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Scheid to run for Mercer Island City Council seat
Kevin Scheid, a retired Coast Guard captain and 19-year Mercer Island resident, is running for City Council Position 2 in order to stop tolling on Interstate 90.
“No one should have to pay a toll on one road to finance another road,” stated Scheid.
Scheid, who has not held elected office before, is running for City Council Pos. 2, now held by Dan Grausz, who is running to retain his seat. Scheid said that Grausz is taking the wrong approach to defeating tolling and protecting Islanders.
In a press release, Scheid said, “I believe this election will determine the future of tolling on I-90. Tolling is bad policy and can be defeated with committed Council leadership.”
He believes that Grausz has hurt the fight against tolls.
“In contrast, my opponent has testified in Olympia on the best way to toll Mercer Islanders and argued against the strong legal action the City Council took. I believe his strategy will result in tolling for everyone."
Outgoing City Councilmember Mike Grady and Eva Zemplenyi, co-chair of the “No Tolls on I-90” committee, both endorse Scheid.
“This Council race is essential to keeping I-90 toll free. I’m concerned that the City Council will revert to its prior efforts to look for a compromise,” Zemplenyi said.
Former Island mayor and state senator Jim Horn also put his name in for Scheid. “I endorse Kevin and believe he has the experience, skills and values to make an excellent Councilmember.”
Scheid believes he is prepared to meet other challenges facing Islanders as well as transportation and infrastructure issues.
“A fresh perspective will help maintain transportation options, the strengths and the character of our city. These issues are especially important since the idea of expanding the Central Business District to the North was introduced in a City Council session,” he wrote.
Scheid said it was his work against the school bond last year that brought him to consider a run for Council. He said that he now supports the new smaller bond proposal in the works by the school district. He said many encouraged him to run.
He is concerned about the impacts of development on parking and accessibility in the Town Center. He believes that developers are not paying adequate impact fees.
He is not certain that light rail is the correct approach to increasing mobility, pointing out that studies do not indicate that people do or will use it. And he believes it will negatively impact parking.
“My issue with trains is making sure that there is adequate parking for everyone to use,” he said.
He has praise for the city’s parks and attractive downtown. “There are so many things we do well,” he said of the city.
Of his opponent, Scheid noted that Mr. Grausz had said two years ago that he would not run again. He said that while he respects the Councilman, “he has been on the Council too long.”
A 26-year Coast Guard veteran, Scheid holds a B.S. in engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and an MBA from Purdue University. He worked in a variety of jobs including four years in Washington, D.C., where he managed a $140 million budget for Coast Guard aviation maintenance. He said his operational experience has included environmental protection, law enforcement and search and rescue. He finished his career as the Chief of Coast Guard Search and Rescue for Washington and Oregon, managing more than 1,000 men and women at coastal boat and air stations.
Scheid wrote, “My experience in a variety of areas will enable wise stewardship of tax dollars and prevent seniors from being taxed off the Island.”
A longtime member of the Mercer Island Covenant Church, Scheid is now the vice president of Best Christian Workplaces, an Island-based consulting firm that surveys and assists Christian-based businesses and nonprofits, from hospitals to churches, on management and values.
Scheid has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club, his church, the M.I. Girls Lacrosse Board, the High School Site Council, and the interview committee for the high school principal.
He lives near the northeast corner of Pioneer Park with his wife, Bobette. They have four grown children, all Mercer Island High School graduates, and three grandchildren.