Mayor’s State of the City: Growing Redmond remains financially stable in tough economy

During his annual State of the City address on Wednesday, Mayor John Marchione focused on the progress Redmond has made in 2010 as well as the direction the city is headed. Speaking at the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon, Marchione discussed key construction projects throughout the city — completed, ongoing and future — such as the new Northeast 36th Street Bridge, the 161st Avenue Northeast extension, installation of a large storm water pipe downtown and Redmond Central Connector (RCC).

Redmond Mayor John Marchione told attendees at Wednesday's Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce luncheon that he wants the city to continue with the Budgeting by Priorities process and practices of accountability and transparency as part of his annual State of the City address.

Redmond Mayor John Marchione told attendees at Wednesday's Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce luncheon that he wants the city to continue with the Budgeting by Priorities process and practices of accountability and transparency as part of his annual State of the City address.

During his annual State of the City address on Wednesday, Mayor John Marchione focused on the progress Redmond has made in 2010 as well as the direction the city is headed.

Speaking at the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon, Marchione discussed key construction projects throughout the city — completed, ongoing and future — such as the new Northeast 36th Street Bridge, the 161st Avenue Northeast extension, installation of a large storm water pipe downtown and Redmond Central Connector (RCC).

He said these projects will help his vision for the city come to fruition.

“We’re working toward those urban centers we want,” Marchcione said.

These capital projects as well as transportation projects such as the upcoming Eastside Link light rail service from Sound Transit will put in various infrastructure around town and help connect the city better, he said.

While there has been an emphasis on the city’s urban centers, Marchione has not forgotten Redmond’s many neighborhoods.

“The beauty of Redmond is that we have 10 neighborhoods,” he said, explaining that this gives people choices in where they live.

One of Marchione’s goals for the future is to offer people a variety of housing choices — from houses to apartments to town houses and condominiums.

In discussing Redmond’s financial state, Marchione said the city has fared well during these trying economic times. He explained that he and the Redmond City Council have been very careful in how they spend, using one-time funds strictly for the projects they are designated for and only using operations funds for Redmond’s day-to-day actions — that way, city officials won’t have to worry about finding those one-time funds during future budgeting processes.

The mayor added that the city’s Budget by Priorities process has also helped with dealing with budget cuts because he and city officials were able to look at things more logically.

In addition to remaining financially stable, Marchione said Redmond has been working toward sustainability with the natural world.

“We’re trying to be environmentally sustainable and financially sustainable,” he said.

Marchione also touched on Redmond’s Community Indicators report, which describes the city’s progress toward achieving its community vision in addition to actions the city is taking to implement its Comprehensive Plan. He said the indicators cover broad categories such as community, culture, centers and character and are based on five- to 10-year trends.

For the future, Marchione said he wants to continue with the Budgeting by Priorities process and continue with the city’s practices of accountability and transparency.

Events such as the chamber’s monthly luncheons helps with this process.

Danielle Lynch, the chamber’s interim executive director, said the luncheons are an opportunity for local businesses to meet with elected officials and other key figures in Redmond. She said while reading about what’s happening at the city is nice, it’s very beneficial to hear it straight from Marchione.

“It’s nice to hear from him directly,” Lynch said. “(Chamber members) are very excited that he presents.”

Lynch, who has been part of the chamber for three-plus years, said her favorite part of the monthly luncheons is giving members the opportunity to talk to the different speakers.

Next month’s luncheon on June 15, will feature State Rep. Ross Hunter, who represents the 48th District, which includes parts of Redmond. Hunter will be discussing the county’s budget.

With Redmond’s centennial next year, Marchione has been thinking about the nature of the city. He said from the tech industry to the medical field, Redmond has always been a pioneering city and he would like to see this continue.

Marchione admits he doesn’t know what the next big thing is, but he would like to see Redmond in the position to to spot it and take advantage.”That’s the pioneering spirit,” he said.


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