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The North Bend Eagle


Council discusses hiring part-time clerk, special election

by Nathan Arneal
Published 9/15/10

City feels voters were confused in fluoridation vote last election.

The North Bend City Council met for a regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7.

One of the first items on the agenda was a hearing to set the city’s final tax request. After the hearing ended with no comment, the tax levy was set at $0.44998 per $100 of property valuation, which is just below the statutory limit of $0.45.

At the end of the meeting, several items were brought up for discussion during departmental reports.

Mayor Jeff Kluthe suggested that the city hold a special election to decide whether the people of North Bend want to fluoridate the city’s water. North Bend passed such a measure last election, but Kluthe said the wording was confusing enough so that people were not sure if they were voting in favor or against fluoridation.

City Clerk Theresa Busse said if the original vote is not overturned, the city will have to construct an addition to the water plant, costing the town thousands of dollars. She also said Wahoo did a similar special election and that North Bend could use the same wording as Wahoo, saving North Bend on legal fees.

A simple majority vote would be needed to overturn the original approval of fluoridation. The soonest a special election can be held is Dec. 14.

Next, councilmember Lisa Voss said she wants to see the city office open every day and open for the same hours every day.

“It needs to be the same hours five days a week,” Voss said, “and I think someone should be in the office every day.”

Currently, if Busse is gone on city business or on vacation, the city office is closed. Voss suggested hiring a part-time employee that could man the city office when Busse is gone.

Busse said a part-time clerk was on the payroll when she was first hired, but because the part-timer didn’t work enough, she didn’t know answers to many questions and Busse ended up spending more time cleaning up messes.

Councilman Tim Blackmon said hiring a part-time clerk wouldn’t be a bad idea if the right person could be found. He also pointed out that the city has no one that could fill in for Busse long-term if something were to happen to her.

Kluthe told the councilmembers to consider the proposal and it would be discussed again in the future.

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