John Chelminiak is voters’ best choice for Bellevue City Council Pos. 3.

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BELLEVUE faces growing pains of trying to balance a flood of new residents and jobs while maintaining a hometown feel and high quality of life.

That balancing act requires solid leadership on the City Council. In the race for Pos. 3, voters have the choice between incumbent John Chelminiak, seeking a third term, and veteran Don Davidson, who served on the council for 27 years until 2012.

Voters would be best served by Chelminiak, a public-affairs consultant who brings experience and a forward-thinking approach. He also offers an independent voice, an important quality on a council with a history of favoring developers’ interests.

Chelminiak was part of the board that approved, after much contention, an agreement with Sound Transit on the forthcoming light-rail line. Now that the light-rail battle is over, he looks forward to supporting transit-oriented developments including affordable housing.

The Times recommends:

John Chelminiak

John Chelminiak

Bellevue City Council, Pos. 3

Strengths: Forward-thinking leadership, independent voice on tough decisions

... voters are better off choosing Chelminiak — a leader focused on the future, not the past."

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Chelminiak also worked to attract the Global Innovation Exchange, a graduate institute focused on technology that is a partnership between the University of Washington and the Tsinghua University of Beijing. The institute elevates Bellevue’s role as a thriving technology hub that will draw more jobs to the area.

Opponent Davidson said he felt compelled to try to return to the council because he doesn’t support the Sound Transit agreement and because the council wasn’t listening to residents. He acknowledged he wouldn’t be able to change the transit deal much if elected. He also said public safety is his No. 1 priority but didn’t provide any specific policies he would pursue.

Davidson deserves credit for his lengthy service in Bellevue while it blossomed from bedroom community into an international city. But voters are better off choosing Chelminiak — a leader focused on the future, not the past.