Endorsing Ira Appelman
October 6, 2009 · 1:58 PM
I have known Ira Appelman for the 13 years we have lived on the Island. I am frustrated by the obvious misperceptions that have been asserted in recent letters to the Reporter. From my personal experience, Ira is a very devoted son and brother, friendly and caring neighbor, and dogged community organizer. He has volunteered a great deal of time over the years to ensure that the democratic process on Mercer Island is kept to a high standard. He has pushed for elected and employed city leaders to be more accountable to the residents, supporting legislation that is aligned with majority views. Ira’s persistence has resulted in better legislation and better leaders.
We don’t agree on all issues — for instance, I am an avid bicycle commuter who potentially might benefit from proposals to create additional bike lanes. Ira may differ on this, but he is not trying to force his views on others; he is proposing that major decisions like traffic revisions/lights should be fairly analyzed and, when necessary, voted on by all, not decided by a few active citizens or Councilmembers.
Dan Grausz has no doubt worked hard for various groups’ causes and interests in his tenure as Councilmember. I believe, however, that we can look beyond selecting our representatives based solely on perfect alignment with single individual issues — like bike paths, schools, parks, etc. Instead, we can and should consider voting for Councilmembers who will represent our diverse and sometimes silent interests and engage the Council and the community in finding practical solutions to our city’s complex issues.