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Change bringer: North Bend’s Gina Estep is Best City Employee
North Bend’s Gina Estep, the community and economic development director for the city, was voted Best City Employee in the Valley by Record readers. We asked Estep to share her thoughts on what it means to work for the people, promoting growth and her community.
How do you interact with residents?
I interact with the public on many levels and enjoy it very much. Our economic development and city planning efforts have created a number of volunteer community based committees that ultimately include more than 50-plus volunteers. All of these volunteer groups are the backbone to North Bend’s economic and planning successes. The successes the City of North Bend has seen in the past five to 10 years is a result of all these volunteer efforts and community support.
How does growth help your city?
Economic growth that builds and strengthens the city’s goals, vision and character enables and strengthens a healthy economic atmosphere and most importantly ,lays the foundation for additional economic growth by building and growing desirability to invest in North Bend, live in North Bend and visit North Bend.
What’s the hardest part of your job? Most satisfying?
The hardest part: It seems there’s never enough time in the day.
The most satisfying: The people. I love working with the citizens and business owners to help ensure we realize North Bend’s long term vision and economic potential.
What keeps you doing this job?
I truly enjoy community development. Helping a city grow or progress in a smart, healthy and sustainable manner is fun.
What might locals not understand about your line of work?
City planning touches almost every aspect of the city from economic development to community programs down to the smallest detail of urban design, such as sidewalk look and feel.
How does it feel to be a ‘best city employee'?
This honor is probably the most rewarding professional compliment I could have been given. To know that people like the efforts that are being made makes me feel very happy.