Candidate filings set up two council races

May 20, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. May 20, 2015

Current and former commissioners from both the Planning and Community Activities commissions will go head-to-head in this fall’s Newcastle City Council election.

Community Activities Commissioners Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval both filed to run for council Position No. 1, currently held by Councilwoman Lisa Jensen who announced she would not file for re-election.

Current Planning Commissioner Allen Dauterman and Rob Lemmon, a former commissioner who resigned in December, both filed for Position No. 3. Mayor Steve Buri announced earlier that he would not file to retain his seat.

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. 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

Candidate workshops set for April 24-25

April 15, 2015

NEW — 10:55 a.m. April 15, 2015

Election season is right around the corner, and the King County Elections Office wants to help citizens get the most out of their candidacies.

King County Elections is hosting two free candidate workshops April 24 and 25. The two-hour sessions cover the ins-and-outs of becoming a candidate for public office, including important filing deadlines, campaign sign regulations and basic public disclosure information.

Both the April 24 (2-4 p.m.) and April 25 (10 a.m. to noon) workshops are held at the King County Elections Office, 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton. RSVP by email to election.operations@kingcounty.gov. Workshops will be cancelled if enrollment is low.

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). Read more

Coal Creek Utility District approves building sale

March 5, 2015

Coal Creek Utility District commissioners unanimously approved a deal Feb. 25 to sell its former operations building to the city of Newcastle.

Under the terms of the agreement, the city will pay the district $250,000 for the 129th Avenue Southeast building appraised at about $740,000. In addition, the city will agree not to assume the utility for the next 10 years.

The deal has been surrounded by controversy since the Newcastle City Council first approved it in a 4-3 vote Sept. 16. Council members approved it again, by the same vote, Jan. 20.

CCUD Commissioners Pam Martin, Ric Anderson and Doug Kunkel approved the deal after holding a required public hearing on the subject Feb. 11. Read more

Editorial — It’s your city; get involved in decisions

March 5, 2015

Sue Stronk. Larry Johnson. Jessaca Jacobson. Sonny Putter.

With the exception of the last name, you’ve likely never heard of these people. But make no mistake, the Newcastle City Council knows who they are, at least they should.

They are examples of just a few Newcastle residents who have come to at least one council meeting in the past year to voice their opinions.

They are, essentially, examples of democracy in action, a far too rare scene witnessed in the perpetually empty Newcastle council chambers. 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

RSD development agreement, Newcastle 2035 on Feb. 17 council agenda

February 14, 2015

NEW — 12:45 p.m. Feb. 14, 2015

The Newcastle City Council will hold its second meeting of the month Feb. 17.

There are only two items listed under the evening’s general business, but both are vital components to the city’s future.

First, the council will consider a development agreement with the Renton School District pertaining to construction of the new middle school.

The agreement proposes relief to the 30-feet height restriction in that particular zoning area. It would allow the district to construct the school building to a maximum of 45-feet, if approved. Read more

City Council to hold annual retreat Saturday

February 12, 2015

NEW — 2:45 p.m. Feb. 12, 2015

The Newcastle City Council will hold its annual goal-setting retreat on Valentine’s Day.

A review of city goals, an analysis of city strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, and strategic priorities are among the agenda items. View the full agenda here.

The all day affair goes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Golf Club of Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane. The retreat will take place in the Muirfield Room, located on the second floor of the main clubhouse.

The meeting is open to residents, but the council will not provide a public comment period.

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