City Council election starts to take shape

April 30, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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The Newcastle City Council will have at least one new face in 2016.

City Councilwoman Lisa Jensen announced April 23 that she will not file for re-election this spring, guaranteeing that there will be one open seat during November’s election. Three other council members could be challenged as well.

“I first ran for office because the city budget was out of control and a majority on the council had lost touch with the people they represented,” Jensen wrote in a letter to the editor.

“In the last eight years we have made the necessary changes to budget in a way that allows us to live within our means. We also have a city manager and staff that make customer service a priority and recognize everyone at City Hall is there to serve the community.”

Jensen was first elected to the Newcastle City Council in 2007, and then re-elected in 2011. She served as the city’s deputy mayor for a two-year term beginning in 2012.

In addition to Jensen, Mayor Steve Buri, Councilman Gordon Bisset and Councilwoman Carol Simpson will see their terms expire at the end of the year. Bisset and Simpson announced they will file for re-election, while Buri said he is currently undecided.

“I’m still weighing the options with my family,” Buri said. “I love being on the council and there are some big issues that I want to be a part of, but family considerations are always the most important.”

Buri was elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011. He served as deputy mayor for a term starting in 2008, and has served as mayor since the beginning of 2014.

Simpson announced her plans to file for re-election April 23. She was first elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011.

Simpson said she decided to run in order to fulfill her goals “to add patrol officers for increased public safety, maintain a balanced budget and expand citizen involvement in city government.”

Bisset said he, too, intends to file for re-election. He was first elected to the Newcastle City Council in 2001. He served on the council from 2002 to 2005, before taking a break. He was elected to the council again in 2011.

“One of the main things that has always been a priority for me is living within our income, and it’s going to be a real challenge as we move forward,” he said. “I’ll insist that we keep Newcastle’s budget balanced by spending within our means without new taxes.”

As of press time, three Newcastle residents have declared their intentions to file for a seat on the council. Community Activities commissioners Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval, as well as Planning Commissioner Allen Dauterman will each run for a council spot.

Newing joined the city’s Community Activities Commission in 2013 and currently serves as its vice chairwoman. She has lived in Newcastle since 2004 and works in municipal government.

“Newcastle has a tremendous amount of potential,” she said in a statement. “Ranked by Money magazine as one of America’s top small towns in 2013, it is my hope I can play a key role in creating local and regional partnerships that will bring thriving businesses and activities to our city.”

Sandoval is a relative newcomer to the city’s Community Activities Commission, having joined at the end of 2014. She has lived in Newcastle for a year and a half and currently works as a real estate agent.

“More than 20 years after its incorporation, Newcastle and the people that call it home continue to change and grow in so many ways,” she said in a statement. “I’m running for City Council because I believe my voice can bring a fresh new perspective to the city to match the ever-evolving face of its growing population.”

Dauterman has served on the city’s seven-person Planning Commission since 2010, and is currently the board’s chairman. He has lived in Newcastle for eight years and has 30 years of experience in the architecture field.

He said he decided to run for City Council after seeing “how our city code can allow our Community Business Center to be overly developed with urban scale densities.”

“I have voiced my concern about this issue since I first joined the Planning Commission,” he said in a statement. “Now, I would like to have a more active role in helping shape the city’s future growth by being a voice that supports reasonable growth that aligns with the vision established when the city was founded.”

Newcastle City Council members receive a $500-a-month salary for their services. The mayor, however, earns $600 per month.

Prospective candidates can file in-person at the King County Elections Office in Renton or online beginning May 11 until May 15. The deadline to withdraw is May 18.

Learn more about filing for the upcoming election at

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