The North Bend City Council voted unanimously to take greater control over the July Jubilee with a goal of making the event a year-round festival.
The council voted to make a three-person council committee to oversee July Jubilee, which is returning to the city after a three-year absence due to COVID.
July Jubilee has traditionally been a summer celebration, honoring the city’s birthday with a variety of fun events. When the decision to restart the jubilee was made, the city’s Main Street Committee began making plans for the celebration.
But during the “Other Business” section of the council meeting last week, Mayor Jessica Engelke told her fellow council members she wanted the council to have more control and asked that a committee be put together to “help drive the vision.”
“I feel really passionate that we have a committee,” Engelke said.
The move to use other business was made despite a judge’s order in 2021 that threw out a decision the council made because it was made in other business. Since then, the council changed its rules to allow issues that are not controversial and supported unanimously to be approved in other business.
At first, some of the council seemed confused by the mayor’s request before they ultimately came to support it.
“It feels like we have started work on it now, and this would just slow things down,” Councilor Jenny Jones said.
Engelke said her vision is to have July Jubilee expand with some events in July, but others spread throughout the year.
She said she was hoping to create a committee with some council members as well as community members to lead the effort.
“To me, the impact would be carrying out the vision,” Engelke said. “It is not the day-to-day operations, that would be city staff. This is about jubilee going forward. It is not just about this July.”
But the council remained hesitant.
“I think it would be fair to say if we try to jam this in right now, some large committee and trying to find people, it might change and lower the momentum,” Jones said.
“My concern is I think we’re going to run out of time,” Councilor Barbara Schultz said. “I don’t think we could do it before July. If we have a committee that’s just vision, I think that’s a good idea.”
City Attorney Mark Wolf was asked to weigh in, and he said according to council rules creating a committee with community members would take a resolution. He suggested waiting until the next council meeting so staff could prepare a resolution.
The only committee that could be formed without a resolution was a council committee made up of only members of the council.
Councilor Susanna Noordhoff said she liked the idea of a council committee.
“I think it’s a good idea because I’ve been on this council two years, and I’ve never seen just a council committee,” Noordhoff said. “I think it’s a good idea, flex our muscles a little bit and just brainstorm. Do something separate from Main Street.”
“The committee would not be flexing our muscles a little bit,” Councilor Larry Garboden said. “It’s about vision.”
Engelke said she was OK with a council committee. Wolf said in that can a purpose should be included in any motion.
Jones eventually made three motions before settling on a council committee made up of two to three members to discuss the vision of July Jubilee.
The council voted 6-0 to create the committee, and then voted a second time to include Engelke, Jones and Noordhoff on the committee.
The committee had its first meeting Monday and will continue to meet on a regular basis.
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