Thank you, Redmond Reporter for providing the Oct. 3 mayoral debate online so that we heard directly from the candidates.
Serving as Redmond’s mayor, 1992-2007, hearing Steve Fields made me grateful for his candidacy, hopeful. In contrast, Angela Birney’s comments on mayoral accountability, needed qualifications and pertinent experience were alarming. She plans to delegate day-to-day operations to the senior staff person who, prior to the past year, had full responsibility for all parks facilities including the senior center that was abruptly closed indefinitely and is one of 20 city buildings in “poor or worse” condition. These buildings went ignored while Birney applauds spending $42 million on the Downtown Park voters said “no” to funding in 2015 bond election.
Birney doesn’t comprehend the responsibilities and accountability of a full-time strong mayor form of government and lacks judgment about the role of staff, dismissing the need for experience managing/ leading people in large organizations. Birney promises to fix problems, many she helped create. She stood by accepting a fate that she was unwilling to challenge and is more concerned about appearances, hobnobbing around town and the region at the expense of what is happening day in and day out at City Hall and in Redmond.
With explosive development, more than ever we need Steve Fields’ extensive knowledge of all departments’ work beyond understanding operations, with proven experience initiating policy, recommending funding, implementation and assessing effectiveness. He’ll be a mayor with hands-on experience, knows how to preserve our community character, is mindful about how we grow, will deter problems from increasing exponentially, and will make sure infrastructure is in place concurrently with development, not afterward.
Steve has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to Redmond. Almost unseating the developer/special interests-funded mayor by a 700 vote loss in 2015, he was undeterred. In 2017, defeating an incumbent councilmember, he resurrected “checks and balances” that had been absent for years by asking questions, bringing deliberation and debate into council proceedings.
I know that the city will be in very capable hands with Steve Fields as our mayor.