Letters to the Editor, Sept. 25, 2019

Election letters

Thompson for parks

Daniel Thompson is a Mercer Island resident who diligently works to protect our parks and open spaces for everyone. He does so with his specialized legal skills as a lawyer as well as his own free time. He puts Mercer Island first.

There were four focus groups sponsored by the city of MI as part of the Aubrey Davis Park Master Plan in 2018. There have been a number of follow up public meetings for the ADMP (Aubrey Davis master plan) update subsequently beginning in February 2019.

Many Mercer Island citizens, including myself, attended the ADMP focus groups. I personally attended all the focus groups and all the public meetings held afterwards to capture citizens’ responses to the ADMP updates. Daniel Thompson was at every focus group and public meeting for Aubrey Davis Park. Daniel is helpful, but not condescending to those of us who are not legal document specialists. He is respectful and open to other citizen suggestions and opinions regarding the community.

I am voting for Daniel Thompson because he puts Mercer Island citizens and community first. Daniel Thompson is only accepting donations from Mercer Island residents for his campaign.

We live on an island with limited roads, sewage, schools and access off and on the island. The new proposed bus depot on the north end will add complexity for our ability to access off and on ramps. I feel confident when decisions will have to be made by Daniel Thompson as a city council member regarding any of these issues, or new ones that we do not know about as of yet. Mercer Island will always come first with Daniel Thompson.

Jackie Dunbar

Mercer Island

Supporting Bertlin

I am supporting Debbie Bertlin. Since she returned to the Island as an adult, she has worked as a resident and council member to improve our neighborhoods, parks and public safety. She has been a strong voice on the city council for more inclusive conversation and a celebration of our Island’s diversity. She shares her perspectives openly with the community. She has done this collaboratively.

On the city council, she has been a strong voice for principles and pragmatism. When the community was struggling with Sound Transit three years ago, she wrote several opinion pieces sharing information and perspective with the community, prioritizing informing the public over personal convenience. When the current issues of the bus interchange came up, Debbie was first to call out concern regarding the number of passengers to cross the street and additional safety concerns particularly for pedestrians and cyclists. When the Island experienced disturbing signs of intolerance this past year, Debbie, as mayor, publicly and repeatedly re-affirmed the principles of tolerance and compassion that have been hallmarks of this community. She can always be found at local youth events whether it is the new Dragon at Deane Park or the many projects of groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. She also meets with high schoolers interested in the city and civics.

She has consistently supported the business community. She attends Chamber of Commerce luncheons, can be counted on to help with the giant scissors at ribbon cuttings and be at other important events at local businesses. She was a huge supporter of Art UnCorked when it was presented to the council for approval. She recognized what it would do for the vitality of the Town Center.

Debbie is a leader who gets things done. She knows her job is to address our critical infrastructure needs. We have a new emergency operations center under her watch — Debbie was the first to call for the re-building of our south end fire station. We now have a safe and sound Station 92.

Please join me in voting for Debbie this November.

Terry Moreman

Mercer Island

Support for Reynolds

I am excited to support Craig Reynolds for city council in our upcoming election, and I urge you to do so as well. Craig has a strong sense of community and has shown repeatedly that he is willing to put his time and energy to bring positive change. He has the experience and skills to be a very effective member of the council.

Craig is analytical and understands financial situations, and is skilled at predicting and preparing for the future. In fact, that’s his day job, and he’s a leader in his field. He has repeatedly volunteered for planning commissions and advisory goups for the city, giving his time and expertise to help our community. I want someone willing to take the time to examine an issue from all sides and bring out the best solutions for our city.

At the same time, Craig is exceptionally good at finding the common interests behind divergent positions. I want someone on the council who can disagree without being disagreeable, and will contribute to a collegial environment where the work of the city can be done for all of us. Please join me in voting for Craig for city council.

Jody Lee

Mercer Island

An asset in Jacobson

Jake Jacobson will bring unique and valuable skills, knowledge and experience to Mercer Island’s City Council, qualities that are badly needed to successfully deal with the many challenges the Island faces today.

During his career, first as a lawyer and then as a contractor, Jake has proven himself to be a successful and skilled negotiator. He has extensive experience resolving issues with such agencies as the state’s Department of Transportation, King County and the city of Seattle.

As an executive in a large construction company, Jake gained valuable administrative experience, assessing and managing risk, negotiating contracts, and dealing with all aspects of real estate development, while ensuring compliance with laws and regulations at all levels of government.

Jake has pledged to look at issues first from the perspective of what is best for the greater good of our community, rather than adopting policies that benefit others in the region but are detrimental to us, his constituents.

Jake is committed to preserving mobility on the Island, to minimizing the impact of the bus intercept, to preserving our residential neighborhoods, beaches, parks and trails, to ensuring the safety of all residents, and to implementing a fiscal sustainability plan for Mercer Island. Last, but far from least, he will address the problem of our aging water and sewer systems, to ensure access to safe and clean water.

I join the current deputy mayor of Mercer Island in endorsing Jake Jacobson and I hope you will too.

Fran Call

Mercer Island

Cartwright support

In the upcoming election on Nov. 5, five of our city council seats are open, and who we put into office matters. Heather Cartwright and Craig Reynolds are running for Mercer Island City Council Position 5, and I’m 100 percent behind Heather Cartwright.

As a Mercer Island native and active community member, I know how critical it is to have city council officials in place that not only talk about our schools, but truly understand and respect the unique nature of our neighborhoods and community and what makes them work. I have observed many issues our city continues to navigate – traffic and road congestion on and off the island, density in our town center, and planning for our community zones; these will truly impact our families. I want city council leaders like Heather Cartwright that are thinking about our future on Mercer Island and prioritizing our neighborhoods and schools.

Heather is a community member who truly represents Mercer Island. With three daughters in our schools, Heather has always been engaged, always willing to help at school events, taking on leadership roles, and volunteering at community events. Most recently, while I served as the Islander Middle School PTSA president, Heather served as co-vice president of operations and did an outstanding job. She is not someone who just talks about our community, she is engaged and gives her time and energy to making our community a positive one.

Mercer Island needs city council members that understand the impact of decisions our city is making now and how they impact our children. Heather gets Mercer Island parents, she understands Mercer Island neighborhoods, and most importantly, she is here to ensure Mercer Island remains a success. Vote for Heather Cartwright for city council Position 5 on Nov. 5.

Michelle Dumler

Mercer Island

Jacobson can fix mess

We should not have to work this hard to protect ourselves from our City Council.

I paid little attention to city issues during my 23 years on the Island. That changed abruptly when Debbie Bertlin joined former mayors Clibborn and Bassett supporting tolling Interstate 90. Despite her protestations, Bertlin was never against tolling — she testified for a state bill that would exempt us from being tolled, making her briefly a NIMBY on the tolling issue. She is now providing a repeat performance with the same familiar routine, selling us out to be a regional I-90 big bus depot. She supported it until the uproar started. This is the same Mayor Bertlin who assured the Public Disclosure Commission in July and the council in August that she never used city resources for her campaign. A recent council investigation found otherwise. Bertlin has a problem with the truth, and that’s the truth.

I am voting for Jake Jacobson, fortuitously, a qualified candidate who was also the youngest naval commanding officer. He can take on the messes left by the Bertlin council. These include: Our city finances — thankfully, he has decades of large project budget experience; our aged water pipe infrastructure — he has decades of experience working with construction; Sound Transit is a legal mess — thankfully, he is an attorney who has worked with Sound Transit; the BP/Arco project desperately needs his skill set.

Jake answers to himself, not the local political machines. He is honest, upright and loves our city. He’s self-financing his campaign while Bertlin is accepting endorsements and thousands of off-Island dollars. Jake’s walking the Island to meet Islanders and interrupting his retirement to fix the Bertlin council messes. Two terms is enough.

Please join me in letting Jake put his talents to work for us.

Susan Lund

Mercer Island

(EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the PDC website, Bertlin has received $3,200 in off-Island contributions out of a total of more than $14,800 in contributions.)

Cartwright over Reynolds

If you’re like most Mercer Island families, you’ve worked hard in your life to get here. You love Mercer Island and always say yes to help fund its future. But In 2018, 85 percent of Mercer Islanders voted in the last election and 58 percent of them voted “No” to Proposition 1. It wasn’t because we didn’t want to say yes, but because we looked at what was being proposed by our city council— more taxes with no consideration for spending efficiency — and felt our island deserved more. Further there was a consistent trend of over-estimating expenses and under-estimating revenues resulting in a consistent trend of annual surpluses.

Then our city moved to cut staff that affects safety, like lifeguards and school counselors, and small events in the community that have been funded for decades like the all-Island track meet at a cost of $2,500, instead of looking for truly impactful and long term savings in a $65 million budget.

On Nov. 5, we have an opportunity to usher in five new seats to our city council, and one of the most important seats will be Position 5. Running for that position are two of the members of the Community Advisory Group from 2018 that provided feedback to the city on the Proposition 1 proposal, Heather Jordan Cartwright and Craig Reynolds.

Heather Jordan Cartwright was the citizen who was willing to speak up and ask our city leaders to work and identify spending priorities and efficiencies first. It’s what I’d do with my own budget at home, and what we should be doing with our tax dollars. Heather’s opponent, Craig, just blindly followed the ask for more money and was the strongest proponent of Proposition 1 – more taxes and no search for efficiency.

I’m excited Heather is taking the next step to run and usher in some much-needed budget management and critical thinking to council decisions. She’s absolutely what Mercer Island needs right now, and she’s got my vote.

Dave Oberg

Mercer Island

Jacobson: right candidate, right time

Jake Jacobson would be an exceptional member of the Mercer Island City Council for three reasons: deep expertise in the disciplines our council needs, the ability to deliver financially prudent solutions with integrity, and well-honed strategic listening to the concerns and suggestions from constituents. Jake’s experience in law, financial analysis, construction and hands-on negotiation are exactly what our council needs.

His positions to protect the integrity of single-family neighborhoods from spot zoning, a focus on a sustainable fiscal model for the city, and a sense of urgency to address our aging water infrastructure are among issues where his contributions would be welcome.

Jake is financing his campaign personally as a matter of integrity and personal preference — something rarely seen these days.

Zoning, construction, CBD development and land use changes have been areas where the current council has not performed. Jake, by contrast, has practical experience in the construction industry and has served as a mediator/arbitrator in disputes related to construction projects as well as serving on dispute review boards. He has helped resolve issues with the state Department of Transportation, King County, the city of Seattle, Sound Transit, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Air Force.

Jake moved to Mercer Island 30 years ago because of the schools and exceptional community-oriented neighborhoods. He graduated from Princeton with a Bachelor of Arts in politics. He served for nine years as an officer in the US Navy with combat service in Vietnam. In 1977 he graduated from Stanford Law School.

Our council needs accountability, practiced listening skills and critical thinkers that can deliver outcomes without mistakes and apologetics. Jake is the right candidate at the right time.

Jim and Kathie Hood

Mercer Island

Cartwright means success

A vote for Heather Jordan Cartwright is a vote for a dedicated community volunteer with a track record for success.

Volunteers are, in no small part, a major factor in the success of so many activities on the Island – our schools, our sports, our activities, our parks. Heather Jordan Cartwright, mother of three flourishing girls, captain of the health care technology industry, and volunteer extraordinaire is our choice for Position 5 on the Mercer Island City Council.

Cartwright loves her community and shows it through her dedication to so many Island institutions. Heather is the current vice president of operations for the PTSA at Islander Middle School. For nearly 10 years, she was a former room parent coordinator at both Lakeridge and West Mercer elementary schools. She actively volunteers and engages with the Mercer Island High School and Mercer Island Country Club swim teams, National Charity League, and Island Girls Choir. She and her family also foster kittens from the Humane Society.

Cartwright walks in our shoes, understands our concerns and the impact that city council decisions will have on our families.

As moms of young children, we cannot think of a better candidate to keep our community safe, within budget and thriving. Please join us in voting for Heather Jordan Cartwright.

Britta Banchero

Debra Jacobson

Fiona Zhong

Kristen Rahlfs

Kristi Dore

Olivia Lippens

Sharon Walia

Shelby Holden

Traci Granbois

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