In other items: Mercer Island mayor won't seek re-election to council; and volunteers sought for advisory boards.
More than 10,000 people in the Snoqualmie Valley were without phone lines for about an hour yesterday after a work crew broke an underground fiber-optic line.
About 600 phone lines around Snoqualmie were still out several hours later but were scheduled to be restored by 8 p.m. yesterday, said Jacquie Goodwill, spokeswoman for CenturyTel, a Louisiana company that provides phone service to the valley.
A work crew digging holes for power-line poles near Snoqualmie Falls accidentally broke the fiber-optic line about 1 p.m., utility officials said. The crew was from Potelco, a Sumner company that was working for Puget Sound Energy (PSE), said PSE spokeswoman Dorothy Bracken.
Service was cut to 17,000 phone lines in Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, North Bend and Snoqualmie. Phone service was restored to most of the lines by 2:20 p.m., Goodwill said.
Mayor won’t seek re-election to councilMercer Island Mayor Alan Merkle has decided not to run for re-election to the City Council.
Merkle has been mayor for nearly six years and has sat on the council for almost 10 years. He announced his decision this week and also said he has endorsed council candidate Michael Grady.
Merkle said he was not seeking election to another term because he has completed his major goals and believes “it’s important to change leadership from time to time.”
During the past two years, the council has approved and begun building a new community center, taken over operations of Luther Burbank Park from King County and balanced the city’s budget, all goals Merkle said he aimed to accomplish before leaving the council.
Merkle said he will focus on his law practice and spend time with his family.
Volunteers sought for advisory boardsThe city of Mercer Island is seeking citizens to serve four-year terms on several of the island’s volunteer advisory boards, beginning June 1.
Each volunteer should expect to commit about 10 hours a month, an obligation that may vary from board to board. Boards and commissions with open positions include the arts council, design commission, Open Space Conservancy Trust, planning commission, utility board and Youth & Family Services.
For more information contact the city clerk’s office at 206-236-3572. The application deadline is May 6.
Seattle Times Eastside bureau