North Bend's new council seats attract plenty of candidates

By Allison Espiritu

Staff Reporter

Thanks to a recent annexation that pushed the city's population over 5,000 people, North Bend City Council is going from five members to seven.

As of last week, the two open council positions have drawn interest from 11 applicants — one of them former councilman Chris Garcia.

Rather than choosing finalists based solely on their resumes and cover letters, the North Bend council decided Oct. 13 to invite candidates to make their case in person.

Candidates will each have three minutes to introduce themselves and their platforms at the Tuesday, Nov. 3, regular meeting.

"It will let the council know what's important to each candidate, other than their resume and letter," City Administrator Duncan Wilson said. "Going straight off the resume wasn't going to do it."

Candidates include both longtime residents and new arrivals to the area.

After the Nov. 3 meeting, the city will decide when they will choose final candidates for the positions.

Seeking a council job

Nearly a dozen people are in the running for new council positions in North Bend. Applicants include:

• Chris Garcia, former councilman and co-owner of Frankie's Pizza

• Ryan Kolodejchuk, member of North Bend Parks Commission

• Kimberly Hopkins, quality process engineer at Pathway Medical Technologies, Inc.

• Phil Lacefield Jr., manager of North Bend Theatre

• Fritz Ribary, associate broker, Property Casualty Insurance Office

• Robert Manelski, director of Crew Information Services for Boeing Commercial Airplanes

• Robert Cleveland, juvenile rehabilitation corrections counselor, Echo Glen Children's Center

• Jeanne Pettersen, retired school district-level administrator and consultant

• Brenden Elwood, behavioral scientist, mechanical and facilities maintenance contractor and previous Home Owner's Association member

• Doug Weinmaster, attorney, Law Office of Ron Perey/Perey Law Group

• Eric Thompson, environmental laboratory supervisor, Microbiology Unit, King County Environmental Laboratory

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