Farewell to Dave Asher, Meet our new School Resource Offices, Traffic alerts, and more!

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this week in kirkland

December 19, 2019

city of kirkland washington

This week's edition of This Week in Kirkland will be our last edition for 2019. We hope that each and every one of you have a safe and joyous holiday season. 

Farewell to Councilmember Dave Asher

Dave Asher and Public Works Director Kathy Brown with seal

Join us as we say farewell to Councilmember Dave Asher, a dedicated public servant with over two decades of service to the City of Kirkland, including 20 years on the Kirkland City Council.

During his tenure on the Council, Asher was well known for his philosophy of “promises made, promises kept,” firmly holding the City accountable to a shared vision of enhanced public safety, walkability, fiscal responsibility and environmental sustainability. He continually championed pedestrian improvements by steadfastly pushing for the inclusion of sidewalks in various Capital Improvement Projects throughout the City, while advocating for broadened transit service. He was also committed to the preservation of quality of life for residents through his commitment to Kirkland’s diverse collection of neighborhoods.

During the December 10 Council meeting, City Manager Kurt Triplett and Public Works Director Kathy Brown honored Asher with a large-scale replica of the Kirkland City seal used to mark new sidewalks. The gift was fabricated out of metal, meant to represent Asher’s 20 years of working towards a connected network of sidewalks throughout the City.

“It's been a joy to serve with you,” Triplett said. “You've had a big career full of big ideas and you have made a big impact, so you deserve a big thing to take home with you for all that.”

Appreciation for Asher’s service was echoed by Mayor Penny Sweet and other members of the Council, who paused at the end of the meeting to wish him well in his retirement.

In addition to his dedication to transportation infrastructure improvements, Asher was a legislative trailblazer, identifying key issues and working in concert with the City and state lawmakers to serve as Kirkland’s voice in Olympia. He facilitated this important work through his role as chair of the City’s legislative committee, said Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold.

“You are the architect of our legislative committee,” Arnold said. “We've got one of the most effective cities in the state through our work in creating the city legislative agenda and establishing our tradition and culture of advocacy in Olympia.”

Councilmembers additionally thanked him for his compassion for the City’s less advantaged residents, his 21 years of service in the United States Army, his boots-on-the-ground approach to governance and his profound ability to encourage others to serve by illuminating the possibilities of what service on the City Council could look like.

Mayor Sweet thanked him for his overwhelming tenacity.

“I'm sure that we will continue to see you wrapping your arms around the issues you truly care about, and I think you care about the right issues,” said Mayor Sweet. “Your service to Kirkland is invaluable.”

Reverence and appreciation for Asher’s service was demonstrated in a poignant and heartfelt way by Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods (KAN) Co-Chair Bill Blanchard, who thanked Asher for his service during the public comment portion of the Council meeting. He explained to the Council that during the most recent KAN meeting, a motion was made for all those in favor of Dave Asher to raise their hands.

“It was unanimous,” Blanchard said. “And I would like that to happen tonight.”

He again called for all those in favor of Dave Asher to please raise their hands. From City staff to elected officials to community members, hands around the Council Chamber were raised and held high.

Introducing our New School Resource Officers

The passage of Proposition 1 last year has allowed us to make several enhancements to public safety and community services, including the expansion of our school resource officers into our Kirkland middle schools. School resource officers will begin at Finn Hill Middle School, Kirkland Middle School, Kamiakin Middle School, the International Community School, and Emerson K-12 on January 6, 2020. Please watch the video below to learn more about the School Resource Officer program and meet our new school resource officers. 

Chief Cherie Harris in front of City Hall

John Olson Confirmed as Kirkland Municipal Court Judge

Judge John Olson confirmation

During the City Council meeting on December 10, John Olson was confirmed as presiding judge of the Kirkland Municipal Court for the remainder of the position’s unexpired term.  

This appointment and confirmation results from the retirement of Judge Michael J. Lambo, who served almost 14 years on the Kirkland Municipal Court. To replace Lambo, City Manager Kurt Triplett recommended John Olson after a thorough appointment process with many qualified applicants. Olson served with distinction as the court’s commissioner and judge pro tempore since 2006.

“Judge Olson rose to the top of the field among the many outstanding applicants,” said Triplett. “He has the confidence and support of Court staff, the Kirkland Police Department, and the attorneys who regularly practice in Kirkland’s court. It is my honor to appoint him as the presiding Kirkland Municipal Court judge.”

Olson received his juris doctor from the University of Puget Sound School of Law. He has served as judge pro tempore for Kirkland, Issaquah, Mercer Island and Seattle Municipal Courts.

City Celebrates Completion of Parks Maintenance Facility

The City held a ribbon cutting event on December 9 for the newly completed Kirkland Parks and Community Services Parks Maintenance Center at 12006 120th Place (formally Office Max). Mayor Penny Sweet, Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Councilmembers Neal Black, Kelli Curtis, Jon Pascal and Toby Nixon, Parks and Community Services Director Lynn Zwaagstra, Park Board member Amanda Judd, and Parks Operation Manager Jason Filan had the honor of cutting the ribbon.

This project is another important milestone in fulfilling the commitments the City made to its newest residents after annexation. In 2011, the City of Kirkland annexed the North Juanita, Finn Hill and Kingsgate neighborhoods. The facility will allow staff to efficiently and effectively serve 686 acres of parks and open spaces, including 132nd Square park, OO Denny, and Edith Moulton Park, and grow into the future as projects are completed at Totem Lake Park, Juanita Beach Park, and 132nd Square Park.

"Our beautiful city continues to thrive, and our quality of life is dependent on the maintenance and protection of our parks and natural areas. Investing in this space, is an investment in our enjoyment of these spaces for future generations," said Mayor Penny Sweet.

The building transformation also reflected the Council's commitment to sustainability. Rather than tearing down and constructing a new building, the City adapted a large retail facility to suit the needs of Parks Maintenance and Operations. HVAC systems and lighting were also reused in the project. Additionally, Metia, a worldwide marketing firm, donated most of the office furniture. All of these efforts kept items out of the landfill. 

ribbon cutting

Traffic Alerts for December 19 to January 5

Each week we will provide an ongoing list of Kirkland’s capital projects that will affect traffic. We will list new projects first.  Please consider checking apps such as WAZE or other traffic apps before you drive.

Prep work for Totem Lake Connector

Work has started on preliminary work needed to re-locate a sewer main to make room for the Totem Lake Connector pedestrian and bicycle bridge. Lanes currently remain open with traffic control in place. You may experience some delays.

After the new year, Totem Lake Boulevard’s southbound lanes will be closed to drivers between 120th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 124th Street. The street’s northbound lanes will remain open, however. Updates will be provided here and on City social media channels. 

totem lake detour map

At times we may share private development projects that are impacting major arterials. These are provided as a courtesy, please check apps such as WAZE or other traffic apps before you drive.

312 Central Way

The developers of a mixed-use building at the corner of Central Way and 3rd Street have closed the bike lane and sidewalk along the project frontage on Central Way to facilitate the construction of an underground parking garage. Additionally, there are traffic lane closures that restrict westbound lanes to one lane during normal construction hours. Other impacts include the sidewalk on 3rd Street, which is closed to pedestrian traffic for the duration of this work. These closures started in September and are ongoing. Pedestrian access around the site continues to be limited during construction hours but will be restored after hours once the concrete phase of the work is completed.

434 Kirkland Avenue

The developers of a six-story mixed-use building at 434 Kirkland Avenue have closed the bike lane and the sidewalk along the project frontage on Kirkland Way to facilitate the construction of an underground parking garage. These bike lane and sidewalk closures started in August and are ongoing. A temporary sidewalk is provided at the conclusion of each work day, while the bike lane will remain in a merging state.   

Aegis Senior Living – 1002 Lake Street South

The developers of a new, four-story senior assisted living and memory care residential building at 1002 Lake Street South have closed the bike lane and sidewalk along Lake Street South while they build an underground parking garage. The bike lane and sidewalk are open at the conclusion of construction each day. These bike lane and sidewalk closures have been ongoing since August.

Lakeview Office Building – 5501 Lakeview Drive

The developers of a new, two-story office building located at 5501 Lakeview Drive have closed the bike lane and sidewalk along the project frontage of Lakeview Drive to facilitate the construction of an underground parking structure. Additionally, the sidewalk along Lake Washington Boulevard is closed to facilitate deliveries to the construction site and other needs. These bike lane and sidewalk closures have been ongoing since August.

Upcoming Events

community bonfires with argosy ships

Community Bonfires at Marina Park 

The Kirkland Parks and Community Services department warmly invites the community to join in the lakefront bonfires that celebrate the 2019 Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship™ Festival. Bonfires take place rain or shine! Gather in front of a warm fire and watch as the Argosy ship, the Spirit of Seattle, glides by in a flurry of holiday cheer.

Our community bonfire series includes the following dates and times:

Saturday, December 21 from 3:30 – 3:50 p.m. at OO Denny Park (12032 Holmes Point Drive NE)

Saturday, December 21 from 6:35 – 6:55 p.m. at Marina Park (25 Lakeshore Plaza Drive)

Sunday, December 22 from 3:35 – 3:55 p.m. at Waverly Beach Park (633 Waverly Way)

Sunday, December 22 from 6:45 – 7:05 p.m. at Juanita Beach Park (9703 NE Juanita Drive)

For more information about the bonfires, visit the Kirkland Parks and Community Services Facebook page.

grand menorah lighting



Grand Menorah Lighting

Sunday, December 22, 4:15 p.m.

Marina Park Pavilion 

The community is invited to Chabad of Kirkland's annual Grand Menorah Lighting event. Join featured speaker Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet at this holiday celebration, which marks the beginning of Chanukah, an eight-day wintertime festival of lights. For more information about Chabad of Kirkland, visit: https://www.jewishkirkland.com/

senior property tax relief forum

Senior Property Tax Forum 

Friday, January 10, 2:30 to 4 p.m. 

Peter Kirk Community Center

Join the Kirkland Senior Council on Friday, January 10 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the Peter Kirk Community Center for a presentation from King County Tax Assessor John Wilson. Learn about the new income eligibility rules for 2020, and find out how to qualify and where to get with an application. Pre-registration is required, call 425-587-3360 or www.kirklandparks.net Course #9026.