With the goal of changing the City of Kirkland governance structure from Council-Manager to Mayor-Council the group Citizens for a Strong Kirkland announced today that the first opportunity to sign the Petition will be held on the steps of Heritage Hall on Saturday April 16th from noon till 2pm. 2100 verified Kirkland resident signatures are needed to get the issue on the November 8th ballot.
Spokesman for the group Bob Sternoff said “Kirkland residents believe a City of 83,000 should have an elected and accountable Mayor running and effectively representing the City. Kirkland has not had an elected Mayor since 1964 when the population was 6500 and is one of only two Cities in King County with populations over 65,000 who do not elect their Mayor today.”
Kirkland’s Mayor is chosen from amongst the 7 Council Members however day to day operations and Staff are under the City Manager’s authority. The City Manager is hired and retained by a minimum of 4 of the 7 City Council Members.
“There really are no checks and balances for residents under the current system and the residents are feeling that its time for a change” says Sternoff.
Sternoff cites recent protests and the formation of groups angry about the Potala Project, Plastic grocery bag ban , I405 Tolling, Cross Kirkland Corridor/Sound Transit and Prop 1 Build the ARC as examples where residents don’t feel the City listened and responded counter to their concerns. “This effort will at the very least force the timely discussion concerning the relationship between residents their representatives, staff accountability and how Kirkland can be best managed moving forward”.
Sternoff says “a change to Mayor-Council governance like Redmond and Issaquah have is the most sensible path to accountability and a much needed strong representative voice in the Region “.
Email KirklandStrong@gmail.com to request a Petition and for the most up to date information like the KirklandStrong Facebook page.