As Redmond Mayor George Endicott announces his resignation this year, he and other community leaders reflect on the impacts of his time in office.
“I have been mayor 14 years. It’s really, that’s plenty,” Endicott told Central Oregon Daily News.
“I’ve loved serving Redmond, I love the community. I like the people, and when you do make a decision like this, when you’ve been doing it so long, it’s a bit melancholy because I’m going to miss the people.”
Since his election in 2008, Redmond has grown by more than 10,000 people. The country came out of a recession and entered a pandemic.
During all that time, his proudest accomplishments have been the differences in the lives of local individuals.
Redmond Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Eric Sande said while they have had their differences, he has always respected Endicott’s accessibility and willingness to work together.
“He’s always stood up for the community and really has a passion for Redmond. He was born here, raised here,” Sande said.
NeighborImpact Executive Director Scott Cooper said Endicott has always been supportive of their Redmond location.
“George was very critical during the pandemic when we were trying to throw up some structures hastily in order to respond to increased demand and make sure that we were able to take care of people on site in ways that we hadn’t anticipated before,” he said.
“George just helped keep all those lines open to the city departments and said ‘let’s just make it happen.’”
Redmond Airport expansion
Among the projects he championed is the Redmond Airport terminal expansion in 2009.
“He helped build a wonderful terminal and with his leadership in the community, that came together,” Sande said.
“You can jump off from here to pretty much anywhere in the country and be able to reasonably and efficiently get there,” Cooper added. “And that’s all because George threw his weight behind making that airport be the best regional airport in Oregon.”
Other projects hit a more personal note for many community members, like the city’s accessible Hope Playground, built in 2014.
“People have asked me, what’s your greatest achievement? And I’ve been telling them Hope Playground,” Endicott said. “The biggest fully accessible playground in the state of Oregon. As far as I’m concerned, one of my crowning achievements.”
Secretary of the Redmond Kiwanis Club Carl Vertrees worked closely on the project and witnessed Endicott’s contribution.
“Our group was certainly hands-on in many phases of the project, and George and Krisanna were certainly very supportive of that effort so I just admired his leadership over the years,” he said.
He also listed the 5th and 6th Street expansions, the opening of the Homestead Park bike pump rack and this year’s bond measure to fund a new public safety facility as proud accomplishments.
‘He’s always frank’
One thing local leaders can agree on — they’ll miss his style.
“If he’s got a question, he’ll text me. Day or night, he’s always asking questions and I appreciate that, and I can always ask him questions as well,” Sande said.
“He always starts with the same attitude, ‘let’s see how we can make this happen’,” Cooper said. “Never ‘well, I don’t know about that’. Always ‘let’s see how we can make it happen, let’s see what we gotta do.’”
“He’s always frank,” Vertrees said. “You always know where he’s coming from. He may be a politician, but he doesn’t talk like one.”
As for future plans, Endicott plans to see a little more of the world.
“Going to be doing some traveling. I lived in Europe almost 30 years ago. I want to go back and visit,” he said.
Local leaders expressed that they still hoped to see Endicott around the city and work with him whenever possible.
“He’s always listened to the community, and made the best decision for the community, so I respect him for that,” Sande said. “He’s just a great leader, and someone I’ll consider a friend forever.”