Tag Archives: politics

Interviews of 17 City Council Applicants Thursday

When Steve Litzow got elected to the State Senate, he left a vacant seat on the Mercer Island City Council. To which position residents could apply. And to which position 17 residents did.

This Thursday at 6 pm you can attend interviews of all 17, or whichever of those present themselves. Here’s the list of names. Some highlights:

  • Robert Bersos is a 50-year resident of the Island.
  • Debbie Bertlin has been an exec at Avanade and Microsoft (wow Debbie, that is a thorough application).
  • Aaron Kornblum is one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 under 40 and President-elect of MOHAI, my favorite museum in Seattle.
  • Clark Powell gave a frank and funny answer to Question1: Why am I interested? At first, I wasn’t.
  • Tana Senn is the former National Director for American Affairs of Hassadah, and a grassroots organizer on the Island.

Full disclosure: one of these folks is my neighbor but I didn’t realize that at first. Anyway, the info above is all from their applications (yes, I read them all) and any available public profiles.

Reading through the applications I am struck by the amount of talent and commitment to service we have to choose from. Also by the fact that the entire Planning Commission seems to be applying. Thanks to everyone who applied for being willing to spend time on the City Council, it’s an important role.

After the interviews, the City Council must by majority vote choose one applicant. That will happen on January 18th.

Election Day

And the corner at 40th and Island Crest Way is busy:

So vote if you haven’t! Here’s our Election 2010 Crib Sheet for State Senator and then for Senator and US Representative.

Election Crib Sheet: State Senator

Steve Litzow is running for State Senate District 41– Bellevue and Mercer Island. He’s served on the Mercer Island City Council. He’s also the subject of an election rarity, the Mercer-Island-only attack ad.

I want to come out on Steve’s side but I have to say I agree with the fliers that keep showing up in my mail. Steve was instrumental in shelving the heavily-studied, citizen-approved and already-funded road diet plan.I hate to be a single-issue voter but, as it turns out, I am on this one.

Fiscal responsibility is important. But public safety is more important. We can afford to reconfigure Island Crest Way and we should do it.

If you want background on other issues, check out Publicola’s endorsement of Randy Gordon. I agree with them on several of the issues. But mostly I disagree with Steve on Island Crest Way.

It’s Campaign Season and Litzow’s on the Corner

Steve Litzow and friends campaigning at rush hour today:

Don’t worry, the light was red when I took this photo.

On the Ballot this Fall

Continuing our crib sheet on the election, here’s what new since the primaries.

US Senator

Rossi has seemed a bit disingenuous lately. He called Murray out on pork but as a State Senator was very fond  of “locally targeted investments.” Hmmm…  And is getting $3 million from undisclosed donors for attack ads but would vote against the DISCLOSE act on campaign finance.

It’s the  go-go years of campaign finance, with heavily funded groups pouring money into elections all over the country. Why let them be secret?

Anyway, if you want to learn more, the Seattle Times recorded an interview with the two candidates.


The most local election on the ballot this fall is for Representative, US Congressional District 8 between Dave Reichart and Suzan DelBene.  The Seattle Times endorsed DelBene, calling her “a smart moderate.”

A Bunch of Initiatives

Re: the debate over the Washington State income tax, I’ve been split on it. I’m not against an income tax forever in Washington but I do think a proposal that puts such a broad tax on some and not others is not in the spirit of the republic. The wealthy should pay more but they should not pay alone. And no, my family wouldn’t qualify for the tax if it were passed.

As for the rest of all those initiatives, you’re on your own. I’ll just remind you that Tim Eyeman is crazy.

Election Night Crib Sheet

If you’re like me and waited until election night to do your civic homework, here’s a crib sheet for tomorrow’s Primary and Special Election.

US Senator

There’s quite a list of candidates:

  • Patty Murray’s the incumbent Democrat. She’s a senior senator who recently received kudos for closing tax loopholes and bringing tasty pork home to Washington.
  • Dino Rossi, a Republican, is the conservative in the mix, running on an economic platform. From his profile in The Seattle Times: “With a small-government platform, he champions tax cuts and less regulation, calling for the repeal of both the new federal health-care law and the financial-overhaul law.”
  • Clint Didier is our very own Tea Party candidate, an ex-NFL player proudly sporting no elected experience. He did get the endorsement of Sarah Palin, as well as a bonus robocall recording.
  • Would it be a Washington Senate race without goodspaceguy?

U.S. Congressional District 8

Publicola has a good editorial on this one. Dave Reichart, the incumbent, is unfortunately just acting as part of the Republican Block Voting Machine. Suzan Delbene, on the other hand, is a successful entrepreneur who knows how to grow business (which I hope means fiscal sense) and has a liberal social agenda.

Further reading

I admit it, I haven’t done my homework on the other races. But if you want to, here are three good places to start:

Mail those ballots by end of day!

City Council: The Issue IS Safety

No, really, Did the City Council just kill the Island Crest Way road diet project? You’ve got to be kidding me. The Reporter covered the meeting; I’ll let you read the sad details.

“Safety is not the priority for Island Crest Way [changes]. The issue for safety is crossing.” said Steve Litzow, Councilman.

Steve, I live a few blocks off ICW, and I agree with your fellow Councilman Bruce Bassett: the issue IS safety. There was another accident at Merrimount just a couple of Saturdays ago. And have you ever tried crossing the street? I hope you can sprint.

Putting a couple of lights on the street is a band-aid. It doesn’t fix the problem.

“The irony of this is that this project probably had one of the largest public processes that I’ve seen in 30 years.” Elliot Newman, former Mercer Island mayor.  And widespread public support.

Not only that, but our election in November was basically a referendum on the issue, with only one of three City Council seats contested in a race where Ira Appleman made abandoning the road diet his single-issue platform. Ira lost. Islanders support and want to road diet. To have funded stripped in a single City Council meeting with no public discussion and no cost/benefit analysis of the options is a disgrace.

All quotes in this article are from the Mercer Island Reporter coverage.