November 7, 2017 did not go as I and many others anticipated it would. When the results were tallied and it was clear that I was on the short end of the vote count for Mayor of Bellevue, I honestly wasn’t sure what that meant for 2018 and beyond. I was encouraged by many to run for mayor because they saw in me a passion for our community, a commitment to servant leadership, and an unwillingness to accept the status quo. I heard the encouraging words and decided that, while it would mean giving up my vote on council, I would heed the call and would pursue the office as a means to utilize its podium to further serve, promote, and lead our community into a brighter future. Ultimately, the voters chose to go in a different direction and I found myself wondering what my future in local politics would look like. Late that night, after the polls had closed, I shared a drink or two with dozens of supporters, as well as numerous current/former/future elected officials. While the whirlwind of emotions were still spinning and the future was hazy at best, more than a few conversations were had about who would take the helm of leading this new, very young and fresh council.
Every two years, after a municipal election, the first meeting of Bellevue Council is called the “Reorganization Meeting.” During this meeting, nominations are heard and votes are cast for those whom the members of council would like to serve as the new President and Vice President of Council. Unlike elections where the thousands of registered voters in the community decide who will represent them, this election is historically determined not with mailings, robocalls, and thousands of knocks on doors throughout the borough but by personal conversations with other elected officials.
I am honored to share that after having many of those conversations, I have decided to welcome a nomination to serve as the next President of Bellevue Council.
The President of Council is the elected leader of council and the individual who sets the agenda, tone, and culture of our local government. The President of Council leads all council meetings, is a defacto member of all the borough’s committees, and ensures the necessary legislative actions are met on a timely basis. With the solitary exception being the police department, the President of Council serves as the primary point person holding all borough employees accountable for their respective roles, maintains a vigilant watch over the borough’s budget, and represents the borough in many formal and informal functions. Serving as President of Council will be a time-consuming role requiring great attention to detail, but with the remaining two years of my term on council, I cannot think of a better way to serve the community I love and have called home my entire life. If I am fortunate enough to officially receive the votes verbally offered to me, serving as President of Council will provide many of the servant leadership and ambassadorial opportunities I sought while running for Mayor, yet maintains the right to the all important vote among the board.
I’m grateful for the things I’ve been able to help Bellevue achieve in my years of service and am excited by what lies ahead for our community. I remain convinced Bellevue’s best days are in the future and thank you for your continued commitment to the community we all cherish.