5 Candidates Chosen to Interview for Council Vacancy, Community Van Comes to Kirkland, and much more!

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this week in kirkland

February 6, 2019

city of kirkland washington

Council Corner: 5 Candidates Chosen to Interview to Fill Council Vacancy

City Council

The Kirkland City Council has selected five candidates to interview at a special meeting on February 19 to fill the current council vacancy: Neal Black, Uzma Butte, Kelli Curtis, Amy Falcone, and Sue Keller.

An Interview Selection Committee, consisting of Councilmember Dave Asher, Councilmember Toby Nixon and Mayor Penny Sweet, reviewed submissions from 27 candidates and recommended five finalists to be interviewed by the entire City Council. The full Council concurred with their recommendation. Interviews will occur on Tuesday, February 19 in the City Hall Council Chamber at 2:45 p.m.

The following is a brief description of the five finalists:

Neal Black: Neal Black has been a resident of Kirkland for over 20 years. He currently resides in the Central Houghton Neighborhood with his wife and two teenagers. Black currently serves as a member of the Houghton Community Council, to which he was elected in 2017.

Uzma Butte:  Uzma Butte has been a Kirkland resident for eight years. Butte currently serves on the Kirkland Park Board and is an active member of the Kirkland Rotary, the Kirkland Chamber, KirklandSafe, and the Eastside Race and Leadership Coalition.

Kelli Curtis: Kelli Curtis has been a Kirkland resident for over 25 years. Curtis serves on the Houghton Community Council and the City of Kirkland Park Board. Additionally, Curtis volunteers with Kirkland Talks.

Amy Falcone: Amy Falcone has been a resident of Kirkland for the past five years. Falcone currently serves on the Human Services Commission, is a Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance Board Member, and a local PTSA President.

Sue Keller: Sue Keller has lived in Kirkland for over 21 years. In the past, Keller served on the Park Board. She has also been involved with Kirkland Conversations, Eastside Timebank, Nourishing Networks, and on the PTSA Board at Peter Kirk and Kirkland Juanita High School.

More information on the process to fill the City Council vacancy is available on the City website. 

Tree Code Update Continued...

Tree Code

Changes to the tree code will be discussed at the Thursday, February 14, Planning Commission meeting. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber. The agenda for that meeting will be posted on the City website when it becomes available. 

Next week we'll be including an article in This Week in Kirkland that discusses the proposed changes to our tree code. In the meantime, please visit the City website for more information on the tree code update process.

Community Van Comes to Kirkland

Community Van

North Kirkland Community Van pilot program seeks volunteer drivers!

The City of Kirkland is one of just seven communities invited by King County Metro to participate in a new rideshare program that offers a flexible alternative to transit service in the north Kirkland neighborhoods including, but not limited to, Juanita and Finn Hill.

The North Kirkland Community Van rideshare program is a two-year pilot program aimed at providing one-time and recurring transportation services to residents who find that regular bus service doesn’t meet their needs. The van will be stationed at the North Kirkland Community Center (12421 103rd Avenue N.E.), is fully ADA-accessible, and can accommodate a driver and up to five passengers. Tentatively scheduled to launch on Friday, February 22, the program relies on volunteers to drive the van and requires a minimum of two riders per trip.

“We are currently looking for volunteer drivers to help build a robust and sustainable program that meets the needs of our community,” said Community Transportation Coordinator Armaghan Baghoori. “If you love to drive and have been looking for a way to serve, this is perfect for you.”

Volunteers interested in driving the van must pass through a two-part screening process. Driver screening takes approximately two weeks and includes online and hands-on training.

The City hopes to build a network of volunteer drivers with varying levels of availability, to provide comprehensive, seven-day-a-week coverage. As trip requests funnel in, City staff will match trips with drivers based on each driver’s specified availability.  

Drivers ride for free, while passengers pay a standard one-way METRO fare per round trip. Existing transit customers may use their ORCA cards to pay the fare, provided that the card is loaded with a monthly pass. Riders without ORCA cards can pay the fare by downloading the Transit GO Ticket app,  a mobile application which allows customers to purchase tickets using their smart phones.

For more information about Kirkland’s community van, please visit the City website. The North Kirkland Community Center does not operate the community van. For inquiries about the community van or to find out how to become a volunteer driver, please contact Armaghan Baghoori at commvan@kirklandwa.gov or 425-587-3924.

Lakefront Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements

City of Kirkland contractors continue to upgrade curb ramps along Lake Washington Boulevard and Central Way. Crews should complete their work downtown by mid-February. Thank you for your patience while crews make these important walking, bicycling and ADA accessibility safety upgrades! 

This project is aimed at improving safety for walking and bicycling along Kirkland’s north-to-south corridor of Lake Washington Boulevard, Lake Street, Market Street and 98th Avenue Northeast. The project also includes the installation of rapid flashing beacons on Market Street at Waverly Way and Central Way. It will improve sidewalk access at several intersections, and create colored bike lanes along Lake Washington Boulevard, Lake Street, Market Street and 98th Avenue Northeast. 

Lakefront Improvements

Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners

Officer Matison

Join Kirkland’s animal control officer, Jennifer Matison, on Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 7 PM at Fire Station 26 (9930 124th Ave NE). You will have the chance to meet her and hear about her work with our city. She will offer suggestions for how pet owners can plan ahead to care for their pets when disaster occurs, and how to deal with loose, aggressive or injured animals in the aftermath.

Space is limited! Register today

Upcoming Events

124th Street

124th Ave NE Roadway Improvement Project Open House

Tuesday, February 12, 5 to 7 p.m. 

Kirkland Justice Center in Totem Lake

Get an early look at how a five-lane 124th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast 116th and 124th streets, will better accommodate driving, walking and bicycling. An online open house is also currently underway. During the open house community members can view concepts for the corridor and provide feedback on them.

Visit http://www.kirklandwa.gov/124thavenue or contact Senior Project Engineer Aparna Khanal, akhanal@kirklandwa.gov, (425) 587-3827 or Christian Knight, outreach, cknight@kirklandwa.gov, (425) 587-3831.



Kirkland Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course

Class will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. starting March 6 and running through May 4.

Learn about personal preparedness, light search and rescue, fire suppression, disaster first aid and much more. This hands-on course is informative and fun. Students will attend 8 weeks of instruction including a final Saturday simulation drill; attendance at all sessions is required for graduation.  The course fee is $35 for Kirkland residents and $50 for non-residents. For all the details, and to register, go to www.KirklandCERT.com