Acker is positive, informed, committed | Letters

Acker is positive, informed, committed

Tom Acker has a passion for the city of Mercer Island. He cares deeply for this city, its residents and its schools. We fully support Tom for City Council and believe Tom would help our council be more strategic, effective and responsive to our community’s needs in terms of I-90 commuting, city budget priorities, city services, investing in parks, arts and recreation and with public outreach and processes.

Many of us have had the opportunity to volunteer alongside Tom on a number of important community issues, including I-90/Sound Transit discussions, PTA school advocacy, Mercer Island Town Center development review as well as a number of philanthropic organizations. Tom is a positive, informed, committed and an effective leader advocating on behalf of our community’s interests. Tom’s business experience, analytical skills and advocacy involvement combined with his passion, perseverance and commitment to our community would be an asset to our council and community.

Maria Alberto, Peter Goodman, Dan Harper, Doug Hawkins, Ralph Jorgenson, Jim Lovsted, Subeer Manhas, Leslie Moore, Kevin Peck, Mark Panelli, Roger Shanafelt, Sarah Smith, Alison Stovall

Mercer Island

Vote for Acker for City Council

Let me begin with a confession. I haven’t told Tom Acker this but I voted for Mayor Bruce Bassett in the previous election. I did this because I felt that Bassett was the better candidate in spite of Tom being a friend and someone with whom I have collaborated on city-related issues. I also supported, donated money and voted for pretty much every elected official (all Democrats) who are endorsing Tom’s opponent, Joy Langley. I am a loyal Democrat who is completely turned off by the GOP at the federal level. I also happen to think that Joy is an extraordinary person and candidate and should one day have the opportunity to serve on the council.

However, I am voting for Acker over Langley and I’d like to explain my choice.

First and foremost, Tom is a critical thinker who is passionately interested in improving our Island. He was born and brought up on Mercer Island and has lived in Seattle before moving back to the Island. He genuinely wants better solutions. He doesn’t necessarily fall in line with an accepted consensus if he thinks that the data points elsewhere. He also is quick to change his opinion once he finds that there is data that contradicts his position. He works hard to build consensus amongst people about issues and has taken the lead on various community initiatives.

There are some areas where I disagree with Tom, including his use of the condescending term “legacy council members” while referring to council members he disagrees with. This kind of language is unnecessarily confrontational and was probably the biggest reason for his not being able to unseat Bassett in the last election. In spite of this disagreement on his use of language in some situations, when I talk to Tom, I find him to be logical, rational, fact based, friendly and focused on solutions. He wants to do the right thing and has a strong intellect. My belief is that he uses language in this manner primarily because he is frustrated that the council isn’t always listening to data that contradicts their position. My experience is that the council is slower about changing its mind than the average citizen primarily because they don’t want the loudest voices to win without examining the issues thoroughly. I wish Tom would stop using this language to make his point in formal forums like council meetings and I truly believe that being on the council will mellow his language because he will have to win the support of fellow councillors to get things done.

The biggest reason to vote for Tom is that even as Tom believes that Mercer Island is a great place, he also sincerely, passionately, genuinely believes we can do better. He is dissatisfied with the status quo. Dissatisfaction is at the root of all progress for humanity. There are a handful of key issues facing the Island that are important ones and need a thorough discussion as well as consensus building for various potential solutions. It needs to be a fearless public discussion and all viewpoints need to be properly aired. Everyone needs to feel that their opinions were properly represented on the council.

We appear to have a budget crisis looming. We need to discuss how we can creatively and substantially improve intra-island transportation to take full advantage of the light rail that will arrive on the island. We need to have a coordinated plan to develop the remaining undeveloped blocks of downtown Mercer Island. We need to protect our greenery and parks on the Island. We need to find a center for cultural, dramatic and music related arts and activity on the island for our kids and community. Some of this is going to require some heavy lifting on the part of Island citizenry and the council in the form of potentially unpopular taxes or creative solutions and it will be impossible to make that happen without the whole Island feeling that they were properly represented and feeling convinced that there was deep discussion on the council. I believe that Tom

Acker is the right candidate to help make that happen. He is an honest, critical thinking, driven man who is passionate about making Mercer Island a better place for all of us.

Please vote for Tom Acker for City Council.

Bharat Shyam

Mercer Island

Acker has the courage

What are the qualities that we need in a person representing the Mercer Island residents on the council?

Judgment:Judgment is a must. In many ways, it is the job of our council members. A council member with solid judgment keeps you out of trouble and helps you navigate difficult situations. If you have a council member who does not have the experience and gravitas essential to good judgment, you are doing your community a serious disservice.

Relevant Experience: Our council member needs to have as much relevant experience as possible in order to make on-point decisions.

Wisdom:To have great judgment, wisdom is essential when making critical decisions and thinking strategically about the future. Note, both wisdom and judgment are usually the result of lots of experience in tough situations, some failures and a strong intellect.

Courage:Courage may be the most unappreciated trait. Our council members need to have the courage of their convictions, as well as the courage to face up to hard truths and to make tough calls when the answer isn’t always popular and when there are considerable consequences if the call is wrong.

Tom Acker’s experience as a senior executive at Boeing has given him the opportunity to navigate through difficult situations. He has the experience and gravitas needed on the council. He has been required to balance multi-million dollar budgets and make tough decisions on personnel, balanced with the bottom-line while maintaining world-class employees and production capability. His ability to think outside the box is exemplified by the mobility forum that he hosted, designed to reduce traffic congestion and make better use of the park and ride. He also has the courage to step up and stop actions detrimental to our community as he did with the “Kite Hill” issue (a park being turned into a parking lot).

Joy Langley’s work experience primarily has been working for politicians and being a lobbyist for various issues. That does not provide the relevant context for decision making about the current issues facing the council. Decisions made in a political context do not necessarily provide for the best interest of the community although they may be better for re-election or gaining future political appointments. An objective analysis clearly points to Tom Acker as the right choice.

Robert Harper

Mercer Island

Acker is dedicated to our community

When it comes to building a better future for Mercer Island, Tom Acker understands the issues better, and has contributed more to our community.

A second-generation Islander, Tom tirelessly advocates for Islanders by increasing transparency, supporting and volunteering in our schools, and bringing people together.

Tom’s interest in serving on the council is grounded by shared values developed through his long tenure in our community, and an interest in providing a voice to Islanders amidst the pressures of our rapidly growing region.

Tom’s leadership, commitment to the community, and focus on Islander’s issues is needed on our City Council. Please join me with a vote for Tom Acker in the upcoming election.

Janice Nice

Mercer Island

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