Bend City Councilors appointed Stephen Sehgal and Mo Mitchell to fill two Council vacancies at a June 9 meeting.

Stephen Sehgal, who has worked as a Victim Advocate for Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office since 2019, volunteers on the District Attorney Office’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion team and is a member of the City’s Human Right and Equity Commission.

To the question “Why are you interested in serving on the City Council?” Sehgal wrote: “I believe a City Council member should be a passionate advocate and representative of the public they are serving. They should be someone who has compassion, listening and communication skills, knowledge of the city, and understands the community as it is and has the commitment to helping grow Bend to what it can be. I am interested in this public servant position, as I believe I embody those skills and knowledge. I am interested because I want to give back to the city that gave so much to me.”

Sehgal said in his application that he does intend to run for election in November.

Mo Mitchell owns Mo Mitchell Psychotherapy, Inc. and provides psychotherapy, and also volunteers on the Human Rights and Equity Commission.

To answer the question why Mitchell is interested, Mitchell wrote, “I am interested in serving on City Council because I want to create lasting systemic change. I align with the Council’s current goals and the power of equity at the center of its framework. Without equity, we continue to oppress members of our society – consciously or not. I want to be a part of a system that has a voice that values all people and the planet. I’d like to help the City of Bend make equitable changes in its way of service delivery, system change, and perspective.”

Mitchell said they could potentially consider running in November – “it depends.”

Following the resignations of former Mayor Sally Russell and former Councilor Rita Schenkelberg in May, Councilors appointed Gena Goodman-Campbell as the new Mayor, which vacated her Council seat. The appointments filled Goodman-Campbell’s seat and Schenkelberg’s seat.

Both Council seats will be on the ballot for the general election in November, at which time both need to be filled by election. The appointees Sehgal and Mitchell will serve on the Council until the newly elected Councilors take office on January 4, 2023.

A subcommittee of councilors (Anthony Broadman, Melanie Kebler and Megan Perkins) reviewed 36 applications and suggested 10 candidates for interviews. The whole Council interviewed eight applicants on June 9.

For more information, section 21 of the Bend Charter and section 9 of the City Council Rules explain the requirements associated with the process to fill vacancies.

Three Council seats and the position of Mayor will be placed on the ballot for the November 2022 election. One of the Council positions is for the remaining two years of a vacated seat (formerly Schenkelberg’s seat).

Individuals elected to a seat on the City Council will begin serving January 2023.

Bend residents interested in being elected in November to serve on the City Council can file completed petitions now through August 30, 2022. Candidates must reside within the city limits of Bend for no less than one year prior to taking office and be a registered voter. More information about the 2022 Council elections can be found here.

The Bend City Council is comprised of six council members and an elected Mayor. All are elected to four-year terms.