At the age of seven, when his father brought Jim Hart to Kirkland for the first time, they travelled by ferry from the foot of Madison Street in Seattle, across Lake Washington, landing at the ship yards in what was then the City of Houghton. Little did this young boy know that in the decades ahead he would make this his home and start a family, run a business, witness the merger of Kirkland with Houghton, serve on the Houghton Community Council, and seek a seat on the Kirkland City Council - twice (he first ran for Kirkland City Council in 1987).
Jim is in his eighties. "Therefore," he likes to say, "I am walking, not running for election." He is challenging incumbent Dave Asher for Kirkland City Council position number 6.
A self-described "long, long, long time resident of Kirkland," Jim has worked as a land surveyor since the 1940's. He eventually purchased the firm in downtown that today carries his name. As a surveyor, Jim is very knowledgable about the Kirkland area.
While his business is located in downtown, he emphasizes that Kirkland needs to have a broad view and must always be looking to the future. His perpective is that Kirkland now has multiple business cores, not just limited to downtown or Totem Lake, and that the city needs to focus on them all.
Jim believes a city requires a combination of optimism and pragmatism. In his view, Kirkland has demonstrated this repeatedly with the merger with Houghton in the 1960's, Rose Hill in the 1980's and now with our newest merger, of the neighborhoods of Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate. Jim has seen Kirkland grow through annexation over the decades and he prefers to use the term merger over annexation.
"We merged with Houghton and Rose Hill. And now the new merger in the areas to the north almost doubles the population of Kirkland." Jim Hart explains in an interview at his Kirkland office. "I am not from Houghton first and Kirkland second. I am from Kirkland. The new areas are the same. We are all from Kirkland."