At the March 6 City Council meeting, there was extensive discussion to spend $60,000 to rename a city department, which city staff had recommended against.
Absent from that discussion was whether there are better ways to spend $60,000 than to change signage and forms to reflect a new, but somewhat meaningless department name.
We could apply the $60,000 to help fund our recently-enacted $1 million litigation fund to fight Sound Transit, or hire a half full-time employee to help out our thinly spread city staff or perhaps have the city sponsor a series of summer arts performances. If Islanders have other ideas, send them to Council@mercergov.org.
Kudos to Councilmembers Wendy Weiker and Jeff Sanderson and Mayor Bruce Bassett for being the adults on the council and voting to not waste taxpayer money. Similarly, I hope Councilmembers Benson Wong and Dan Grausz and Deputy Mayor Debbie Bertlin, with two weeks to think about their vote, will strongly reconsider.
It is not known how Councilmember Dave Wisenteiner will vote. Many suspect that he is in favor of wasting $60,000 and that’s why the tie vote (3-3) was held over to the next meeting. As citizens and taxpayers, we can only hope Mr. Wisenteiner will end this charade, and vote against the proposed name change.