Businessman and volunteer Jared Nieuwenhuis would be a good addition to the Bellevue City Council.
WASHINGTON’S fifth-largest city is experiencing urban growing pains. The next people elected to the Bellevue City Council must help the “city in a park” deal with increasing traffic, social-service pressures, unaffordable housing and a changing business landscape.
The Times recommends:
Bellevue City Council, Position 4
Strengths: Jared Nieuwenhuis is smart, organized and constructive, approaches that can help in what could easily be tense interactions on city business.
He’s a big believer in what locals like to call “the Bellevue way” of building consensus after extended periods of discussion and debate."
Jared Nieuwenhuis, marketing director for Bellevue game developer Her Interactive, has many of the skills Bellevue voters should be looking for in a City Council candidate. He is the clear choice for Position 4.
He is knowledgeable about city issues, volunteers at local social-service agencies including LifeWire, which offers domestic-violence services, has served on the Bellevue Parks and Community Services Board and the Lake Hills Neighborhood Association. He has a personal stake in seeing the city thrive for both his family and his employer.
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Nieuwenhuis is smart, organized and constructive, approaches that can help in what could easily be tense interactions on city business. He’s a big believer in what locals like to call “the Bellevue way” of building consensus after extended periods of discussion and debate. Nieuwenhuis would like to see even more public input before the city makes important decisions, such as where to build a men’s homeless shelter.
Nieuwenhuis wants to give a voice to Bellevue’s diverse neighborhoods in issues such as the shelter. Although he says he probably would have voted to stop the Eastgate shelter (this editorial board supported it), he offers a sensible argument offering a potential alternative site. He doesn’t oppose a shelter in Bellevue and recognizes the need for more services for the homeless in his city.
He calls himself an independent, but has mostly supported Republican candidates with his political contributions. Although the idea is not currently on the table for Bellevue, he would oppose a safe-injection site for drug users in the city.
One of his opponents would also be a credible choice for the City Council. Karol Brown, an immigration attorney, is in touch with the changing needs of this minority-majority city. She is a Democrat who is concerned the city is leaving many of its people behind because of a lack of affordable housing.
The third person hoping to replace Kevin Wallace on the council, Heidi M. Chiat, is mostly a one-issue candidate interested in providing universal child care and preschool for Bellevue families.
Nieuwenhuis is the best choice Position 4.