As seasoned 43-year residents of Mercer Island, we are supporting Rich Erwin in his bid for Mercer Island City Council Position #6 based on his consistently sound analysis of complex issues facing our community, his proposal of creative and well-conceived solutions for the dilemmas involved in these issues, and his extensive past experience in confronting and solving similar dilemmas in other venues.
His 26 years in engineering and information technology at Boeing have served him well in dealing with the challenges, particularly in local land use issues, presented in his roles as member of the East Bellevue Community Council, where he needed to balance the needs and demands of developers and open space advocates, as financial director of the Thrivent East King County charitable board, and in his current position as chair of the Mercer Island Design Commission, where he regularly oversees every major development project on the Island.
In addition to his careful assessment of the wide range of challenges facing our community, Rich has identified several key issues:
1. The enormous complexity of financing our transportation infrastructure with the looming spectrum of tolling on I-90 has created heated debate and dissension with a hardening and polarization of positions. Though Rich has clearly expressed his opposition to I-90 tolling, he has wisely backed away from standing on the bridge with pitchforks and torches in favor of “working with our municipal neighbors, state and national leaders, and organizations whose interests we share,” thus using the existing structure of the Puget Sound Regional Council representing King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties, all of which are impacted by I-90 access. Rich meaningfully points out that he has “sat across the table” and worked with many of the key regional players who will be involved in negotiations over I-90 tolling.
2. Rich understands and appreciates the importance of creating an attractive and economically vibrant Mercer Island town center. His extensive experience mediating between creative developers and dedicated preservationists will be of great value in this effort.
3. He has stressed the need to address our overburdened parking situation, and his land use expertise will be very helpful.
We are proud to support Rich Erwin for Mercer Island City Council Position #6.
Bob and Gail Stagman