Mercer Island Police were called to City Hall on Monday evening to restore order after a near riot by a large group of tween boys. The boys were expecting to attend the inauguration of NFL star Wesley Welker, who they erroneously believed had been elected to the city council in last November’s election. The city council seat was actually won by Island resident Wendy Weiker.
The boys, mostly fifth graders at Island Park Elementary, had waited outside for hours to get front row seats to the first city council meeting of 2016. After the meeting convened with the inauguration ceremony, the boys asked when the five-time Pro Bowler would be arriving. They let out of roar of disappointment when the case of mistaken identity was explained to them.
“I can’t believe this,” protested Colton Whett, president of Island Youth for Welker, “When I saw the ‘Welker for City Council’ signs all over the Mercer Island last fall, I got so excited. I got my mom and all of her friends at the PTA to support Welker. I waved signs on SE 40th Street and rang doorbells on his behalf. I thought the nice lady who spoke on his behalf at the candidate forums was his campaign manager.”
After order was restored to the meeting, Mayor Bart Bastion addressed the crowd of crestfallen youngsters: “While we are delighted to have Ms. Weiker joining the council, Mr. Welker would have been an excellent addition as well. After all, he played for the New England Patriots for six seasons, so his ethical standards are well suited to Mercer Island public service.”
Others at the meeting expressed relief at the reason for the unusual turnout, as a rumor had spread among older members of the audience that the boys were “hired ruffians” brought in to intimidate council members into approving a lease at Mercerdale Park for the Mercer Island Center for the Arts. “When I saw all of those kids, I knew something was up,” commented one attendee. “I’m a regular at city council meetings, and you rarely see anyone here younger than seventy.”