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Grausz, Myerson win Council, School Board posts

By Elizabeth Celms

Mercer Island Reporter

Mercer Island City Council incumbent Dan Grausz will retain his seat in Position No. 2 for one more term, thanks to a 56 percent win over opponent Ira Appelman (43 percent) in the Nov. 3 election. Although the vote count is not yet final, Grausz leads by enough certainty to call it a win. According to King County ballot counts as of Nov. 10, Grausz had 4,834 votes in his name. Appelman earned 3,717 votes, with 43 percent of the total vote. There were 17 write-ins.

On Nov. 6, Grausz acknowledged his win and sent a thank-you letter to all of those who helped him with what he described as “a very difficult campaign.”

“When I started this campaign back in July, I truly did not know how I would find the time to do what would be required. It was only because so many of you stepped up and helped that I was able to get through this successfully,” Grausz wrote, singling out his wife, Clare Meeker, for special attention. “Without her support and encouragement, none of this would have been possible.”

Grausz also acknowledged his opponent, Appelman.

“We may disagree on many things, but I honestly believe we share a conviction that whatever our city does in the future, [it] must have as its primary goal the preservation and continued improvement of the tremendous community that we live in. I hope we will find a way to work together in the future,” Grausz wrote.

Appelman, who was the only non-incumbent running in this year’s City Council election, said the results “clearly represent what the voters wanted.”

“I appreciate having had the opportunity to state my views to the voters,” Appelman said, adding that he would continue to support Island residents’ role in government as a citizen.

The candidate earned approximately $22,000 in campaign funds, of which he said he spent nearly 100 percent. Grausz, in comparison, earned about $17,500 in total cash and in-kind contributions. The Councilmember said he expects to end up with $300 to $500 that will go toward a victory party.

Grausz and Appelman were not the only candidates in this year’s election. City Councilmember Jim Pearman, running uncontested for Position No. 4, tallied 5,794 votes or 98 percent, while incumbent Mike Grady, running uncontested for Position No. 6, also garnered 98 percent with 5,782 votes. There were 139 write-ins on Pearman’s ballot and 119 on Grady’s.

As for the School Board, Dave Myerson — who places special priority on improving the district’s math program — will join the Board of Directors with a 53 percent win. Myerson’s support eclipsed longtime PTA member Terry Caditz, who earned 46 percent of the vote. Both Islanders were running for Position No. 2. As of Nov. 9, Myerson had earned 4,243 ballots in his name, while Caditz had 3,657. There were 15 write-ins.

“I am honored and challenged to have received the support of the majority of Mercer Island voters for election to the School Board,” Myerson wrote late last week. “We should all be proud of the way this campaign was conducted. We all discussed issues pertaining to Mercer Island schools without personal animosity. As a newly elected director, I look forward to working with the administration and board, and listening to all Islanders.”

Caditz was not available for comment as of the Reporter’s press time.

Adair Dingle sealed her seat in Position No. 4 with 98 percent of the vote or 5,675 ballots. Dingle had 68 write-ins.

In total, only 55 percent of registered Island voters actually submitted their ballots, according to King County numbers. The Web site shows that 9,001 out of 16,343 registered Island voters participated in the School Board and City Council elections.

Numbers were not yet available for countywide elections, in which King County Councilmember Dow Constantine defeated former KIRO news member Susan Hutchison in the race for King County executive. Constantine earned 58 percent of the vote, while Hutchison earned 41 percent. Referendum 71 passed with a 68 percent approval rate and I-1033 failed with 68 percent of voters against the property tax break initiative.

The 2009 King County election counts are not officially complete, as mail-in ballots are still trickling in.

For a full listing of election results, visit www.kingcounty.gov/elections.aspx.

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