The World was unable to report on the North Bend City Council meeting on Dec. 12. Matters have mostly been humming along quite nicely. However, two weeks before Christmas, Scrooge showed up in person when the City Manager’s report relayed a request by the Coos Curry Housing Task Force for $500 to $1,000 to share in the cost of an upcoming 'Comprehensive Housing Study'. The Coos Curry Housing Task Force has recently awarded the contract.
From the draft minutes of Mr. O’Connor’s report: “Council had previously asked who the consultant was and what the cost would be.
There will be an open house on Thursday ... and they would like to place North Bend on the poster as a supporter. Coos Bay is contributing $5,000; the Housing Authority is contributing $1,000, and O’Connor encouraged Council to participate as we could use some of the information when we update our Comprehensive Plan. Council asked what the cost was for the study; O’Connor said approximately $60,000. Councilor Graham said they chose the high bid without an explanation, and the goals have changed between October and August in regards to the type of survey. Councilor Slater felt it was at least worth a $1,000, and we would be able to use the material to upgrade our Comprehensive Plan.
Councilor Larry Garboden moved, Councilor Bill Richardson seconded the motion to fund the Comprehensive Housing Study in the amount of $500. Motion failed four to three.
Councilor Timm Slater moved to fund the Comprehensive Housing Study in the amount of $1,000. Motion died for lack of a second. Therefore the City of North Bend is not supporting the housing study.
When Councilors Graham, Erbele, Goll, and Mayor Wetherell declined to make the smallest token of support, it left a very bad taste in my mouth. Their inaction appears insular, callous, mean-spirited. Are there no homeless people in North Bend, ever?
The more expensive consultant may have been chosen, likely for a good reason! The study’s goals may have changed; it happens! It’s not a perfect world!
The Coos Curry Housing Task Force has taken a big step forward with this study. I hope that our Councilors will reconsider and make a contribution. The Comprehensive Housing Study deserves North Bend’s support. The housing issue is everyone’s problem.