Letters to the Editor

Council member Grausz finds common ground

I have known Dan Grausz for over 15 years and know that he truly cares about this community. During his 14 years on the Council, he has always been well prepared at Council meetings, holds city staff accountable when their proposals need to be challenged, and oftentimes is the Council member who finds the solution that garners majority support on the Council — a majority that usually includes Council members who on other issues might be very much at odds.

In this day of polarizing politics, Dan dis- tinguishes himself by finding the common ground. To him, winning means finding a solution that both sides can support, rather than just prevailing and leaving one group of citizens or Council members frustrated.

Dan particularly demonstrated that skill when it came to the PEAK project. This was a contentious proposal just a few years ago — pitting neighbors against the Boys and Girls Club and against the school district. Over the course of many weeks of negotiations that Dan personally coordinated, an agreement was hammered out. Litigation was avoided and the project was able to proceed; our community is much better as a result. That is the same skill he demonstrated when Islanders and Council members were jousting at the time the new Community Center was built, and more recently when the Council had to develop a South end fire station proposal that would get voter support. It is a skill that will be extremely important during the I-90 tolling negotiations in the months and years ahead. The deci- sion on tolling is not going to be made by Mercer Island, but we can shape it if we have responsible leaders representing us in what will inevitably be difficult negotiations with other governments.

We need to keep Dan working for us on the City Council. Time and again, he has provided the leadership we need and achieved the results that have kept this a great community within which to live.

Barbara Winkelman


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