Judge Janet Garrow swore in Bellevue City Councilmembers Conrad Lee, Lynne Robinson and council-elect Jared Nieuwenhuis at a council meeting on Monday. Lee and Robinson were re-elected in November and will serve through the end of 2021. Lee began his first term on the council in January 1994 and Robinson began in 2014. Nieuwenhuis was also elected in November and will begin his first term in January 2018.
Councilmember Janice Zahn was sworn in on Dec. 4 and has already begun her term because she replaced Ernie Simas, who was an appointed council member to fill Rep. Vandana Slatter’s vacant spot earlier this year.
Nieuwenhuis replaces Councilmember Kevin Wallace, who has served on the council since January 2014.
The council also honored Wallace at the meeting, thanking him for his eight years of service during which he was deputy mayor in 2014-15. During his time on council, he represented the council on the Eastside Transportation Partnership steering committee, the Puget Sound Regional Council, the Transportation Policy Board, and was a liaison to the Issaquah School Board and Bellevue’s Transportation Commission, among many other roles.
Mayor John Stokes said Wallace helped Bellevue address complex transportation issues as he led the charge in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement with Sound Transit. He was also instrumental in the award of a $99.6 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and held fiscal leadership as the city weathered the Great Recession in the beginning of his term.
“I started on the council in 2009 in the worst recession since the Great Depression,” Wallace said. “And it wasn’t a whole lot of fun, economically, here at the city. So, the No. 1 thing we did was we weathered that recession and we did it without raising tax rates. We figured out how to balance the budget and carried through with that tradition so that today the actual property tax rates in 2018 for the city portion of the property tax is going to be lower than it was in 2010.”
Wallace thanked his family, his campaign team, his fellow council members and the community for all that he was able to accomplish while on the council.
“I’m really excited to see where the new seven take the city, along with our staff, in 2018-19,” Wallace said, adding that he believes the foundation has been laid for great future work.
Nieuwenhuis will join the council with goals to address traffic congestion, homelessness, the opioid crisis, a reform of City Hall and support for sustainable growth in Bellevue.
He has served on the Parks & Community Services Board and the Lake Hills Neighborhood Association since 2016, as the chair of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce’s Public Policy Committee and a LifeWire board member since 2015, and as a board member for The Sophia Way from 2012-15, among other roles.
Nieuwenhuis lives and works in Bellevue with his family.
For more information on Nieuwenuis, visit www.jaredforbellevue.com.