Kirkland City Council Position 2 - Bob Sternoff

I am a 49-year resident of the Kirkland area and live in the Moss Bay neighborhood. I have 15 years of civic and community involvement including: Kirkland Park Board 1997-present, chair 2002-2005. Member Park Bond Steering Committee, Juanita Beach Advisory Committee and Skate Board Park Committee.

An active supporter of the KDA, KPC and Downtown Flower Fund, I am also actively involved in several children's charities. I am a business owner with local, national and international work experience in award- winning land development, construction and technology.

I have spent nearly all my life in and around Kirkland. I have participated on many levels in what Kirkland is today. I believe the future of Kirkland requires skilled direction with an eye to the past while creating a vision for the future that will stand the test of time. The challenges facing Kirkland need to be dealt with now to ensure the city remains the unique, vibrant and diverse place to live, work and play that we all love. My civic, community and professional experience are vitally needed on the city council to effectively represent all of Kirkland's citizens.

Growth for our city is inevitable. We are no longer the small town I remember as a child. A strong economy and desirable neighborhoods have brought an influx of new residents, businesses and buildings. Diversity of housing along with the goods, services, recreational and social and educational opportunities required by current and future residents will need to be provided within our borders. Therefore, a long-term community vision and plan that spreads growth throughout Kirkland must be developed and implemented now.

Annexation is a multi-faceted issue. The areas under consideration hold a large population that is primarily residential. Within the residential there are infrastructure deficiencies including failing septic systems that need to be addressed and remedied. Providing public safety services equal to our current level of service to existing Kirkland residents will be very expensive and further stretch our resources without adequate additional revenue. Before annexation can occur we must fully understand these costs as well as the opportunities for the annexation areas to pay their own way.

Money! The city has an annual budget that is structurally flawed. Wages, benefits and health insurance costs for city staff are increasing each year. The challenge for Kirkland is to develop a strategy that increases revenues to addresses the structural deficit without reducing essential levels of service. The city council and staff must be vigilant in maintaining or reducing costs while not reducing the level of service. Creative suggestions from citizens, staff and our business community will help the city council effectively manage this issue.

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