The Kirkland Chamber hosted a panel discussion on Sept. 25. The theme of the evening was “Kirkland Now and Then.”
The panel was chosen based on their age, family makeup (no children, young children, adult children), and length of time living in Kirkland. The panel discussed the growth and changes happening in Kirkland.
Samantha St. John, executive director of the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce said the consensus among the panel seemed to be that change is hard, but necessary.
“Although we have challenges with growth, there is a need to embrace it,” St. John said.
The panel included Dr. Joseph Castleberry, Megan Nakanishi, Brian Gawthrop, Marianna Beetham, Sally Otten and Walt Yeager.
Director of operations at Nakanishi Dental Laboratory, Nakanishi said it was amazing to see that all the panelists valued similar things like the small-town feel, community activities, the beautiful resources they have and the access to technology.
Speaking of the growth in Kirkland, she said, “We all recognize [this] issue. It’s more about us being intentional and working with local businesses, working with the City Council to come up with solutions, holding more public forums to talk about what other municipalities have done to mitigate these type of issues and how cities have successfully grown while still maintaining the small-town characteristics we all identified that we value.”