poorly conceived and culturally damaging policy clearly has its genesis in the targeting of Century Center in discriminatory fashion. City employees and certain City Councilor’s made this bias and targeting quite clear in the 2/21 Council meeting when they publicly discussed this policy change. Century Center was the only venue in question. In many cases Councilors peddled misinformation which they either knew to be untrue or was contradicted by their own research and/or City Officials who were presenting at the very same meeting:
Mayor Roats, speaking directly after the Council meeting with GoodLife Brewing Co. owner Ty Barnett and two others said – I’m sorry you guys are in the middle of this. I needed an action to push him (Dave Hill and Century Center) over the limit so he’ll make the improvements he’s been putting off. Ty Barnett asked Roats – Are you telling me this is all about forcing Dave Hill into paying to pave Commerce Avenue? Mayor Roats said – Once Dave makes the improvements all of this will go away for you guys (GoodLife Brewery).
Councilor Abernethy – “At some extent we’re not an expert and have to trust the building official.” Councilor Abernethy went on to state he has a hard time understanding how this action, “which as far as I can tell really impacts one locale (Century Center) is going to kill the Bend music community. That’s … that’s laughable.”
Joe McClay – Building Division Manager – “When there’s a concert at Century Center it’s an assembly area. It’s enclosed on three sides. We have to exit it. We have to have lighting.” Yet Joe McLay said, “I’m comfortable with one or two or three times a year.”
Joe McClay – Building Division Manager – “You need distances between building to be a separate building. If you are one inch apart we’re going to consider you one building. And that again that’s straight building code thats’ not my opinion or anything. I’m thinking of Century Center and they’re pretty well connected. They’re real close. They got a roof covering it … and um … GoodLIfe may be considered a separate building but that courtyard is enclosed by three or more walls and it is a court defined by the building code.” “It is a temporary change of use and so we have the ability or I have the ability to say yes or no.”
Mayor Roats – “This discussion is not about any one location (Century Center). Period.” Meeting attendees erupt in sounds of shock, laughter, and disbelief. “I might have had that coming. I probably did. I grant you that.”
Mayor Roats – “I went to the Century Center last summer. And I went and talked to neighbors who lived in the affected area. And I went over to the Century Center itself and the Wailers were there. And I remember thinking that Bob Marley must have rolled over in his grave because he saw a place where the Wailers were playing and you could buy weed legally in the same venue … and I ask the staff point blank when I had the opportunity at a previous work session, are you comfortable allowing that use for that many people in that place (Century Center) and the answer categorically was no.”
Councilor Livingston – “One particular property owner (Dave Hill and Century Center) that’s using this and creating a grey area or exploiting a grey area to really … to avoid some other improvements that we would expect any other developer, any other building owner, any other property owner to do. And if I expect a restaurant, or a shopping center, or a grocery store to put in the improvements that their use requires then I expect for an event center. That’s why I’m supportive of it.”
Councilor Moseley – “when does an activity (at Century Center) become a use?” “How many TCOs does it take till we say (to Century Center) you need to make permanent improvements?”
Mayor Roats – “If the issue is that at one sight in particular (Century Center) they’re having to pull TCOs to be able to have events. Has that facility (Century Center) simply come in and offered up a site plan or building improvements to be able to host the events they otherwise have to pull TCOs for?”
City Building Department – “So there’ve been conversations but no one (from Century Center) has submitted an official application of any kind with regards to that facility for any major modifications that would alleviate the need for TCOs.” “We’ve had plenty of different land uses occur there (Century Center) but not specifically to do that.”
Councilor Russell – “What kinds of conversations (with Century Center) have been had to address some of the concerns that building and fire safety have had. So what sort of things are on the table but they (Century Center) haven’t agreed to do it or they don’t have assurance that they’d be able to hold their events regardless one way or the other.
Building Division Manager Joe McClay – “He’s done a great job bringing that thing (Century Center) back to life” “Kudos to him (Dave Hill) for taking something that was kind of forgotten and making it great”
Russ Grayson, Director of the Community Development Department – “I’m not going to get into all the details but there is a significant piece of off sight infrastructure that is triggered by land use specifically at the Century Center and they’ve kept all the combined uses of that just underneath that threshold that triggers that off sight improvement. And the TCO has allowed them (Century Center) to continue to maintain underneath that threshold before that off sight improvement is required. That’s part of what, I think, part of it with the question of what’s going on here too.”
Joe McClay – Building Division Manager – “then bring it (Century Center) up to code.”
Century Center is up to code. The City here is contending Century Center is an events center. It is not. Five concerts a year does not make it so. In terms of code, Century Center has no obligation to become an events center and, as such, monetarily obligate itself. On this subject Russ Grayson, Director of the Community Development Department, concured stating, “The City’s definition and application of Temporary Certificates of Occupancy does not define how often that’s (events) OK until you have to change the actual occupancy.” At another point in the meeting he stated, “Current Development code doesn’t have a trigger where if you’re going to throw ten events you’re now an event center.” Additionally, ACB has been hosting concerts more than twice as Century Center and in roughly the same numbers annually. Has the City asked ACB to “bring it up to code” or become an events center? We do not believe they have.
Councilor Boddie – “A group of neighbors (near Century Center) said they didn’t like the noise. And they wanted us to fix noise. And they were bothered by events. Particularly at the Century Center. We had a group of event promoters and business owners who said we want to hold events. Figure out a way to let us hold events. Instead staff has brought this sort of side door thing about occupancy permits that doesn’t address noise and it doesn’t address how to hold events. What we need is an actual solution to the problems the community has brought to us.”
The words of Councilors Moseley, Abernethy, Livingston, and Mayor Roats:
Mayor Roats on the subject of arbitrarily reducing public comment from three minutes to one minute – “we’re going to limit the public hearing to one minute per person. The point is, if you haven’t got our attention in the first one minute you probably won’t get it by the time we get to three.”
Councilor Moseley – “I went and researched and tried to figure out is this really a fire and safety issue and so I Googled it like everyone would and the first thing I find is the Oakland Warehouse fire. It burned down. 36 people died in that particular event.” “Fire safety is a real serious issue”. “I’m not an expert on what’s safe and what’s not safe but I trust our building officials and so I support the motion as it is.”
Mayor Roates – “I really detest the manner in which this issue was drummed up in a way to scare people into thinking this was about music cause it’s not.”
Councilor Moseley “events and the noise they produce [are] transforming Bend into Party Town USA … causing congested and damaged streets.”
Councilor Livingston – “We live in a Democracy. We have to look out for the needs of the minority.”
Councilor Abernethy’s description of the concerns expressed by his many constituents who took the time to attend the 2/21 City Council meeting, email, or call – “That’s … that’s laughable.”
Mayor Roates – “I went to the Century Center last summer. And I went and talked to neighbors who lived in the affected area. And I went over to the Century Center itself and the Wailers were there. And I remember thinking that Bob Marley must have rolled over in his grave because he saw a place where the Wailers were playing and you could buy weed legally in the same venue! … and I ask the staff point blank when I had the opportunity at a previous work session, are you comfortable allowing that use for that many people in that place and the answer categorically was no.”
Mayor Roats, speaking directly after the Council meeting with GoodLife Brewing Co. owner Ty Barnett and two others said – I’m sorry you guys are in the middle of this. I needed an action to push him (Dave Hill and Century Center) over the limit so he’ll make the improvements he’s been putting off.
Might this policy have been designed to serve a different and larger agenda?
It is no secret that the City and certain Counselors have been discussing an entertainment district as part of the City-wide Development plan. Clearly they see a need for a “smaller entertainment venue”. “Eventually somebody will put the money out there and put one in.” The Mayor and certain Counselors are “open for that business”. The Mayor is aware that the City “simply doesn’t have the facilities right now” but seems certain “they are coming”.
Joe McLay – Building Division Manager – “If you want to be a concert venue, supply and demand, if you guys demand it they will supply it and eventually somebody will put the money out there and put one in. I know we have Les Schwab. It’s really cool. It’s really big. We need something a little smaller (but apparently not Century Center) and I’m hoping that will happen organically without me building it.
Councilor Moseley – “Nothing here that we’re doing tonight would stop a property owner from going through the land use process and to actually improve their building and to get approvals to actually have an event center.”
Mayor Roats – “This is an issue of what is a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. A temporary Change of Occupancy” “if somebody simply wants to build the venue to house the event we are open for that business.”
Mayor Roats – “As we approach a hundred thousand people there simply aren’t the facilities we need to have all the things we want to do but they are coming. Even if they aren’t here right now.
What’s at stake here is anything but “laughable” to us, Councilor Abernethy.
Who is “coming” to build this “smaller entertainment venue”? Have investors already identified themselves to certain City Counselors? If so, have these investors raised concerns about the many organic events and concerts in Bend; and the negative impact that, unchecked, these concerts and culture would have on their Event Center’s ROI? Perhaps these investors have suggested the City engage in a little cultural house cleaning before they would feel truly comfortable investing the sizable sum necessary for a new event center? Who knows? Maybe some of our building and real estate beholden City Counselors will be future investors in this event center, entertainment area, or the “new downtown” planned for the Central District between 4th Street and the Railroad tracks. Perhaps a review of the noise ordinance and sound zoning is the next tree to fall in the curbing of culture that is Bend. Whatever is going on here, this is City wide policy, using Century Center and the concerts produced there as its pretext. Why else would these Councilors go to such an effort to stop five shows a year, ending at 10pm, which factually present no real problems for the adjoining neighborhood?
Please understand. Those of us producing concerts and entertainment at Century Center would be thrilled to see a beautiful event center constructed in a “New Downtown” portion of Bend. What we are against is badly constructed policy, “behind the scenes” dealing, and big government overreach that discriminates against certain businesses, culture, and places policy interpretation, application, and enforcement squarely in the hands of one City employee. What we “detest is the manner in which this issue was drummed up” by the City and some City Councilors “to scare people” about their safety.
Is this the way you want your City government to operate? Shouldn’t citizens expect more from their City Councilors? If this represents business as usual for these elected officials, can Bend afford or tolerate the leadership of Councilors Moseley, Abernethy, Livingston, and Mayor Roats?