Ariel Méndez for
Bend Park and Recreation Position 1
I want to expand our urban trails, enhance trust and accountability, and provide fair opportunity for recreation for all Bend residents.
Let’s build a trail network that goes where you want to go. Surveys show that trails are the most important park facility, yet our trail system is missing critical connectors and doesn’t serve key destinations. Better trails mean a safer, healthier, and more fun Bend.
Prioritizing trails will also ease congestion and make more parking available for those who need to drive. Reducing car dependency means less pollution and fewer greenhouse gases, and it’s easier on the wallet, too. Trail maintenance is only about 7% of the park district’s maintenance budget.
Trust and Accountability
As a member of the budget committee, I have advocated for spending funds on projects with a clear public benefit. This means taking care of what we have as well as planning for the future.
If elected, I will judge projects by how well they serve the community. This may require adjusting the level of service targets to ensure that the district’s goals are in alignment with community needs. I support changes in SDC methodology that will make it easier to build affordable homes.
Everyone in Bend should have a fair opportunity to enjoy our parks, trails, and recreation programs. This requires assessing needs and prioritizing support. For many, transportation is a fundamental barrier that prevents people from enjoying park services. Building and maintaining a better-connected trail network will help.
As a soccer coach, it broke my heart to turn away families because the registration deadline closed three months before. I will promote awareness and more accommodating deadlines where possible.
I also support making the needs-based assistance program more accessible. No resident should be turned away from enjoying park services because they can’t afford it.