North Bend City Council. Courtesy photo

North Bend City Council. Courtesy photo

Public works contract approved by North Bend City Council

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.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

North Bend City Hall. Courtesy of
North Bend approves sewer rate increases

A 2.5% annual sewer rate increase was approved March 2 by the… Continue reading

Freshwater variety of kokanee salmon from Lake Sammamish. File photo
Encouraging numbers for kokanee salmon spawn count

Lake Sammamish kokanee aren’t out of the woods by any stretch, but… Continue reading

In this file photo, Tayshon Cottrell dons his graduation cap and gown, along with a face mask reading: “Wear it! Save America” at Todd Beamer High School’s virtual graduation walk recording on May 20, 2020, in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

File photo
Study shows Washingtonians exceeded ‘heavy drinking’ threshold in 2020

The survey suggests Washingtonians drank more than 17 alcoholic beverages a week on average.

Mercer Island School District first-graders returned to in-person classes on Jan. 19, 2021. Here, Northwood Elementary School students head into the building. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island School District
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Malden, after a wildfire burned down 80% of the town’s buildings in Eastern Washington. Courtesy photo
DNR commissioner seeks $125 million to fight wildfires

In Washington state last September, some 600,000 acres burned within 72 hours.

New Fall City Fire Chief is on the job

Chief Brian Culp started in the position at the beginning of February.

Washington State Supreme Court Justices (back row, L-R) Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Mary I. Yu, G. Helen Whitener, (front row, L-R) Susan Owens, Charles W. Johnson, Steven C. Gonzalez, Barbara A. Madsen and Debra L. Stephens.
Justices strike down Washington state drug possession law

Police must stop arresting people for simple possession.

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Most Read