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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Council Roundup: Balducci chosen mayor

Also, Wallace tapped as deputy mayor, Hidden Valley Park project

The City Council on Monday elected Councilmember Claudia Balducci to serve a two-year term as mayor. Councilmember Kevin Wallace was chosen deputy mayor.

Balducci, who served as deputy mayor from 2008-2009, takes over from Councilmember Conrad Lee, whose two-year term ended on December 31. After the vote, won on the fourth written ballot by a 4-3 margin, Balducci said she was honored to have been selected mayor by her fellow councilmembers.

"Bellevue is a terrific city, filled with incredible people," Balducci said Tuesday. "I look forward to working with Deputy Mayor Wallace and my other council colleagues to not just maintain, but improve our city as a place to live, work and visit. Working collaboratively, I'm confident we can meet the challenges ahead." 

Balducci has served on the council since 2004 and was re-elected to a third term in 2011. Her current council assignments and appointments include the Sound Transit Board of Directors, Association of Washington Cities Legislative Committee, Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Policy Board and Youth Link Board Liaison.

Balducci graduated from Providence College with a bachelor's degree, and from the Columbia University School of Law. She works for King County as director of the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. Balducci lives in the Lake Hills neighborhood with her husband Jim Harja and their son.

Wallace tabbed as deputy mayor
Wallace was elected to the council in 2009, and re-elected to a second term in 2013. He is a strong advocate for transportation improvements, and serves on numerous boards and commissions dedicated to supporting human services and improving Bellevue's livability. 

"I am grateful for the trust the council has demonstrated by unanimously choosing me to serve as deputy mayor," Wallace said. "I'm proud of the infrastructure investments we've achieved over the last two years and want to continue that work with Mayor Balducci and the rest of the council."

Wallace is also president of Wallace Properties Inc. where he primarily develops mixed-use, sustainable apartment communities in Seattle. He lives in the Lakemont neighborhood with his wife Natalie and three sons.

Bellevue has seven, part-time councilmembers who are elected at large and serve four-year, staggered terms. They choose a fellow councilmember as mayor for a two-year term. The mayor presides over council meetings and study sessions, represents the city at public events and acts as the primary spokesperson for the council. The council is responsible for approving budgets and setting policy for the city. Bellevue's city manager implements the policy and oversees the city's day-to-day operations.

Improvements coming at Hidden Valley Park
Also on Monday, the council approved a construction contract for up to $4.21 million (including tax) to complete athletic fields and other site improvements at Hidden Valley Park.

The project is a partnership between Bellevue and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue. Bellevue and BGCB will share equally in the cost of the site improvements, which include the installation of synthetic turf on the existing ball fields, construction of a fourth field and expansion of the parking lot. The city will pay the full cost of $76,650 for a separate maintenance building.

Under an agreement with BGCB, the city will lease a one-half acre parcel of the 17-acre Hidden Valley Park to the organization for $1 per year for 50 years. BGCB will construct, operate and maintain a 21,500-square-foot gymnasium, which will accommodate activities such as basketball, volleyball, pickle ball and practice baseball. The city will be able to schedule programs in the gym when it's not being used by BGCB.

Site work is expected to begin in February; gym construction is slated to start in April. The city and BGCB also will share an estimated $650,000 in additional "soft costs" for services such as engineering, design and project management.

Funding for the city's share of the project will come from the voter-approved 2008 Parks & Natural Areas Levy. BGCB is conducting a fundraising campaign.

More information is available with the council agenda material (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/City%20Council/PacketRegularSession1-6-148c.pdf).


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450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Lenka Wright, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 425-452-4090
E-mail: lwright@bellevuewa.gov

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