A big unincorporated area north of Kirkland voted to join the city, and a slate of council candidates that wants to revive Kirkland's downtown appeared headed for victory. In Bellevue, there was no clear winner in three of four council races.
A big unincorporated area north of Kirkland voted to join the city, and a slate of council candidates that wants to revive Kirkland’s downtown appeared headed for victory. In Bellevue, there was no clear winner in three of four council races.
The pro-annexation vote brings Finn Hill, Juanita and Kingsgate into the city, boosting Kirkland’s population by 33,000 and pushing it past Redmond as the Eastside’s second-largest city.
More than 60 percent of ballots counted Tuesday supported annexation. Proponents said joining Kirkland would give them better services, while opponents protested that the city’s budget crisis is worse than King County’s.
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Johanna Palmer, who chairs the pro-annexation group Citizens for One Kirkland, said she was happy with the early returns.
“I think many of these people have been waiting for the chance to become a part of Kirkland,” she said.
Bellevue City Council
Longtime councilmember Don Davidson defeated challenger Michael Marchand, but three other races were too close to call.
Councilmember Conrad Lee had 53 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s returns to Planning Commissioner Vicki Orrico’s 46 percent. Lee touted himself as a fiscal conservative, but Orrico argued Lee was not as committed and said she would bring a fresh voice to the position.
In another council race, Kevin Wallace, president and chief operating officer of Wallace Properties, held a 51-49 percent lead over Patsy Bonincontri, appointed to the council last year.
In the three-way battle to fill the seat of Councilmember Phil Noble, who died this summer, attorney and Planning Commissioner Jennifer Robertson was in a tight race, leading by 47 percent to former Mayor Mike Creighton’s 41 percent. Arts Commissioner Betina Finley trailed.
Kirkland City Council
Doreen Marchione, a one-time mayor of Redmond who moved to Kirkland 17 years ago, defeated incumbent Kirkland Councilman Tom Hodgson.
Marchione and the other three council winners emphasized revitalizing downtown and working on healing rifts on the council.
Incumbent Joan McBride defeated challenger Martin Morgan. Penny Sweet and Amy Walen defeated Brad Larssen and Karen Tennyson, who both wanted to keep the city’s quaint downtown character.
The next council will need to hire a new city manager to find ways to plug a $10 million budget shortfall, and solve council infighting.
Bellevue School Board
Bellevue School Board incumbent Paul Mills held a strong lead over challenger Patti Mann.
Mills, a two-term incumbent, ran on his experience and the importance of continuity during lean economic times.
Mann campaigned on the need to open the board up to community feedback.
Board president Chris Marks, who ran unopposed, was re-elected.
Northshore School Board
Incumbent School Board members Cathy Swanson and Sue Buske were trailing challengers Todd Banks and Julia Lacey by wide margins in races for two seats.
The contests revolved around recent district budget cuts.
Lacey said the district has not been open to the community, and Banks thought the district could have worked harder to find alternatives to cutting popular programs.
Nicole Tsong: 206-464-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or email@example.com