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Staff changes in North Bend mean city's ready to grow
Recent staff changes at the city of North Bend reflect the city’s position, ready to grow, and needing some help with that.
New hire Dawn Masko takes over as the city’s finance director and assistant city administrator, and Megan O’Neal recently joined the city’s Community and Economic Development Office as a new associate planner. While Masko is filling an existing role, recently vacated by Stan Lewis, O’Neal is a long-awaited addition to the city’s planning department, says office director Gina Estep.
In her tenure, Estep points out that the city has increased its boundaries by about 30 percent, come out of moratorium, and started to see a lot of residential development. Her department, which includes two senior planners and an office/permit coordinator, was “maxed out,” she said.
O’Neal holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington State University. She was hired for a two-year contract, which may become permanent depending on the city’s continued growth.
The North Bend City Council authorized and budgeted for hiring up to three new staffers with development funds — permit fees and other “revenue that we’ve seen because of development,” explained Mayor Ken Hearing. O’Neal is the first such new hire.
North Bend also recently lost its building official, Russ Steinike, and the city is contracting for those services in the interim.