This just in: my fellow Planning Commissioner, Kim Allen has decided to run for Redmond City Council! I have been honored to know and work with Commissioner Allen for close to two years and I recommend her without hesitation. She is the first candidate to announce for the seat that will be vacated by outgoing councilmember, Tom Paine. As outlined in the Press Release below, Commissioner Allen brings a wealth of public policy and other government experience to bear. Kim is sharper than C# and is much more compassionate than one might expect from a former Assistant DA for the City of Phoenix ;-). I hear they're tough down there. Her votes on Comprehensive Plan updates and other matters have been consistently reasonable, centrist, and reflect a committment to keep Redmond green, moving, family-oriented, to make wise investments, and to capitalize on partnerships (like WiFi in Marymoor and hopefully beyond [wink wink]) with local businesses and other government agencies.
Kim is a class act. As members of the Redmond Planning Commission, Commissioner Allen and I have disagreed on a few minor issues but we have certainly never been at odds personally. Kim supports "cottage housing" development and complementary design standards in the downtown neighborhood, if not all areas of Redmond whereas I feel that in the downtown, much of which is within easy walking distance of all basic services and mass transit, developers should be allowed to build things like retirement communities without having to incur the cost of expensive design regulations that make a building fit in well with 1940s bungalows. Commissioner Allen does not favor allowing buildings to exceed the citywide height limit of 5 stories (+1 floor with a transfer of development rights for open space elsewhere) in the Overlake area, which shares a border with Bellevue and is home to Microsoft's main campus (my home away from home:). She believes that allowing buildings of greater height would diminish the community character of the neighborhoods too dramatically. I believe that dense housing, office space, and centralized services near mass rapid transit (planned) in a major regional employment center (MSFT, Nintendo, Honeywell, ...) would more than offset the asthetic costs. In addition, underground parking is not economically feasible in our other urban center, downtown Redmond, due to a high water table. Thus, Overlake is the only viable place in Redmond that can support the type of development necessary to support our regional growth trends and transportations needs and targets over the next 20-50 years. Buildable land in Western Washington is disappearing quickly. I should point out that Commissioner Allen's position on these two minor points are shared by a majority of the Commission, City Council, and probably the people of Redmond at large. Where do you stand?
Reasons to Vote for Kimberly Allen for Redmond City Council
Kimberly Allen is committed, hardworking, thorough, and fair
For as hard as our City Councilmembers work and as little as they get paid, these characteristics are vital.
Kimberly Allen is a woman
Let's face it, despite the fact that both Washington State Senators and our Governor are all women, there aren't enough women in politics in this country. Additionally, and this is just my opinion, the Redmond City Council could use a little gender-balancing. Equality is important. Balance is just good for government.
Kimberly Allen is knowledgable and passionate
I've seen this in person, week after week. Kim comes prepared, knows her stuff, has good instincts, and cares as deeply about Redmond as anyone I know.
Kimberly Allen listens well
Don't take it from me, email her your thoughts and concerns about Redmond. I'm sure she'd love to hear from you and welcome your support.
Kimberly Allen is a real person
Despite her polish (she is a classy lady), Kim will never be a slick politician. Nope, Kim is a down to earth mom with two cool, young kids (elementary age...perfect campaign advisors) and a nice and supportive husband who works for the best company in the world.
The Requisite Press Release:
Redmond, WA -July 18, 2005 –Kimberly Allen (email), vice chair of the Redmond Planning Commission, has announced her intention to seek election to the Redmond City Council. Ms. Allen has lived in Redmond with her husband and children for five years.
As the vice chair of the Redmond Planning Commission, she is currently serving her second term. It is her work on the Planning Commission that drives Allen to seek election to the City Council. Her decision to run for office was also prompted by a growing sense that Redmond’s established neighborhoods need a receptive ear on the City Council. While on the Commission, she has worked hard to update the Comprehensive Plan to help clarify the direction of Redmond’s future. She worked actively on the Critical Areas Ordinance and the Shoreline Master Plan, which she believes are vital to preserving the green character Redmond values so highly. Allen was also involved in reviewing the Transportation Master Plan which will develop new ways to get Redmond moving. As a council member, Ms. Allen will seek to implement the future vision for Redmond that she helped to shape while on the Planning Commission.
Ms. Allen is on leave from the practice of law raising her two children. Allen previously served as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona and Assistant City Prosecutor for the City of Phoenix, Arizona. Ms. Allen also pursued a business law practice in Beverly Hills, California and served as in house counsel for Shell Oil Company’ s West Coast litigation group.
She is an active volunteer in her children’s schools and in the community. She currently volunteers at Einstein Elementary assisting the first grade with reading and has helped coordinate fundraising and classroom events at Holy Family School in Kirkland. Before moving to Redmond, she served on the St. Theresa School Board in Phoenix, Arizona.