After multiple rounds of interviews, the Snoqualmie City Council on Oct. 9 chose James Mayhew to fill a vacant seat, at Position 4.
Position 4 was open since Councilman Brad Toft resigned the seat Aug. 19, two years into his term. The position is the only city council seat not on the ballot for election this year. Mayhew will serve the rest of the term, which expires Dec. 31, 2019.
A resident of Snoqualmie since 2009, Mayhew has a background in finance and accounting and was formerly a treasurer for the Wildcat Junior Football and Cheerleading Association from 2014 to 2016.
Mayhew grew up and worked in the Seattle area before moving to New York, San Francisco and Singapore through his work at KPMG and Volt Information Sciences.
In his application for the council position, Mayhew said his top priorities were controlled growth, fiscal responsibility, and communication with citizens. He stressed the importance of long-range planning for the city to remain sustainable.
“I’ve seen big organizations, I’ve seen how these things can go wrong and the pressures that can cause them to go wrong and I thought that it would be really enjoyable to be part of keeping something going,” he said. “I’ve got a background that could really be useful and this is a way I can contribute.”
Similarly to all of the city council candidates up for election, Mayhew stressed that diversifying the city’s revenue by focusing on retail and tourism was vital and would help the city move away from its dependence on property taxes, especially since housing developments have slowed dramatically.
He wants to focus on controlled growth through projects and proposals that would help the city improve retail, tourism, and affordable housing. Mayhew also mentioned his desire to have more discussion with residents about the city’s vision, implications of the vision, and the basis for decisions being made.
“I think we’ve got to do a better job as a city to help people really understand and engage so that it all makes sense to people instead of coming at them out of context,” he said.
In his first few weeks, Mayhew has been going through a series of meetings with every department in the city to get a deeper understanding of all of the operations the municipal government is responsible for.
“I think we’ve got a great community. We’ve got some new times coming as we finished what has mostly been a period of massive expansion and need to turn our attention to what is sustainable fiscally,” he said. “And thinking about how we face the future, including growth pressures, and maintain our quality of life.”