Opponents of Bend’s $70 million surface water upgrade say they’re looking to the political process to derail the effort. To that end, they’ve set up a political action committee to fund candidates in Bend’s 2012 city council race.
The committee, which was set up just this week is called “Stop SWIPing Ratepayer Dollars”.
The letters SWIP are all caps -- a play on the acronym for the city’s surface water improvement project.
The PAC was set up by Bend resident Eileen Woodward.
She says last month opponents delivered a petition to the council with the signatures of more than a thousand people. They oppose the project on environmental and fiscal grounds.
But Woodward says the council essentially brushed off those concerns.
“So it’s a way of catching their attention and saying 'look, you know, you didn’t listen to us so now we’re going to run some candidates and see if we can get this thing turned around',” says Woodward.
Four of Bend’s seven city council seats are up for election next November. Woodward says her group has identified some potential candidates, but declined to name names in advance of any formal announcements.