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North Bend has commission vacancies

NORTH BEND - Residents who want to make a difference in city government, but who don't feel like hitting the campaign trail, have ample opportunities to get involved as numerous open commission seats are waiting to be filled in North Bend.

While the City Council ultimately makes the final decision regarding the vast majority of issues affecting the entire city, it is the commissions that shape, form and recommend plans.

City Administrator George Martinez said in the scheme of local government, the role of the commission member should not be overlooked.

"I think community members are one of the most important members of government," said Martinez. "It's really what it's all about."

Residents provide a needed perspective, according to Mayor Ken Hearing.

"The commissions do make a difference," he said. "This is your opportunity to make a difference, this is your opportunity to make your voice heard."

Although the recommendations of the commissions are sometimes overlooked, Hearing said, in recent years in North Bend the City Council has approved about 70 percent of Planning Commission recommendations regarding issues.

Although 11 positions are open, city officials expect some of the incumbents in the expired positions to seek reappointment.

* Business and Economic Development Commission (five positions) - The commission is a seven-member group with terms of four years. The EDC provides guidance and direction on the city's future economic development. The commission typically meets once a month on a Wednesday morning.

* Parks, Recreation and Beautification Commission (five positions) - The commission consists of seven members with terms of four years. The group is an advisory body providing guidance and direction in meeting the parks, recreational and beautification needs of the city. The group typically meets once a month on a Wednesday evening.

* Planning Commission (one position) - The seven-member, four-year term Planning Commission prepares and recommends coordination plans, regulations and restrictions for the physical development of the city. The commission typically meets twice a month on Thursday evenings.

As part of the process, applicants will be interviewed by the City Council.

Generally membership is limited to those residing in the 98045 postal area with the majority of each commission required to reside within the North Bend City limits.

Application forms can be printed off the city's Web site at www.ci.north-bend.wa.us or can be picked up at City Hall, 211 Main Ave. N.

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