One last post I couldn't resist. I want to share an hilarious bit of photoshop on Michelle Hilhorst's brochure, that I got through the mail yesterday.
City Council positions don't hold anything like the power or importance that people like to put on them. So let's not subject candidates to having to stretching the truth and pretend that they're more than they are with this competitive campaigning.
We're all amateurs, and that's the way representative government works. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Hi there. Based on the phone calls and emails I've had in the last few days, I just wanted to clarify my position on a few Bellevue issues before voting day.
1. Growth. I'm cautious. Letting private developments dictate how our City will look hasn't yielded great results downtown. Whilst I understand the role of developers, we need to learn the lessons of downtown growth and not have the same pattern of congestion, crime and sprawl as development moves to Bel-Red, Overlake and out of the downtown core. Slowly does it.
2. I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican. City council is a non partisan race so please vote on City issues. If you really want to pigeon-hole me, I align myself with the kind of social democracy practised across northern europe, whilst accepting that socially, the US is a very different place. I pay more attention to how money is spent, than I do on how much money is allocated.
3. Energize Eastside. Sorry, I've tried to listen to all sides here, but I can't take a firm stance until I have a chance to ask PSE some tough questions about the project. I also understand the City's limited role in whether this project is allowed to proceed.
4. Transportation. Less planning for the future and more addressing our current problems (like the north/south corridors connecting Overlake and I90).
5. And finally, yes I'm against crooked backhanded political donations and the hideous plastic sign litter that comes with it. If you can't vote for any of the above, at least join me in making a stand on that.
Thanks. With that, I'm off on holiday for the next week and a bit. I'll be seeing you after the primaries.
Out last night with a City of Bellevue policy ride, led by Transportation planner Mike Ingram and Cascade Bike Club's Connect Eastside group. Disappointed not to see any other council candidates there, especially the ones who despite years of ignoring bikes in Bellevue, have been given the Cascade endorsement.
A quick summary:
There is to be state funding to improve the stretch of the Mountains to Sound trail between Factoria and 150th Av. The $15m grant will be used to improve what is essentially already a pretty decent stretch of road for non motorised travel, but won't be sufficient to connect through the real problem area in Eastgate.
Good to see 140th Av between NE 8th and the 520 trail is finally on the City's radar.
Development of the BNSF corridor - between Kirkland and the 520 - is now 2 years away. Mike seemed to think this was a positive statement, but I see what Kirkland did to their entire 6 mile long corridor in a similar time frame and wonder why it takes Bellevue so long to do things.
Thanks for Mike and everyone who turned up, but the downside of having a planner take these tours is that everything is 5, 10, 15 years in the future, and even then, only if funding can be found. In this campaign, I will be demanding improvements that make things safer and easier for bikes right now.
I'd like to take a minute to address the Seattle Times' editorial board's criticism that I didn't give them a clear vision of what to expect of me. To be honest, I will simply be dealing with the City's issues as and when they are presented to me, just like our current council does. It's tough for any challenger to compete with an incumbent's experience. What voters have to do, is be sure which of these achievements can be put down to the councillor, and which are the hard work of city staff, simply signed off by the council. I'd argue that all the acheivements mentioned in Jennifer's endorsement are the latter.
It's also interesting to read the Time's endorsement of Vandanna Slatter. In this race, it appears none of the challengers gave the ST editorial board an idea of what to expect from any of them. As a result the board have made a decision based on their careers and volunteer experience. As a voter, I'll be demanding that they take some positions on issues when the forums come round.
For a clearer, third party view of what the challengers for the Bellevue races are standing for, read Lynn Thompson's article (ST 7/14/15) on the two Bellevue primary races.
Thanks to all that raced our first Street Scramble at Redmond's always excellent Derby Days festival. We had a much bigger turnout than I ever expected, and fun was had by all. Special thanks to Tom Sanko, Angela Birney and Ellen Kaspi of the Redmond Parks Board, and Rachel Van Winkle of the City of Redmond, for making an event we've been trying to get off the ground for the last two years, finally happen.
Attached are my answers to a great questionaire from 'Transportation for Washington".
I am pleased to annouce that I have been officially classified as an ADEQUATE candidate by the Municipal League.
Of all the endorsers out there, instructing you on how you should vote, at least the Muni League mean well. They rank candidates as Not Qualified, Adequate, Very Good and Outstanding, using an internet questionaire and a 30 Saturday morning bout of 1990s job interview questions like "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" and "Describe a situation where you have resolved conflict in the past, and tell us how you did it."
To be fair, 99% of the time they would come to the same conclusions by asking ask three simple questions:
1 - "Could you to turn up to our interview today?" - (NO = not qualified)
2 - "Regardless of how much of a mess you have made of things, have you been a commissioner before?" - (YES = Very Good)
3 - "Regardless of how much of a mess you have made of things, have you been a council member before?" - (YES = Outstanding)
That makes me an proud adequate. How about helping me and OUR City become Outstanding in 4 months time.
Congratulation to Jane Hague for being the first candidate to make a mess of Bellevue's medians with their purple signs.
I had a bit of a deer in the headlights moment at this week's Seattle Times endorsement interview. I spent a little too much time responding to the interviewers' questions and I fear that my message - that we need better elections, more regional Eastside, and better representation of our neighborhoods - could have been lost in conversations about the white elephant of the Tateuchi Center and our city's tinkering at the edges of affordable housing. I came away - much as I came away from my conversation with John C last week - without much faith in the office of council and it's ability to do much more than sign off staff recommendations.
The interview I had the following day with reporter Lynn Thomson hopefully tidied things up, but the number of column inches that Seattle gives to Bellevue will most likely work against me there.
I was particularly concerned in our interview about J Rob's stance on diversity. She was very proud to take credit for the appointment of Anne Morrisseau to the planning commission. I met Anne on the citizen's police academy this year. She is lovely and will make a great commissioner. She comes originally from Haiti, and moved here from New York not too long ago. Hardly representative of a great swathe of Bellevue residents, except for the fact that she's one of a large number of foreign born citizens (many of which are denied a vote in our local elections - despite paying their city taxes).
Anne however has black skin, and as a result, the City is bending over backwards to get her on every poster and newsletter that they can, because she is so visibly 'diverse'. I live in a City where our citizens do not define each other by the color of their skin. Yet our governments are way too keen to do just that, in the name of 'diversity'.
When we have a council that attracts people other than retirees and bored housewives, then we can call ourselves diverse.
The firefighter's union are the biggest contributors to Bellevue council campaigns. Every time an election comes round, even before they know who's going to file, the union endorses and stuffsdollars into the back pockets of, "incumbents who have helped us in the past." That's according to union chair Bob Crueger, who I met tonight at station 9 in Newcastle.
Why? Well, I'm not sure Bob seemed to know himself. It doesn't appear buy them any influence, just serves as a reminder to council, that whilst they spend all their time debating parking spaces and building heights, it's the fire dept who are the biggest segment of our budget. But no doubt, these progessive and liberal people will conservatively keep on doing it for years to come.
Donations aside, thanks a lot for the chat Bob. I appreciated getting the firefighter's perspective on the 'hot' issues facing our City today. I just forgot to ask for a tour of your fire engine. Next time eh?
In other news, if you are interested to know what this campaign money is buying our future council members, I'd direct anyone to the expenditures pages of the PDC (public disclosure commission) website.
Unopposed John Stokes' entry is funny. He's raised $15000 to date, and his one expenditure is $516 which he blew down at Bellevue Brewing. Well done John. If you're stuck for someone to spend the other $14484 with, just let me know.
Good turnout at the open house for Meydenbauer Park tonight. There were even a few faces that looked under 30, - always good to see. I can't fault the plans, it looks ace, and will treble the park's current size.
Construction of phase one, (which consists of pretty much all but the marina area), should be starting in 2017.
Really nice to chat again with Vandana Slatter, candidate for position 5. She has a very compelling argument for bringing in councillors from outside the usual production line and will be a credit to our city if elected.
Hello. I'm Lyndon Heywood and I am proud to annouce my candidacy for Bellevue City Council, position 7.
Born in the UK, I moved to Washington in 2003, and have lived here in Lake Hills for more than ten years. I became a US citizen around three years ago, which gives me the ability to vote, and to run for office.
I work as a production artist in a Woodinville print shop and am married with two terrific daughters at Phantom Lake Elementary.
I am standing for council to give OUR City independent, positive and impartial guidance, in order to protect its essential functions for years to come. Bellevue's residents are responsible for driving the government we pay for. My guidance that will benefit all who live and work in OUR city.
And I will be standing in the right way. It is impossible for councillors to make decisions that should benefit the majority of citizens - decisions on planning, grants, contracts and more - when interested stakeholders have been contributing to their campaigns. That's why I'll be staying strictly independent, and will be giving Bellevue's voters a chance to say NO to money in their politics.
But a vote for Heywood isn't just a protest vote. You're getting an engaged civic voice with a clear vision of where our city should be in the future.
My long term goals in government are:
1. To reform the way we elect our leaders. In this election, the four best candidates will not be elected, simply because they have been forced to choose a position to run for. A large proportion of our foreign born residents are prevented from voting in local races. Decent candidates will be bullied out of running for council because they think it's too expensive a game to play. This all needs to be improved.
2. To increase participation at the neighborhood level. The City's policy of simply encouraging neighborhood groups fails to engage with too many ordinary folk. As our city population grows, we need official representation of our neighborhoods more than ever.
3. To improve co-operation between our neighboring cities. This can reduce duplicate spending, diversify our tax base and improve our staff. Eventually, I see an end to our traditional city boundaries, in favor of a strong, homogeneus and influential 'Greater Eastside'.
4. To preserve and protect the core functions of government.
We must ensure that the core governmental departments will be properly funded despite any future economic crisis.
I have been involved across the region as a transportation advocate, serving as vice chair of the City of Redmond's Ped-Bike Advisory Commitee and a member of Cascade Bike Club's Connect Eastside Group. I am closely involved with the Lake Hills Neighborhood Association and am a recent graduate of Bellevue's excellent Citizen Police Academy.
I am pround of these places where I have quietly stamped my influence on our eastside in recent years.
The city's bike wayfinding signage;
A zipline in Tam O'Shanter park;
The clean curbs of 164th Av;
The website of the Lake Hills Neighborhood Association -wearelakehills.org;
The rechannelization 116th Av;
The adoption of Bellevue's ped-bike implementation initiative;
A reworked staircase on Redmond's PSE trail;
An expansion of Redmond's Derby Days festival...
These things may not seem like much to some.
But just imagine what I can do with a City budget behind me.
Do the principled thing.
Vote Local. Vote for OUR City. Vote Heywood.