Years in area: 20+
Occupation: Self employed
Past Political/Civic Experience: Not applicable
What do you feel are the most important issues facing the city? The Budget
How would you try to address those issues? I would like to see what spending can be readjusted to save tax payers money. Also I would like to have a common sense approach at doing such.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? I would like to see the waterfront improved with a plan similar to what the model in city hall is. It would be a benefit to get outside funding to develop a mooring area so during salmon season people can rent out dock space. This will drive tourism and help bring North Bend on par with Coos Bay for the tourist dollar.
How should the city address the current COVID-19/economic crisis? Well, being as how my business got essentially shut down and closed because of COVID it is a hard one for me. I wish we used more common sense with COVID and didn’t make such extreme decisions. The city really doesn’t have much control over this, it all comes down from Brown.
What do you feel should be the relationship between the city council and the public? I think it should be open. I also feel that we elect our officials to do a job. The way the vote went down for the public safety fee really didn’t sit well with me. The 6-176/7 vote tied the hands of the council and I think we will see the windfall from that in the upcoming years. We obviously didn’t learn with the property tax limit set in the 90s which inevitably contributed to the public safety fee in the first place.
Years in area: Lifelong resident (only out of the area while in the U.S. Navy)
Occupation: Assistant Director Coos Health and Wellness
Past Political/Civic Experience: North Bend School Board member
What do you feel are the most important issues facing the city? As a lifelong citizen of North Bend, only leaving to serve in the US Navy for 8 years, our challenges have not changed much over those years. Those challenges are public safety issues, business that promotes intercity tourism and the community’s trust in the local government in order to work together to find avenues to improve our wonderful city.
How would you try to address those issues? First and foremost we need to elicit the voices of our citizens in the discussions and actually utilize the opinions of the community in how we move forward. These issues are not unique to our area and as I said before, not new to ours, but they are issues that we can find a way forward with, provided we work together. Our greatest strength has always been that our community can work together to affect change, we just need to remember that in the decision making process.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? To build a safe, healthy and thriving city built on trust between its people and its local government. By establishing trust with the people of North Bend we can grow the infrastructure to ensure the longevity of our public safety programs, revitalize access for business that will bolster tourism dollars and improve our communication with the community to facilitate conversations about how to do these things together.
How should the city address the current COVID-19/economic crisis? COVID-19 has caused a great deal of distress on the economy in various ways. The budgets will be impacted in various ways, based on federal/state/local shortfalls in income that would have been available without the COVID 19 pandemic. That being said, budget issues are not a new thing for our city. We need to look at what service we are providing, and what the return-on-investment is for those programs. Are there services that we provide that are missing funding opportunities and if so, how do we capitalize on those missed opportunities? Discuss the financial concerns with the community and get their honest input on how they think we move forward together.
What do you feel should be the relationship between the city council and the public? I would propose quarterly town hall meetings. It’s one thing to say “why don’t you come to the meeting” and another to say that you have a forum where we just listen. We take the time to hear your thoughts about the state of the city and where we can improve. It is important to understand that we are serving the community, not the other way around.
Years in area: 35
Occupation: Manager of Technology and Communications for West Coast Contractors
Past Political/Civic Experience: Member of North Bend Planning Commission and Budget Committee; Director, Transportation Committee Chair, and Education and Workforce Committee member for Bay Area Chamber of Commerce; and also involved with South Coast Development Council, South West Area Committee on Transportation, Boost Southern Oregon, Housing Action Team, Associated General Contractors Workforce Coalition, Viewport Software Users Group, Foster Parent Association, State Foster Parent Advisory Board and Hauser Community Church.
What do you feel are the most important issues facing the city? The citizens of North Bend have lost confidence in the North Bend City Council. Events in the past couple of years have created much wailing and gnashing of teeth. I believe this is primarily because the Council is not communicating with the public. The citizens have a responsibility to give input, but the responsibility lies with the Council to inform them of goings-on at City Hall and assure they have ample opportunity to respond.
How would you try to address those issues? I would facilitate the North Bend City Council in having a conversation with the citizens. Conversations are two way. The Council needs to get information out to the citizens, then have to enable a way for the citizens to give input back. I will implement a weekly email blast and look at other ways to inform citizens of the goings-on within the city. Additionally, I will begin researching methods to allow citizens to give input on important topics without needing to attend City Council meetings to find out the goings-on.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? I want the City of North Bend to begin a CONVERSATION with the Citizens of North Bend and to begin a CONVERSATION with the rest of Coos County. The City has other issues as well – funding to name one. Housing is another. But the citizens need to be involved in the solutions, and that starts with a CONVERSATION.
How should the city address the current COVID-19/economic crisis? The COVIDs have really messed up our lives. Currently, there is a wide disparity in what citizens think about the crisis and how it should be addressed. We need to follow guidelines set out by the State and local Public Health Departments. We still have a lot to learn about COVID, but the facts are that we need to keep distance between ourselves, wash our hands and wear our masks to get our businesses opened back up again. For now, we need to use common sense and put the needs of the community above our personal preferences and comfort. Second, we need to explore every avenue to get people working and keep them on the job. If it takes every citizen wearing a mask to make sure we have our citizens employed, then we need to do that. The City leaders need to lead by example.
What do you feel should be the relationship between the city council and the public? Two words – TRUST and CONVERSATION, both two ways. The citizens need to trust the City Council to do the right things and the Council needs to trust the citizens to give honest, well thought out advice. There should be a mutual trust, and if there is not, the Council needs to take the lead in fixing that problem.
Years in area: 48
Occupation: Executive Director Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
Past Political/Civic Experience: Mayor of North Bend for 12 years and member of the City Council for the past 8 years; Three years on Coos Bay North Bend Water Board; 13 years on Coos County Planning Commission; 8 years on Coos County Mayors Forum; six years as board member for League of Oregon Cities, including being president in 2018; also served on Coos County Area Transit District, Coos County Library District Board, Coos Bay BLM Resource Advisory Committee; Southwestern Oregon Community College Budget Committee; Bay Area Enterprise Zone; and County Structure Committee.
What do you feel are the most important issues facing the city? Our vision for the city; we need to confirm or re-confirm what we want to be as a city. You do that through a community wide visioning process and setting goals to achieve those results. Then you track your progress with regular reviews and repeat the entire process every couple years. Secondly, we engage the next generation of young entrepreneurs in our city to ensure a transition of committed city leadership. Lastly, we get on with getting things done and celebrate the results. A most important challenge facing the city continues to be jobs and the economy. In support of that end is a solid upgraded infrastructure of roads, natural gas, electrical redundancy and broad band coverage. Communication and transparency. We need a well-functioning method of dialogue with our citizens and the ability to engage them in creating our future.
How would you try to address those issues? I think the issue of creating and using a vision is sufficiently laid out above. To tackle our infrastructure issues, you must understand the extent of the need, the ways in which to finance the improvements and reviving the business community’s voice to be an active advocate for the changes. Revenue wise, we must consistently and regularly utilize the grant system to its fullest. That can be a solid revenue partner with our traditional funding sources to achieve our goals. We also need to encourage business to have an active voice and participation in this process. Let’s revive the merchants association and find out how the city can make things happen for all our businesses.
People communicate in many different ways. Some like to hear things, some read them and some want to experience so there is not one golden ticket that will ensure that all folks both hear and understand. That’s why social media, newsletters, newspaper posting, live streams and public meetings all need to be employed. It is equally important to listen. Several months ago I mentioned to the Council that we should take key from the police department and have regular Coffee with the Council sessions.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? I want us to have a solid view as to what we are and can become. Then create a set of goals that we all work on to get there. Through that work, North Bend becomes well known as a great place to do business and a family friendly town. Lastly, I would like to begin the process of transitioning the next generation of civic leaders into North Bend operations.
How should the city address the current COVID-19/economic crisis? The City needs to model the requirements for staying healthy during the pandemic. We should be a source of information both for health and economic response issues. We should provide that information to our citizens and update it regularly. We should seek out ways to ease the impact on our businesses. We should ensure our citizens are not isolated and important needs are met. We can do that by forming partnerships within our community.
What do you feel should be the relationship between the city council and the public? The city council is just another group of citizens serving the community in a particular way. As mentioned before, we must have excellent two way communication, both giving of information and gathering it. To be the best community, we need to engage all our citizens, in some way, to utilize their collective experiences and talents. So, I guess I see the public as an active part of making our city the very best it can be.
Years in area: Born and raised in North Bend
Occupation: Operations manager at Ocean Terminals in North Bend
Past Political/Civic Experience: North Bend City Council member from 2014 to 2018
What do you feel are the most important issues facing the city? Right now I feel that we need to establish confidence back in the city government. Public safety has to be addressed so that all citizens feel safe and are protected. I would also work on getting the pool back open for the community to enjoy.
How would you try to address those issues? I would be 100% transparent with the public.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? I would want my opening statement to be what is worked on immediately.
How should the city address the current COVID-19/economic crisis? Everyone in some way has been impacted by COVID, from a little to a major impact due to It. We need to work through this as a nation.
What do you feel should be the relationship between the city council and the public? 100% transparent between the citizens and the city. People need to get involved. Attend meetings and planning sessions. The city could ramp up social media to get information out.
Years in area: 28 years (was out of the area nine years for military service
Occupation: Deputy at Coos County Sheriff’s Office
Past Political/Civic Experience: Served as a medic in the Army. Currently active in local law enforcement
What do you feel are the most important issues facing the city? Trust, transparency, financial spending and budget.
How would you try to address those issues? I would bring the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage that were instilled into me by the Army and that the Sheriff’s Office has continued to enrich, into the city council chambers to represent the citizens and their voice to the best of my abilities in an attempt to restore their trust. There needs to be checks and balances at different levels when it comes to the budget and spending. I believe there needs to be a comprehensive and independent audit of the city’s books as well as quarterly budget review process in which all findings are made readily available and shared with the public.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? First and foremost, because the citizens have lost confidence in the city’s leadership, I’d like to restore the faith and trust of our citizens back into our local government. It is paramount we have a great working relationship with the people we serve if we are ever to accomplish our collaborative goals as a community. Secondly I’d like to examine how we could save citizens money by revisiting, and seriously discussing, the merger of our city’s dispatch call center into the already established primary public safety answering points (PSAP) at the Coos County Sheriff’s Office or Coos Bay Police Department as our dispatch call center is a secondary PSAP that does not take 911 calls. In turn calls are delayed due to being filtered through a primary PSAP which affects emergency response times. This would also save citizens of North Bend at least an estimated $250,000 per year.
How should the city address the current COVID-19/economic crisis? The city is governed by the state in this area. Therefore, due to the governor’s executive orders the city’s hands are tied in terms of being able to implement anything on its own. I’ll leave COVID-19 to the medical experts. I will say, citizens are smarter than they are given credit for and I think they are very capable of making choices concerning their own health. But like I tell my children, if you make a decision, you better be willing to accept the consequence of that decision whether it is right, wrong or indifferent.
What do you feel should be the relationship between the city council and the public? The relationship should be a positive one that is inclusive. As in all good relationships there should be two-way communication between city council and the public. There should be trust building where the citizens have faith the city council is doing what is right, legal and moral on their behalf. City council should never be so out of touch with the public that they take a perceived stance of “We know what’s best.”
Age: Not old, not young
Years in area: 16
Occupation: Retired from civil engineering work; currently a licenses substitute teacher
Past Political/Civic Experience: President of SW Chapter of Professional Engineers of Oregon in 2009-10; served four years on Coos Watershed Association Board of Directors; four years on North Bend Parks Advisory Board; six years on Gardiner Sanitary District Board of Directors, including being both secretary and treasurer
What do you feel are the most important issues facing the city? The budget crisis with the PERS mandate. Funding of the Police and Fire Departments to uphold public safety. Undertaking the Street Repair Plan priorities, evaluated by an engineering study. Encouraging the creation of businesses and jobs as well as more affordable housing.
How would you try to address those issues? Review of all consulting contracts, review options and make any possible cuts. Declare as surplus and sell any unused city property. Consider urban renewal options for vacant properties in the downtown core.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? I would like to improve the City’s transparency, ethics and communications in these areas: Any Council matter involving a significant monetary vote gets its own agenda item. The vote for the second $15 public safety fee was taken under “Other Business!”
Someone retained by the City for a professional opinion is ineligible to bid on a contract involving the same matter as it’s a huge conflict of interest.
I would pledge to personally reply to citizen phone calls and emails, and encourage other Councilors to do the same.
I would like a pretty and durable drinking water fountain somewhere downtown besides the California Street boat ramp!
How should the city address the current COVID-19/economic crisis? The City is protecting staff by keeping restricted access to City Hall. The City has done a good job in managing the public meetings via Zoom, and taking appointments for personal business. The City also held a public forum for meeting the City Administrator candidates via Zoom before the candidates met with the City Council. The City should keep the pool closed for the duration of the crisis, while studying the most cost effective way of managing the pool.
What do you feel should be the relationship between the city council and the public? Mutual respect! However, at present, the Council needs to regain the public’s trust. The citizens are not all alike — some will be more involved than others — but it’s always a good idea to ask for public opinion before major decisions.