Kevin Wallace declines to run for City Council again, endorses another candidate

After eight years on the Bellevue City Council, Kevin Wallace has decided not to seek re-election for Position 4.

He has however endorsed another candidate whom he believes will embody his pro-business, pro-neighborhood, small government beliefs.

“It’s been a great honor to serve the people of Bellevue over the last eight years, but I’ve decided I will not seek re-election to the Council. Since my first election in 2009 the city weathered a severe recession, yet we balanced the budget without raising taxes,” Wallace wrote in a release. “We reached a difficult, yet ultimately collaborative agreement with Sound Transit, enabling great light rail service for the region while at the same time protecting Bellevue’s neighborhoods, commuters and businesses from the impacts of the train. We set the path to a bright future in land use, transportation, utilities, parks and public safety through 2035 and beyond. I’ve had the privilege to play a pivotal role in all of it.”

He cited the city’s healthy financial shape, the dozens of infrastructure projects to strengthen Bellevue, sweeping land-use plans and low tax rates as major reasons for his satisfaction with his job. Wallace was first elected in 2009.

“Our parks, utilities, police and fire services are the envy of the country,” Wallace said. “The city staff leadership is excellent. And it appears that the voters will have some great choices for new leadership this November.”

“The experience has taught me so much, and I’m forever grateful to the people of this great city for giving me the opportunity to serve,” he wrote. “But my major goals for city council have been achieved and the city is in good hands, so it’s time for the next chapter. Thanks so much for all of you who supported me over the last eight years, especially my wife, parents and kids; and thanks to my fellow councilmembers and the men and women at the city staff who work tirelessly to preserve Bellevue’s standards of excellence in city government.”

Wallace said his tough negotiations with Sound Transit on the East Link connection were one of his proudest moments on the council, but he said he had made the tough decision to walk away earlier this year after meeting with City Council candidate Jared Nieuwenhuis.

“He was the last piece of the puzzle for me,” Wallace said. “I didn’t just want to walk away. I got to know him and knew that he’d be the right person to fill my shoes. That’s when I knew it was time to hang up my cleats.”

Wallace touted Nieuwenhuis’ accomplishments, including stints on the board of Sophia Way, LifeWire and the City Parks Board.

“He’s been a strong neighborhood leader for Lake Hills, and has already made some important contributions to the Men’s Shelter conversation – suggesting that we look at Sound Transit’s maintenance facility property instead of Eastgate,” Wallace said. “I believe he’ll continue my focus on balancing the city budget, keeping Bellevue’s tax rates low and working to create a platform for the economic success of Bellevue’s businesses and employees. Perhaps most importantly for 2017, he understands that the job is non-partisan.”

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