Laurie Sperry has spent more than a decade on the Kenmore City Council and helped guide the city through some major changes. However, the long-time councilwoman has announced that she will not seek her fourth term this November.
“While I am grateful and honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of Kenmore, I have decided not to seek re-election to a fourth term on the council,” Sperry said in a release. “At the end of this year, I will have served as a councilmember for 12 years.”
Sperry said that she is proud of the changes that have occurred during her tenure on the council, including some major infrastructure improvements.
“When I first took office, there were no sidewalks on (State Route) 522 or hardly anywhere else, for that matter,” Sperry said. “Now not only there sidewalks on 522, literally miles of new sidewalks have been built — with more on the way.”
The area now known as Kenmore was managed by King County prior to incorporation as a city in 1998. Sperry noted that when she took office, city hall was in an old bank building, and the library was located in a trailer.
“Now we have a new city hall building and beautiful, spacious library in our emerging downtown. And that old bank building? It’s now the Kenmore Post Office,” Sperry said.
During her first campaign in 2005, Kenmore card rooms were the big issue that fueled her campaign and filled the debates.
“My opponent’s campaign was bankrolled by the gambling interests,” Sperry said. “And I did not want the future of Kenmore to be decided by outside gambling money.”
Sperry won her first election by just 175 votes.
“My election settled the gambling issue and freed the council to work toward a better future for the residents,” she said.
Running for public office was not her top priority in 2005.
“When friends first suggested I run for city council in 2005, I said, ‘No,’” Sperry said.
Sperry said that she is not a public person and was not excited about being criticized publicly. She was also dealing with a very difficult loss.
“It was not a good time for to run for office,” Sperry said. “Less than a year earlier, my 19-year-old daughter had died from a brain tumor, and I was still grieving. However, after seeing how my daughter Emily lived her short life, I resolved that I would live a life that made a difference. So I said, ‘Yes.’”
Sperry intends to fulfill the rest of her term, which will end on Dec. 31, and hopes that future councilmembers will see the city’s potential.
“My hope is that future councilmembers will continue to love their city and serve the people well by making good decisions,” Sperry said. “Then our residents and elected councilmembers working together will create one of the best places to live in the region. I believe Kenmore’s best days as a community are yet ahead. We have a great future story.”