For Bellevue City Council Position 7, land-use attorney and three-term incumbent Jennifer Robertson is a strong choice to be reelected to a fourth term serving the Eastside’s largest city.
Bellevue’s successes at handling the myriad issues attached to the city’s growth and prosperity have been considerable, although challengers James Bible and Margie Ye both say government responsiveness has seemed slow to many citizens. Robertson has been a pivotal figure at guiding the city since 2009, and has been instrumental in housing-development plans and the city’s long-awaited connection to Sound Transit light rail.
Because Bellevue’s median home sales prices are among the region’s highest, its need for a supply of affordable housing is especially acute. Robertson deserves credit for helping the city get ahead of its 10-year housing goal of 2,500 new units that qualify as affordable housing. Projects for light-rail stations, year-round homeless shelters and new infrastructure to accommodate Amazon’s planned Bellevue construction also are nearing reality after years of careful development. These are indicators of thoughtful stewardship, and evidence that Bellevue’s governmental stability contributes to a functional and thriving city.
Bible and Ye are both qualified and enthusiastic candidates who believe Bellevue’s government should deal with homelessness and livability issues with greater urgency. These assessments hold merit. The complexity of government decisions on the topics pressing heaviest upon Bellevue — transportation, land use and housing supply — often require a grinding process that can be hard to follow. But Bellevue is moving in the right direction as a growing and livable city, and Robertson has shown remarkable aptitude at helping shape the decisions that reverberate for decades. She should be returned to Bellevue’s council.