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Grady responds to bus-bike incident comments
I believe the majority of Islanders would like us to move forward and re-focus on issues of real concern in our community. My (our) challenge is to move on to positive ways that we can make our community a safe, healthy and compassionate place for all by focusing on the following issues:
1. Creating affordable living options for our workforce (teachers, firefighters, etc.) to live on Mercer Island. Very few of our employees at the city and MISD can afford to live in the very community they work. If safety is your concern, imagine an earthquake event — who would put out the fires, who would care for the injured?
2. Creating safe routes on the Island to bike/walk to work, to our schools, and to our Town Center. As evidenced by my recent near-death experience, I will not allow my children to bike on 90 percent of the roads on the Island. Without designated lanes, signage, markings and a feeling that motorized vehicles are truly “sharing” the roads, this Island will continue to be a dangerous place for our kids to bike. A sad reality, given that most of us grew up biking or walking to school in other parts of the country.
3. Creating a sustainable community. Efforts are underway with our city and school district to find ways to save energy and water resources and create a more livable, healthy community. The city recently received a $135,000 grant from the Department of Energy to help convert our vehicle fleets to electric plug-ins, to purchase electric bikes for our police force, and to further the effort of our community-based Green Ribbon Commission. Let’s direct our efforts toward saving energy across the Island. We can do our part to save the planet, while there is still time!
4. Welcoming those less fortunate to our community by hosting and assisting with events like Tent City. We have been given so much and are so fortunate to live here. Many of us are working with groups to reach out to our neighboring communities and direct our financial and human resources to help. We need more Islanders to extend a helping hand. Only then can we finally place “Welcome to Mercer Island” signs at the gateways to our community.
Finally, I was elected to the Council to help solve the above issues. I have taken and will continue to take these responsibilities seriously. And if I falter, you can trust I will acknowledge my shortcomings and work that much harder to make our Island and our region a better place.
Mercer Island City Councilman