Letters to the Editor, July 17, 2019


Surpass 80 percent

My heart burst with pride when I saw the 2018 election results – nearly 80 percent of Mercer Island registered voters cast their votes. This was a huge increase in voter turnout.

We are now entering another campaign season. Once again, we have an opportunity to have our voices heard, to directly engage in the democratic process. Historically, there is very low voter turnout in primary elections. We have two local races on our primary ballots. Together, we control who advances to the general election. Please vote. And please vote wisely – our very fate depends on it. As for me, I support Jake Jacobson for city council, and I hope you will too. I am still researching my choice for school board.

We determine our future and the future of Mercer Island together. Primary ballots are due Aug. 6. Please make sure yours is counted – you do not even need a stamp. Let’s buck the low turnout primary trend and surpass 80 percent voter turnout.

Traci Granbois

Mercer Island

Bertlin has managed well

I’d like to declare my support for Debbie Bertlin for city council.

She has been a selfless community activist who has lived on Mercer Island since she was a little child. Her record as mayor speaks for itself. She has been responsive to citizenry and great at listening to different viewpoints. She is good about changing her mind if warranted. At other times, she is capable of holding firm to a tough decision for the good of our community. There have been times when I have publicly and vocally disagreed with her decisions, but I know that at all times she is principled, hard working, smart and well meaning and selflessly works for the good of our community.

She has been a strong supporter of gun violence prevention efforts in Washington State. She is also a friend of Youth Theater Northwest and has been a champion for MICA all along. She has always been a strong supporter of parks. The best reason to support her is the excellent, conservative fiscal management of the city of Mercer Island.

Debbie and her council identified the fiscal problems that are faced by cities like Mercer Island that do not have much revenue from sales taxes. We are restricted to raising our taxes at 2 percent a year while personnel costs are growing at well over 3 percent a year.

Unfortunately, Proposition 1 in November failed on Mercer Island in part because it was outspent by a No campaign. In spite of that loss, the city council regrouped and planned conservatively by making cuts to lower priority budget items and Mercer Island can go for another year or so before we return to the ballot to approve a narrower levy to allow us to keep up with services. Debbie has to be credited for being proactive in identifying budget problems early and decreasing spending once Prop. 1 failed.

Bharat Shyam

Mercer Island

Support for Bertlin

During this time of discord in our national politics, I am reminded how important local politics are and that we maintain the neighborliness and generosity which has characterized Mercer Island for so long. We count on our city councilmembers to act as fellow Islanders, as our neighbors, understanding and acting on our priorities and values. We have been fortunate to have Debbie Bertlin as mayor and thankfully, she is running for another four-year term.

Debbie is the kind of local politician I value. She is smart, inclusive, ethical and calm. She listens to the many voices in our community and makes rational decisions that benefit the majority. Debbie was raised here, is now raising her daughters on the Island and understands the importance of partnering with the school district to ensure our kids are safe and looking forward making sure Mercer Island is a place our families will want to continue living in. She is also a hands-on leader, often seen clearing paths in the Mercerdale Hillside, picking up trash along the streets or lending a helping hand to her neighbors.

What matters the most is Debbie is committed to a future for current and future residents, her kids and ours, that is every bit as welcoming as we have now. She doesn’t make short-sighted decisions which are politically convenient; she treats us as partners and fellow problem-solvers.

Debbie is the type of level-headed leader we need to retain on our city council. Please join me in voting for her Aug. 6.

Nadine Coffin

Mercer Island

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