When I first came into office in 2010 the great recession was finally starting to wind down and Kirkland was faced with a growing number of challenges. Annexation was imminent, the economy, while adjusting was less than stable, development at the old Park Place was stalled, Totem Lake was mired in law suits and the city council was struggling to do an adequate job of representation While those challenges have continued to keep us primed and nimble we have literally triumphed in so many areas. In 2010 we set about the work of reviving the failed Totem Lake Shopping Center by creating the Totem Lake Action Plan which over the years since then has evolved into the dramatically successful Village at Totem Lake that is growing still and will soon be its own neighborhood and a shopping destination for all of Kirkland.
with the promise of almost $4 Million in tax credits from the state for 10 years and the absolute necessity to do the economic development required to adjourn that credit which we did in July. We established an Ethics policy and Code of Conduct that assures our council along with our Boards and Commissions performs with the highest standards. We purchased the old Burlington Northern Railway corridor, immediately took out the rail and engaged our community in creating a Cross Kirkland Corridor Master Plan which has become an iconic symbol of what Kirkland can and should accomplish and we will complete the Totem Lake Connector next year. We developed our first Transit Oriented Development along with the the low income housing project Velocity, at the South Kirkland Park and Ride. Our Downtown is now a thriving destination and neighborhood itself with Kirkland Urban and other development bringing housing, office space and more diverse retail, state of the art grocery and soon an amazing theater back downtown.
2020 has presented us with some of the most profound challenges of our city’s history. From medical crisis and Pandemic to social and racial unrest and demonstrations, to critical policing reform and the plight of the homeless, it has all been hard. And as hard as it has been it is important that Kirkland has been at the forefront of finding solutions and working together to hone our direction into the future. We should be proud of that.
One of the most significant things that I have learned over almost 12 years on the council is how important local government really is. From our regional role in transportation in and outside of Kirkland, to our relationship to the lake, the sound and our environment, from concern about deteriorating infrastructure in our water and waste water systems to crafting contracts for the provision of garbage, water, power, sanitary sewer, storm water, and communications it is a fascinating and significant body of work and I am proud to tell you we are serving you well. I am working hard on behalf of the members of our community to make the right decisions regarding everything from land use to the provision of Human Services.
I love this job! I liked it better when I was able to sit down with any of you at my shop or any of the 25 plus coffee shops all over the city and hear what’s going on and what you think about it. Soon, I hope that day will come again. Your concerns are my concerns. Your opinions help shape my opinions. We will not always agree but I will always take your perspective into consideration and I will always be straight with you.
In coming to the decision to run this campaign, as I have in the past, I had to ask myself, why do I really think you should re-elect me to our city council?
I think it’s because we share a sense of what a terrific city this is and can continue to be. I think it’s because our vision of the future of Kirkland is simply to be the best that we can be, including assuring that all in our community can share in a safe, welcoming and broadly inclusive environment with equal opportunity and access. I believe that I will reflect that for you. I love the fact that so many families in our community have lived here for generations and continue to want to, or having left, have come back. I love that so many want their kids to grow up in Kirkland, on our waterfront, in our parks, in our parade.
No matter what, I promise you that I will be available, and I will listen. Regardless of the issues or whether we agree or disagree, before coming to a decision I will always listen. I will always research your issues and perspectives and I will always take them into consideration before I make the best decision I can for the city of Kirkland and the people I am so honored to serve. Thanks for being here, thanks for listening and thanks for your support.
Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet announced she will seek another term on the Kirkland City Council. Sweet, who has served on the Council since 2010 is running again to assure land use and development decisions facing the city will focus on the need for more affordable housing opportunities, while balancing the need for environmental sustainability and more open space.
“During my 12 years on Council, Kirkland has experienced unprecedented growth through annexation, the purchase and development of the Cross Kirkland Corridor, and in fill development across the city including major projects at the Village at Totem Lake and Kirkland Urban. We must be thoughtful about a future that assures we remain a vibrant and inclusive community.”
Sweet is a retired Health Care Administrator. She and her husband, State Representative Larry Springer, have owned The Grape Choice Wine Shop in downtown Kirkland for 40 years. In 1999 she founded Celebrate Kirkland! to put on Kirkland’s annual 4th of July Celebration and continues to chair that event every year. (2020 and 2021 virtually) In 2008 and 2009 she served as chair of the Market Neighborhood Association. In 2004 and 2005 she was the event chair for the yearlong Kirkland Centennial Celebration. She served on the original Kirkland Action Committee and is on the Kirkland Downtown Association Board.
Sweet is the incoming chair of the Boards of Directors of Hopelink and Cascade Water Alliance.
Her Kirkland Council service includes 6 years on the Metropolitan King County Emergency Management Advisory Committee. She is the co-chair of the King County Regional Water Quality Committee and chairs the King County Metropolitan Solid Waste Advisory Committee. She serves on the council’s Transportation Advisory and Legislative Advisory sub-committees.
Sweet, elected in 2010 was selected and served as Deputy Mayor until 2012, served as Deputy again in 2014-2015. She was selected as Mayor in 2019 to serve an unfinished term vacated by State Representative Amy Walen and again in 2020 for another 2 year term.
“Being the Mayor through the pandemic and this period of social unrest has been the most challenging period I have faced” Sweet said, “Things have been turned upside down since February 29, 2020 when the first COVID case was identified in Kirkland. Dealing with the fear and uncertainty in our community has made government work in new ways. But Kirkland is bigger than the challenges that we face. We have come together in new ways to make sure families are not hungry, our small businesses and restaurants continue to survive, and our people thrive. I want to continue to be a part of the solution. Thank you for your support.”
is facing an enormous challenge with the current economic situation. My experience as a community activist, small business owner and director at a major healthcare provider will bring a valuable perspective to the Council.
I have heard from many citizens that the decisions and actions of some of our City elected officials have caused them to lose trust in the public process. I will work hard to earn and keep the trust of my fellow Kirkland residents.
I would like to hear from you. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or thoughts.
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