The Mercer Island City Council voted unanimously on July 17 to appoint Island native Salim Nice to fill the vacancy left in Position 4 by Jeff Sanderson.
Sanderson announced last month that the July 17 meeting would be his last, saying he made the decision to cut his term short for “personal and business reasons.” Nice ran for a seat on the council in 2015, losing to Wendy Weiker, but is running unopposed for City Council Position 2 in the November general election.
Nice served on the Town Center Visioning Committee and the Mercer Island Reporter Editorial Board, and had previously applied to fill a vacancy on the Planning Commission.
The council had three options when Sanderson announced his departure: fill the vacancy with its usual process, leave the decision to the King County Council or suspend its rules of procedure and appoint Nice.
The election results will be certified on Nov. 28, and the successful candidate for Position 4 (Joy Langley or Tom Acker) will be sworn in the next day. Nice will take over Position 2 (currently held by Dan Grausz, who is not running for re-election) in January.
Nice will be formally sworn in at the next council meeting on Aug. 7, but could start engaging and participating in council activities as of July 18.
The council recognized Sanderson’s service at the July 17 meeting, with a proclamation noting that he “will be remembered for his sharp mind, laser focus and collaborative style, in addition to his candor, good humor, compassion and zeal for public engagement.”
In a statement, Mayor Bruce Bassett applauded Sanderson for bringing “a thoughtful and fresh perspective to Council deliberations,” and noted that he found his business-oriented perspective particularly helpful.
During Sanderson’s tenure, the council undertook significant and lasting issues: updating the 20-year vision for Town Center, a current rewrite of the residential development code and hiring a permanent city manager. Sanderson was also one of the three councilmembers selected to serve on the negotiating subcommittee that secured a mitigation settlement with Sound Transit over light rail construction impacts.
Nice and his wife Janice Imrich-Nice are natives of Mercer Island who returned to raise their family. Nice serves as managing partner of a large tax advisory firm, where he focuses on complex negotiations and multi-dimensional budget management.
“I want to thank the City Council for their unanimous confirmation of my appointment last night. I am humbled by the support from Council, City staff, and community members who encouraged me along the way. I look forward to this opportunity to give back to a wonderful community that I care deeply about,” Nice stated.