Jared Nieuwenhuis has the kind of community volunteer and service record that demonstrates his strong commitment to the city of Bellevue. Voters should reelect him to Council Position 4.
Before his 2017 election to the council, Nieuwenhuis served on the city’s Parks and Community Service Board and on the Lake Hills Neighborhood Association. In December, the majority of his fellow council members had enough confidence in him to elect him deputy mayor.
Faced with the effects of the pandemic, he and Mayor Lynne Robinson worked with the city manager and their council colleagues to close a $32 million budget shortfall to keep the city on track. Their decisions included increasing funding for police training and avoiding increasing taxes on residents, also grappling with economic fallout.
He is endorsed by business and labor interests. And his effort to close a loophole that prevented holding animal abusers accountable earned him the endorsement of the Humane Voters of Washington.
Challenger Ruth Lipscomb is a retired software engineer who has worked on education issues, advocated for capital gains taxes, worked campaigns for liberal candidates and is a Fuse Washington member. She is challenging the incumbent, she said, because no one was running against him. Her beef is the council is too timid in dealing with affordable housing and policing issues.
Although Nieuwenhuis frequently has noted a comment Lipscomb made about moving funding away from the police department last summer, the two candidates’ stated positions on the issue now are not that far apart. But Nieuwenhuis has the actual record: he officially supported increasing training dollars for Bellevue Police and supported a program to provide more assistance to people struggling with mental illness and addiction.
Nieuwenhuis easily is the stronger candidate, who has a demonstrated record of collaborative leadership and commitment to steering Bellevue in the right direction.