The three candidates vying for the Redmond mayor position are councilmember Angela Birney, councilmember Steve Fields and business owner Andrew Koeppen.
Why are you running for Redmond mayor?
Angela Birney: I’m running for mayor to guide Redmond through the next stages of growth and maintain the great quality of life that makes Redmond a wonderful place to live. As city council president and a longtime community member, I know our next mayor must prioritize the city’s livability, environment and community. I’m prepared to lead our city forward with those priorities in mind.
Steve Fields: Over the past decade, the current leadership favored the perspective and needs of developers and special interests. We cannot let this carelessness continue. I see a more inclusive and accountable future for our city. I will bring the needed change and visionary leadership that puts residents at the center of planning Redmond’s future. I have the government management and budget experience that will move Redmond forward as a smart city that stays ahead of challenges and implements cutting edge solutions that foster a greater quality of life for everyone.
Andrew Koeppen: I’m running because I’m committed to making Redmond the leading city of the Puget Sound. I believe I have the leadership, vision, temperament and management skills to lead Redmond into the future
What does Redmond mean to you?
Birney: Redmond is home to an innovative spirit, diverse communities, and shared values that bring us together. I’m proud to have called Redmond my home for over 20 years. From volunteering at Norman Rockwell to watching my daughters play soccer at every field in the area — I love this city. With your support, I’ll lead Redmond into our next chapter as a collaborative city where people, communities, neighborhoods and businesses work together to create a place where all are welcome, and all thrive. As mayor, I will work every day to create a connected Redmond.
Fields: Since first arriving in Redmond in 1978, I have lived life to its fullest potential and helped bring those same opportunities to Redmond. It is the hometown where I enjoyed coaching basketball, baseball and soccer. It is the place surrounded by natural beauty that inspires an innovative and creative community to do more and believe in new possibilities. But mostly Redmond to me is about living near people who care and who work really hard together to make sure we’re doing the right things for our community.
Koeppen: Redmond is at a crossroads, facing a multitude of issues from traffic congestion, increasing crime, small businesses leaving, and affordable housing. I’ll use my leadership skills to build a community where people can civilly discuss issues, problems and solutions.
What are some issues in and around the city that you are most concerned about and how do you plan to address them?
Birney: Livability: With skyrocketing expenses, we must bring down the cost of housing, create opportunities to produce more housing choices and ensure longtime residents and people who work in Redmond can continue to live in Redmond.
Environment: We must reduce our climate impact and protect the incredible natural beauty of this region. I would bring my experience as a parks and trails commissioner to evaluate our environmental planning policies, protect and expand our parks and public spaces, and make decisions with an environmental and climate lens.
Community: Everyone should feel like they’re a part of Redmond. I’d establish a more coherent and consistent city-wide communication and community involvement plan, so that all can be involved in local government with access to the services and support they need. We should aim to be more inclusive, looking at programs in our city with an eye toward diversity, equity and inclusion.
Fields: Redmond is threatened with a diminishing quality of life. People can’t afford to live here. We are losing our small and local businesses. We are trapped in our cars due to poorly designed traffic flow. We are losing our city character and the beauty of Redmond’s natural environment.
As mayor, I will cultivate a skilled leadership team and create better solutions for our city and our lives. I will implement growth in manageable steps and in an orderly manner. I will improve our fiscal management by avoiding costly rework and improving our purchasing power through better management of our vendor contracts. The opportunity for a better Redmond begins with electing skilled leadership who will always put people first.
Koeppen: I will reduce Redmond’s traffic congestion by using proven “smart city technologies” and dynamic traffic control systems. I will also work collaboratively to expand ALL transportation options to maximize accessibility for all people.
While crime is increasing, Redmond’s police force is continually understaffed. I’ll ensure Redmond’s police force is fully staffed by using competitive “signing bonus.” I’ll support police enforcement of our laws, fund more “downtown” patrols and strengthen “block watch” programs.
Small businesses located in Redmond are having a tough time surviving. To help them, I would eliminate the head tax on their first 10 employees.
Children and grandparents should be able to afford a home in Redmond. Every increase in taxes and fees makes Redmond less affordable. I would use my business experience to eliminate wasteful spending, like the $42 million downtown park, so we don’t need to raise taxes unnecessarily.
An issue that needs immediate attention is that city hall has lacked leadership and for years has had poor moral. This lack of leadership explains the: strange decisions, appointments and the general lack of strategic thinking. It’s extremely important to have a fully functional city hall. As mayor, I will be present at city hall daily, I will make it a priority to get the right people in the right positions as soon as possible. I will focus on making Redmond government responsive to its residents.
The Primary Election will be held on Aug. 6. to narrow the field to two before the General Election on Nov. 5.