Sunday, July 21, 2019

OPINION: Steve Fields' management and leadership style sets him apart.

In Redmond's  "Strong Mayor" form of government our mayor wears three different hats.  He is 1) one of eight elected officials, 2) the CEO, and 3) the Chief of Staff. 

A good leader is trusted and respected by his employees.  I've known Steve for years and watch city council meetings religiously. Steve is a good listener and as Chief of Staff will guide well. He will hire the right people. Steve gives encouragement and the tools staff needs to grow in their careers and to give tax-payers their best. 

Primed to excel as CEO, Steve is the only candidate who has led teams of people preparing large government budgets. As mayor, Steve will manage our city finances with integrity and accountability. He's completed multi-million dollar negotiations and led teams of people that improved operations. As CEO Steve will take the bull by the horns; and does Redmond have Big Horns. A CEO is assertive, - not laid back - and doesn't need to be popular with a long list of elite endorsements from people who don't live here and can't vote. Steve isn't bigger than life. He's grounded. 

As reported in a recent Seattle Times article Steve believes "Our residents are the best city planners. We need to listen to them." Steve's likable. He's the best candidate to take the rudder and guide the organization, both locally and regionally. Career experience has brought him toe-to-toe with Seattle and King County officials. Steve's connected. With engagement from the neighborhoods he will plan and manage the city to prevent what we've experienced with the downtown park and two-way street conversion. However, he does support the festivities there and would like to find ways to make the park more interesting and attractive for all residents. 

As an elected official our mayor has the enormous responsibility of writing the preliminary budget to prioritize how our tax dollars will be spent.  He gives vital budgetary input to the seven council officials we elect. Steve says in his brochure "We should not further delay the sustainability program that was funded in last year's budget. Protecting our environment, our health and out future is my highest priority."  He wants to make our city more affordable for people who call Redmond home and for small businesses -- like he and his wife's coffee shop. 

Our traditional small business simply can't afford the low-level, mixed-use boxed rental buildings. They are being driven out of our city just as workers are being driven out to find affordable housing.  Steve wants to change this by navigating through government red tape to provide innovative housing options and tax incentives for our small businesses. As for mobility, Steve will move the downtown light rail station forward, encourage "smart technology" programs to help us cope with our frustrating traffic, the parking problem, and smarter and safer bike lanes.    

I'm a 41 year resident and have spoken with and listened to the candidates on many occasions. In my opinion, Steve's management and leadership style is what separates him from the others. For all the right reasons, please join me in voting for Steve Fields on August 6th!  

-- Bob Yoder

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