- What issues do you feel strongly about?
- Are you qualified for the position?
- Most candidates mention community engagement as a priority. Why are you different?
- Are you one of those NIMBY nay sayers? Do you want to stop development and move it elsewhere?
While our city management has achieved great progress in some areas, we could certainly improve in others, specifically
- Balance the investments in Downtown and Overlake with the infrastructure needs of other neighborhoods
- Work towards responsible budgeting that would allow financing such capital investments as community pool without bonds
- Include the residents in land use development planning so that the new developments serve the whole community
- Support small local business through the rapid urban growth
Many of us in Redmond feel that way, and as your Councilmember, I shall make sure that these issues are made a priority for our city in the near future.
In the last three years I have been closely involved in different aspects of land use planning in our city (due to pending project in our neighborhood) and have spoken with multiple residents, and am well aware of the city processes and the citizens expectations. And as a fellow Redmond resident with a young family, I share same concerns as many of you and would like to serve our community.
The residents of our neighborhood had multiple communications with the city bodies in the last few years, related to traffic, safety and proposed land use projects in the area. For my part, I had a chance to navigate multiple city processes that ought to empower the residents, and yet in many cases fall short of the declared goals. For example, as of today, land use application notices are sent to the residents within 500' of the project and that regardless of project scale. So many become aware of the project when it is already approved and the building starts.
There are ways to truly engage the community, that are working in the cities around us. These may include focus groups and targeted reviews of comprehensive plan goals, reviving the "neighborhood coordinator" role at the city, providing support to the residents groups.
For most home owners (myself included), our home is one of our biggest investments. Each of us pay taxes to finance local government, infrastructure and schools. So naturally we care what happens in our backyard, and I expect the city to serve all of its citizens, the residents, apartment complex landlords and the developers alike.
I do not advocate stopping the development in Downtown or Overlake and turning it back to farming land, but I do believe that there are multitude of options. Current mix of rental apartment buildings and hotels in Downtown is not the only choice.
Mixed use buildings with space for local businesses, and "gentle" density solutions such as low rise apartments/condos, duplexes and townhomes may increase density without danger of immediate overbuilding and associated strain on the infrastructure, and build cohesive communities invested in our city.