Tanika Kumar Padhye was appointed as the new Redmond City Council member to replace former council member Kimberly Allen in Pos. 4.
Padhye was one of three finalists narrowed down from a pool of 13 candidates who applied for the position. She was appointed and sworn in at the regular council meeting Tuesday evening.
“It is an honor and privilege to be selected for the council position,” said Padhye, who has lived in Redmond for 13 years.
Prior to the appointment, City Council held final interviews with the three finalists. Roy Captain and Stephanie Rodriguez were the other two finalists.
Following the interviews, Padhye said all three candidates were asked to wait in the audience as council voted on the new member.
“I was really nervous but had my husband and eldest son sitting there with me for support,” she said. “It was a very exciting process because everything happened so quickly.”
Padhye’s interview was at 6:15 p.m. and the voting was at 7:30 p.m.
“When I heard my name, I was thrilled and eager to start serving the people of Redmond,” she said.
Padhye will serve in this position until November. After King County Elections certifies the November general election results, which will include the election for Redmond City Council Pos. 4, the winner of the general election for the position will take office.
Padhye decided to apply for the open council position because she saw it as an opportunity to take on a leadership role in the community and to be able to make decisions that would impact the quality of life in the city. She said she felt she could offer a diverse perspective and be a voice for those who are currently underrepresented in Redmond’s government.
Padhye added that as an Indian American she was very pleased when council passed the Cultural Inclusion Resolution.
“I hope to build on council’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity and to ensure all residents feel safe and welcome in Redmond,” she said.
As the newest City Council member, Padhye has three initial goals. First, she wants to continue learning and getting up to date on local and regional issues that affect Redmond. Second, she wants to listen to her constituents’ concerns and be active in community engagement. Her final goal is to make effective decisions that reflect the values of the community.
Prior to joining council, Padhye served on Redmond’s Planning Commission and was a Parks and Trails commissioner at the time of her appointment.
In the latter position, she said she has had the opportunity to serve on the Community Centers Stakeholder group, work on updating the Parks, Arts, Recreation, Culture and Conservation (PARCC) Plan and other projects such as Phase II of the Redmond Central Connector and Downtown Park.
“Additionally, during my time on the Planning Commission,” Padhye said, “I worked on updating the Comprehensive Plan, land-use and zoning issues and the Innovative Housing program.”
In a City of Redmond press release, City Council President Hank Margeson said he has complete confidence in Padhye’s ability to serve the people of Redmond and is looking forward to working with her as a new council colleague.
“Her years as a resident of Redmond and experiences as a commissioner on the Planning and most recently the Parks and Trails Commissions have prepared her for this role,” he said.
Before volunteering her time with the City of Redmond, she dedicated most of her legal career as a licensed attorney in Washington to the public sector. Her most recent work was with the Seattle Office for for Civil Rights as a civil rights investigator. Padhye had her own caseload and dealt with employment and housing discrimination cases. She added that she has also worked at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in the EEOC unit and was a clerk at the City Attorney’s Office in Berkeley. There, she researched legal issues.
Outside of her commitment to the city, Padhye said she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons — who are 3 and 10 years old. She also likes to garden, travel and see live music.
In the March 3 issue of the Redmond Reporter, it was reported that Redmond City Council members could spend up to 130-150 hours on council activity a month. This was incorrect. Council members could spend up to 80-120 hours a month on council activity.
The Reporter regrets this error.