Acker: A proven advocate for Mercer Island | Letter

I have worked alongside many smart, dedicated volunteers in my 12 years on Mercer Island. Tom Acker stands out. He has shown a deep commitment to genuine involvement and leadership, he is knowledgeable and authentic. He is an expert resource that Islanders need in our corner, and more to the point, need on our City Council.

On a variety of issues critical to the Island the past several years, Tom has brought the many of the rest of us up to speed. He has spent countless hours studying and advocating for the preservation of the Island’s suburban quality of life. Tom favors intelligent Town Center development that attracts and offers vibrant, walkable, retail. So, whether it was standing up to those pushing for supersized development that would have had meager public amenities, a Kite Hill parking structure or Interstate 90 transportation missteps, Tom has brought insight and clarity to complex discussions.

Tom Acker rented at his own expense the Mercer Island Community and Events Center last fall, hosting an educational forum on the I-90 changes to come. Because of that and his continued outreach efforts, thousands of us came to understand the significance of I-90 changes. Tom has understood that compromise can happen from a position of strength when city leaders commit to preserving what our community values.

Why do we need Tom’s expertise, energy and backbone on the City Council now? Because we cannot afford not to have him speaking up for us. Our next council will have more difficult decisions ahead: a budget challenge, Mercer Island Center for the Arts, parking for Islanders wanting to use mass transit and Sound Transit’s plans to use the Island’s north end as a bus turn-around for all Eastside buses, just to name a few. He is not afraid of change, he just favors improvements that enhance our community, not cripple us.

Like others on the current council and school district board who have families and kids at home, he is looking at an enormous time commitment. I am honored to join those who support him and hope other voters will do the same.

Hilary Benson

Mercer Island