It’s official: We have a contested mayor’s race here in Redmond!
Earlier today, businessman and government effectiveness enthusiast Steve Fields, a longtime resident of the Bicycle Capital of the Northwest, filed his candidacy to run for mayor of NPI’s hometown, challenging incumbent John Marchione.
“Redmond is changing very fast. We are building everywhere. We have endless traffic congestion. Our parks and recreational facilities are deteriorating, and our neighborhoods are being ignored while we focus our investment on the changes in downtown. We’re losing the beauty that is Redmond; we are losing confidence in leadership that just doesn’t seem to be able to catch up to the growth smattered all over,” Fields said in a press release announcing his campaign.
“The current Mayor talks about the importance of city government living within its means. We have the tools to live within the city’s means – in fact, it’s the law in our state. But will city leaders’ decisions allow small businesses, people who are retired, and working families living in Redmond to live within their means?” he asked.
Fields is pledging to run a grassroots-oriented campaign. He says he will doorbell extensively in an effort to meet voters and understand their concerns.
“I’m ready to listen, something that’s become a lost political art. I’m also ready to hear new ideas and build community engagement that’s real, not contrived meetings that lack spirit and authenticity,” he promised.
Fields, sixty-two, has a long resume with management experience, much of which can be viewed on LinkedIn. He is a co-owner of Down Pour Coffee Bar, a well-reviewed coffee spot here in Redmond. He previously worked for the City of Seattle and for King County in a number of different roles: strategic advisor, business manager, and project manager. Prior to that, he worked at Western Wireless and Nextel as Regional Finance Manager and Regional Capitol Manager. He has a B.S. in Accounting from San Diego State University.
Incumbent Mayor John Marchione is finishing his second term as the city’s chief executive. He has a coveted position on the Sound Transit Board of Directors and serves as board chair of the Cascade Water Alliance, a municipal corporation supplying fresh water to five cities and two water and sewer districts.
Prior to becoming mayor, Marchione was the chief financial officer (CFO) for the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, and a Redmond city councilmember.
Marchione was first elected in 2007 in a three-way race with Holly Plackett and Jim Robinson (also veterans of the Redmond City Council), capturing over 57% of the vote. He ran unopposed for reelection in 2011. This time around, though, he’s got competition… which is nice to see. Healthy democracies require contested elections.
Redmond’s city council positions, on the other hand, could use more candidates. As of this evening, only one candidate has filed for each position — and three of them are incumbents seeking reelection (Hank Myers, Hank Margeson, and David Carson).