With eight finalists to look over, the Bellevue City Council has a tough choice to make to fill Vandana Slatter’s spot on the council.
All the finalists are currently serving on boards or commissions in the city of Bellevue or have previously served. Candidates include a former mayor, a Port of Seattle employee, business owners, immigrants, a software engineer, a lawyer, a church elder and a marketer.
On Monday, the council interviewed the finalists, and are expected to announce their decision before the end of February.
The candidates for Position 5, their relevant experience and a few top goals are (in the collected order of their letters of interest):
• Grant Degginger: 12 year Bellevue city council member, former mayor, planning commission member.
-Goals: Improving mobility, working on regional transportation issues, implementing the Grand Connection.
• John deVadoss: Former trustee of Bellevue Schools Foundation, three-year member and current chair of planning commission.
-Goals: Maintaining the tradition of being a ‘City in a Park’, making the city an innovation hub, strengthening neighborhood connections.
• Aaron Laing: Five years on the planning commission, board member and coach of Bellevue United Football Club.
-Goals: Bolstering Bellevue’s diversity and multicultural roots, addressing the needs for affordable housing, maintaining economic strength.
• Scott Lampe: Former chair of Bellevue Transportation Commission, Sound Transit Citizen Oversight Panel.
-Goals: Effectively planning the city’s future in neighborhoods such as Downtown and Bel-Red, developing a vibrant waterfront, providing adequate infrastructure in pace with growth.
• Jared Nieuwenhuis: Board member of LifeWire and The Sophia Way, board member of Bellevue Parks and Community Services board.
-Goals: Valuing inclusivity and diversity, encouraging the health of neighborhoods, finding solutions for those experiencing homelessness.
• Ernie Simas: Bellevue Chamber member, civil service commission member.
-Goals: Continuing strong diversity, growing transportation in response to population growth, allowing small businesses to thrive.
• Stephanie Walter: vice chair of the planning commission, heading group of citizens preventing vacation rentals by owner in single family neighborhoods.
-Goals: Strengthening bonds between long-time and new Bellevue residents, bolstering arts and culture, evaluating new technologies to improve transportation.
• Janice Zahn: infrastructure management experience with the Port of Seattle, transportation commission member.
-Goals: Improving accessibility to affordable housing, working with innovators for strategic growth, strengthening communication with citizens.