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Wherefore Art Thou North Bend?

Last updated on March 5, 2023

I know, I know. The title doesn’t actually mean what we all think it means. Let me have a little fun in this bleak world will ya?

So, I am well overdue to give you an update on the public records request that I submitted to the City of North Bend last month. To put it succinctly though, there hasn’t been any further info to provide cause the City Recorder stopped answering my emails.

The last time I heard from them was October 30th when I was provided with a a preliminary invoice totaling $681, of which $550 was for lawyer fees. I balked at this amount and sent them a reply asking for a fee reduction/waiver as per Oregon Revised Statutes. More than two weeks passed without a reply.

On 11/16 I sent another email asking for an update. No reply.

On 11/22 I sent another email saying I would contact the District Attorney if I did not receive an update by 11/22. Crickets.

On 11/26, I sent an email to Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier asking for him to look into the matter. He responded to me early today and said that since he was most likely named in the documents I was seeking, he would need to ask the DA from another county to handle the matter. Mr. Frasier has always struck me as an honorable man. He responded to his constituent promptly, recused himself and arranged for the matter to be settled by a disinterested third party.

By 4:30 this afternoon someone from the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office had contacted the North Bend City Recorder and already forwarded me their response. Strange how three emails from me over the course of three weeks never received a response, but as soon as someone with actual power contacts them they are all ears.

In the City Recorder’s response several different excuses were given. First, that they had not even seen my emails but would look for them. All three emails were sent from the same exact account that I had already used to contact them with, the very same account they had sent the invoice to. I even verified the emails had been transmitted properly.

The second excuse was that the documents I requested were currently being transferred from the old City Attorney to the new one. You know, the old City Attorney that quit (rumor says) because of the very issues I’m trying to investigate?

The fact is, the City Recorder had no problem communicating with me up until I requested a fee waiver. After, nothing but static. This isn’t the behavior of a city government that has any respect for the people it serves. Hopefully when I finally receive these documents even more will come to light.

Additionally, former North Bend Mayoral Candidate James Rose recently wrote a letter to the editor of The World Newspaper about these very issues. It’s titled “North Bend in crisis” and can be read below.

-Matthew Wilbanks (Editor @

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