Long-time North Bend resident, local business owner and former council member Chris Garcia has been appointed to fill the North Bend City Council position left vacant after Jeanne Pettersen stepped down from the role early this month.
At their July 10 meeting, the North Bend City Council conducted their three final applicant interviews for the council position and then broke into executive session to discuss and make their determination. They chose Garcia, who has already had a number of years of experience in the role and should be able to pick up the role quickly.
Living in North Bend since 1979, Garcia had served on the council for a few years in the mid-2000s before resigning. He has also been involved with the North Bend Planning Commission and the Snoqualmie Valley Watershed Forum. A community advocate and volunteer, Garcia has also been a part of the Festival at Mount Si Committee and was founder and president of the Snoqualmie Valley Wrestling Club.
“I’ve always wanted to contribute to the future of North Bend, really been contemplating on running on the next election,” Garcia said. “I wanted to at least come back in the near future, then this popped up.”
Garcia said it was a good time for the council to fill the role with a person who has experience, because it can take a while to ramp up the learning process for a person who has never served on council before.
Council member and Mayor Pro-Tem Alan Gothelf was happy that the council received really high quality candidates and said that Garcia was chosen due to his past experience on the council as it would allow him to be effective as soon as possible.
“I’m impressed by the fact that we have had a plethora of candidates,” Gothelf said. “It was a very long discussion and it really came down to existing experience and a known quantity from the standpoint of being on the council.”
When asked about why he has stayed in North Bend for most of his life, Garcia cited his deep bond with the community and city that he has called home for more than 30 years.
“My business is here, my parents still live in town, my wife’s family lives in town. It’s home,” he said. “I want to try to keep the small town feel where people are neighborly and get along and one of the things I’m pretty passionate about.”
Now that the city has exited the moratorium, Garcia said, he wants to address the issue of trees being cut down to build houses, properly maintaining the city’s roads and sidewalks, and working to help the local economy thrive. He also made a point to mention his support for the continual improvement of the public safety departments.
In a press release from the city, Mayor Ken Hearing welcomed Garcia to the council.
“We look forward to working with Chris and welcome him to his new Council position,” Hearing said. “He has served as a Council Member in the past and this, combined with his 20 years residency and many years of business ownership, gives him a unique perspective that will be a great asset to the community.”
The term Garcia is taking up will end with the certification of the 2019 general election. Garcia and anyone else interested in running for the seat must file with King County Elections in 2019.