Redmond City Council member Kimberly Allen will resign from her position, effective Jan. 31.
Allen, who serves in City Council Pos. 4, cited her job as the reason she is stepping down.
“I just travel a lot,” she told the Reporter over the phone Tuesday morning from a plane in Orange County, Calif.
Allen, whose term expires Dec. 31, is a land-use consultant for cellphone companies and travels primarily throughout the western United States. She said much of her work involves attending other city council and planning commission meetings, which fall at the beginning of the week like Redmond’s council meetings.
“Nobody’s council meets on Fridays,” said Allen, who has served Redmond for 11 years. “Go figure.”
She said she had hoped she would be able to find a way to make her work schedule mesh with her council responsibilities, but it became clear at the end of last year that her business was not slowing down.
“It was a very difficult decision to make,” Allen said about stepping down.
She said she does not want to serve the people of Redmond with less than 100 percent commitment and would like to see someone in the position who can fully commit.
Allen said she has enjoyed serving on council and is “proud of the city that Redmond is today.”
Allen first ran for council because someone at a council meeting she was watching on TV said that neighbors are “another special interest group” that should hire a lawyer to address their concerns before the council.
“This struck me as the wrong way for a city to see their citizens’ input,” she said.
Allen wanted to bring the council out to the neighborhoods, instead of having neighbors go to city hall to be heard. Those town hall meetings are happening regularly now and she is very proud to have had a hand in that.
When asked about some of the achievements that stand out in her 11 years of service, Allen noted the city’s plan for growth, which was set before she joined council, becoming a reality. She has also worked to champion transit in Redmond — both light rail and bus service — serving as the city’s regional voice on county and regional committees to make sure Redmond’s needs were addressed when resources are distributed.
“I am also proud to have been one of the leaders pushing to simplify the zoning code and to make Redmond City Hall open for business when citizens want access, with online business licenses and property development tools and information available 24/7,” she said.
Allen said she has also been a strong voice for the city’s environmental values and the vision that promotes growth in the urban centers, where transit is focused, in order to protect single-family neighborhoods that draw families to live here.
“Council member Allen is dedicated to the Redmond community,” said Redmond Mayor John Marchione. “Kim leaves a legacy through her work on the Planning Commission and 11 years on the City Council. She has been a tremendous asset on the council and we will miss her leadership and wisdom.”
Marchione said council will appoint Allen’s replacement and that person would need to stand for election in November if they wish to continue serving.
“The city clerk and I will work with Council President (Hank) Margeson to create a process of collecting applications and allow council to give due consideration,” Marchione said. “I would expect a new council member appointed by the end of February.”
Last month, former Redmond mayoral candidate Steve Fields announced that he will run for a City Council position that will be open at the end of this year.
Following the announcement of Allen’s resignation, Fields said he is interested in applying for the position appointment and plans to pursue it.
“I would like to get started in supporting Redmond residents as quickly as I can,” he said.
Allen’s advice for whoever ends up on council in her place is for them to do their homework.
“Listen more than you speak and remember that Redmond is an exceptional and diverse city that gets its wonderfulness from the people who live here now and those yet to come,” she said. “And think about riding your bike in the Derby Days Parade, just saying.”