Tom Acker. Contributed photo

Tom Acker. Contributed photo

Mercer Island City Council member Tom Acker steps down, citing health and family

The council will soon begin an appointment process for Acker’s replacement.

Mercer Island City Council member Tom Acker tendered his resignation from the council, effective immediately, on Sept. 29, citing personal health concerns and family commitments.

In an email addressed to Mayor Debbie Bertlin and Deputy Mayor Salim Nice, Acker wrote, “Serving on the council and representing the community has been a rewarding experience which I’ve very much enjoyed. However, my health and the well being of my family must be my first priority.”

“This news is unfortunate and was unexpected,” Bertlin said in a city press release sent Oct. 1. “Speaking on behalf of the entire Mercer Island team we extend our support to Tom and his family. We are grateful for his service to the council and the community. We wish Tom and his family the best.”

Acker founded the Mercer Island community group Save our Suburbs in 2015, before running for city council against former mayor Bruce Bassett. While unsuccessful in his first campaign, Acker was elected in November 2017 to fill council position No. 4.

Council position No. 4 is not scheduled for election until 2021, leaving an unexpired three-year term with Acker’s resignation. The seat will appear on the November 2019 General Election ballot, meaning that five positions will be on the ballot: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 (currently held by Dave Wisenteiner, Wendy Weiker, vacant, Bassett and Bertlin). The person elected during the November 2019 General Election will serve until the expiration of the term for Position No. 4 in December 2021.

Following its existing rules, the council established a timeline for appointing a replacement in the meantime, approving a plan at its Oct. 2 meeting.

City staff recommended a six-week period to receive applications. The appointment would be made in December, as budget review consumes the majority of council meetings through October and November.

Applications for the open seat will be due at 5 p.m. on Nov. 21. The council will hold interviews on Dec. 6 and will vote on Dec. 11. The new council member will be sworn in on Dec. 18.

According to the city’s website, Acker and his wife moved to Mercer Island from Southeast Seattle in 2013 for the “sense of community, exceptional schools, well maintained parks, and a simpler pace of life.” The Ackers have three children who are all enrolled in the Mercer Island school system. Two of their children have a rare genetic disorder, Kleefstra Syndrome.

Acker, a graduate of Seattle University, has spent most of his career in the aerospace industry, where his focus has been technology, international business and human resources.

“I wish to share with you what an honor it has been to serve you all on our city council, even if for a short time,” Acker wrote in an email to the Reporter. “Unfortunately due to some pressing health concerns that need immediate attention, my time on the council will end earlier than I would have hoped. While Mayor Bertlin was very gracious and supportive of looking at alternative opportunities to keep me on the council, my personality wouldn’t allow me to give less than 100 [percent]. So, instead, my focus needs to be on my health and family. I sincerely thank you for your support and understanding.”

See www.mercergov.org for more.

[flipp]

More in News

Alan Roach and his dog, Roxie, reunited in their new apartment. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Al’s new apartment, a community effort

Mercer Islanders give housewares, furniture to formerly homeless man and his dog.

Courtesy photo
                                Elliot Newman (left) receives his MIYFS Family Inspirational Award from Mayor Wong on Jan. 7.
Elliot Newman receives 2019 Flash Family Inspirational Award

It was standing room only at the Jan. 7 city council meeting when Newman received his award.

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo
Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

Snohomish County man is first U.S. case of new coronavirus

A man in his 30s was hospitalized in Everett after contracting the virus during a trip to China.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

Development has encroached on the East Lake Sammamish Trail (at right). Joe Livarchik/file photo
King County files lawsuit to finish East Lake Sammamish Trail

Homeowners have until September to remove buildings and other property from the right of way.

Bellevue residents Marko and Karla Ilicic play a hockey game in the Topgolf Swing Suite inside Forum Social House. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Forum Social House opens in Bellevue

Eastside gets new nightclub, mini golf, swing suites.

Most Read