Endorsed by

Steve Friedman

Incoming Clyde Hill Mayor

Katy Harris

Yarrow Point Mayor

Kim Muromoto,

Clyde Hill City Council Position #3

Dean Hachamovitch

Clyde Hill City Council Position #5

Brad Smith

Vice Chair and President, Microsoft


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clyde hill city council POSITION 4

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about Mark

Public Disclosure notification: This website, and all other campaign materials, have been paid for by Mark Kroese, without contribution from campaign donors. This campaign is 100% self funded.

Hi, and thanks for visiting my website.

I'm Mark Kroese and I'm running for Clyde Hill City Council Position 4 on November 7th. You’re probably wondering, “So who is this Mark Kroese guy?” (Last name is pronounced ‘cruise’). Here’s a bit about me and why I want to serve on the Clyde Hill City Council.

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I’ve lived in Clyde Hill for over 25 years – almost half of my life – and am grateful for the quality of life we enjoy. I’m running for City Council because I want to ensure we keep it that way. Clyde Hill is surrounded by change and unprecedented growth, from Bellevue to Seattle to greater King County. This growth presents both challenges and opportunities. We need experienced, proven leaders to help us navigate these changing times.

I come to this election as a husband, son, brother, father of two, grandfather of three, and seasoned business leader. If elected, I will draw from 35 years of professional experience spanning big tech, startups, and non-profit boards. I spent the bulk of my career at Microsoft leading global business and technology teams. I currently serve as the General Manager for our environmental sustainability team – work that requires collaboration between the public and private sectors. (I’m retiring in November). During my career, I’ve solved complex, multi-stakeholder problems, led geographically and culturally diverse teams, and balanced budgets from the tens of thousands to the billions. My professional experience has prepared me well for this role.

In my retirement years, I’m compelled to focus on local issues. The role of the city council is to listen and be responsive to our residents. It’s pretty simple; a council member must first understand the concerns and needs of the residents, and then figure out the best way to respond to them. This city’s leadership exists to serve the residents, not the other way around. If elected, I will focus on the priorities listed below, and serve at the pleasure of incoming Mayor, Steve Friedman. Of my numerous endorsements, the most important are from Steve Friedman and key members of the city council, listed below. The incoming Mayor and council have confidence that I will be a colleague who will work with them and city staff to get things done!

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Mark’s Priorities

If elected, I’ll focus on the following important issues:

A balanced budget. Clyde Hill has been operating at an unsustainable deficit since 2020. Next year’s deficit is projected to exceed $500k. The good news is that we still have time to close the gap – but not much. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road. We must act with sensible urgency to balance the budget while avoiding impacts to essential services. Read more about this topic below in On The Issues.

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Safety and security. Clyde Hill enjoys the benefits of an effective and responsive police force. Let’s keep it that way. As we work toward a balanced budget, I’ll advocate maintaining the current level of law enforcement and enhancing security policies as appropriate. Crime rates are rising across much of King County, and we need to stay vigilant on public safety.

New zoning laws. The recently passed housing and land use bills (E2SHB 1110 and EHB 1337) are intended to expand the state’s housing supply through more affordable housing. I’ll focus my energy on minimizing the impacts of these new laws on the city of Clyde Hill.

A more effective City Council. The residents of Clyde Hill have an opportunity to elect a City Council that will collaborate effectively and decisively address important issues. I am being endorsed by incoming Clyde Hill Mayor Steve Friedman, City Councilman Hachamovitch (Position #5), and Councilman Muromoto (Position 3), and former Councilman Scott Moore. Their collective endorsements reflect a belief that I will be a strong collaborator who works well with the Major, City Council and City Hall staff to address Clyde Hill’s challenges and opportunities. I’m pleased to see that incoming Mayor Steve Friedman is focused on building an cohesive and productive council that will work well together.

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On the issues

I’ve been meeting with folks from the local community to better understand the issues. There are at least three that are worth discussing in more detail.

Fiscal Responsibility.

Clyde Hill is about four years from a budget crisis – the same crisis Medina experienced in 2019. Medina’s response to their budget crisis was to increase property taxes by 5% annually – rather than the standard 1% increase – from 2021 to 2025. Clyde Hill can avoid this crisis if we act swiftly.

The American philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.” With respect to Clyde Hill’s looming budget crisis, we have some very recent and very local history to learn from. After almost two decades of running a budget deficit, our neighboring city of Medina – the 7th wealthiest zip code in the United States – faced a budget crisis in 2019. Below is an excerpt from a June 2019 King5 news story on Medina’s budget woes.

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Fairness and Transparency.

In the past five years there have been a number of controversies between the City and the residents regarding hedges – the most recent being written about in January of 2022. I’ll stop short of rehashing these events but will point out that the City has been inconsistent in its enforcement of various view-related policies. I get concerned when I hear ambiguous terms like “Selective Enforcement.” Your Mayor

and City Council owe you – the residents – more transparency and clarity on these topics. If elected, I’ll advocate for unambiguous, consistent and fair policies – including hedges, construction, and anything else that needs the approval of City Hall.


In 2023, the Washington State Legislature passed several significant housing and land use bills that are intended to expand the state’s housing supply and help address the ongoing affordable housing crisis. The two more significant bills center around so-called “middle housing” (E2SHB 1110) and accessory dwelling units (ADUs, EHB 1337). These two bills require many local governments (including Clyde Hill) to revise their regulations to allow for a greater number and increased types of housing in areas traditionally dedicated to single-family detached housing. Both bills took effect on July 23, 2023, but local governments are not required to update their local regulations until six months after their periodic comprehensive plan update. Clyde Hill is required to submit their update by December 31, 2024 which means the new development regulations that support the new housing legislation must be adopted by June 30, 2025. The City

Council will need to carefully review and navigate this new legislation in order to minimize its impact on the Clyde Hill community. If elected, I will work closely with the other members of the City Council, the Mayor, and the planning commission to ensure we minimize the negative impacts of this new legislation.

To be fair to Medina, they face the same structural budget challenges that most cities, Clyde Hill included, now face. Simply put, costs are increasing much faster than revenues. Most of Clyde Hill’s operating costs are related to full-time headcount. Our operating costs can be viewed in three major categories:

  • People Costs (Salaries and Benefits) (60.1%)
  • Fire/EMS Services (12.7%)
  • Everything Else to Support the City (27.2%)

To underscore the effects of wage inflation, the People Costs line grew from $3,026,190 in 2022 to $3,411,870 in 2023, an increase of $483,349 or 12.7%! We must explore some creative cost saving options such as:

  • Pooling of headcount resources (with Yarrow Point and Medina)
  • Moving benefit-rich FTE positions to contract positions
  • Other “back office” efficiencies.

I do not support cutting police and fire personnel headcount unless all other options have been exhausted – if at all.

“The cost of providing services, like police and fire, courts, and parks, have risen about 4-5% per year while revenue has only grown about 2.5% annually, according to the city. Medina says it has used cost-saving measures and dipped into reserves for the last 17 years, but it’s getting to the point where that isn’t enough to cover costs.

“The city over the last 18 years has really burned through our reserves and reached what I call a crossover point,” Sauerwein said. ”Our expenditures are running into each other, and we’re going to have to bend one of those curves.”

To raise more revenue, the city will ask voters to lift a levy lid on property tax increases in order to maintain city services for the next 10 years.

The measure, which will be on the November ballot, would increase property tax bills by 5% annually from 2021 to 2025. Currently local governments can raise property taxes by 1% each year without voter approval. On a $2 million home, property taxes would increase by $400 per year or about $33 per month in 2020. By 2025 those homeowners would pay an extra $589 per year or about $49 per month, according to the city.”

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I’d love to hear from you and encourage you to reach out with your thoughts, concerns, ideas, and opinions. I can be reached by phone/text at 425-785-3494, or via email at mark@mark4clydehill.com or markkroese@gmail.com. If you’re motivated to help me get elected, share this website with your friends and reach out to me to put a yard sign on your property. Thank you!

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