Ben Schimmoller. Raised in Central Oregon, attended St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School and Mountain View High School. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. In 2018-2022 Ben joined the office of State Senator Tim Knopp, where he aided the people of Central Oregon in navigating their state government. He briefly transitioned from his legislative work to join the family real estate and development business but has since stepped back into politics and is running for Mayor of Redmond.
Unknown Speaker 0:07
We want to see families stay here for generations, so that the kids who are going to school here come back and create new jobs and thrive and succeed in our community. It helps grow our tax base laterally so investment stays in the community. But it just makes Redmond a special place and a unique place that people love.
Welcome to cascade views a discussion with Central Oregon leaders. Your host is Michael SIPE, local business and community leader Best Selling Author of the Avada principle and candidate for Oregon State Representative for House District 53, which encompasses southern Redman sisters tremolo in northern bend. The purpose of these discussions is to share the views and insights of local leaders from a variety of community sectors on a range of timely and important regional and state issues. With that, now, here's your host, Michael SIPE.
Michael Sipe 0:59
Thanks for joining us on cascade views. My name is Michael SIPE, and I'll be your host. My guest today is Ben Schimmoller. Raised in Central Oregon, Ben attended St. Francis of Assisi Catholic school and Mountain View High School. He graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in political science. In 2018. To 2022, Ben joined the Office of State Senator Tim Knopp, where he aided the people of Central Oregon, in navigating their state government. He briefly transitioned from his legislative work to join the family, real estate and development business, but has since stepped back into politics, and is running for mayor of Redmond. I've asked Ben on the show today to share his thoughts on the future of Redmond, and the issues we're facing in Central Oregon that need strong leadership to keep our community strong and protected. Ben, welcome to the show.
Unknown Speaker 1:49
Thanks so much for having me, Michael, I really look forward to our conversation.
Michael Sipe 1:52
You bet. Well, my first question is what got you interested in politics?
Unknown Speaker 1:56
So that's a great question. I really got interested in politics at a young age, through just dinner table debate and discourse, you know, Dad was always keen to see us discuss and understand what was going on in the world and challenged us to have an opinion on it and, you know, develop a critical understanding of why we had that opinion on it from what we knew and experienced and to go research and learn things and challenge our worldviews and ideas. And, you know, that grew into opinions and learning. Throughout history, I became a very passionate study of American history and world history and kind of learning that decisions are made by those who show up. And as I went through college, I really saw the opportunity to get engaged in stand up for what I believe in and be a voice and for that. And so that's kind of how I ended up in the field today
Michael Sipe 2:47
was pretty significant that you got to work with Senator Kenobe. How that come about.
Unknown Speaker 2:51
So that was really wonderful opportunity, I'm eternally grateful for that chance to work in his office, came about through relationships that we've met on the campaign trails throughout Central Oregon, when I was working on other races, and came close with him learning from him and his tutelage and got the opportunity in 2018. After I ran for office and lost in the primary, to Representative Jack's ego has done a fantastic job. And I'm sorry to see him go, but we're happy to see the opportunity for you to run to replace him. We're in good hands there. But, you know, in the campaign, I think he really got to see my passion and understanding of the issues and gave me the chance to help learn more about the process and serve with him and be an advocate for Central Oregon. And so I utterly grateful for that opportunity.
Michael Sipe 3:39
When you must have learned a lot working in the Senate, give us a couple of high points of that experience. What did you learn?
Unknown Speaker 3:45
So definitely relationships and trust are one of the defining ways to get things done. You know, Senator Kenobe, is a principled conservative, but he's very effective at working across the aisle to get effective policy that doesn't compromise his values, while still sees improvements for the lives of his local constituents. And in that process, I saw the ability to work with those that you might initially believe that there's no middle ground with someone and yet he got an effective policy done from family wage, excuse me, family health care, paid family leave, you know, workers comp, and programs and processes like that, that really helped protect people and create transparency and accountability and bring multiple partners to the table, right businesses working with labor, working with, you know, Democrat legislators who might feel at odds with those groups. And so it really was an effective look at bringing people together based on the core Root of Trust and that from years of relationships and being honest and forthright with people. So really, the fundamental thing is trust and communication,
Michael Sipe 4:55
I'm sure but in my experience with him. So now you're back to Redmond and you're running for mayor. How did that come about? What? What caused you to think about doing that?
Unknown Speaker 5:04
Well, I always knew I wanted the opportunity to run again and stay connected to my community. And I really love Redmond. And I think it's at a crossroads. It's been growing fast. And my wife and I are ready to start our family. And what part of what we love about Redmond is that it's been a great place for families to work, grow, thrive and succeed. And if we're not careful, we'll lose that. And it's important to have someone with the experience and understanding of governments and its responsibilities and funding processes, while still is a reflection of the community. You know, Redmond's only median age is 37. And with that comes a lot of families that are growing, focused on trying to make ends meet and thrive and succeed in that community. And so if we don't have leadership that's reflective of the communities and the issues that are faced there. I think that makes people feel out of touch with their government and less inclined to stay and be engaged with their community and frustrated with seeing too many of my friends and feel like they have to leave the area for allegedly greener pastures. And I think we can stand up and fight and keep Redmond a great place that despite its growth doesn't compromise its core values.
Michael Sipe 6:14
Sure, well, the I'm going to ask the unspoken question, you know, that our listeners are probably already asking, you know what, why, why should they vote for you? What what causes you to think that you're uniquely qualified to be mayor Redmond?
Unknown Speaker 6:26
Yeah. So I think in addition to how I'm a reflection of the community and issues facing it, and really engaged with the issues of tomorrow, I'm the MCC candidate most qualified to help bring financial support back to Redman in the form of capital funding for infrastructure projects, which Redmond is going to need as we've grown extremely quickly, we've had on average, roughly seven people that day moved to Redmond in the past couple of years, which dramatically outstrips the projected estimates of about two to three people a day. And so when you have that kind of growth, you need to have not only the houses to put them in, but the infrastructure to support that. I worked previously with Mayor Endicott when I was in Senator Kennedy's office on funding projects like water infrastructure, new housing opportunities with the skyline village project, and issues like that, that helped improve the standard of living for Edmond, but also gave me insight to the issues that will be faced by tomorrow's Redmon for decades to come. And understanding the costs that are coming with that we have a new water treatment facility on the bill, that's about $70 million. That's a big ask for taxpayers, and we're going to need to find ways to bring that funding in and I have the relationships that will, I think, bring the most taxpayer money back and put, keep your money in your pocket rather than going back for another bond. And that way, we can look for investment for bond infrastructure into something like the Parks and Recs board for the new facility there or something like improving our law enforcement agencies. So it's about finding that balance and bringing those resources back to Redmond for our own investment. And I'm the candidate most equipped to do that.
Michael Sipe 8:04
Well, on that note, I've got to believe that all those connections that you made working in the Capitol building for so many years, those really got to be useful in terms of being able to represent Redman. Well,
Unknown Speaker 8:17
that's right. My God, I really believe that that's the advantage I bring to the table and not just in Salem, but also in DC as well and focusing on improving the quality of life and working with state legislators and as well as staff and bureaucratic officials to help bring these resources and adopt good policies that help Redmond thrive and succeed. And again, it comes down to relationships, which as we mentioned earlier, are at the foundation of trust. And building that positive working relationship has been critical and something I want to continue throughout my opportunity to serve Redmond.
Michael Sipe 8:51
Well let's let's turn our talk to Redmond. You mentioned some things that are sort of on tap for Redmond. But what do you see are really the key issues that are facing your city right now. And maybe over the course of the next couple of years.
Unknown Speaker 9:05
Well number one is definitely going to be affordable housing and workforce housing options without a doubt. Redmond Scott some great opportunities and family wage jobs. But unfortunately, the median housing prices definitely outstripped the median income despite there being great jobs and opportunities in Redmond median housing price right now in Redmond over half a million dollars. And you know, the it's just out of reach for a lot of people, especially first time buyers, and that's frustrating for business owners. base x is a great example. They've been since talked about how, you know, despite paying definitely above the median wage in Redmond and great family wage opportunities. Too many of his employees can't afford to live in Redmond. And that's a serious problem because it makes people less invested in their community and that's fewer kids we have going to our schools, taking advantage of the parks and really feeling like the long term impact cement that's critical to keeping Redmond feeling like a family based community that supports and has long term growth. We want to see families stay here for generations, so that the kids who are going to school here come back and create new jobs and thrive and succeed in our community. It helps grow our tax base laterally, so investment stays in the community. But it just makes Redmond a special place in a unique place that people love. It's frustrating for all of us when we see friends and family leave Central Oregon. And I think that, you know, focusing on a place to live at an affordable rate by bringing together private partners adopting better public policy that allows those opportunities to thrive are going to be critical for Redmond.
Michael Sipe 10:40
So you got to work affordable workforce housing, that's an issue. What's another thing that you see facing the city?
Unknown Speaker 10:46
Yeah, definitely infrastructure. As we've grown substantially as a population, we're going to need infrastructure in place to support that growth and support businesses without hemorrhaging of taxpayer dollars and preventing investment and growth in the community. We need to ensure that we're inviting businesses that provide family wage jobs that create those opportunities and are ready to be long term partners in Redmond by seeing the chance to invest in the community is a long term investment as well in their business that brings good workforce into them, and helps their businesses thrive and succeed. And, you know, this city has to be accessible, you know, we don't want to be in a situation where, because of poor planning and poor infrastructure, it takes the better part of an hour to drive across town for work, especially if everyone's doing it the same time of day. We all see whether the potential frustrations for growth. And I really think it's critical for Redmond to maintain the infrastructure planning and part of my candidacy is about is using the relationships I have in Salem in DC to help bring that critical dollar infrastructure back so we can keep pace with our growth, because we're going to need some help outside of it and getting our tax dollars back here for what the community has already paid into is going to be critical. Sure,
Michael Sipe 11:58
any other comment any of the thing that's, that's on your agenda list to pay attention to?
Unknown Speaker 12:03
Well, I really want to focus on inviting family wage job opportunities, I'm looking at kind of outside the box long term solutions that help businesses thrive and grow in Redmond. And, you know, bringing that partnership in that will again help our community thrive. You know, I keep talking about them. But basics is a great example for Community Partnership for their investments in the community. And there's 1000s More general Duffy's does a lot of great work in the community sponsoring events, wild red breweries another great example by helping sponsor events, donating time and money and working with groups like rotary in the Chamber of Commerce, finding those types of private equity partners to help our community thrive gives us a better understanding and reach to all members of our community. And I think that it's going to be important to have that level of communication and transparency as we grow. So again, we don't compromise the wonderful values that have made Redmond such a special place.
Michael Sipe 12:56
Well as a as a business guy and a small business advocate of all That's music to my ears. I love it. Give us just a couple of ideas like as you're as you're contemplating how you go about addressing those things. What are a couple of of potential solutions for the challenges that you mentioned there?
Unknown Speaker 13:16
Yeah, so one idea I'm really excited about is an opportunity for Workforce Housing mixed with industrial business, commercial opportunities. Redmond's got some specific and special zoning areas that are mixed residential, Business Industrial. And we've seen pilot programs created in areas like sisters, where they built up New Business Industrial Park, that also had attached to it workforce housing opportunities that were deed restricted to be first time offer to employees of that area first. So looking at opportunities like that, building business relationships, where business come in, and create a built to suit project and encourage them to maybe look at putting apartments on top for their workforce housing, part of their compensation for their employees so that they can build up that wealth go out and become first time homebuyers. really encouraging those types of private sector outside the box solutions that aren't just, you know, hammering down more restrictions, more mandates from the top and squeezing tax dollars, I think are going to be important and it makes the business owners happy too. They're building long term investment that, you know, eventually those apartments on top may be converted to more business space as their company grows and succeeds or office space as you know, they build up their family wages more something like that, that is flexible and adaptive. But you know, can always restore them back to their core roots of being good tools for their employees because, you know, great employees and great businesses go hand in hand. So options like that. And again, really working my relationships in Salem to help bring infrastructure funding back to Salem so that we are back to Redmond from Salem so we can support our growth and let people keep their tax dollars to invest in their families and in their businesses and into their communities the way they want to.
Michael Sipe 15:06
Well, that's terrific. You know, unfortunately, we're gonna have to wrap up here this, I could talk with you for a long time. But then I'm super excited about the opportunities for Redmond. I see Redmond as just a major, major growth opportunity for Central Oregon, both commercially and residentially I just see that's inevitable. But with that comes plenty of challenges. As we begin to wrap up, now, are there a couple other things that you'd like to leave as a message for our listeners?
Unknown Speaker 15:35
Well, I really encourage them to check out my website, bench muller.com. And see all the supporters I have endorsements that I think are a reflection of the trust of community members and elected leaders that know that I've got the experience and tools to help make Redmond successful in the years to come and that I'm invested in long term success of Redmond not just because I live here and love here, but because it sets what's at stake for my family and want to see grow and thrive. And we can improve everywhere from maximizing our opportunity as the hub of Central Oregon for transportation and business success to keeping it a great place to raise a family.
Michael Sipe 16:15
Well, this was fun. Thanks. Really glad to have an opportunity to visit with you about this. Let's do it again soon. My main takeaway, I think, really is the the points that you've made about the importance of relationship and trust. Certainly, as I've been learning more and more and more about, about how things really work in the state. I think your point that relationships matter is critical and that things basically move at the speed of trust. And so I think that's probably my biggest takeaway out of our conversation today. And, and I think that's a really critical consideration as people look for at the mayor's race. So thanks for your time and your message today. It's really been great to visit with you, Ben.
Unknown Speaker 16:59
Thanks, Michael. I really appreciate it. I'm looking forward to seeing you get served Redmond as well. I think you're well equipped for the job and I look forward for the opportunity to work with you and see where we can make a positive difference for the people of Redmond and I know it'll be in good hands in the legislature.
Michael Sipe 17:14
Well, I think we're gonna have a lot of fun and we're gonna get some really good stuff done. My guest today has been bench Moeller. You can learn more about Ben and keep up with his campaign at Ben and I'll spell it out for you. But it's been smaller.com. And so that's b e n s c h i m m O l l e r.com Ben shareholder.com. So check out his website and see what his thoughts and plans are for the job of being the mayor of Redmond. Thanks for tuning in.
Thanks for listening to cascade views with Michael SIPE. To find out more about Mike the upcoming election. The key issues he's focused on in his campaign to represent Central Oregon and Salem as a state representative. visit w w w dot a voice for Central oregon.com that's www dot a voice for Central oregon.com You can get your own copy of Michael SIPE best selling book the Avada firstname.lastname@example.org. And finally, please vote in the upcoming election. Your Voice Matters