Council selects Bassett as Mayor and Bertlin as Deputy Mayor; Hires Interim City Manager

January 8, 2016 | by Erin Sirianni

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Mayor Returns for another Two-Year Term joined by a New Deputy Mayor

At the City Council’s first meeting of the year, newly elected Councilmembers were sworn into office and the biennial mayoral elections occurred.

Based on a unanimous Council vote, returning Mayor Bruce Bassett was selected to again serve as Mayor for another two-year term.  Bassett joined the Council in 2007, first became Mayor in 2012, and recently won his reelection campaign in last November’s general election.

According Mercer Island Communications Manager, the Council is free to choose by majority vote a new mayor and deputy mayor at its first meeting every other year.  This year, Bassett was the only nomination for Mayor, and Bertlin was the only nomination for Deputy Mayor.

Bruce-BassettA Washington native, Bassett holds engineering degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan and had a successful career as founder and CEO of a small high tech company before moving to Mercer Island in 2003.

Bruce is an active community volunteer who has also served on the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board, the Utility Board, the Design Commission, the Arts Council, the Green Ribbon Commission, the Parks and Recreation Subcommittee, and the Sustainability Subcommittee.

At the same meeting, returning Council member Bertlin was selected unanimously as Deputy Mayor for a two year term. Debbie Bertlin joined the Council in 2011, and recently won her reelection campaign last November.

debbie_headshotwebBertlin moved to Mercer Island as a child in 1976, graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1982, and went on to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University. In 1988 she was awarded a Rotary Graduate Scholarship from the Mercer Island Rotary Club and in 1999 earned a second master’s degree in economics from University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.

Bertlin has most recently served on the Utility Board as well as the Parks and Recreation, Public Safety, and I-90 Subcommittees, and has previously served as Chair of the Open Space Conservancy Trust and as a Board member for the Mercer Island Pre-school Association (MIPA).
Learn more about the Mercer Island City Council at:

Council names Interim City Manager, Steve Lancaster

Steve-LancasterAt its regular meeting on Monday night, January 4, the Mercer Island City Council selected Steve Lancaster as interim City Manager.

Based on a unanimous 7-0 Council vote, Lancaster will temporarily replace outgoing City Manager Noel Treat who resigned in December 2015 to take a position with the Seattle School District.

Prior to retiring as Tukwila’s City Administrator in 2011, Lancaster spent 12 years as that city’s Community Development Director, and two and a half years (2007-2009) as the Development Services Director for the City of Mercer Island. Earlier in his public service career, he also worked for the cities of Auburn and Puyallup.

“While we were disappointed to have to refill this position, we were thrilled with the quality of applicants, and are very pleased to welcome Steve back to Mercer Island,” said Mayor Bruce Bassett.

In the coming months, the City will select a recruitment agency that will help locate candidates to permanently fill the City Manager position – the process is expected to conclude by June 2016.