Former North Bend Mayor John Briggs hopes to make a return to the Mayor’s seat in North Bend.
He says the first thing he wants to see is leadership that makes the community part of the conversation.
“Being open, and honest, and transparent with the citizens. Number two, understanding that the city, that the citizens are the important asset and that they need to be heard.”
Briggs says though the city boasts its Main Street program, it comes at a great cost each year and alienates most local businesses, something he says didn’t happen when he was mayor.
“Every storefront was full, and because downtown businesses, people worked together to make things good. No Main Street program; no cost. Coming down Virginia and Broadway over to Newmark, are a bunch of businesses that are not covered by the Main Street Program, and that bothers me.”
He also cites what he believes to be running problems between the city and the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport after North Bend sent notice to the airport last month that they’re considering termination of the Airport Security Agreement.
“If we take out that agreement, the TSA will probably pull out. That takes away commercial air services. It also puts funding for the tower in jeopardy which the Coast Guard says that will create some real problems for them. We’re also talking about businesses that are going to lose jobs.”
North Bend City Manager David Milliron issued a statement saying the city believes the Airport District failed to fulfill their responsibility to establish a long-term, cooperative relationship between the two that serves the best interests of both parties and the city. Meanwhile airport staff say they’ve made their facility accessible for a city food pantry program, North Bend’s senior prom, active shooter training, and other cooperative options serving North Bend.
Briggs served his two-year term as mayor from November 2000 to 2002.
The Coos Bay native has lived in North Bend for the last 25 years.