Letters to the Editor

Signatures on petition to establish Library need validation quickly

Are Mercer Island Citizens being given the run-around? And if so, why?

173 Mercer Island residents signed a petition that was submitted to the City on Tuesday, July 22. The petition sought to require the City Council to place a measure on the November ballot to establish a library on Mercer Island. This would be the first step in de-annexation from KCLS, the library system that currently owns our library and has plans to remodel it and close it for up to a year, against the vigorous and prolonged objections of over 1,200 Mercer Island residents, who have signed previous petitions over the past 6 months objecting to the unnecessary closure and unwanted renovations.

As of today, Friday, July 25, the signatures have not been validated, in spite of the fact that the wording on the petition is legal.Validation is only needed for 100 (of the 173) signatures and yet no one who has been consulted by the City Attorney seems to know how to do this.

Apparently for the City Council to get behind the citizens and put the measure on the November ballot, 100 of the signatures must be validated.

Time is of the essence--the signatures must be validated before the City Council can put the measure on the ballot, and the deadline for the November ballot is August 5th, the day after the next City Council meeting. Will the signatures be validated in time for City Council to put the measure on the ballot? And if not, why not? How long does it take to validate 100 signatures? Why are they not being validated? Will they be validated by August 4th so that the City Council can follow the law and put the measure on the ballot? (The City Council must put the measure on the ballot if 100 citizens petition for it.)

Last week's Mercer Island Reporter included an Island Forum statement signed by 28 Island residents stating 8 reasons that owning our own library would give us better library service, for much less money, than being part of KCLS. City Council, please help the citizens facilitate this process. Facilitate the validation of the signatures, put the measure on the ballot, and let the voters, and the taxpayers, decide.

Sharon Smith

Mercer Island


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