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Originally published July 12, 2013 at 5:19 PM | Page modified July 31, 2013 at 4:24 PM

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Editorial: Lynne Robinson and Steve Kasner, new voices for Bellevue City Council

The Bellevue City Council has two races on the August primary ballot. Two challengers offer a welcome ration of perspective from the community.

Seattle Times Editorial

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THE Bellevue City Council needs a fresh infusion of new voices and vision for a growing, changing community.

Bellevue is more than its downtown and a gilded legacy as a prosperous suburb. The city is an economic powerhouse in its own right. It is a city of neighborhoods and ethnic diversity that need and deserve more attention. In that spirit, two challengers are endorsed in the August primary over veteran council members.

For Council Position No. 4, Steve Kasnerbrings experience as chair of the East Bellevue Community Council. He has served on the South Bellevue Community Center Citizens’ Advisory Committee. Work as a teacher, sports coach and community volunteer has put him close to local concerns and issues. He has a substantial list of local endorsements, including former mayors and past and current council members.

Incumbent Kevin Wallace does not make a compelling case he can help move the community ahead after the City Council’s recent, rancorous history.

Two other candidates are on the ballot for Position No. 4, Bill Hirt and Jeffrey Talada. Neither is a credible alternative.

The choice for Council Position No. 6 is between two good challengers. A strong endorsement goes to Lynne Robinson, who chairs the Bellevue Parks Board. Her work on and familiarity with Bellevue finance, infrastructure and neighborhood topics is solid preparation for council duties.

Vandana Slatter has an impressive record of community service, especially in health care. Pointing some of her capacity toward city issues would be good for Bellevue. Stints on a city board or commission would be a plus.

Incumbent Don Davidson has been a Bellevue council member and mayor forever. Health issues prevented him from attending council sessions since April.

For all of his experience, he did little to steer the council through nasty fights over light rail and creation of an ethics policy with any heft.

Davidson is thanked for his years of dedication to Bellevue, but two solid challengers provide a timely opportunity for change.

Bellevue is on the cusp of reviewing zoning in the downtown. The area has never lacked for attention or patrons. Time for the city’s neighborhoods and the community’s capacity to finance local infrastructure improvements to get attention at City Hall.

City Council candidates Steve Kasner and Lynne Robinson represent constructive, inclusive steps in that direction.

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