I am privileged to have served on the Kirkland City Council for eight years, the last four as deputy mayor. Some of the accomplishments I am most proud of are co-founding the Eastside Human Services Forum, the acquisition of new parks for Kirkland, preservation of affordable housing and support for teen and senior services.
I have lived in Kirkland for 45 years, have three wonderful children and am semi-retired. I attended Kirkland schools and graduated from The Evergreen State College. I am on the board of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Feet First and PTSA co-vice president at Lake Washington High School (my alma mater!).
I am running for my third term of office because I have work left to do in service to our community. As an eight-year veteran on the council, I have the breadth of experience to make decisions that are rooted in our history. I have four goals for next year:
1. Ensure fully accessible and financially accountable city government.
2. Improve pedestrian and bike safety.
3. Enhance environmental stewardship of our urban forested areas.
4We, along with neighboring communities, are mandated to take our fair share of growth. The good news is that we are within our growth targets. We must respect our vision statement that states Kirkland is "a community with a small town feel, retaining its sense of history while adjusting gracefully to change(s)." Growth must be managed to respect our traditional neighborhoods, it should be environmentally sensitive and of low impact. We have a 'designated growth center' - Totem Lake - and that is where we want to focus our attention on new housing and retail.
I certainly understand the annexation areas wanting to be incorporated into Kirkland. Recently, the city completed an analysis of the impact the annexation areas would have on Kirkland. Basically, the annexation areas of Finn Hill, Juanita and Kingsgate can't pay their way. To provide a Kirkland level of service to these areas would require an extra $5 million a year. Unless and until we can solve the funding problems we cannot annex. We are looking to develop some new tools through the state legislature. The solutions, if they can be developed, are years in the future.
I think the most important issue facing Kirkland at this time is public safety. We are a safe and healthy community. We have the best police and fire departments in the region, but we are understaffed. Because of recent state initiatives we don't have as many options to raise the money needed to increase, even minimally, our public safety personnel. That is why we are looking now, before there is any erosion in our level of public safety service, to find the mechanisms to add police and fire staffing.