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The 2005 Mercer Island city government candidates

Brenda Finkenbinder

Position No. 6

Age: 48

Occupation: Small business owner and financial manager Puget Sound Mobile Wash Inc.

Family: husband Mike; two adult daughters, Allison Finkenbinder and Jordan Stowe, granddaughter Claudia

Education and experience: bachelor's in education and master's in business administration from University of North Dakota; Director of special projects at Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, 2001 - 2004; Regional manager for Minnesota Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, 1995 - 1996; President of Concept Resolutions, educational consulting firm 1996 - 2000; Executive director District No. 593 Education Foundation, Crookston, Minn., 1993 - 1995; supervision and leadership instructor University of Minnesota, Crookston, Minn., 1993 - 1994.

Activities: Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Foundation Boardmember; Outreach committee member and volunteer at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church; Member of Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce; President-elect Rotary Club of University District, Seattle.

Priorities:

^la Public participation in council decisions.

^la Protect and preserve Luther Burbank Park.

^la Save SOV access on I-90 HOV lanes.

^la Create an accessible Town Center.

Mike Grady

Position No. 6

Age: 50

Occupation: senior policy analyst for National Marine Fisheries Service

Family: Wife, Elizabeth Babcock; five children.

Education and experience: Received bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Notre Dame; master of arts degree in psychology at the Northern Colorado. And master of science degree in geology from University of Idaho. Was a geology instructor and director of cooperative education at the University of Idaho; a physical science instructor and academic advisor at Washington State University; a board member for the city of Moscow, Idaho's parks and planning; a petroleum geologist for the Mobil Oil Corporation; and executive advisor and human relations counselor and pilot for the U.S. Air Force.

Activities: Volunteer at St. Monica's Catholic Church; basketball coach with the Boys & Girls Club; past PTA president in Olympia School District; track coach at Mercer Island High School. He enjoys participating in triathlons, track and field, mountain climbing, luging, team sports, kayaking and cultural events.

Priorities:

^la Protect parks and public services.

^la Promote safe and healthy programs and activities, in particular pedestrian and bike access to downtown businesses.

^la Plan for responsible growth and address pedestrian and transportation problems in downtown business center.

^la Work with local, regional and state partners to solve congestion problems on Interstate 90.

Dan Grausz

Incumbent Position No. 2

Age: 53

Occupation: Senior vice president of Holland America Line-Westours, Inc.

Family: Wife, Clare Meeker; daughter, Sarah, 22; son, Sam, 19.

Education and experience: Earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial labor relations from Cornell University, a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master in Business Administration from the Wharton School, Univ. of Penn. Has been in politics since the age of 18, when he was elected to represent the sixth ward of the third district on the Democratic Committee for Oneida County, N.Y. Elected to the Island City Council Nov. 1999. Served on Mercer Island Planning Commission and School District strategic planning committee and Queen Anne Community Council.

Activities: Bicycling, scuba diving. Volunteers with the Ivy brigade. Past coach with Mercer Island High School debate team.

Priorities:

^la Add to and maintain parks and open space.

^la Prevent commercial development in Luther Burbank Park.

^la Keep Town Center development in scale and pedestrian friendly.

^la Ensure continued I-90 access for SOVs.

^la Work on regional transportation solutions.

^la Expand youth programming opportunities.

^la More senior programs at the community center.

Lisa Belden O'Meara

Position No. 2

Age: 53

Occupation: Attorney

Family: husband, Matt; daughter, Maddie, 18; son, John, 16.

Education and experience: Earned bachelor's degree in human biology, Stanford University, and Juris Doctorate degree from Seattle University. Political career began while in college, she worked summer jobs in the offices of two U.S. Congressmen in Washington, D.C. Founder of dedicated recreational trail system in Fairbanks, Alaska. Has worked on litigation defense committees involving environmental issues. Chair of political action committee Save MISOV (Mercer Island Single Occupant Vehicles). Active in Eastside Transportation Association.

Activities: Youth sports, past park volunteer, member Audobon Society, Sierra Club, Washington Wilderness Coalition, Alaska Conservancy Fund, Friends of Luther Burbank Park.

Priorities:

^la Support all Island vote on significant controversial issues.

^la Propose a parks protection ordinance.

^la Protect Mercer Islanders I-90 access and support mass transportation alternatives.

^la Protect against over-development of Town Center and adverse changes in neighborhoods.

^la Propose and support establishment of a senior advisory board

Jim Pearman

Incumbent Position No. 4

Age: 47

Occupation: Interest-based mediator for King County and contract work in economic development.

Family: Wife, Katalin; daughters, Charlotte, 11, and new baby Julia Elizabeth.

Education and experience: Bachelor's degree from Washington State University and master's degree in public administration from the University of Washington. Has been on the City Council since 2001. Past chairman of the Mercer island Park and Recreation Board and co-chair of the Mercer Island Community Center Task Force. Serves on Suburban City Association executive board, Puget Sound Regional Council, Economic Development Council executive board, National League of Cities, Energy Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee, Advisory Board for Washington State University's School of Hotel Administration advisory board, and Mountain to Sound Greenway Board.

Activities: Enjoys competitive rowing, spending time with his family and teaching children to understand local government through instructional tours.

Priorities:

^la Maintain the quality of life on the Island.

^la Make downtown more vibrant and pedestrian friendly.

^la Preserve and enhancing natural parks.

^la Support public safety.

^la Encourage productive relationships between the city and school district.

^la Address the needs of senior services.

Bob Baker

Position No. 4

Age: 52

Occupation: Pilot, Alaska Airlines

Family: Wife, Robin; two adult children, David and Jennifer; and stepchildren Lauren, 21, Mike, 19, Natalie, 16, Kristine, 8; one granddaughter, Janie, 9 months.

Education and experience: Baker was a Boy Scout senior patrol leader, the highest leadership role in scouting. Received a bachelor's degree from Purdue University; graduated top of his class at U.S. Navy flight school and graduated from Top Gun and U.S. Navy test pilot school; 21 years military experience; nine years experience as a commercial pilot.

Activities: Volunteer work with West Mercer Elementary School, and a Sunday school teacher at Crossroads Bible Church in Bellevue. He also counsels inmates through Prison Fellowship, an outreach and visitation program for prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families. Past PTA president in Camarillo, Calif.; Cub Scout and Boy Scout troop leader; soccer and basketball coach; Crisis Pregnancy Center counselor, and Mercer island Rotary member.

Priorities:

^la Better communication between City Council and residents through televised City Council meetings, e-mail surveys, town hall meetings and newsletters.

^la Maintain SOV access of center lanes of Interstate 90.

^la Relieve congestion in the Town Center area.

^la Responsibly manage further growth on the Island, based on citizen input.

^la Ensure that Fire Department first responders have adequate equipment and buildings to do their job.

^la Maintain Luther Burbank Park with necessary improvements but no commercial development.

^la Ensure adequate athletic facilities for Island youths.

top of his class at U.S. Navy flight school and graduated from Top Gun and U.S. Navy test pilot school; 21 years military experience; nine years experience as a commercial pilot.

Activities: Volunteer work with West Mercer Elementary School, and a Sunday school teacher at Crossroads Bible Church in Bellevue. He also counsels inmates through Prison Fellowship, an outreach and visitation program for prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families. Past PTA president in Camarillo, Calif.; Cub Scout and Boy Scout troop leader; soccer and basketball coach; Crisis Pregnancy Center counselor, and Mercer island Rotary member.

Priorities:

^la Better communication between City Council and residents through televised City Council meetings, e-mail surveys, town hall meetings and newsletters.

^la Maintain SOV access of center lanes of Interstate 90.

^la Relieve congestion in the Town Center area.

^la Responsibly manage further growth on the Island, based on citizen input.

^la Ensure that Fire Department first responders have adequate equipment and buildings to do their job.

^la Maintain Luther Burbank Park with necessary improvements but no commercial development.

^la Ensure adequate athletic facilities for Island youths.

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