Redmond mayoral candidate criticizes spending, $43M lackluster park
Mayoral candidate on Redmond’s disconnect between spending and results
Two Redmond City Council members are facing off against one another in the race to become the next mayor of Redmond. This comes at a time when city development is even more important thanks to a new Sound Transit light rail station. One of the candidates is Redmond City Councilmember Steve Fields. He is the co-owner of Down Pour Coffee Bar, and he joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss how the disconnect between spending and results is a focus of his campaign.
Lately this theme is central to the discussion over funding the building of Redmond’s new light rail station and the potential of I-976 passing, which would bring back $30 car tab fees.
“If 976 does pass, that will have some very consequential, awful impacts on our funding and our ability to create the service or make the service available. But I’m not concerned about the funding as much as I am the understanding of how we got here, meaning why are we so vulnerable?” he said. “Why does our funding depend on this one aspect? I think that people in the state and the people who created this scenario need to examine how we look at this in the future.”
Beyond the light rail and I-976, Fields wants Redmond to re-examine its spending and infrastructure process, which he says seems to result in projects that do not reflect that level of funding nor the time that was put into them.
“We’ve not been careful about our infrastructure. We’ve postponed some really important projects, and that’s going to cost us. And the quality of life is slipping here because people are stuck in their cars more than they should be. We have not caught up on our ADA compliance, as an example,” he said. “We have parks that have been sitting there for years, unattended or not developed, and we have buildings that are very vulnerable. Our senior center is now closed because it wasn’t maintained as it should.”
In particular was the public reaction to the $43 million downtown park, which many thought didn’t look at all like a $43 million park.
“The downtown park cost $43 million. It’s not a wow factor park. It’s an okay park. The city had an opportunity to actually create a network of green and open space in downtown, making Redmond a destination to go to. Spending the $43 million on the downtown park surprised a lot of residents here, and they’re not real happy with the results, and they’re not happy with the amount they spent,” he said.
“I just don’t think we’ve created a balance in how we spend … I don’t think that we’ve grown well. I don’t think we’ve planned this out as we should, and I think that we need to sort of take a deep breath and say, ‘Let’s come up with a bolder, better plan.'”
To learn more about Fields’ campaign, head to www.stevefieldsformayor.com
Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.