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City Council - Agenda     
Monday, May 04, 2009

Call To Order:
 
Mayor Jim Pearman called the meeting to order at 7:06 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.
 
 
Roll Call:
 
Councilmembers Bruce Bassett, Mike Cero, Mike Grady, Dan Grausz, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor El Jahncke and Mayor Jim Pearman were present.
 
 
Mayor Pearman stated that since the lawsuit regarding Tent City has been settled, the City will begin the post-mortem process regarding Tent City IV on Mercer Island in 2008.  City Attorney Katie Knight explained the recent ruling in favor of the City dismissing the Tent City lawsuit.  City Manager Rich Conrad explained that staff will devise a public process that will review and collect public input regarding the experience with Tent City.  Any possible code changes regarding homeless encampments on Mercer Island would be vetted through the Planning Commission and then brought to the Council for final review.  He stated he hopes to begin the process in mid-summer 2009.
 
City Manager Conrad spoke about the swine flu and the recommendations from Seattle-King County Public Health to prevent the spread of the virus.  
 
 
Appearances:
 
Phil Flash, 3005 69th Ave SE, highly recommends naming the cove on the North-end of Mercer Island after Mr. Hubert Riley (“Riley Cove”).  He spoke about Mr. Riley’s history on Mercer Island and experiences overseas in World War II.
 
Anne Fox, 2981 74th Ave SE, supports delaying the naming of the cove on the North-end of Mercer Island.  She would like the City to engage in a more deliberate and public process before recommending the name to the State Board. She stated that her comments were not meant to be disrespectful to Mr. Riley, but she believes that the process of naming a cove should broader and should consider all pioneering families.
 
Margaret Philbrick, 7662 SE 22nd street, is opposed to request to name cove on the North-end of Mercer Island, “Riley Cove”. She greatly respects the pioneering Riley family and Mr. Hu Riley in particular, as he is a distinguished veteran, but she believes that the survey conducted does not accurately reflect all of the opinions of the residents in proximity to the cove. She offered to the Council to name the cove, “McGilvra Cove”, as the name is more closely tied to the history of the area. (This statement was read by Suzanne Zahniser.)
 
Susan Empey, 7744 85th Place SE, spoke about the Healthy Ways to School project. She lives on the corner across from Lakeridge Elementary and has seen people drive too fast on the way to and from the school. She does not think the sidewalk is safe enough. She stated that parents who live very close to the school still have to walk kids to school as the area is not safe for students to go on their own. She would love to see the pedestrian perspective considered when planning other projects.
 
Jonathan Harrington, 9514 SE 68th Street, thanked the City Council for their continued work on sustainability.
 
Sam Hobson, 8828 SE 77th Place, supports the Healthy Ways to School project and thinks the improvements will create a safer walking environment for students.
 
Bob Brahm, 7420 North Mercer Way, supports naming the cove at the north-end of the Island "Riley Cove."  He spoke about Mr. Riley and his history on Mercer Island and that his contributions to the community.  He believes Mr. Riley encompasses what it means to be an American and that naming the cove after him would honor his commitment to life, honor and community.
 
Rob MacAulay, 7410 North Mercer Way, stated that he is the proponent of the “Riley Cove” resolution. He believes there are three good reasons to name it “Riley Cove”:  (1) the Riley’s are a Mercer Island pioneering family, (2) Mr. Riley has lived in his home on Mercer Island his entire life and (3) he is a hero as he fought in World Word II.  He spoke about concerns he has heard about procedure and process for naming coves. He stated that what the Council decides tonight does not set the name of "Riley Cove" in stone as there is a six-month window of review and public input conducted by the state.
 
Todd Kelsay, 4743 Fernridge Lane, stated that he participated on the Healthy Ways to School committee and thanked the Council for originally setting funding aside for starting the process. He stated that 435 students that live within 1 mile and less than 25% arrive by walking and biking and the key reason is that it is not safe on the east side of the school for walking or biking. He believes the proposed project will create a safer atmosphere support shows how we value the safety and health of students on Mercer Island.
 
Lisel Wilke, 7442 North Mercer Way, stated that the Council has the opportunity to move the naming of “Riley Cove” forward even though they may not have 100% agreement from all. She believes that a lot of heart and soul has been put into the idea and it supports history on Mercer Island. She thinks the disagreement about the naming the cove is not harmful or negative; it is just a difference of opinion.
 
 
MINUTES:
 
(1)        It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:
Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of April 20, 2009 as written.
Motion passed 7-0.
 
 
Consent Calendar:
 
Councilmember Grady moved AB 4414: Kiwanis Fireworks Sales Permit to the first item of Regular Business
 
(2)        Payables: $ 727,067.19              Payroll: $612.643.02
 
(3)        AB 4422            Amendment to Interlocal Agreement for Cable TV Consortium
Motion: Authorize the City Manger to sign the Amendment to the Interlocal Agreement for Consortium for Negotiation of Cable Television Franchising adding the City of Sammamish as a party to the agreement.
 
(5)        AB 4413            Summer Celebration Fireworks Display Permit
Motion: Approve the Public Fireworks Display Permit application submitted by Western International Fireworks for a fireworks display on July 12th, 2008, near Luther Burbank Park, sponsored by Summer Celebration!
 
It was moved by Councilmember Bassett; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:
Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.
Motion passed 7-0.
 
 
Regular Business:
 
(4)        AB 4414            Kiwanis Fireworks Sales Permit
 
It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Deputy Mayor Jahncke to:
Approve permit to allow the sale of “Consumer” Fireworks by the Mercer Island Kiwanis Club in conjunction with Independence Day 2009.
 
It was moved by Councilmember Bassett; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:
Amend the previous motion to:
Approve the permit with a reduced timeframe to sell the fireworks one week prior to July 4th and end sales on July 4th.
Motion to amend passed 5-2 (Councilmember Grady and Mayor Pearman dissented).
 
Main motion passed 6-1 (Councilmember Grady dissented).
 
 
(6)        AB 4423            Cove Naming
 
City Attorney Katie Knight presented information to the Council regarding a group of citizens who are petitioning the Washington State Board on Geographic Names to name the cove between the Roanoke Inn and Luther Burbank Park the “Riley Cove.”  She explained that the petitioners wish to have the cove named after life-long Mercer Island resident Hubert Riley and the Riley family, who have collectively lived on Mercer Island for almost the past 100 years.  She further stated that the City’s endorsement of the name is not required for the cove to be named, but she stated that the petitioners believe that the City Council’s support will help convince the Washington State Board on Geographic Names that the cove should be named “Riley Cove.”   
 
It was moved by Councilmember Cero; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:
Adopt Resolution No. 1410 which endorses the naming of the cove between the Roanoke Inn and Luther Burbank Park as “Riley Cove.”  
Motion passed 6-1 (Councilmember Bassett dissented).
 
 
(7)        AB 4420            Lakeridge Elementary Healthy Ways to School Project Authorization to Bid
 
Street Engineer Clint Morris presented the Lakeridge Elementary Healthy Ways to School Project, which grew out of a committee formed at Lakeridge Elementary School (with members from the school staff, parents and City staff) with the goal of finding ways to increase the number of students arriving at school by walking, bicycling, or riding the bus.  This project includes funding from the new “Safe Routes to School” program within the City’s 6-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (funded at $100,000 per biennium, will focus on safety improvements to improve or complete sidewalks, walking paths, bicycle areas, and other enhancements to support safe, non-motorized alternative ways to get to school) as well as $220,000 in WSDOT grant funds.  
 
He stated that design work is near 80% completion and that staff is still awaiting the actual award of the grant funds, which is pending approval by the Washington State Legislature and formal notification by WSDOT.   Staff is now bringing this project to the Council for authorization to advertise for construction bids because the estimated costs have increased beyond the current project funding.  During design development, the committee significantly expanded the initial project scope, thereby increasing the project cost.  He further discussed the project’s design features and costs and present recommendations to move the project forward to construction.
 
After Council discussion of the project, associated costs and funding resources the following motions were made:
 
It was moved by Councilmember Bassett; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:
Authorize staff to advertise for construction bids for the Lakeridge Elementary Healthy Ways to School project.
 
It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Deputy Mayor Jahncke to:
Amend the previous motion to:
Direct staff to redesign the project scope to bring it within a budget of $320,000, plus $40,000 for the storm drainage work on SE 78th Street (Schedule B) for a total project budget of $360,000.
Motion to amend passed 5-2 (Councilmembers Bassett and Grady dissented).
 
Main motion passed 7-0.
 
Councilmember Basset and Deputy Mayor Jahncke will review the redesigned project scope on behalf of the full Council before staff go out to bid on the project.
 
 
(8)        AB 4424            Status Report on Sustainability in City Government
 
Communications Coordinator Joy Johnston summarized the work accomplished so far on the 2009 Sustainability Work Program noted the following accomplishments:
 

  • Puget Sound Energy is funding a .25 FTE for the City of Mercer Island to reduce energy consumption within City facilities.
  • The City now has one electric vehicle and four hybrid vehicles in operation.
  • The second annual Leap for Green Earth Day Celebration on April 18, 2009 engaged over 1000 Mercer Island citizens and included over 40 information booths and presenters.
  • In a partnership between the City and the School District, a Lakeridge Elementary project is a candidate for grant funding to provide non-motorized routes to school.
  • An ad-hoc committee has been working on the formation of a “Green Ribbon Commission,” a community-based effort to encourage sustainable practices throughout Mercer Island.  
  • The Mercer Island Conversation on Climate Action was held on April 22, 2009 as part of a national event to honor Earth Day.

 
Resource Conservation Manager Fred Gu spoke about his role in the City’s Resource Management Program to provide coordination and leadership for the effective and efficient management of all utility resources used at the City, including water, wastewater, refuse and recycling, in addition to electricity and natural gas.
 
Communications Coordinator Joy Johnston and Councilmember Bruce Bassett spoke about the Green Ribbon Commission work group.  They spoke about the City being represented through its Sustainability Committee members as well as the City Manager and the Communications Coordinator.  They reiterated that the commission is not a City-run commission, but rather a broad-based grassroots community leadership effort that is drawing in volunteers from neighborhoods, churches, school-community and the business community. They stated that the commission’s planning group continues to focus its efforts on carbon reduction through individual actions and strategies employed by residents and businesses.
 
City Manager Rich Conrad and Councilmember Mike Grady spoke about the City’s participating in and providing leadership to a regional application for federal stimulus funds.  They explained that the program, New Energy Solutions is being developed in cooperation with Puget Sound cities and counties as well as local energy providers and focuses on the following areas:
 

  1. Smart Grid: Implementation of smart grid technology which delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability.
  2. Mobility: Includes investing in infrastructure to support electric vehicles and converting municipal and school fleets to electric.
  3. Energy Efficiency: Programs to achieve “deep energy efficiencies” for residents which would include energy audits and guidance for energy reduction plans.

 
It was moved by Councilmember Grady; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:
Signify Mercer Island’s commitment to the New Energy Solutions Initiative by approving the New Energy Solutions Pledge Letter (substantially similar to Exhibit 4 of AB 4424) and adopt Resolution No. 1411 in support of the New Energy Solutions Initiative (substantially similar to Exhibit 5 to AB 4424).



It was moved by Councilmember Cero; seconded by Deputy Mayor Jahncke to:
Amend the previous motion to:
Change the second to last bullet point on the New Energy Solutions Pledge Letter to read:
“Accomplish these objectives in an cost efficient, accountable and measurable manner, through development of common metrics including job creation, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and replacement of fossil fuel vehicle miles traveled; and”
Motion to amend passed 5-2 (Councilmember Bassett and Grady dissented.)
 
Motion passed 7-0.
 
 It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:
Support continued participation of staff and the Sustainability Sub-Committee of the City Council in the Green Ribbon Commission and to approve the Sustainable Community Commitment letter as presented in Exhibit 3 to AB 4424 with the following amendment to the last statement in the Sustainable Community Commitment:
“We, the undersigned, pledge to participate in this organized and focused community effort – governed by through involvement with the Mercer Island Green Ribbon Commission – to extend sustainable principles and practices throughout the community.”
 
It was moved by Councilmember Cero; seconded by Deputy Mayor Jahncke to:
Amend the previous motion to:
Amend the definition of sustainability at the top of the Sustainable Community Commitment Statement as follows:
“Sustainability is the continued improvement of life quality that protects and balances the ecological,and social and economic environments.”
Motion to amend failed 0-7.
 
It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Deputy Mayor Jahncke to:
Amend the previous motion to:
Eliminate all the quotes in the Sustainable Community Commitment Letter and Commitment Statement.
Motion to amend passed 5-2 (Councilmembers Grady and Litzow dissented).
 
It was moved by Councilmember Cero; seconded by Deputy Mayor Jahncke to:
Amend the last bullet on the Sustainable Community Commitment Statement to read:
“Review the operations of our homes, businesses and institutions to identify important changes that will help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by improving economic efficiency on Mercer Island.  These may include energy conservation, use of fuel efficient vehicles, reduction or elimination of air polluting machinery, gardening and landscape tools, increased use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, and reduction of vehicle miles traveled on the island.”
Motion to amend failed 2-5 (Proponents of motion: Councilmember Cero and Deputy Mayor Jahncke).
 
Main motion passed 6-1 (Deputy Mayor Jahncke dissented).
 
 
OTHER BUSINESS:
 
Councilmember Absences:
Councilmembers Grady and Litzow will be absent May 18th.
 
Planning Schedule:  
There were no changes.
 
Board Appointments:
It was moved by Deputy Mayor Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:
Appoint Eric Laschever to the Planning Commission (Position No. 9, expiring May 2010)
Motion passed 7-0.
 
Councilmember Reports:
Councilmember Grady spoke about the Washington State Energy Summit.
 
 
EXECUTIVE SESSIOn:
 
The City Council, City Attorney Katie Knight, Bruce Schroeder (Summit Law Group), City Manager Rich Conrad, Finance Director Chip Corder, Fire Chief Chris Tubbs, Human Resources Director Kryss Segle and Interim Deputy City Manager Manny Ocampo convened to Executive Session at 10:53 pm to discuss a collective bargaining agreement pursuant to RCW 42.30.140(4) for approximately 20 minutes.
 
The Executive Session was adjourned at 11:14 pm and the Regular Meeting was reconvened.
 
 
Adjournment:          11:15 pm
 
 



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