Ken Hearing earns North Bend mayor post

NORTH BEND - Solving the city's water rights issue, fixing roads, alleviating traffic and repairing existing infrastructure all have one thing in common, according to mayor-elect Ken Hearing.

"They all take money," Hearing said. "We need to deal with the economy."

Beginning in January, Hearing will receive the chance to deal directly with these key issues facing North Bend when he takes over as mayor.

Hearing, who earned 59 percent of the vote to defeat challenger City Councilman Ed Carlson, will replace Mayor Joan Simpson, who served two terms at the post in addition to her almost 20 years of service to the city on various boards and commissions.

Since 1999 the city has been in a self-imposed construction moratorium due to a lack of water rights. With a plan in the works that could lead to the lifting of that moratorium by early 2005, Hearing faces a pivotal time in the city's future.

"Everything that happens [in North Bend] affects the whole Upper Valley," Hearing said.

Proper planning for when the construction moratorium is lifted will help ensure that North Bend does not become another

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