City Council Seat Race Is Mercer Island’s Most Expensive Race In Years | Seattle weather


Lisa Anderl is running for re-election to Mercer Island City Council, but not for the seat she currently holds. Instead, she’s running for position 6, a move she says was prompted by learning from Kate Akyuz.

The increasingly controversial race, one of three Mercer Island City Council contests, has been the island’s most expensive for at least 14 years. The two candidates traded and refuted accusations about each other’s political positions, and each said the other was spreading lies, which Akyuz called ugly and Anderl shamefully.

Anderl was appointed to City Council in 2018 to fill the seat vacated by Tom Acker and elected in 2019. She has worked as an attorney for Washington State and as an internal advisor for CenturyLink, and has lived on Mercer Island for 22 years . .

Akyuz is the Senior Manager of Capital Projects in the King County River and Floodplain Management Section and has lived on Mercer Island for nine years.

In the August primaries, Akyuz won 47% of the vote and Anderl 40%. The winner of the general election will succeed Mayor Benson Wong, who did not stand for re-election.

Ballots must be postmarked no later than Tuesday or dropped off in a King County Election drop box by 8:00 p.m. that day.

Anderl highlighted what she says is her fiscally conservative approach to working on the city budget. The city has been able to provide quality services, she said, without a tax increase, and the budget is balanced throughout the 2021-2022 biennium.

“You can be balanced one day and not the next month, if you’re not careful,” Anderl said. “That’s why I feel like it’s a big deal. It’s a boring question, not a super sexy question, but a fundamental thing that all other good things are built on. All the good things the city does depend on having enough money.

Another issue is concerns about public safety. Anderl said she often hears from voters. Mercer Island has a much lower crime rate than neighbors Seattle and Bellevue, but there has been a slight increase this year in property crime, according to Mercer Island Police data.

In February, Anderl voted for an ordinance to ban homeless people from spending the night outside or in their cars on the island. The ordinance, which banned camping in the public domain, passed 6-1. Anderl described this period as a tumultuous one, with pleas coming “from outside the island,” she said, to make Mercer Island look bad.

“All we were trying to do was update our ordinance with the ordinances of the region and protect our public lands, sidewalks, school grounds and other areas, where camps could be set up,” he said. she declared.

Akyuz has two main political priorities: Obtaining more funding for Mercer Island Youth and Family Services and creating an island-wide park reserve. Mercer Island Youth and Family Services provides counseling and case management services to youth, families and seniors; emergency financial assistance; and a pantry. In June, city council voted against including a tax on youth and family services on the general election ballot.

Akyuz would like to establish a reserve that would protect and restore the island’s 300 acres of open space; she said the island does not have enough workers to take care of them adequately. She cited her experience working for King County and the City of Seattle as an urban forester, doing grant work to leverage other agencies and private sources for the preservation and restoration of natural resources.

“These resources need to be protected in perpetuity, and they are not,” she said. “It is for the health of future generations.”

The public process around the camping ordinance was “quite awful,” she said, adding that she wanted the city to have a moderate discussion, instead of just public comments at a hearing. of the municipal council. She would have liked city council to add a way to close the gap in mental health services.

“If we can’t fix this as a community, we need to get closer to other communities in the Eastside and Seattle and push to close this mental health gap,” she said. “We are not going to fix the problem until it is resolved.”

The two candidates received roughly the same amount of contributions, between $ 40,000 and $ 45,000.

The incumbent Salim Nice faces Daniel Becker in the position 2 race. Michael Curry comes up against Ted Weinberg for position 4, which is left vacant by Anderl.

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