Jeff Sanderson to run for City Council

Sanderson files for Position No. 4, the seat recently vacated by Joel Wachs.

Jeff Sanderson, a former Microsoft manager, teacher and owner of Stopsky’s Delicatessen, announced his candidacy for Position No. 4 in the November general election for Mercer Island City Council.

The City Council needs “even greater vision, more decisive leadership and full transparency,” Sanderson said, and he would bring a unique skill set and experience in marketing, business, education and philanthropy that would be valuable.

Owning Stopsky’s taught him about the small business environment in the Town Center, a perspective that is sometimes missing from the current Council, he said.

“When my wife and I moved to Mercer Island in 2011, we opened Stopsky’s Delicatessen as a means meet people, build community, and for me to connect with my Jewish heritage,” Sanderson stated. “By far, my favorite part of that experience was the interaction with Islanders and hearing about what mattered most in their lives.”

He supports creating the position of a Downtown Business Development Manager to encourage small and unique businesses to locate or start on the Island, and said the city should provide “affordable retail” incentives to make it feasible for non big-box businesses to operate.

“We have the wherewithal and talent to fashion fruitful one-of-a-kind public/private partnerships that take a direct role in shaping the kind of Town Center so many Islanders want to see,” he said. “We should not be a big little city, but a small, highly functioning, award winning Town Center.”

His wife, Lara, serves on the Design Commission and the Town Center Liaison Group. She inspired Sanderson to run for the Council with her “strong leadership and vocal desire to both build a stronger Design Commission and to run an open and thorough Town Center visioning process.”

Sanderson said he supports extending the moratorium on all development, not just selective projects, “until this current process underway is finished with the kind of analytical and visual details that makes it clear to everybody what types of buildings and community assets are permitted.”

Sanderson graduated summa cum laude in Economics from Princeton, worked at Bain & Company in Boston and attended Harvard Business School before relocating to Seattle to work at Microsoft in 1984.

Sanderson also has strong experience in education, completing a master’s degree in Teaching at Seattle University after leaving Microsoft. He taught middle school math for six years at Eastside Preparatory School, and was the Dean of Academics. He is currently in the application process to substitute teach in the Mercer Island school system this fall.

“There is a diversity of opinion about the future direction of Mercer Island amidst the tremendous growth experienced by Seattle and Bellevue,” he said. “I believe that we should both honor the past and embrace the future.”

Sanderson can be reached at