- About Us
Stilin re-running for council Pos. 6 to continue learning about city and serving community
Although he has already served one term on Redmond City Council, John Stilin continues to learn on the job.
He said it takes a long time to get a grasp on things, and after almost four years, he has gained a better understanding about what role council plays in the City of Redmond. With this in mind, Stilin thought it would be good to continue the learning process and run for a second term for Pos. 6 on council.
Stilin, who is running unopposed, said his motivation for running is the idea of public service.
"I'm doing this for the good of the community, and if I wasn't, I'd step down," he said.
Since he has been on council, Stilin said he has been pushing to see the way the city communicates with the community improve. This was something he felt so strongly about that the mayor asked him to sit in on the interview cycle when the city was in the process of hiring a new chief communications officer. Stilin said council members typically are not involved when it comes to hiring members of the mayor's staff.
"I think that was just a really good moment," Stilin said.
Stilin said the city still has a long way to go when it comes to community engagement, and as a former arts commissioner for the city, one of his goals for his second term is to be able to walk up to the average Redmond citizen and have them know what events are happening in town. The arts are important to a city because they are what brings people together, he said.
"It's what people come to do in our community," Stilin said, adding that the arts also give Redmond a soul.
There is no magic formula to achieve this, so the city has to try a lot of different ways to get the community involved and see what works, he said.
This challenge to improve community engagement extends to council members as Stilin said they are constantly learning how to be effective in their roles.
"There's really no school you go to, to learn to be a public official," he said.
One thing Stilin has learned during his first term in office is that a lot of the job has to do with relationships. He has gotten involved with a number of regional organizations and committees, where representatives from different communities share their knowledge with each other.
"You find yourself sharing a lot of information," Stilin said.
He added that through this exchange, cities may find solutions to various issues they are dealing with as other jurisdictions may have dealt with something similar. Stilin said he wants to represent Redmond on the economic and community development front as he believes the two go hand in hand.
"I think that's all intertwined," he said.
Stilin moved to Redmond in 1991 to work at Microsoft. He has been retired since 2000, and when he left the workforce, the 55-year-old Milwaukee native wanted to find a way to get involved in the community. This eventually led to his work on the city's arts commission and ultimately City Council. Stilin said being retired also gave him a chance to raise his kids. Stilin, who lives on Education Hill with his wife, has three sons. Their oldest, at 22, is attending the University of Wisconsin. They also have 20-year-old twins, one goes to school with his older brother and one is attending the University of Washington.