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Candidates step up for city, county and schools
Boeing engineer Richard Erwin, along with incumbents, City Councilman Dan Grausz and School Board member Dave Myerson, have announced their intentions to run again for public office along with King County Sheriff John Urquhart.
Erwin will run for Pos. 6 on the Mercer Island City Council, the seat now held by Mike Grady. Islander Benson Wong announced his run for Council last week.
Grausz, who has served on the Council since 1999, will run to retain his seat, Pos. 2.
School Board member Dave Myerson said he will run again for his seat. Urquhart, elected to fill the remaining term of Sheriff Sue Rahr (who resigned last year), will run for re-election.
Islander Richard Erwin announced late last week that he will run for City Council Position #6, currently held by Michael Grady.
Erwin said, “Mercer Island is going through a time of transition on a number of issues during a delicate period in our economy. It requires a City Council that will get maximum value out of every dollar it spends while ensuring that our city services are maintained, our open spaces remain both unspoiled and accessible, and our public infrastructure, where necessary, is renewed. And I look forward to the challenge.”
Erwin has been a resident of Mercer Island for 13 years, and a single parent of his daughter, Seneca, for 17 years. An employee with Boeing for over 26 years, he presently provides operational support for critical companywide Internet applications.
Erwin is currently vice-chair of the Mercer Island Design Commission and has served on the East Bellevue Community Council, which focuses on land use issues, for three years. Steve Kasner, the present chair of the Council, said, “Rich understands how communities work and helped make living in ours a much better place.”
He has also served on the Thrivent-East King County charitable board for two years.
Island resident and past chair of the Thrivent board, Cindy Martin said, “He was a tireless, dedicated and focused part of our team, bringing his experience, intelligence and ideas to each meeting.”
Erwin is against the I-90 tolling plan. “Mercer Island should not be left holding the bag regarding a project gone wrong. A bad precedent is set when we pay for a state-funded road with a federally funded road. A worse precedent is set when we commit Mercer Island to help pay for the Interstate 5 to Montlake approach for the State Route 520 bridge separate from future possible regional transportation strategies.”
“The Puget Sound Regional Council, a bipartisan group of municipal and county leaders from throughout King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, intends to implement a regional transportation plan over the next 30 years. Instead of the existing proposal, the residents of Mercer Island should participate in a regional solution, where all residents of the Puget Sound will be asked to pay a proportionate share of the cost. A first step for this process needs to be an Environmental Impact Statement.”
Erwin is a strong supporter of Mercer Island public schools.
“Our children’s education is one of the key reasons most of us have come to live here. Overcrowding, however, is affecting the quality of their education and this issue must be addressed without delay. If elected, I will support the School Board in its efforts to resolve this issue.”
Erwin also believes the growth of the Town Center benefits the entire Island, but more needs to be done.
“I support Sound Transit’s willingness to fund additional commuter parking on Mercer Island,” he said. “For too long, Island residents have had to deal with insufficient access to their own community’s Park & Ride, and resolving this issue is overdue.”
Elliot Newman, former mayor of Mercer Island, has said of Mr. Erwin, “Rich’s background and experience in land use-planning and management, and as a member of the Mercer Island Design Commission, provide him with outstanding credentials to serve on the City Council.”
Workshop for candidates
King County Elections is hosting two free two-hour workshops for candidates intending to file for office. They will be held between 2 and 4 p.m., Thursday, April 25, and 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, April 27.
Both workshops will be held at King County Elections, 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton, Wash., 98057.
Those interested in attending must RSVP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.