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Cero to challenge for Position 3

Veteran of both Iraq military conflicts, Westpoint graduate and current stay-at-home dad, Mike Cero has declared his candidacy for Position 3 on the Mercer Island City Council. Cero is the fourth candidate with plans to run for the seat held by Sven Goldmanis since he won it in 1999. A primary vote on Aug. 21 will narrow the number of candidates to two. Goldmanis did not file to retain his seat.

Cero lives with his wife and three children in the Avalon neighborhood. They moved to the Island more than a decade ago because of the quality public schools and the secure property values, he said.

After getting involved with the local VFW and PTAs of his children’s schools for the past several years, he has decided to run for City Council with a focus on improving relations with the School Board and preserving property values.

“I bring to the Council a good understanding of the [School] Board,” Cero said. “Both as a customer with kids in it and as working as much as a parent volunteer can.”

Before locating to the Island, the Ceros lived in Seattle while he was earning his master’s of business administration from Seattle University. Upon receiving his degree, Cero began working at Paccar, a local truck manufacturer. While at Paccar, he worked with a group dedicated to improving the supply chain process.

Cero said his work experience at Paccar was centered around a situation similar to the City Council, taking something good and making it better.

“There’s always room for improvement,” Cero said, “and that’s my nature having come from Paccar’s six sigma program, where we’d say, ‘We’re good, let’s congratulate ourselves and let’s move on to the next phase on making additional improvements.’”

He also said he would like to see continuing improvements with the city’s disaster preparedness programs.

“The emergency services that we supply, our first responders did a fantastic job [during the windstorm] but there were some issues that we had with the power and the delay and the time it took for everyone to have their power returned,” he said.

When away from work, Cero said he likes to be involved in local activities, such as coaching little league and soccer. Cero has also been a PTA board member and president, and he has volunteered at four of the last five DARE spaghetti dinners. Before his last deployment to Iraq, Cero was the local VFW Post Commander. He is currently the Vice Commander.

“I really value my time at the VFW,” he said. “Learning about the challenges [they] have and looking in their eyes and wondering just what stories they have to tell. They faced some unique challenges in their lives that I think we’ll all eventually face.”

Island issues he would like to help resolve deal with traffic — on the ground and in the air — and I-90. He said he is especially concerned of the recent talk about tolling both Lake Washington bridges and the impacts that would have on Island life and property. As a Council member, he said, he would make sure the actions taken would have little impact on the quality of life and property values on the Island.

He also said he would like to see the small town community feel of the Island maintained by taking tough stances against jets over the Island and tolls on I-90.

“I-90 and the Renton Airport could be very detrimental to our quality of life here,” he said.

For a complete list of all candiates for office for both the School Board and the City Council see page A7.

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