During the month of October, we are hosting meet and greets with candidates for the Mercer Island City Council. This Sunday we welcome Debbie Bertlin to meet with her consituents.
I am part of a multi-generational Island family. I grew up on Mercer Island, attended Lakeridge through MIHS, and am now raising my family here in partnership with my husband Brian, and parents who moved to Mercer Island in 1974. Our daughters will be at the high school and middle school this year.
Our community has a history of strong fiscal management which has helped preserve a cherished Islander quality of life. Just as councils in the past have kept on strong financial footing, I am committed to continuing the tradition – maintaining our Moody’s AAA bond rating; our outstanding 23 year record of “clean” audits, and maintaining financial reserves to ensure we can fund the unexpected and smooth the impact of recession.
We face challenges in the coming years as structural issues in the State’s taxing system continue. However, I am confident we will find our path forward. This will require depth and breadth of community engagement, fact-based decision making, and constructive goodwill.
My approach is and has been fiscally prudent and pragmatic. I believe in efficiencies, innovation, and deep community involvement to define our priorities.
This past year I supported an additional $1.3 million dollars in General Fund reductions which has reduced forecasted future deficits significantly.
I am committed to growing the General Fund in smart ways. For example, innovating Thrift Shop staffing and operations, revenues have grown 35%.
I have voted to fund services considered most important by Islanders, such as Marine Patrol, Fire Department, and code enforcement services. When General Fund cost savings and efficiencies were realized in 2018, I voted to restore Youth and Family Services counseling.
By eliminating staff pay-for-performance (annual bonuses), the city has recovered an estimated $300K per year in personnel costs.