Three-term incumbent Jean Garber looks to continue guiding Newcastle
September 3, 2009
By Tim Pfarr
Of all six City Council candidates on the ballot this November, Jean Garber is the only incumbent. She has served three consecutive terms on the City Council. She also served as mayor from 2006-2007.
Garber graduated from Penn State University with a degree in chemistry in 1963. In 1989, she moved to what would become Newcastle. When the city incorporated in 1994, she got involved with city affairs, serving as a member of the city’s interim planning commission. She helped draft Newcastle’s first comprehensive land-use plan.
She became a member of the city’s first Planning Commission when it developed about a year after the city’s incorporation, and she served with the commission until running for and being elected to City Council in 1997.
If re-elected, Garber said she would work to control the city’s spending and make needed cuts, so residents will continue to receive services they want.
Garber supports developing downtown with floor-area-ratio requirements that call for the construction of multi-story buildings, especially on smaller lots.
“This is all we have, this little postage-stamp downtown, and we need to make wise use of it,” she said. “I think development of our downtown is critical.”
She said having apartments downtown is appealing because of its proximity to all Newcastle has to offer.
“To me, it would be an ideal place to live,” she said, adding that building multi-story buildings would give Newcastle a distinctive downtown.
Garber also said she wishes to engage a broader segment of the community in issues and events. She also said she would work to get a post office and would not stop fighting to get Newcastle its own unique ZIP code.
“I think we’re on the verge of great things,” she said. “I believe in the city.”
Garber supports the library being a mixed-use facility that would include apartments, which would be a financial benefit to the library and add “to the vibrancy of our downtown.”
She has been caucus leader for 35 suburban cities on the King County Growth Management Council for six years; chaired the Metropolitan King County Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee for four years; and been a board member of the Suburban Cities Association for two years. She has also chaired the association’s Education Committee for two years.
Garber has worked intensively as an impact analyst (analyzing environmental impacts and other impacts of development on surrounding areas), and she started her own business in 1978. She has since worked predominantly as a sole proprietor, on front-end impact strategy for projects.
She worked as project manager for impact analysis for the construction of Qwest Field as well as for Issaquah’s Pickering Place. She was also project manager for impact analysis on Woodland Park Zoo’s plans for future development.
Garber is endorsed by State Sen. Fred Jarrett; State Reps. Judy Clibborn, Marcie Maxwell Deb Eddy and Larry Springer; Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger; City Councilmen Dan Hubbell and Sonny Putter.
- Last book she read: “Unaccustomed Earth,” by Jhumpa Lahiri
- What she does for fun: Backcountry skiing, cross-country skiing, hiking, bicycling, reading, writing poetry, live theater, cooking for family and friends
- Best memory from when she was 18: Going on a 150-mile horseback trip through the Teton wilderness in Wyoming before leaving for college
- How her best friends describe her: Trustworthy, good-humored, always there when she’s needed, always game for a good adventure