Kirkland mayor delivers State of the City address

Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen delivered the annual State of the City address at the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week.

Walen repeatedly referred to Kirkland as “blossoming,” highlighting Google’s Phase II campus, Kirkland Urban, the Villages at Totem Lake and the expansion of Northwest University. She shared documentation of the projects in the city’s development services pipeline, which include more than 760,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 750,000 square feet of office space and almost 4,500 units of housing.

“Kirkland is blooming in more ways than just development,” Walen said, adding that Kirkland currently has an all-time high of more than 9,000 businesses with nearly 40,000 employees.

After highlighting the development and business strengths in Kirkland, Walen joked that she could end the speech right there.

“Restoring a booming economy and quality of life is why I ran for city council in 2009,” she said.

But the mayor went on to discuss how the city plans to handle growth and make sure each citizen is in a “flourishing, healthy condition.”

“Despite our success, we’re not there yet,” Walen said. “The next tasks then are to grow gracefully and help all members of our society to flourish.”

She said the council will set the course for the city’s future at its Feb. 3 retreat, where they will discuss affordable housing, the establishment of a human services commission, community policing, renovation of Fire Station 25, construction of a new fire station and Cross Kirkland Corridor Master Plan implementation, among other things.

She also mentioned setting aside money for a permanent shelter for women and families in Kirkland and the city’s Inclusive Communities Proclamation as some of the points of pride for the city over the last year.

“This year, we should think about how we can preserve Kirkland as an inclusive and welcoming community,” Walen said in some of her final remarks. “Together, we will accomplish even more remarkable things and keep Kirkland the most livable city in America.”