On Tuesday, Jan. 7, North Bend’s new mayor and council members were sworn in. Mayor Rob McFarland succeeds outgoing mayor Ken Hearing who had served the city for 16 years.
At the start of the regular council meeting, Kathy Lambert, King County councilmember for District 3, administered the oath of office for McFarland, who was elected as mayor in the November 2019 general election.
“I am glad to once again see the city is in good hands,” Lambert said.
A resident of North Bend since 1997, McFarland has served on the city’s Planning Commission and Parks Commission, and served on and volunteered for several community organizations.
McFarland then swore in new councilmembers Heather Koellen, Position 3, and Mary Miller, Position 7, who were elected in November. Also sworn in was returning councilmember and mayor pro tem Brenden Elwood, Position 5.
Councilmembers Chris Garcia, Position 6, and Jonathan Rosen, Position 1, also were re-elected. The pair, as well as Elwood, ran unopposed. Of the five council seats up for grabs in the election, only two were in contention — the positions now held by Miller and Koellen.
Family, friends and supportive community members filled the council chambers.
In his last official Facebook post as retiring mayor, with more than 130 reactions, Hearing on Jan. 6 wrote, “It has been an honor to lead this city for 16 years. I had no idea when I first ran for office that I would be elected to 4 terms as the mayor of North Bend.”
“As I retire from my post, I am handing over the reins of the city to the next mayor, Rob McFarland, in much better shape than how I received it,” he wrote. “I thank you, the citizens of North Bend, for your support over the years and look forward to seeing you around town as I spend my retirement years in my home town. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your mayor.”