Candidate filings set up one City Council race

June 4, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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The 2015 general election ballot will tell a different story, but there’s really only one contested Newcastle City Council race.

Community Activities commissioners Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval will face off for council Position No. 1, currently held by Councilwoman Lisa Jensen, who announced she would not file for re-election.

But only Planning Commissioner Allen Dauterman will actively run for Position No. 3, despite the fact that Rob Lemmon’s name will appear alongside his.

Lemmon, a former planning commissioner who resigned in December, said “logistical issues” prevented a successful attempt to withdraw his name from the race. He filed to withdraw before King County Elections’ deadline, though, he said.

“I am not a candidate for the Newcastle City Council,” Lemmon said. “During the process of filing, potential work commitments came to light. New things came up and I had to reconsider it.”

That means Dauterman, the Planning Commission’s chairman, will run unopposed to fill the seat that Mayor Steve Buri is ready to vacate.

Buri announced May 11 that he would not seek re-election.

“After careful consideration with my family, I have decided not to seek re-election to the Newcastle City Council,” he said in a statement. “As our kids have grown, so, too, have the demands on our family schedule.

“Though I am disappointed that I will not have a voice in some of the major issues facing the city in the years ahead, I am encouraged by the quality of candidates who have expressed an intention to run. Regardless of the outcome of the election this fall, our residents will be well represented.”

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.

Dauterman has served on the city’s seven-person Planning Commission since 2010. 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.”

Newing and Sandoval will compete to replace Jensen, who was first elected to the Newcastle City Council in 2007.

Jensen was re-elected in 2011 and served as the city’s deputy mayor for a two-year term beginning in 2012.

“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.”

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 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.”

The terms of Positions No. 2 and 4 are also set to expire at the end of the year. Incumbents Gordon Bisset and Carol Simpson announced they will both run to keep their seats. Neither council member drew a challenger.

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

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