Kelli Curtis voted to be Kirkland’s newest mayor

Jan 3, 2024, 5:30 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2024, 9:39 am

kelli curtis kirkland mayor...

Kirkland Mayor Kelli Curtis (Photo courtesy of Kelli Curtis Campaign)

(Photo courtesy of Kelli Curtis Campaign)

The Kirkland City Council selected Councilmember Kelli Curtis to serve as mayor of Kirkland during its January 2, 2024 council meeting. Councilmember Jay Arnold will serve as deputy mayor alongside Curtis.

Curtis will replace Penny Sweet as mayor. Sweet held the position of mayor since 2019 after replacing former Mayor Amy Walen, who was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives.

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Curtis, a Kirkland resident for nearly 30 years, was first appointed to the council in Feb. 2019 and was re-elected to her second term in 2023. Her term as mayor will last through Dec. 31, 2027.

“I’m truly honored to be selected by my fellow colleagues to lead this city as mayor,” said Mayor Kelli Curtis in a press release. “I’m excited about the future of Kirkland and the opportunity to continue the incredible progress we’ve made on our council goals and city work plans. I look forward to serving this dedicated, hardworking council and this wonderful city to the best of my ability.”

Curtis serves on many Kirkland committees and boards as well, including being the Chair of the City’s Legislative Work Group and the Parks Funding Exploratory Committee, the SCA Caucus Chair on the Growth Management Planning Council, while serving on the King County Regional Water Quality Committee and the Puget Sound Regional Council Growth Management Policy Board.

She served on the city’s housing strategy advisory committee, and has made it clear she wants to continue to work on housing diversity, while also addressing the impacts of integrating new developments, including traffic and transition zones between single- and multi-family homes.

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“Our infrastructure needs to grow as our density grows,” Curtis told The Kirkland Reporter. “We have a wonderful parks system — mean, we’re famous for [it] — and we need to continue to maintain that and preserve our open space and our environmental assets as we become more dense.”

Kirkland’s government operates as a “council-manager” system, meaning the elected city council is responsible for policymaking, while the mayor, appointed by the council, is responsible for administration. The mayor votes as a council member and does not have any veto power.

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Kelli Curtis voted to be Kirkland’s newest mayor