Nextdoor ‘Council of Five’ to replace Mercer Island City Council

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Kate Grove and Kate Grove

By Kate Grove

The Mercer Island city council voted 6-1 to replace the existing council with the five most prominent community members on NextDoor, a move that has been heralded by critics because they are now allowed to try their hand at city leadership. 

The new council of five has pledged to protect Mercer Island’s sovereignty from the “regionalists” of the 41st congressional district, who could not be reached for comment.

For their first big move, the council is jumping into the deep end right away by calling for the demolition of both I-90 bridges. 

“As a council, we’ve decided that we can’t risk having people from Bellevue, or God forbid, Tacoma, on the island,” councilmember Rob McMichael said. “Mercer Islanders have invested a lot to be a part of this community, and we feel that having the less fortunate from these other communities really jeopardizes our image.”

This action comes at a pivotal time, as Mercer Island is making a run at becoming the most expensive zip code in Washington state. The town currently sits in second place behind Medina (the home of billionaire Bill Gates), and the council has emphasized the importance of taking over the top spot.

“This competition is really important to us as a council,” councilmember Kevin Baker said. “It’s the main reason we decided to move forward with demolishing the bridges – if we can keep out the trash, uh, I mean, poor people, then I think we have a better chance of taking over that number one spot.”

However, this move is markedly unpopular in the local community. A recent survey taken indicates that 99% of island residents oppose the demolition of the I-90 bridges, with 1% supporting the move. 

“Look, I’m all for keeping poor people off of Mercer Island,” Karen Henry, a ten-year Mercer Island resident, said. “But if we demolish both I-90 bridges, then how can I get to my biweekly pilates classes? Or to the LuluLemon store in University Village? Or what about the Range Rover dealership? It just feels really inconvenient for us regular, everyday people. And don’t even get me started about how much this project would mess up my son’s lacrosse schedule.”

Inside city hall, however, there has also been disquiet. An anonymous source reports that the transition has not been as smooth as it appears.

“All of the councilmembers, sorry, visionaries, are currently bedridden with withdrawal from cyberbullying teenagers on NextDoor and in Facebook groups,” the source said. “It’s been very difficult for them to adjust to the current city policies which ban councilmembers from using NextDoor, and there have even been calls for that rule to be changed.”

The source chose to remain anonymous, citing their need to secure their invitation on the councilmembers’ boats this summer. They fear that speaking on the record might limit invitations, both to the yacht club and to wine night – another critical networking event.

The new council has also run into financial difficulties and recent meetings have been fraught with confusion.

“Council has been surprised by the fact that the city actually needs tax dollars to run,” the source said. “They thought that once they took the reins, the regionalists would swoop in with funding since Mercer Island is God’s gift to the 41st district, but that just hasn’t happened.”

Reports have come in saying that this realization has sent all of the councilmembers into rages at one point or another, and it’s almost impossible to console them because they are not allowed to fearmonger on NextDoor anymore, and that was the only activity that could calm them down.

In the future, the council hopes to explore pathways towards authoritarianism, because members are concerned that the younger generation of Islanders will be able to vote and soon will make older voices irrelevant.

“We need to prevent these kids from ever having a say in what goes on around here, which is why I think it’s time for Mercer Island to become an oligarchy,” an anonymous councilmember said. “We considered appointing someone new to be the monarch of Mercer Island, but realized that nobody is as prepared for leadership as the five of us, so we collectively decided to take on the job ourselves.”

“In a way, NextDoor has really helped us prepare for this because we learned how to fear monger and create problems out of perfectly fine situations,” another councilmember said. “These traits are essential for true political leadership.”