Marchione reflects back on three terms as Redmond mayor

He says he will miss seeing city staff when he leaves office.

Redmond Mayor John Marchione has announced he will not seek re-election on Jan. 2. His three-year term will end in December.

Marchione’s career as a public official started 16 years ago, serving on the City Council for four years and mayor for 12 years.

He first became involved with city government to ensure that the infrastructure keeps up with growth. For Marchione, building community is a passion — whether it’s the physical or social structures.

“For me it’s always been an honor to serve as elected official,” Marchione said. “The honor is that [the city] has trusted me. Winning an election is a humbling thing. There’s a lot of gratitude when you are given that chance to serve.”

During his time as mayor, Fire Station 17 was built, Bear Creek Parkway was extended and downtown went through a major transformation.

Marchione feels his biggest accomplishments include upgrading the city’s credit rating by earning an AAA bond rating; changing the city’s budgeting process; creating the downtown neighborhood; and a series of smaller projects that brought people together into the community.

During Marchione’s tenure as mayor, councilmember Hank Margeson recalls the purchase of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks in 2008.

“We would not be doing a lot of the things we are doing now such as the Downtown Park if we hadn’t made that one decision,” Margeson said.

It’s that decision, Margeson said, that will allow council to accomplish future projects.

Council president Angela Birney said she appreciates Marchione’s vision of what Redmond could be as a city.

“He’s extremely visionary and understanding where the region is going and what is best for Redmond,” she said.

After Marchione’s term, he said he would miss seeing the city staff.

“I will miss the employees of the city and the people I get to meet in the region from the title I hold,” Marchione said.

Redmond Fire Chief Tommy Smith said he admires Marchione’s cares for the city as a whole, including the city employees.

“He’s not only a boss but he’s proven to be someone that you can trust,” Smith said. “[He’s] someone that cares about the employees of the city of Redmond. Not only does he know their names but he knows something about their family. For a mayor to know that much detail about employees — that tells me he cares a lot about them.”

Some have said one of Marchione’s greatest accomplishments was changing how the city creates its budget, making it easier to understand through the budgeting by priorities process.

OneRedmond CEO Bart Phillips said he was impressed with the city when he moved to Redmond. According to Phillips, Redmond is well managed and everything is intentionally budgeted.

“That’s just not normal elsewhere in the state,” Phillips said. “This model is unique and rigorous. I’m impressed by it.”

Phillips added that he appreciates that Marchione understands that the city needs to be business friendly.

“The whole intentionality is in the city’s DNA,” Phillips said.

Marchione plans to work hard in 2019. There is still a lot of work to be done, he said, especially with the approval of the two-year budget.

The city will work on enhancing environmental sustainability, upgrading and maintaining its physical IT assets, and preparing for the arrival of the Link light rail to Overlake in 2023 and downtown Redmond in 2024.

Two candidates for mayor have emerged following Marchione’s announcement.

Redmond resident Andrew Koeppen, a local real estate agent and business owner, has filed to run for Marchione’s seat.

“As the year progresses, and because I care deeply about everyone who lives in Redmond, I look forward to meeting with as many people as possible and earning the vote of Redmond citizens,” Koeppen said in a press release announcing his running for mayor.

Birney has also filed to run for mayor.

“I’m excited for the early support from colleagues,” Birney said in a press release announcing her running. “But this campaign is about the people of Redmond, who I am proud to serve. I look forward to hearing your ideas, and earning your vote for mayor.”

Redmond residents can vote for future mayor candidates in the November election.