Letter | Sound Transit and local jurisdictions
August 2, 2011 · Updated 10:10 AM
It was reported in the Seattle Times on Friday that Sound Transit had agreed to demands by the Bellevue City Council to put part of the downtown light rail in a tunnel. Sound Transit had long resisted the tunnel but the Bellevue City Council fought hard for what was in the best interests of the City of Bellevue. The Council was clearly aware of the fact that Sound Transit does not represent the people of Bellevue and that the Council had a role to play if the East Link Light Rail project was to benefit the city.
Mercer Island voters should keep the success of the people of Bellevue in mind. Sound Transit only has a responsibility to build light rail from point A to point B. How useful the light rail is to our community is not a critical criterion to that organization. Bellevue was lucky to have a city council that was willing to fight for what was right for Bellevue. Mercer Island should have a city council that does the same.
In the upcoming election, there is one candidate for City Council, Debbie Bertlin, who uses public transit to commute to work daily. Like other Islanders who take the bus, she knows that the decision to use the bus is more of a quality of life decision than a financial one. She will be elected to the Council on her community service and broad resume alone. But, I would also like to point out that she will also make sure that Mercer Island gets its money’s worth from Sound Transit. It is after all, a quality of life issue.