North Bend looks to future

Record Editorial

Finally, a settlement has come on the appeal of North Bend’s water mitigation measures. Further delays would have been detrimental to the city, which is so desperately looking for its identity.

At the same time, the city is in the final reviews of its downtown master plan.

Things are looking good in North Bend. The new master plan realizes that the downtown core needs to focus on economic revitalization, an element many of us have been pushing for years. Another sign that the downtown core is moving forward is the relocation of Todd’s Model Shop to the space formerly occupied by Velocity Wireless.

The downtown core needs more retail, more to keep people downtown and shopping. I applaud the efforts of the North Bend City Council and staff in moving the city forward after nearly a decade of stagnation.

On another note, the recent failure of the school bond sends a clear message that something needs to change. I support the district’s efforts to build a new high school and think that trivial details such as whether the stadium grandstands are covered, will not convert “no-voters” to vote yes. A divide is running through our community and our children’s futures hang in the balance.

The only good reason for voting “no” that I have heard or read so far is that someone honestly said they can’t afford the additional taxes. Let’s face it, the economy is flat at best, people are worried about their mortgage interest rates and some are even worried about their jobs. Inflation is hitting us all when we go to the grocery store and diesel was at $4.07 a gallon last week (I have been driving the Honda instead of my diesel-guzzling truck).

I feel confident that nobody who voted no is casting their vote due to a flaw in the plan or a lack of understanding regarding the need. Maybe it’s just too big of a pill to swallow.

At some point, we are going to need to pass a bond for a new schools. It’s as inevitable as death and taxes. What’s obvious is that we can’t come back with the same package. A proposal needs to be reduced to something that voters can afford, and we need to do it quickly.

Those who voted “no” should voice what they think is affordable. Give the district planners something to work with or a target to shoot for. The worst thing we can do is vote “no” and be silent about our reasons.