Friday, October 9, 2015

ATTN: Marchione supporters and those undecided -- your letters and opinions on the mayoral race are welcome here

Well the Redmond Reporter has finally given the mayoral candidates some print, the Mayoral debate will take place this Wednesday, and voting will commence on November 3.  Neighbors have been talking with each other about the mayoral candidates for months now, face-to-face and in social media.  I have become drained talking to my neighbors about it all and I'm glad the campaigns are finally coming to a close and this blog can move on.

As you know from reading the "popular stories" on this blog the opinions and letters have been mostly focused on Steve Fields.  I want to be perfectly clear that while I support Mr. Fields this blog has ALWAYS been open to the neighbors who support the Marchione campaign. Unfortunately I have not received one letter or opinion from a single Marchione supporter.  Participation by the Marchione supporters has been so lackluster that I had to post a pro- Marchione opinion myself in attempt to bring balance to this blog.

So for all you Marchione supporters and city staff who frequent this blog and criticize me for excluding you please, please know I am always open to publishing you opinions and information. We have 25 days left before our ballots can be mailed.  ALL opinions on the mayoral race are welcome here.  You have plenty of time to submit them. Email your letters to

I hope many of you will go to the debate on Wednesday and please vote on November 3!

Opinion by Bob Yoder

Thursday, October 8, 2015

LETTER: Why I don't support John Marchione -- it has a lot to do with OneRedmond

By Roberta Domos

Here is why I do not support Marchione, and am thrilled that he has such a competent challenger in Steve Fields.

1. Marchione was instrumental in dissolving the Chamber of Commerce. As a result small business owners have no one looking out for their interests. 

2. His replacement for the Chamber was OneRedmond, a developer and large business centric organization, who promised to represent small businesses and recruit them to the organization, but never lifted a finger to do so. And it seems never had any intention of doing so, even as they sucked up all the assets of the Chamber. 

3. He sits on the board of OneRedmond, along with these developers and makes decisions with them that impact ALL OF US. Yet there is zero transparency about what goes on there. Not only is it a huge conflict of interest, it's an end around transparency laws. 

4. The major donors to his campaign are the same out of down developers that sit with him on the OneRedmond board. They are maxing out to the legally allowed amounts, and getting their family members to do the same. So, what are they buying from him?

5. He spends money we do not have on amenities for developers to tout, such as over $30 million on a park for their tenants. As a result, he asked for a levy to maintain the neighborhood parks that most of us can actually use. That's backwards on budgeting and spending priorities. A mayor looking out for citizens instead of developers would have maintained the park budgets, and asked for a levy to pay for the downtown park instead. 

6. Other spending makes no sense. Painting the ground of a parking lot???  $800K to rechannel 166th? We had a long Facebook thread on this previously. The vast majority of people hate it. It makes no sense from a traffic perspective, and it bleeds a extra 20-30 min a day from people that would like to spend that time more productively, like with their family for instance. 

7. Parking variances for his developer friends who sit with him on the board of OneRedmond. Permission to tear down historically significant buildings for his developer friends who sit with him on the board of OneRedmond. That's your conflict of interest in action. 

8. Mismanaged growth. Its all ass backwards. Everything from not rechanneling Redmond and Cleveland to two way streets PRIOR to all the development, to allowing developers to build without adequate parking, which causes more cars on the streets and less parking for business and consumers. What makes these developers so special that they can build 95 units with 35 parking spaces?? Well, they are his friends on the OneRedmond board. 

9. There is clearly city business being done at these OneRedmond board meetings, and there is no transparency into the discussion or intentions of their plans. I vote NO on these "public private partnerships" that clearly do not have the citizen's best interest first and foremost. 

10. A huge lack of engagement with the community. He clearly has NO interest in that. 

I could add a few more, but let's call that my top 10. I am actually astounded that anyone would vote for Marchione. I am beyond delighted that Steve stepped up to the plate to take on this campaign. He's highly qualified, and I believe he will do an excellent job. As a business owner AND resident here in Redmond I strongly believe we need to thank John for his service, and make a change.
Editor's Note:  Roberta feels it's pointless to send this Letter to the Redmond Reporter because the Redmond Reporter sits on the Board of RedmondOne.  Marchione supporters are invited to post their opinions on this blog but unfortunately they haven't choosen to participate.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Opinion: The silence of Mayor Marchione on neighborhood issues is deafening

It's a rainy day and I am without work so it's a good time to express my observations and feelings again about how I think our elected councilmembers and mayor run our city and how they could improve.  I will admit that I have become picky and pestering especially with the mayoral election underway so my apologies for being a Monday Morning Quarterback, but unfortunately I am one of the rare everyday citizens that is engaged with local government.

The city council meeting last night was one of the most functional meetings I've seen in a long time (with the exception of the Mayor's silence -- which I will address soon.)  James Johnston, a neighbor shared his expertise during Items for the Audience for improving the noise problem from Marymoor Park concerts.  This same neighbor is very vocal on the "Education Hill of Redmond" Facebook Group and several councilmembers are finally paying attention to us through this vehicle.  It would be great if all our neighborhoods (including the Downtown neighborhood) had a Facebook Group for input but so far the City government hasn't facilitated this and continues to miss out in how we feel. The City of Kirkland has "neighborhood associations" which organized a Council Candidate Debate.  Redmond neighborhoods aren't even close.  Fortunately Councilman John Stilin has found the Education Hill facebook group and has been bold enough to observe and participate in it.  John Marchione and Council have been dealing with the Marymoor noise for over 8 years without results; it finally took chatter from the Facebook Group to help John Stillin identify the problem and bring it to the attention of government.  The discussion with King County during the Council Meeting was truly one of the most productive and thorough deliberations I've seen for a neighborhood issue.  Stillin and the Council in general shined.  It would have been healthy for the city if our government was just as functional on "city growth issues."  But, it's too late for that and a contested mayoral race is on.

What was glaringly noticeable last night at the Council meeting was the Mayor's lack of participation and representation during the Marymoor deliberations.  The Mayor was full of "Thank You's" and minor management of the agenda.  He looked weak and is weak in this regard. While council certainly wasn't under Marchione's grip last night, the Mayor was complacent and non-responsive to the neighborhoods on the important Marymoor issue (as he is on the Downtown neighborhood growth issue.) He also has a problem conveying his representation on regional issues during council meetings.  He is touted for being a leader on regional issues but he rarely brings up the specifics of his representation locally during council meetings, OP-ED's or the like.

In a Steve Fields Q&A that resident and blogger Paige Norman conducted, Mr. Fields was asked:  "What do you think is the primary role of the Mayor in Redmond?"  Mr. Fields answered:  "The Mayor is the only full-time, elected position that exclusively represents and answers to the people who live in Redmond. This creates a unique position. The citizens need to trust the leadership and the word of the Mayor." 

 "Full time" .  "Word of the mayor"  "Represents and answers to the people"  Fields nails it.  

The Mayor needs to take notice and be more open and representative for the people. His silence is deafening. Thank you Mr. Fields.  

Opinion by Bob Yoder 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Parents/Community Members Needed for LWSD High School Math Adoption Committee

High school math curriculum under review

Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District reviews its curricula on a planned ten-year cycle. Each year several different curriculum committees may be at work. The district’s goal is to provide up-to-date, research-based, appropriate materials to help children learn.

Committees of people with teaching and subject matter expertise help meet this goal. Diverse perspectives and experiences are represented. Teachers, administrators and parents serve on the committees.

This year, an adoption committee will review the 9-12 math curriculum. The district seeks parents/community members to serve on this committee.  Read More >>

Friday, October 2, 2015

UPDATED OPINION: The Downtown Park is diminished by lack of parking

The City of Redmond's "Focus" magazine was recently mailed and featured a two page piece on the Downtown Park.  In it they state:  "The Downtown Park will be a highly visible gathering spot for our entire community".  They failed to mention that there is very limited parking near the Downtown Park so it will be impossible for the ENTIRE COMMUNITY to use it.

This park costs $37,000,000 and it will be used almost entirely by the tenants nearby, not the community at large.  Even Councilmember Richard Cole once said that the Downtown Park was intended for the downtown residents and not the neighborhoods.

As I recall, Steve Feilds told me the Park was designed by very expensive planners from outside our city; and if he were to have it his way he would use city planners, not outsiders.  Also very few of the downtown residents were engaged in the design.  Fields would engage the greater community.

But it is what it is...

By Bob Yoder

Still time to provide input on LWSD facilities long-term strategies

Town Hall on October 7, survey closes October 11

Redmond, Wash. – Parents and community members can still help shape the long-term strategies around school buildings for Lake Washington School District. There are two final opportunities to provide input into the recommendations of the Long-Term Facilities Task Force. The Task Force has held four community meetings and members have attended many PTSA meetings to provide information and get feedback on their draft recommendations.
Community members can participate in a Task Force Town Hall on Wednesday, October 7, at Rose Hill Middle School from 6-8:30 p.m. From 6-7:30 p.m., attendees can review and learn more about the recommendations, then join small discussion groups with task force members. From 7:30 on, task force members will host a Town Hall session, listening to and fielding questions from the audience.
                An online open house  provides information on all of the draft recommendations. A survey on that site is open through October 11.
                Districtwide, enrollment is predicted to increase to more than 30,000 students by 2021-22. That is over 5,000 more students than district schools were built to serve. There is little space left in current school buildings, some of which need to be renovated or replaced due to their age and building conditions.
                The recommendations address classroom capacity issues, cost reduction, efficient use of space and other issues. They also recommend specific projects to be undertaken in the future. Some of the major recommendations concerned capacity, aging facilities and funding.
                The Task Force will review the input collected through these different methods, then meet to determine any potential revisions to the recommendations. They plan to share final recommendations with the school board in November.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Eric Lalibrete: "Why I'm Running for the LWSD school board"

As a member of the LWSD Facilities Task Force, which is responsible for developing a plan for future school construction and optimizing the use of existing buildings, I have learned the importance of engaging stakeholders, and that community-generated planning is more effective than decisions made at the top without consultation.
I want to serve on the Lake Washington School Board to continue fighting for more community engagement and innovative approaches to education.  
As a member of the School Board, I will work collaboratively with teachers and the community to make sure our students are prepared for tomorrow’s jobs and can tackle tomorrow’s problems.  I will take three immediate, practical steps to address school design and ensure our children’s learning is not outdated:
(1) Implement cost-effective design policies to improve education and prevent future capacity problems.
(2) Increase opportunities for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs needed to train for jobs of the future.
(3) Improve technology support for teachers, giving them new digital tools for students to practice problem solving and collaboration skills within a real world context.
I have the background and enthusiasm to provide new leadership our District needs.  I appreciate your vote!


My wife and I are life-long Eastside residents, currently residing in the Juanita neighborhood of Kirkland.  
After graduating from the area's public schools, I attended the University of Washington School of Law and earned a J.D., M.B.A and Bachelors in Economics.  I am now an attorney at the Seattle law firm of Keller Rohrback L.L.P, practicing commercial and real estate litigation.
I am also committed to public service.  I am the Chair of the Kirkland Planning Commission.  And I also serve on the Lake Washington School District's Long Term Facilities Planning Task Force and Working Subcommittee.
I am passionate about education and believe that I have the private sector and community service experience needed to address the District's challenges and to plan for the future.

Eric Lalibrete is challenging President Jackie Pendergrass

Who's running in the LWSD elections?

No challengers filed in the District 5 race, and Bliesner is running unopposed. The other two incumbents face one challenger each. Eric Laliberte is vying for the District 1 seat against incumbent Pendergrass, while Rob Tepper challenges District 2 incumbent Carlson.[1]

The PTSA Council and Dickinson PTSA will hold a forum for school board candidates. It is scheduled for Thursday, October 15th from 7:00 to 8:30 at Redmond High Performing Arts Center.  Unfortunately, Jackie Pendergrass is unable to attend and a PTA volunteer will present prepared responses.  

Learn more about the November 3 election process and school district HERE.

Reported by Bob Yoder

Q&A with Councilmember David Carson

By Paige Norman, Paige's Prattle

Hi, David.  I’m going to feature some posts on my blog about the council members that are running for re-election/election this fall and I wondered if you’d take some time to answer some questions for me?
  • Why are you running for Redmond City Council?
I’m am running for another term on the Redmond City Council because while I think we’ve made great strides in making local government more accountable and responsive to the needs of the citizens that fund it, but there is still a substantial amount of work left to be done. I think it really takes at least one term to get the lay of the land and during a second term, you really have done the necessary learning to be effective, so it’s the third term where you can really leverage all of the knowledge and experience on council to get things done.
  • What do you think the main obligations of Council members are?
In my view, the main obligation of council members is to listen to residents and get them a fair shake if they’ve got an issue with City Hall and to be as involved in the community as possible.
  • What will you bring to the council position?
Even though I’m now work{ing} in the technology sector, I bring a former business owner point of view to the council that isn’t otherwise represented. As a business owner, I’ve had problems that were exacerbated by various levels of government, so I know how jumping through fiery hoops can feel.
  • How will you stay connected with the people in the City of Redmond?
My work with the Redmond Kiwanis as well as neighbors and friends who I keep in touch with. My employer is also based in Redmond, so keeping in touch with businesses (including patronizing small businesses in Redmond) is certainly something that I strive to do.
  • What projects are you excited about?
I’m excited about the continuing efforts at Redmond City Hall to streamline processes so that when you come to get a permit or otherwise have city business, you can expect a professional and expedited response rather than being afraid of how much time and money you’ll have to spend to get what you need. I’m also excited about the work being done to expand our Parks and Recreation offerings as well as arts and culture initiatives. I’m excited about the completion of the Downtown Park in the next few years as well as other projects related to increasing our availability of developed park land. Read More >>

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Q&A with Councilmember Hank Myers

By Paige Norman, Paige's Prattle

In May I sent a list of several questions to each of the council members whose positions were going to be on the November ballot.  Councilman Myers responded to my questions; his answers are listed below.  Questions are in boldface; responses in italics:

  • Why are you running for Redmond City Council? 
Typically new Council members are learning the ropes in their first term, and then establish their interests and added expertise in the second.  Things were a little slower for me as I am more fiscally conservative than the majority of members, but I have pursued interests in the environment and job creation and innovation. 
  • What do you think the main obligations of Council members are?
The main obligations include crafting a budget every two years, reviewing proposals made for the Council by the administration, and advocating for residents’ interests.
  • What will you bring to the council position?
Eight years of experience primarily, 44 years as a transportation economist, a similar amount of time in government regulation and legislative functions.  Most of all, I bring an interest in improving Redmond and staying connected with the public.
  • How will you stay connected with the people in the City of Redmond?
Mostly, I participate in a lot of city volunteer events such as Green Redmond, Redmond Senior Center, Redmond Parks improvement, OneRedmond, Redmond Business Showcase, Lake Washington Schools events, the WRIA-8 Salmon Recovery Council, the Together Center and VALA.  People do email me or call me as well.  I believe I am responsive to those contacts.
  • What projects are you excited about?
I am looking forward to creating a Senior Shuttle, building the downtown park, improving salmon habitat, and creating a vibrant, dense downtown.  Read More >>

Monday, September 28, 2015

Welcoming the Small Business Development Center at OneRedmond

OneRedmond is proud to announce the new addition to our office in support of Redmond’s small businesses! We would like to introduce Don Yates, Business Advisor, from the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC officially has an office in OneRedmond.  OneRedmond knows the importance of providing services for all businesses of Redmond especially small businesses.  Read More >>

Redmond Reporter: Marchione, Fields to meet in Oct. 14 debate

Redmond Mayor John Marchione and challenger Steve Fields will meet in a debate at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at Emerald Heights Retirement Community, 10901 176th Circle N.E.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and shuttle service will begin at 6:15 p.m. from Redmond High School, 17272 N.E. 104th St.
Members of the League of Women Voters will moderate the event and will gather questions on city issues from attendees at the door.
King County Elections will mail ballots Oct. 13 and election day is Nov. 3.
The Redmond Reporter, 9/28/2015

Candidate Forums

 I just found out that two neighborhood associations in Kirkland are holding a Candidate Forum for their City Council Candidates. Also, the LWSD PTSA is tentatively holding a Candidate Forum for their school board candidates. WOULDN'T IT BE NICE IF "REDMOND ONE" OR SOME OTHER ORGANIZATION IN REDMOND WOULD HOLD A CANDIDATE FORUM FOR OUR MAYORAL RACE?

Opinion by Bob Yoder

Steve Fields is now available for drop-in conversations

Get to know Steve Fields:
Steve is available for drop-in conversations on Mondays from 10 to 11 AM at Victor’s Celtic Coffee, located at 7993 Gilman St., Redmond, WA 98052, and Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 to 11 AM at his coffee shop, Down Pour Coffee Bar, located at 13200 Old Redmond Road #150, Redmond, WA 98052. Please feel free to stop by to ask any questions, discuss issues, or share any concerns you may have from now until November 3rd! 
Reported by Bob Yoder

PTSA plans a school board Candidate Forum at Redmond High

The PTSA Council and Dickinson PTSA will hold a forum for school board candidates. It is scheduled for Thrusday, October 15 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Redmond High Performing Arts Center.

Reported by Bob Yoder

Lake Washington School District honored as Champion of Sustainability

McKinstry, a full-service, design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) firm that specializes in energy and facility services, announced that Lake Washington School District (LWSD) will be honored as a Champion of Sustainability during the Sept. 27 Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field. 
In partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, the annual Champions of Sustainability program recognizes one organization during regular-season home games that exhibits a forward-looking approach to innovative energy and waste reduction  Read More >>

City of Redmond releases videos of Steve Fields and John Marchione

The City of Redmond recently released video tapes of Steve Fields and John Marchione explaining why they are running for election, their qualifications and their vision.  Each video takes about 5 minutes to view and is an excellent way to see these candidates express themselves.

To view the videos, click here:

Reported by Bob Yoder

Redmond Reporter: Redmond Ready: City offers emergency preparedness training

City of Redmond - Courtesy Graphic
City of Redmond
— Image Credit: Courtesy Graphic
In the case of an emergency, the protocol is to call 911.
It usually takes first responders 4-6 minutes to arrive on the scene of an emergency, but Janeen Olson said in the case of a disaster such as a major earthquake, first responders may not even be able to get to the scene as they could be responding to a more serious situation somewhere else in town or their route may be blocked.
Olson, police programming coordinator for the Redmond Police Department, said depending on the scale of the disaster, it could take anywhere from a few hours to several days — or longer — before emergency services can respond to everyone.
Because of this, she said it is important for people to be prepared if this happens.
To help Redmond residents and businesses with this, the city’s Office of Emergency Management(OEM) offers various training opportunities that people can take part in to learn what to do in the case of a disaster.  Read More >>

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fire Department hosts several open houses to celebrate Fire Prevention Week

Redmond, WA – Redmond Fire Department and King County Fire District 34 are partnering together to host several open houses at local fire stations throughout Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention Week is a national campaign and this year’s theme is to promote "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”  Read More>>

Sunday, September 20, 2015

LETTER: Q&A with Steve Fields -- The Specifics of his campaign

By Brian Hansford

I recently met Steve Fields, candidate for Redmond Mayor. Redmond is at a pivotal point that needs strategic leadership, management skills, and community engagement. I’m not a fan of voting for a candidate “for the sake of change” and I asked Steve some direct questions on 5 issues important to me. Steve took the time answer my 5 questions in great detail. This is important to share because I think it helps provide information to making voting decisions beyond griping. I encourage Redmond citizens to spend five minutes to read this to help you make an informed voting decision.
Based on Steve’s responses to my questions I have decided to support and vote for him as the next Mayor of Redmond.
Here is my Question and Answer with Steve Fields:
  1. What would you have done differently, if anything, with the approach taken on the two recent failed tax propositions? My understanding is the original public safety levy is expiring. Renewing makes sense - if the money isn't already there. Does the City only ask for money when a perceived ‘crisis’ comes up like an expired tax levy?

Before I answer the basic question of what I would have done differently I would like to clarify a couple of things.
•       There was no expiration of the 2007 Public Safety Levy. The language in the 2015 Levy proposal that was defeated in August states that Council had voted to continue that funding. I think there was confusion on that by voters.
•       The city can ask for new revenue sources based on a number of issues and not necessarily just a crisis. It could be to add or expand services or to cover unmet costs for existing services. I think part of the confusion on this levy is it was presented as both. People were confused.
I would have worked to avoid the need for a tax increase in the first place. There were many poor decisions such as the revision on 166th and the downtown park, and other poorly planned projects that should have not been approved ahead of the basic services included in the levy. Also, I am very confident under my leadership the City will find real cost efficiencies and determine more optimal levels of budget on services. This is what I do best.
The request for a new tax increase should always be very clear and supported by convincing information. The need for increased taxes should be compelling and the impacts of voting yes or no should be clearly understood by voters. The city leadership should be prepared with alternatives and let citizens know what changes will be made if a proposed tax levy is rejected. For example, what will the city do to mitigate the impact of not having the money for the proposed property crime and outreach officers? This should have had already been planned for by the Mayor.

2. Growth Management - how would you approach managing the growth that Redmond is experiencing? Buildings will be built, especially if permits have been approved and issued. Is there really anything to make this growing process less painful?
The City of Redmond does not have a Citywide Strategic Plan that is based on community engagement. You can only manage something as complicated as city building if you have a plan that everyone understands - Especially the people who live here. The city needs a strategic framework that the citizens participate in developing. This framework begins with values tied to the concept of the human scale. Or how will the end state feel, look, and taste to people.
  • Does it feel safe? Are people excited and proud of how it looks? (I.e. Design Standards for new buildings like condos.)
  • Does it accommodate all forms of mobility? (Transit, Bikes, Cars, Walking)
  • Is there a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and business that reflect our character and community identity? (And do small businesses feel confident in coming here)
  • Are there public green spaces and other public land to balance private businesses and residences?
  • Are we ensuring that the eco-system is not being degraded and threatened?
  • Is it laid out so that walking or bicycling makes sense to most people?
  • Adequate Parking, transit, or ways around the city to avoid coming downtown are included in the planning?
All of these things are examples of what we would include in a strategic framework, a way to measure progress, and manage step by step.
A narrow vision will result in a bad plan. Without community values and support from citizens planning is futile. From the UN Guidelines on City Planning “Plans conceived exclusively by technical experts, in isolation; plans using imported approaches that are not adapted to local conditions; and plans based on mechanical and detached assessments may be irrelevant” I would designate a specific group with responsibilities for strategic coordination and inter-departmental cooperation.
3. What can be done to manage traffic? More people in more apartments and condos mean more cars.
This is the difficult one. The elephant in the room of course is what you said in your question. That is, are we growing past our capacity to handle the impact on traffic and congestion? This problem is the poster child for my view that we need to have a detailed Citywide Strategic Plan. That plan would include quality of life objectives and measures that would demonstrate the tipping point from acceptable to unacceptable. I believe the City method to measure growth impact on traffic is outdated. Right now the city looks at each individual project to measure impact on transit. We need to have more proactive methods and out year analysis that tell us when we are not ready or in a position to build more residences. This would be a first priority for me to evaluate. I have ideas but this requires some very skilled people to look at. We need to talk with other cities that have done this well as well as the cities that have done this poorly.  A number of things that could be looked at and these are some of my ideas only:
  • A limited city transit system or shuttle system.
  • Find ways to negotiate more transit service from regional services such as metro and sound transit.
  • Placing limited small shops and stores in neighborhood locations to limit traffic downtown.
  • Look at where roads that bypass downtown could decrease congestion.
  • Look at how the city is spatially constructed and find ways to make typical trips more convenient or less spread out. Right now our downtown area is fragmented. (Does anyone know where the heart of downtown actually is?)
  • And the elephant in the room. We need to consider how to manage the rate of growth.

4. Do you support the impending change of the downtown one way streets to two-way? Personally I think it will be a complete goat rodeo with fewer lanes for more cars to go through.
Support it or not it is absolutely crazy that this was not done BEFORE we built all the new buildings and businesses. But no I don’t support it. Because it is too late to make it make sense. It will reduce parking. It will reduce bicycling. And it will add to the feeling of cramped and unsafe. And it has limited value to the businesses downtown. However I would make this a citizen outreach priority to be certain that the benefits of either changing it or keeping it the same are well understood.
5. Citizen Engagement - how would you engage citizens differently?
This is the heart of what will put our city back on the right track. Many people in our city have lost trust in our government - And for good reasons. As one person recently put it “City Hall has its own agenda and if a citizen voices a concern, then the blow-back attitude is basically ‘we know what's best for you now go away and let us do our thing’".  Not only have I heard this from many other citizen sources, I have also had confirmation about this attitude from a source inside City Hall. It's a real thing.”
It begins at the leadership level. It is a matter of leadership values. I know that talking with people broadens my understanding. Proactive engagement between the government and the citizens is at the heart of a democratic society. It is how we negotiate living together. I would include monthly outreach where along with key staff and department heads would meet with community groups and citizens in their neighborhoods. I would make community engagement and service a major improvement initiative for all city staff. I would empower city staff by encouraging innovation and clear roles. This is a shift in city culture based on values. I would make it easier and meaningful for people to be involved.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

LETTER: Musings on Mayor Marchione and his approach to developing the Downtown

Dear Editor:

As a resident and small business owner in Redmond I want to add my strong support and endorsement of Steve Fields for Mayor of Redmond. Steve’s solid work history shows that he has the right experience for the job. More importantly, he is not only attentive to the concerns of citizens, he actually understands those concerns. When I saw that Steve Fields was running I contacted him via email even though we had never met. He responded to me very quickly and actually asked to meet with me one on one to discuss the issues the city faces. The fact that he actually listens is a welcome relief and that alone makes him one of the most refreshing candidates for any office that I have ever met.

In contrast, the current mayor only seems interested in the feedback of the residents and business owners whose views directly align with his. He uses the fancy buzz phrase that “development should pay for development,” yet development has not paid for development, hence the need for levies to pay for amenities that attract and enrich out-of-town developers.  Read More>>