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North Bend council seeks replacement for Garcia

With North Bend City Councilman Chris Garcia stepping down after almost five years of service, the city is looking for his replacement.

Garcia had been planning to leave earlier this year in order to have more free time, but stayed on as the city worked to resolve an appeal against its water rights and pass the Downtown Master Plan.

“Those [issues] were what were keeping me around,” Garcia said at his final meeting on Tuesday, March 18.

The city will accept applications for Garcia’s replacement through Monday, April 21, City Administrator Duncan Wilson told the Valley Record.

Applicants, who must have been residents of the city for at least one year, should submit a letter of interest and a short resume to North Bend City Clerk Cheryl Proffitt in person at City Hall, or through e-mail at cherylp@ci.north-bend.wa.us.

After the April 21 deadline, the Council will narrow down the candidates and conduct interviews, Wilson said, adding that it has not yet been determined how the changes in the Council might affect committee assignments.

Garcia chaired the Budget, Finance and Administration Committee, and co-chaired the Community and Economic Development Committee.

“He’s the ultimate champion of the little guy,” Mayor Ken Hearing said of Garcia. “He kept the regular folks’ interests in mind with any of his legislation. Those shoes will be tough to fill.”

Garcia was appointed to the City Council in June 2003 to replace Elaine Webber, who moved out of city limits. He was elected in 2003 to the remainder of Webber’s term and again in 2005. His term was set to expire at the end of 2009.

Garcia is co-owner of Frankie’s Pizza, a local pizza chain based in North Bend. When he first announced his plans to resign in November, Garcia told the Valley Record the demands of public office took up too much of his already-busy schedule.

“It’s purely a lack of hours in the day,” he said.

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