Election: Mayor candidate Merritt uses alternative facts

Note: This letter from Loren Cohen, one of our board members, was published in the News Tribune on Friday, October 20, 2017.

As one of the developers of Point Ruston, I proudly support Victoria Woodards as Tacoma’s next mayor.

My support of Woodards may seem strange since her opponent, architect Jim Merritt, is part of our industry. Even stranger since Merritt claims his “leadership made Point Ruston possible.”

So, why don’t we support him? Because Merritt’s claims are false - they’re fake news. His claims wildly distort the truth.

Merritt worked for the bankrupt Asarco company. His job was limited to design work. After we bought the property, he requested an exorbitantly priced contract.

We said no, scrapped his Asarco designs and went our own direction. With that, Merritt’s involvement with the site ended.

Merritt makes exaggerated claims related to other projects as well - for example, Union Station. Just ask former congressman Norm Dicks who made that project possible.

Merritt’s boasts are alternative facts. His exaggerations are disrespectful to my father, Mike Cohen, who actually made Point Ruston possible, and to congressman Dicks, who actually made Union Station possible. To name a few.

Merritt takes credit he doesn’t deserve. His Trumpian qualities should disqualify him from becoming Tacoma’s next mayor.

-Loren Cohen