Letters to the Editor, Aug. 21, 2019

Candidate support

Supporting Cartwright

We have a great opportunity to get our city government on the right track by electing city council members that are committed to spending your tax dollars wisely for the benefit of Mercer Island residents.

One such person running for Mercer Island City Council is Heather Cartwright. I worked with Heather on the Mercer Island Community Advisory Group (CAG). She was part of the citizen group that supported the city implementing efficiency measures before raising taxes and voted to not put Proposition 1 on the ballot, until after such measures were initiated. Heather brings a wealth of experience in budget management, having led bottom line accountability at Amazon, Microsoft and Ford. It showed in her work on the CAG — she is a critical thinker, willing to ask tough questions, dig into details and analyze the budget numbers. She identified places the city had an opportunity to find operational cost improvements without any impact on our city services and asked that those be put in place first.

Her opponent in this election is Craig Reynolds, who took the opposite approach during the CAG. Craig simply accepted forecast numbers at face value and was one of the strongest advocates for raising taxes on Mercer Island citizens before implementing efficiency efforts.

We need new ideas, strategic thinking and accountability in our city finances. Heather is exactly the person that will bring that to our city council. She’s smart, knows how to run budgets, and believes Mercer Island can absolutely support services we value – like summer celebration and school counselors, and find efficiencies to make our city operations run more effectively at the same time. That’s the vision and passion Mercer Island deserves.

Let’s vote for positive change in our city council. We’re putting our vote behind Heather Cartwright.

Bob and Betty Harper

Mercer Island

Jacobson support

Thank you Mercer Island. As a candidate for city council these past three months, I learned a lot. I met many wonderful new friends and studied new opportunities and existing policies. Most importantly I listened to the voices of citizens who are concerned with the direction our city governance is taking.

Mercer Island is blessed with incredible potential and numerous possibilities. I remain passionate that our Island would benefit from leadership that brings strong financial, operational and negotiation skills and sets our Island on a path for a successful future. To harness this potential for our best future we need someone who can bring our Island together – Jake Jacobson.

In the race for city council Position 7, I wholeheartedly endorse Jake Jacobson. Jake possesses the skills and experience we need right now. Jacobson is a seasoned attorney with specific knowledge/experience in employment and construction law, along with countless hours of successful negotiations with Sound Transit, WSDOT (the state Department of Transportation) and several other state agencies. We need his skill set on council to help lead us to our best future. Please join me in voting for Jake Jacobson.

Robin C. Russell

Mercer Island

Biz owner says ‘Yes’ to Cartwright

As a Mercer Island business owner and a resident for over 50 years, I strongly endorse Heather Jordan Cartwright for city council Position 5.

Heather and I first met when we were selected to participate in the Citizen Advisory Group (CAG). Without knowing anything about Heather, I was immediately impressed with her credentials. As the CAG meetings ensued, it was evident her credentials matched her abilities. She was focused on facts and asked detailed questions in a thoughtful, respectful manner. Her strong financial savvy and insights into the budgeting processes were immediately obvious, as was her commitment to positive outcomes.

A smaller group decided to spend more time diving into the budget details. Cartwright was quick to identify places where the forecast was underestimating revenue and over forecasting expenses, and helped to document that we would likely not face a budget deficit at the end of 2018, as had been presented to the citizens. When the city finally released 2018 financials, in fact, the city didn’t have a $500,000 deficit but a $1.3 million surplus.

During CAG discussions, Heather was very cognizant that citizens had just recently experienced substantial real estate tax increases, and the city probably would need funding to replace aging sewer and water lines (high priority). She approached the budget analysis from a standpoint of whether or not we were spending our tax dollars in the areas citizens valued the most, trying to identify areas of low value and prioritize those considered high value.

Now is the time to elect someone to the city council who has studied the budget thoroughly, understands how to improve budget operations, and will always be an advocate for the citizens of Mercer Island. Cartwright is exactly the right person.

Please join me in voting “Yes” for Heather Jordan Cartwright on Nov. 5.

Doris Cassan

Mercer Island

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Candidate support