November 24, 2008 · Updated 7:08 PM
Councilman Sven Goldmanis should resign from the City Council. If he does not do so voluntarily, the City Council or a citizen should bring proceedings to remove him. Mr. Goldmanis flaunts the law. He failed to establish his Mercer Island residency and file a valid voter registration address for more than three years — a violation of the law. And there are other legal entanglements that make it plain Mr. Goldmanis has no business remaining on the City Council any longer.
No one really knows where Mr. Goldmanis has lived since 2004. Not a big deal? Well, other questionable behaviors — such as an arrest and investigation over alleged insurance fraud (charges that King County later declined to prosecute), and a repeated violation of a restraining order — give one pause. Dismissed at first as misunderstandings or mistakes, these kind of incidents have happened too often. Mason County took him to court over the illegal construction of a dock at a cabin there. Both Mercer Island and the City of Bellevue are presently looking into whether or not he was in violation of building codes when he failed to get permits or inspections regarding the renovations of condominiums in both cities. Because Mr. Goldmanis’ address is a mystery, Bellevue and Mercer Island officials had difficulty reaching him about these violations. Instead, the mayor of Mercer Island had to serve his fellow Councilman with an official notice at a public meeting in June.
Mr. Goldmanis has not explained himself to the Council, city employees who carry out the decisions of the Council or to the community that he serves. Repeated attempts to reach the Councilman by the Reporter or talk with him have been in vain. Mr. Goldmanis has had plenty of opportunity to respond to stories written in this newspaper, yet has not.
When the topic of Councilman Goldmanis comes up in conversations at the Roanoke Inn, City Hall and or even QFC, Islanders laugh, roll their eyes and shake their heads either in resignation or disbelief. Why does Mr. Goldmanis remain in office making decisions about Mercer Island’s future? What does that say about us?