Candidate filings set up one City Council race

June 4, 2015

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. Read more

City Council election starts to take shape

April 30, 2015

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.” Read more

Editorial — Get ready for elections

April 30, 2015

If you’ve been thinking about taking on an important leadership role within the city of Newcastle, the time has come to take the next step. Candidates must file for election by May 15.

The terms for four Newcastle City Council positions are set to expire at the end of the year — council position No. 1 (Lisa Jensen), council position No. 2 (Carol Simpson), council position No. 3 (Steve Buri) and council position No. 4 (Gordon Bisset).

Simpson and Bisset already announced they would file for re-election, while Jensen said she will not and Buri is still undecided.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Community Activities commissioners Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval and as well as Planning Commissioner Allen Dauterman announced they will run for a City Council spot. Read more

Letter to the editor

April 30, 2015

Dear Newcastle voters,

Thank you. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent you for two terms on the Newcastle City Council. I will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming election.

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. In the past eight years, we have made the necessary changes to the 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.

New perspectives and varied experiences on a council can make government better. I hope an open seat will encourage more people to run for office. My public service will continue as a trustee at Harborview Medical Center and on the UW Medicine/Valley Medical Center board. Read more

Letter

March 5, 2015

Building purchase shouldn’t be an issue

The Newcastle City Council recently voted to purchase a maintenance and storage building from the Coal Creek Utility District. In exchange for receiving a discounted price, the city agreed to a 10-year moratorium on the potential assumption of direct responsibility for water and sewer services.

Several current and former members of the City Council have registered vocal objections. They argue that the agreement is (a) illegal because it encumbers future councils, (b) unwise because it takes a reasonable option off the table and (c) it’s an unnecessary expense.

Limitations on future council action are neither illegal nor unusual. The city occupies office space under a long-term lease. Commitments to purchase and maintain our parks and to upgrade Coal Creek Parkway affected budgets over several years. Any issuance of municipal bonds requires repayment over an extended period. And the city attorney (an actual lawyer) approved the purchase. Read more

Local issues, national candidates in Nov. 4 general election

October 30, 2014

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Oct. 30, 2014

The Nov. 4 general election has several incumbent legislators, both national and local, up for re-election.

The ballot also features initiatives seeking voter input on the future of K-12 classroom size and the enforcement of background checks for gun purchasers.

Here’s a quick look at the candidates and initiatives. Learn more by reading the complete voters’ guide online.

Read more

Issaquah schools levies pass handily

March 5, 2014

Three Issaquah School District levy proposals passed with flying colors, according to elections results.

Issaquah’s three measures were way above the 50-percent mark needed for approval.

The district’s four-year, $198 million maintenance and operations levy passed with 69 percent approval. The measure, labeled as renewal of the current M&O levy, pays for teacher salaries and classroom-related costs not covered by the state.

Read more

County voters to decide on tax, fee hikes for roads, buses

March 5, 2014

King County voters will decide in April on a $60 car-tab fee and a tenth-of-a-cent sales-tax increase for roads and buses.

On Feb. 24, the Metropolitan King County Council also passed a 25-cent fare increase for bus riders starting in 2015. Peak one-zone fares are $2.50 now, and peak-two-zone fares are $3.

The increases make up a funding package county officials pulled together to save King County Metro Transit from threatened service cuts of as much as 17 percent. County leaders hoped the state Legislature would act to save the bus system, but it didn’t.

The ballot measure would raise $130 million per year, $50 million of which would go to cities around the county to fix their streets. The rest would go toward restoring Metro service and fixing county-maintained roads.

Read more