The two candidates vying for Redmond City Council Position 5 are tech-savvy, thoughtful and passionate about issues facing their city — and would make worthy contributions to the council.
But Vanessa Kritzer, who lives in downtown Redmond, has a strong edge for her service as an appointed member of the city’s planning commission. Opponent Eugene Zakhareyev became engaged with the city out of frustration over officials’ indifference to his neighbors’ concerns about the Overlake neighborhood plan.
Kritzer, who works at Microsoft, has strong environmental credentials, having worked as the digital strategy director for the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C., and wants to continue that focus to help Redmond develop policies to grow sustainably while tackling the challenge of developing more affordable housing. She would consider increasing the requirements to encourage more affordable units in developments. She wants to ensure there are homes that are affordable not just to the affluent and lowest income but also what she calls the “missing middle” class. She wants to use technology to include more people in the city’s decision-making process.
Zakhareyev echoes other critics, saying city officials do not listen to residents who disagree with city policies and would work to find ways to change that. An engineering manager, he would like the city to make more investments in technology to aid decision making on a variety of city functions — ranging from communications to traffic infrastructure.
Redmond has a respectable reputation for its investment in services to help the homeless, including hiring a service coordinator, holding one-stop service opportunities for people needing help and hosting a youth homeless shelter. Even so, Zakhareyev is not impressed: “It’s feel-good money.”
Kritzer supports Redmond’s homelessness efforts, and clearly has ideas and a constructive vision for Redmond.
Voters should elect Kritzer to Position 5.