Debbie Bertlin is endorsed for Position 7 on the Mercer Island City Council.

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MERCER Island City Council needs an infusion of energy, perspective and community awareness. The Seattle Times editorial board endorses challenger Debbie Bertlin for Position 7 over incumbent Ernest “El” Jahncke.

Four City Council races are on the ballot, but only Jahncke, on the council since 1999, has an opponent.

A cast of players in local government have been caught up in the emotional and legal tangles of a sexual-harassment case that cost the city more than $1.2 million in settlements and legal fees.

Bertlin represents a fresh start. Bertlin has a compelling civic résumé built around her young family and community ties that go back to Mercer Island High School. Her education and work as an executive for Microsoft and Oracle have taken her around the world — and back to Mercer Island.

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Bertlin can focus on local topics ranging from parental accountability for teen drinking to managing the impacts of new transportation options across Interstate 90. She can help Mercer Island decide how best to proceed on municipal infrastructure issues, from a fire station to a swimming pool.

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