Former Mayor Bruce Bassett passes the gavel to new Mayor Debbie Bertlin at the Jan. 9 Mercer Island City Council meeting. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Former Mayor Bruce Bassett passes the gavel to new Mayor Debbie Bertlin at the Jan. 9 Mercer Island City Council meeting. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Passing the gavel: Mercer Island City Council selects Debbie Bertlin as mayor

Salim Nice will serve as deputy mayor, as the city appoints new leadership for 2018-19.

The Island will have new leadership in the new year. The Mercer Island City Council selected Debbie Bertlin as mayor and Salim Nice as deputy mayor in 4-3 votes at its first meeting of 2018, held on Jan. 9.

The council selects leaders from among its membership every two years. Bertlin had served as deputy mayor since 2016, and was first elected in 2011. Former Mayor Bruce Bassett announced last year that he would not seek another term as mayor — a position he held since 2012.

Bertlin said she had “tremendous shoes to fill,” citing a history of respected mayors on Mercer Island. She said she sees the role as the “facilitator” and “mouthpiece” of the council, and would look to find consensus and foster “an open and constructive dialogue on all the issues” among the council and community.

Bassett said the job is “gratifying but can be challenging,” and said he is looking forward to transitioning back to a role as “councilmember … and advocate, rather than the person who tries to find the common ground.”

Councilmembers Dave Wisenteiner and Benson Wong were nominated to serve as mayor and deputy mayor, respectively, but lost narrowly after roll call votes decided by Councilmember Wendy Weiker. Wisenteiner, Nice and Tom Acker voted together, as did Bassett, Bertlin and Wong.

Acker, who won the November election for Position 4 on the council, was sworn in on Nov. 28, while Wong (Position 6) and Nice (Position 2) took their oaths of office on Jan. 9, promising to uphold the U.S. Constitution, the laws of the state of Washington and all local ordinances.

See www.mercergov.org for more.

Deputy Mayor Salim Nice takes his councilmember oath of office on Jan. 9, with his family by his side. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Deputy Mayor Salim Nice takes his councilmember oath of office on Jan. 9, with his family by his side. Katie Metzger/staff photo

City Manager Julie Underwood photographs Councilmember Benson Wong and family after he was sworn in to another term serving Mercer Island. Katie Metzger/staff photo

City Manager Julie Underwood photographs Councilmember Benson Wong and family after he was sworn in to another term serving Mercer Island. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Deputy City Clerk Ellie Hooman swears Debbie Bertlin in as mayor of Mercer Island. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Deputy City Clerk Ellie Hooman swears Debbie Bertlin in as mayor of Mercer Island. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Salim Nice and Debbie Bertlin will serve the Mercer Island community as mayor and deputy mayor for 2018-19. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Salim Nice and Debbie Bertlin will serve the Mercer Island community as mayor and deputy mayor for 2018-19. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Former Mayor Bruce Bassett gifts Debbie Bertlin with a bull’s-eye, helmet and gavel at the Jan. 9 Mercer Island City Council meeting, after Berlin was selected as the new mayor. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Former Mayor Bruce Bassett gifts Debbie Bertlin with a bull’s-eye, helmet and gavel at the Jan. 9 Mercer Island City Council meeting, after Berlin was selected as the new mayor. Katie Metzger/staff photo

More in News

Budget talks continue in wake of Prop 1 failure

Cuts are suggested for YFS, fire department, police department and parks department.

Sound Publishing file photo
King County approves gun warning sign requirement

Warning signs must be posted in all King County gun stores and firing ranges.

King County Flood Control District approves 2019 Budget on Nov. 5. Photo courtesy of King County Flood Control District.
King County Flood Control District approves $93 million budget

2019 District Budget will maintain current flood protection services

The Council recognized the AFIS program as it celebrates 30 years of assisting law enforcement throughout King County. Councilmembers, AFIS staff and King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht join AFIS regional manager, Carol Gillespie. Photo courtesy of King County.
King County Council recognizes county’s Automated Fingerprint Information System (AFIS)

For three decades, AFIS has helped law enforcement solve thousands of cases.

The team that advocated for I-1631 at downtown Seattle’s Arctic Club on Nov. 6, 2018. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Washington rejects carbon fee

I-1631 campaign organizers say they will continue pushing for a cleaner future.

UPDATED: Voters rejecting Mercer Island’s Proposition 1

The levy lid lift would continue funding police, fire, parks, safety net services at current levels.

The race for Washington’s 9th Congressional District is between two Democrats, incumbent Adam Smith (left) and political newcomer Sarah Smith. File photo
Congressman Adam Smith leads re-election bid for WA’s 9th District

The district spans from Bellevue and south Seattle down through Renton, Tukwila, Kent, Federal Way and Tacoma

Mercer Island seeks community input as bike share pilot wraps up

A survey is available to help the city assess the feedback of riders and residents.

Officer Todd Roggenkamp shows off his ‘stache in support of the Movember awareness campaign. Photo courtesy of Todd Roggenkamp
MIPD grows ‘staches, raises funds for Movember

The Island’s police department has set up a charity fundraising page for participating officers.

City of Mercer Island shares fall recycling event statistics

The event was successful despite the mixed forecast.

Members of the King County Council join retiring executive director of ARCH Arthur Sullivan after the council recognized Sullivan as a voice for affordable housing in East King County. Photo courtesy of King County.
King County Council recognizes ARCH’S Arthur Sullivan

Executive director of A Regional Coalition for Housing retires after three decades.

Mercer Island rabbi to join other Jewish leaders to honor victims of Pittsburgh massacre

The conference’s aim is to strengthening Jewish awareness and practice around the world.