Redmond voters should not hesitate to reelect City Councilmember Hank Margeson. He has served the city well for 12 years and has the respect of his colleagues.
While challengers of incumbents agitate for change, that case is especially hard to make against Margeson, a stalwart council member who represents citizens well on the council and the city itself on regional boards. He currently is vice chair of both King County’s Regional Transit Committee and Puget Sound Regional Council’s Growth Management Policy Board.
To combat the housing crunch in the hometown of Microsoft’s headquarters, Margeson wants the city to provide more incentives for development, especially in the urban centers near transit. That could include reducing the costs of sewer and water hookups and streamlining processes. High on his to-do list is to hold a mirror up to the city’s permitting of accessory-dwelling units. His wife spearheaded development of an ADU on their property, with the council member staying out of it, and the process was frustrating and time-consuming, he said.
“We found this process was not very mature,” said Margeson in an interview. “I’m asking staff to fix it.”
His opponent, Jessica Forsythe, owns a small design business in Redmond. She is frustrated the city won’t consider a ban on plastic bags and wants the city to initiate more environmental measures.
When it comes to Margeson’s record, Forsythe is hard-pressed to disagree. The two issues she mentions are with a temporary moratorium on senior housing and clear-cutting of trees near the Group Health site. Margeson has reasonable explanations for the pause and what the city did to remedy the developer’s over cutting.
Margeson’s strength is understanding the nuance of the issues, and he has the knowledge and work style to support pragmatic decisions.
Forsythe is a smart and thoughtful candidate. The city would benefit from her involvement. And in another race, she might have gotten this endorsement. But she does not make the case for turning out Margeson.
Reelect Margeson in Position 3.
Correction: This editorial was corrected at 6 p.m., Oct. 16. It had incorrectly suggested Forsythe agreed with Margeson’s reasoning on a senior housing moratorium and the handling of a developer’s overcutting of trees.