Editorial | Voices heard

In this week’s paper there are two pages of testimonials by City of Mercer Island employees about their view of their workplace: City Hall. The two pages were run as a paid advertisement. The views of these employees were not solicited. The idea came from them alone, they said. The group did not set out to have this published in the paper; instead, they sent these comments to members of the Mercer Island City Council to offer their support in light of the ongoing lawsuit brought against the city by a former co-worker. But, of course, once it was transferred on, it became a public document and after some discussion, the staff decided to have it published.

Outside the courtroom, the city has stayed largely silent, choosing not to defend themselves in this way. While many have questions about what happened and why, the one thing that has been missing is the views of the people who actually work in City Hall. We have needed and wanted to know what employees think about what has been said and insinuated about their workplace. Of course, some —only seeing dishonesty, will scoff and say, of course, the employees were “encouraged” to do this. Think of it what you will, but consider the caliber of the employees who work on our Island. They are proud to work here. We are glad to hear from them.

With the July fourth holiday just behind us, we are fresh from celebrating the struggle for democracy and our freedom. The photos and story in this issue about the names of Mercer Islanders on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall remind us that very young men from our own town lost their lives in a struggle that virtually no one supported some 40 years ago. But over time, the Vietnam War seems to have taken on a new meaning. The celebration of these soldier-heroes and the effort to memorialize them has expanded. Who knew that there were three such traveling memorials? For those who lost a loved one, the suffering never really goes away, but for the rest of us, these reminders of the cost of democracy are essential.

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