Having lived in North Bend for over 40 years and served as fire chief for 16 years, I am concerned over the direction the city has gone.
In the early ’80s I was asked by the mayor and his staff to gather signatures for annexing land east of town for Opstad Elementary School that needed sanitary sewer service. They felt I was the one person people trusted. Now many years later, some of those residents that signed the petition to annex told me they are sorry they did as the city is so difficult to deal with. I know many more residents, including myself, who have had, or are having, difficult experiences with this administration.
In the fall of 1981, the mayor entered my office and asked what I saw as the greatest need for the city. I suggested a planning department and director to get the city prepared for the growth that would arrive in a few years and not make the same mistakes other areas west of us had made regarding growth.
So as I reflect back on that discussion and look at what is occurring in our area, we failed miserably. The North Bend UGA is developing fast under King County. We have lost out on land use issues, permit fees, property taxes, etc. The sad part is those residents don’t trust the city and have no desire to annex. I couldn’t agree more.
Current council members Ed Carlson and Mark Sollitto voted for regulations and programs that have not benefited our citizens but cost us money. They have also wasted tax dollars on consultants, legal action, etc. This administration has over regulated us beyond belief. They have programs in place that aren’t necessary but are costing us significant dollars. I have been told that the King County permit process is easier. If that is true, what a shame.
As most of you know, the last few years four members lived in one neighborhood and that homeowners’ group had obvious goals that were self-serving. When two members resigned from the council, Karen Tavenner and Chris Garcia were selected to replace them and have done a very good job representing all of us. I find it amusing when watching council votes on issues that it is now 3 to 2, or 4 to 1 and not 5 to 0.
It is time for new faces and direction for the residents in the Upper Valley that is balanced, beneficial and necessary. Please join me in voting for Ken Hearing, mayor, and David Cook, Jonathon Rosen, Karen Tavenner and Chris Garcia, City Council.
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