Councilman Sonny Putter to retire

April 11, 2011

By Tim Pfarr

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UPDATED — 4:10 p.m. April 13, 2011

Councilman Sonny Putter announced April 11 that he will not seek re-election this year, ending his 17-year stay on the City Council.

Sonny Putter

Putter was elected to the council in 1994, and he was re-elected in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007. He also served as mayor from 2000-2001. Putter sits in Position 4 on the council.

Putter said he decided not to run for re-election based on the direction the council is taking the city.

“We’ve got a less collegial, more corrosive atmosphere on the City Council,” he said. “Going forward, I didn’t think I could make a difference.”

He cited specific concerns with the stance the council has taken with respect to the city’s downtown area, as it directed the Planning Commission to explore changes to development codes without altering the comprehensive plan or the community business center plan, which detail the long-term vision for the city.

However, Putter announced the news in an email, acknowledging the progress the city has made since its 1994 incorporation.

“Newcastle is now ‘on the map,’” he wrote. “We have become a highly desirable place to live, all the while maintaining the green canopy of parks and open spaces that characterizes our community.

“Newcastle residents feel a sense of place, a sense of belonging to a real community of neighbors. Now, when we tell people that we live in Newcastle, they often respond, ‘Oh, you live in Newcastle,’ with eyebrows raised in admiration.”

Regionally, Putter is one of the city’s two representatives in the Eastside Transportation Partnership, of which he is vice chair. He was also elected to serve as chair of the Suburban Cities Association’s Public Issues Committee in 2011.

Putter is Newcastle’s representative on the Eastside Corridor Tolling Study Executive Advisory Group, and he was a member of the I-405 Corridor Program Executive Committee.

In addition, he serves as a member of the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Executive Board and on the Metropolitan King County Regional Policy Committee. He previously served as a member of the Metropolitan King County Regional Water Quality Committee, the Regional Transit Committee and the King County Jail Advisory Committee.

Furthermore, from 2002-2004, Putter was co-chair of the Suburban Cities Intercity Cooperation Policy Board and a member of the organization’s executive committee, according to the Newcastle city website. In 2005, he was elected vice chair of the Suburban Cities Association’s Public Issues Committee.

* Councilwoman Carol Simpson filed paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission April 2, which is often a precursor to running for re-election.

* This story contains corrected information.

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