Redmond council member Hank Myers is known as being sort of hard to work with to the point that outgoing Mayor John Marchione encouraged people to run against him. Nevertheless, voters should reelect Myers to Position 1 for two reasons.
Somebody raising uncomfortable questions is good for a governing board, especially for the Redmond City Council, which some challengers accuse of groupthink, or of being a rubber stamp for the mayor. The other reason is his opponent, a 2017 college graduate, does not make the case she is ready for the job.
Elected to the council in 2007, Myers believes Redmond could do a better job of easing the housing crunch by speeding the permitting process, which he says drags on too long. He wants to see more mixed-use development and wants the city to pay more attention to reducing other factors that contribute to higher costs of living, such as congestion, regulations and taxes. He prides himself on reining in unnecessary spending.
Opponent Varisha Khan, who grew up in Redmond, returned after graduating from the University of Washington, where she gained impressive experience as an advocate and activist on campus and in internships. Last year, she was director of the OneAmerica Votes Justice Fund PAC, directing contributions in political races. She has not yet engaged with the city in any formal way, such as on any of its advisory boards or commissions.
She urges change but cites no disagreements with Myers’ specific actions. Another concern is that she views city politics through a clear Democratic Party lens, suggesting the city council has become partisan: “Local government has become partisan.” No, elected city officials should strive to keep party politics off the dais always.
Voters should reelect Myers.