OPINION: City needs tools, should be partner in institution planning

Guest opinion from former mayor Alan Merkle

  • Thursday, October 11, 2018 12:34pm
  • Opinion

City leaders are evaluating a comprehensive plan amendment, which would impact three of the Island’s long-standing organizations – the Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC), French American School of Puget Sound (FASPS) and Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation.

There have been good discussions recently with nearby neighbors, and others in the community, about what this long-term planning means and if it’s right for the Island.

Here’s my take: This is good government from our city leaders.

Without a comprehensive plan amendment that unifies this fragmented zoning, we lack a mechanism to proactively shape potential future growth.

I remember similar discussions when I had the privilege of serving on the city council and as mayor a decade ago. Our challenges then were larger and more complex – during my tenure, the conversations were around our downtown redevelopment and the south-end QFC development. The issues presented were challenging, and we learned a lot as city leaders, staff and as a community. Perhaps none more important than the value of proactive city planning to prevent piece-meal growth.

Providing the city with the tools necessary to manage predictable, accountable, coordinated development is essential.

We should expect the SJCC, Herzl-Ner Tamid and FASPS to update their aging facilities in the coming years. These institutions serve Islanders well, and they should be able to plan for the future in a thoughtful and reasonable way. The city needs to be a good partner in that process.

Alan Merkle, former mayor of Mercer Island and FASPS Board member


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

[flipp]

More in Opinion

Opinion: Public deserves honest information on sex education

The Washington comprehensive sex education bill passed in the Senate on March 7.

Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

City asks residents to do their part | GUEST OPINION

A guest opinion written by Mercer Island’s elected officials.

Gov. Inslee is cordially invited to Kirkland, Eastside

We need the governor here to know we’re a priority, not in Olympia or on cable news channels.

Trump betrays promise to protect, fight for workers

A guest opinion syndicated by PeaceVoice.

The state has too much money and it’s a problem

With revenues rising, budget writers are going to get lots of requests on how to spend it

Short legislative session turns left

With a progressive agenda including comprehensive sex education, clean fuel standards and gun violence, Democrats will need to be cautious about overreach.

KCLS: Much to celebrate from 2019 and in the year ahead

A column from the King County Library System.

‘We can do the right thing’ | Windows and Mirrors

Clarence Moriwaki shares how we can stand up for each other and not have history repeat itself.

Clyde Ford speaks at Bellevue First United Methodist Church. One of the things he spoke about was how other countries have approached the topic of race and racism. Samantha Pak/staff photo
We need to, but how do we talk about race? | Windows and Mirrors

Racism is still an issue in this country. How can we have constructive conversations to move forward and heal?

Norman Rockwell exhibit at Covenant Living

Greg Asimakoupoulos displays magazine covers.