Opinion

Mercer Island Reporter Letters to the Editor | Aug. 27

East Channel bridge tolls unfair to Island

The purpose of the proposed tolling of the SR-520 and I-90 floating bridges is to raise money to build a new 520 bridge for travel from the Eastside to Seattle.

If it is felt that I-90 must also have a toll in order prevent people from diverting from 520, then tolling the East Channel bridge in no way is necessary to accomplish that goal. Applying tolls to the I-90 floating bridge itself will accomplish that.

Residents of all the other cities in the area, whether Seattle or the Eastside towns have access to their daily businesses such as doctors, dentists, hospitals and other professionals; clothing, furnishings, building materials and other shopping; movies, and other entertainment; hiking, skiing and other recreation without crossing either bridge and paying tolls.

Tolling the East Channel bridge and thereby not giving Mercer Island residents equally free access to their normal daily or weekly activities is treating them very differently from all of the other cities. This would be unfair and discriminatory.

Consider the fact that the average Mercer Island resident, including the retired population, probably crosses the East Channel bridge in each direction 200 to 400 times per year. Paying tolls for each of those necessary and unavoidable crossings will cost thousands of dollars, which Eastside residents or the Seattle residents do not have to pay to simply go about their daily business.

Further, virtually none of the Mercer Island police officers or fire fighters live on Mercer Island. The same goes for school employees, city employees and many of the people that work in the businesses on Mercer Island. Most of these people are not crossing the lake from Seattle. These people should not be discriminated against simply because they drive across the East Channel bridge to the Eastside community of Mercer Island.

I encourage Mercer Island residents to work diligently to prevent any tolling of the East Channel I-90 bridge because it discriminates against only Mercer Islanders and its workers, treating them differently than all other cities involved.

William H. Ellis

To the City Council

I was pleased to be able to attend the City Council meeting on Aug. 18. I last attended a Council meeting about 12 years ago when I accepted the Citizen of the Year award posthumously on behalf of my husband. He was honored for his community service as a School Board member and volunteer in the school district sports programs. I am well acquainted with the sacrifices made and the stresses tolled on an individual who volunteers his or her time and talents in the interest of the community, which is why I am writing this letter of appreciation.

My husband and I moved to the Island in 1960 and raised four children here. I now live in Covenant Shores and though I was able to attend the meeting on Monday, I was unable to stay for the time allowed for comments and questions from the community. If I had been able, I had planned to tell each of you on the Council how much I appreciate the time you have taken to study and plan for the accommodation for Tent City on the Island.

I am proud of the City Council for making the decision to accept Tent City and proud of the religious community here for doing the right thing.

Fran Steding

Good works

I have been a resident of Mercer Island for more than 40 years and hence have seen a lot of changes. I want you to know how much I appreciate the fine job that is currently being done by the Parks Department. I contacted the director about the run down and dangerous condition of the picnic benches at our local street end — Lincoln Landing.

They were replaced promptly and it is now a much more pleasant and safe location. This summer’s two young Fun Mobile staffers, Chris del Pilar and Janna Lam, were outstanding individuals and great new hires. Please keep up the good work and thank you!

Rhe Van

Dusen-Jain

Pool spiffed up in time for fall

The Mary Wayte pool has been closed, cleaned, drained and refilled. I swam there today for the first time since it has been closed and it was so beautiful and clean. Also, the women’s locker room and showers have been scrubbed, the walls painted and the pool deck cleaned.

In addition, a senior lap swim time has been added to the fall schedule.

We thank you so much and will continue to make good use of the pool all year.

Peggy Pomeroy

and friends

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