The North Bend City Council’s first meeting of the year was marked by new committee appointments, approval of the public works employees union contract and an official agreement for a law firm to fully provide legal representation to the city.
In previous meetings, council member Chris Garcia was elected as the 2021 mayor pro tem. At the Jan. 6 meeting, other council members were given committee assignments.
Mary Miller will chair the Community and Economic Development Committee this year, with Brenden Elwood and Jonathan Rosen serving as co-chairs. Mary Miller will chair the Public Health and Safety Committee, with Alan Gothelf and Ross Loudenback as co-chairs.
For the Finance and Administration Committee, Gothelf will serve as chair. Elwood and Rosen will serve as co-chairs.
Finally, Loudenbach will serve as the chair of the Public Works Committee. Miller and Heather Koellen will serve as co-chairs.
A contract with the Teamsters union representing the city’s 16 public works employees was approved at the meeting. It’s a three-year contract. Negotiations on the deal began after the pandemic started early last year.
The city negotiated for a mid-point pay in relation to the broader labor market. The contract also agreed to a 1.5% pay increase in 2021, and over the following two years, increases of between 1% to 3%.
North Bend will fully contract out with the Issaquah law firm Kenyon Disend for legal services after the first quarter of 2021. North Bend has worked with the law firm for many years, and in 2012, the city renewed the city attorney contract. It provided a retainer system for legal services and Kenyon receives a flat monthly fee for providing routine legal services. The city also pays by the hour for any litigation or specialty services.
North Bend officials later decided in 2012 it wasn’t necessary to have an official city attorney present at all council meetings because the city administrator was a licensed lawyer.
Now, the city is hoping to fully contract with Kenyon to provide all legal services.