Letter | Re-elect Councilman David Cook, Good Record of Maintaining North Bend’s Small Town Charm, Managing Growth Responsibly

My wife and I recently achieved a long-planned move from Snoqualmie Ridge where we had resided for eight years. We are now county residents just outside the North Bend city limits. Prior to our move, we followed closely the work of the City Council and Planning Commission knowing their work would impact us both short and long-term.

Having followed the Planning Commission and City Council deliberations, it was clear that the Council and in particular the incumbent (David Cook, Finance Committee Chair) recognizes and have given ample voice to the citizenry and its concerns in matters pertaining to growth and development.  Council deliberations are open to the public, transparent and available in print and on television.

I observe that much of what Councilman Cook’s opponent (Planning Commissioner Elwood) calls for in his campaign material  already exists – data collection, analysis, synthesis, prioritization and actions taken by the City Council. The fact that Mr.Elwood does not acknowledge this or is not pleased with the Council’s timeline or decisions appears to form the basis of his campaign.  Mr. Elwood’s ’90-day emergency plan’ as published in Living Snoqualmie  reminds me of the fellow who cries ‘fire’ in a movie theater without pointing to a well-planned and well-marked (i.e. transparent)  escape route.

Let’s look further at the record. As member of the Planning Commission, Mr.Elwood should be aware that The Planning Commission recently deliberated and made recommendations on 8 important Zoning Amendments to the city’s Comprehensive Plan.  One such unanimous recommendation was to change the zoning of 4 parcels on the south side of 140th near Wood River from Neighborhood Business to Employment Park 2, which allows for large warehouses and warehousing activities. Another called for high density residential (HDR 8-10 per acre) construction near Thrasher along Torguson Park. The City Council (including Councilman Cook) has rejected these proposals.

The question to Mr. Elwood is this.  As a Planning Commissioner, how do you reconcile your recommendation to allow this zoning near residential areas when you have stated that North Bend has lost its small town charm and character? On which side of the small town vs. growth equation do your principles lie?? 

I would credit Mr. Elwood’s campaign with being adept in terms of marketing, spin and yelling ‘fire’. However, his 90 Day ‘Emergency’ Plan offers no specific solutions or alternatives to any of the generally agreed and already prioritized issues.   This is not the first time we’ve seen a political candidate spin and raise an issue to the ‘crisis’ level  — with, of course, an ‘emergency’ albeit shallow resolution plan in mind. In my opinion, this is the modus operandi of a community organizer, not a leader.

Leadership requires firmly held principles, vision and the ability to make hard decisions in the face of competing interests.

Concerned citizens should take the time to give a thorough reading to Councilman Cook’s detailed accounting of his principles, priorities, experience and specific accomplishments on his website www.cookforcouncil.com .

Councilman Cook has been a communicative, pro-active voice of reason and calm in balancing the city’s affairs and pressures of growth in the face of a multitude of county, state, federal regulations, financial constraints and competing interests.  The best way to judge what to expect from someone is by paying attention to the person’s proven commitment, experience and vision. The record of Councilman Cook in this regard  is available for all to see and judge. It is a good record which has helped keep our small town charm while acknowledging and managing growth responsibly.

Please examine Council Cook’s commitment,  experience and vision and vote to re-elect Councilman David Cook.

Paul J Reiff,

North Bend

2015 election

Comments

  1. The Valley Record noted this regarding the rezoning proposals which Mr. Reiff says Councilman Cook wisely rejected: ‘On Oct. 20, the North Bend City Council voted against the Neighborhood Business zoning change recommendation, but, after amending the proposals regarding high-density residential zoning near Torguson Park, approved the change. All of the planning commission recommendations were dated December, 2014.’ Did Mr. Cook vote in favor of them after the Torguson area amendment?

    • Paul J Reiff says

      The Editor of the Valley Record was incorrect in her assertion. She confused two separate votes involving rezoning proposals for Orchard and Torguson Park . The City Council allowed HDR by Orchard but rejected the change by Torguson Park. The Editor of the Valley
      Record needs to understand and report the facts better in the future.

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