Kenmore’s mayor reflects on 2018, looks forward to the future

City continues to create a sense of place downtown.

  • Friday, February 8, 2019 8:30am
  • Opinion
David Baker. Photo courtesy of city of Kenmore

David Baker. Photo courtesy of city of Kenmore

By David Baker

Special to the Reporter

As we start our new year and the national spotlight has recently been on government, it’s easy to become disgruntled.

Now is a great time to look back on 2018 and reflect on everything our community has accomplished! In 2018, we celebrated our 20th anniversary as a city and saw some achievements that are the direct result of our planning and policies. The Hangar is bustling with playgroups, teen gaming, sewing groups, book clubs, you name it. Our plan to create a new downtown and Kenmore’s very own “sense of place” took a leap forward in 2018 with the new Seaplane Kitchen & Bar in downtown Kenmore — just as we planned and platted.

You’ve probably seen construction start for the FlyWay, a mixed-use building between The LINQ and The Hangar. This new building will be the next piece of Kenmore’s downtown plan, with almost 6,000 square feet total of street-level commercial space along 68th Avenue Northeast. It is expected to open by early 2020 with about 25 residential units above the retail and office space, with more surface and a daylight parking garage below.

As always, we balanced our two-year budget for 2019-20, but this time was more difficult than others. As a residential community, Kenmore’s budget is reliant on property taxes, which has a state-imposed growth limit of one percent per year. As costs of doing business rise faster than revenues, we may be faced with the reality of a structural budget deficit as soon as 2021. As we try to keep costs down while not impacting any services, we will welcome your input as we explore different options.

In 2018, we also passed an ordinance to reduce plastic bags and we continued work to protect wildlife habitats. I am proud of the Planning Commission efforts to thoroughly study our mobile home park communities and evaluate ways to protect our residents.

Stay tuned in 2019 to see The Lodge restoration unfold, the opening of our first ballfield at Moorlands Park, more progress with Walkways and Waterways projects and more work on pedestrian and bicycle safety. If the effects of the recent federal government shutdown don’t stop us from proceeding, the West Sammamish River bridge replacement on 68th Avenue Northeast could get underway this year. We will also work more on policies to confront affordable housing and homelessness.

As elected officials, our primary job is to serve our community and make life in Kenmore better. We always welcome your involvement — stay connected by subscribing to our email updates at www.kenmorewa.gov/stayinformed.

David Baker is the mayor of Kenmore.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Let’s clear the air on wildfires, climate change

Agreement and commitment is needed to address the causes of wildfires and climate change.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Republican’s write-in campaign highlights post-primary intrigue | Roegner

Can former Bothell mayor beat two Democrats for lieutenant governor post?

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
What does it mean to violate the Hatch Act? | Roegner

The federal law was established in 1939.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Editorial: State lawmakers shouldn’t wait to start budget work

Making tough choices on cuts and revenue can’t wait until next year and hopes for better news.

Rico Thomas, left, has been a clerk in the Fuel Center/Mini Mart at Safeway in Federal Way for the past 5 years. Kyong Barry, right, has been with Albertsons for 18 years and is a front end supervisor in Auburn. Both are active members of UFCW 21. Courtesy photos
Grocery store workers deserve respect and hazard pay | Guest column

As grocery store workers in King County, we experience the hard, cold… Continue reading

Face masks save lives and jobs across Washington

Wearing a mask saves lives and saves jobs. And all across the… Continue reading

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Reopen schools in fall, but do it safely

Don’t bully schools into reopening. Protect our students.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Stopping COVID is now up to each of us

With a resurgence threatening, we need to take greater responsibility to keep the virus in check.

Doreen Davis, left in mask, waves at parade participants on May 2. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Wear your face-hugging, ever-loving mask | Editorial

“Don’t make me come down there.” — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo,… Continue reading

Back to the wild — a whole new outdoor recreation world | Guest editorial

When enjoying the great outdoors, continue to socially distance and be aware of how else COVID-19 has changed our world.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

KCLS has expanding its online resources so patrons can continue to learn, build skills, stay entertained and remain mentally and physically active amid the pandemic.

The true meaning of community | Guest editorial

LWTech president Dr. Amy Morrison reflects on how the COVID-19 outbreak has brought the community together.