The 2015 Kirkland City Council races will feature seven candidates for council but just one primary, according to the King County Elections website.
Councilwoman Shelley Kloba, who currently holds position 2, will face three challengers during the Aug. 4 primary – William (Bill) Henkens, Jory Hamilton and Jason Chinchilla.
Kloba was appointed to a vacated seat in 2013 and was then elected by voters later that same year. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Kinesiology (1990) and graduated from the Seattle Massage School with Honors (1996). She is currently employed at The Donaldson Clinic Physical Therapy.
The Councilwoman that she is excited to have three challengers for her seat.
“I think it energizes voters to have choices on their ballot and I look forward to increased voter turnout,” Kloba said. “I happily anticipate a robust discussion of the issues that affect our community.”
Kloba has worked with the council on the Cross Kirkland Corridor and the Aquatic Recreation Community Center (ARC). She continues to advocate for a livable community by supporting the redevelopment of Totem Lake and Park Place to create economic opportunities and bring the things people need closer to where they live, according to her campaign.
She said she wants a budget for Kirkland that aligns spending with community priorities. She has testified in Olympia behalf of the city on revenue and public safety matters.
Kloba also touts her work on environmental issues, combating domestic violence, alleviating hunger and creating affordable housing.
“I have worked locally, regionally, and nationally on behalf of the residents of Kirkland,” said Kloba, who chairs the Public Works, Parks, and Human Services committee, and serves on the City/School District Coordinating Committee.
Kloba’s campaign website is www.klobaforcouncil.com.
Bill Henkens for position 2
Henkens, who has owned The Game Neighborhood Bar and Grill in Juanita since 1999, ran for council in 2013 against current Councilwoman Doreen Marchione.
Henkens said that he learned a lot from his first time running for council.
“I have a complete understanding of what happens,” said Henkens, who has a Facebook page for his campaign at www.facebook.com/BillHenkensForCityCouncil.
He welcomes the competition for the seat, despite the fact that it means that only two of the candidates will continue on to the general election. Henkens did not face a primary in 2013.
“I am thrilled. I remember the days when they couldn’t get anyone to run,” Henkens said. “Shelley is a newcomer to the council and has never really been challenged.”
Henkens said that he disagrees with many of the decisions that Kloba has made, especially her vote in support of the plastic bag ban.
“I don’t appreciate her not paying attention to what the people of Kirkland want,” Henkens said. ” I will have the best interests of the citizens on my mind.”
The business owner, who lives in the Finn Hill neighborhood, said that the 2011 annexation area needs more representation on the council.
“Toby Nixon is on council but he is from the Kingsgate neighborhood,” said Henkens, who like Nixon is a big proponent of open government. “There is zero representation from Finn Hill.”
Henkens has lived in Kirkland or unincorporated Kirkland since the early 1980s and is involved with the Humane Society. He has also won numerous awards for his work with LifeWire, a local organization that helps victims of domestic violence.
Jory Hamilton for position 2
Hamilton’s family has been in Kirkland for three generations and he grew up in the Juanita neighborhood. He will graduate from the University of Washington in June with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics (Comprehensive) and Astronomy with a minor in math and currently works at the Fred Meyer in Redmond as a sales clerk. Hamilton, 24, said that there is “no substitution for hard work.”
“I don’t care whether I win or lose,” said Hamilton, who put off taking the Medical College Admissions Test to run for council. “If someone else can do a better job, fine. I just want the best for Kirkland.”
He is a 2009 Juanita High School graduate and former football team captain. He was an Eagle Scout for Boy Scouts of America: Troop 565, according to his LinkedIn page. He is also listed a 2011 Washington Greco-Roman State Champion for USA Wrestling.
“My hope is that my leadership skills would transfer to being a council member,” Hamilton said. “I plan to walk door-to-door and ask my friends and family how to make Kirkland a better place because I know that my ideas might not necessarily be the best. I want to find the best ideas.”
Jason Chinchilla for position 2
Chinchilla, who will be 20 years old next month, was appointed to the Kirkland Park Board in March. One of his biggest issues is the bag ban the council passed earlier this year.
“I think it goes against the will of the people,” Chinchilla said. “They have decided they don’t want the bag ban.”
He said that he chose to run against Kloba because he feels like he can advance to the general election and have a good chance to win.
“We have differing opinions on a lot of issues and I want to stand up for those who differ with her,” Chinchilla said.
He was also on the school board at Puget Sound Adventist Academy.
“This city is really close to my heart,” said Chinchilla, who works at Toyota of Kirkland. “I think young people offer energy and new ideas that can propel their communities into the future.”
He is a student at Bellevue College, planning to major in political science with a minor in history. Chinchilla said that his main issues are tax regulation for small businesses and the “quality of police and fire protection for the entire city.”
“We also need to build up the infrastructure, especially in the annexation area,” Chinchilla said.
To contact Chinchilla email firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Morgan challenges Dave Asher for position 6
Martin Morgan is challenging Councilman Dave Asher for position 6. This is Morgan’s fourth consecutive time running for a council seat. Asher has held the seat since 2000 and is the longest tenured council member.
“I still have a lot to do,” Asher said about running again. “We have a pretty good working team and I am excited about the progress we have made.”
Asher’s campaign website can be found at www.daveasher.org.
Morgan chose to run against Asher because he thinks the council needs change.
“Dave has been there a long time and things have not changed,” said Morgan, who is a contractor and has served as the Kirkland American Little League commissioner. “The city manages the Council and they are not governed by the residents.”
Morgan said that he believes in open government and that the city needs to be more transparent.
The Reporter published a story in 2009 that outlined Morgan’s criminal history and his issues with the city. At that time, he owed the city $20,000 for violating city codes. City officials said Morgan has until 2016 to pay the fine. A property dispute with his neighbor over a leaking pipe led to Morgan owing the city more than $8,000. Morgan said that his standing with the city has not changed.
“You don’t really know all the facts – like how did it all start,” Morgan said. “I know how it all went down and the people I know, know how it went down and I am OK with that. Many of those codes have been changed since all that went down.”
When he ran in 2011 he told the Reporter he planned to continue running for council at least until 2016.
“I think it is interesting that Martin wants to continue to advance at election time when he doesn’t want to participate in the community the rest of the time,” Asher said.
Councilman Toby Nixon, who holds position 4, is also up for reelection but did not draw a challenger.