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Monday, March 20, 2006

Call To Order
Mayor Bryan Cairns called the meeting to order at 6:10 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call
City Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis, Mike Grady, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor Jim Pearman and Mayor Bryan Cairns were present.

Study Session
AB 4067: Financial Forecast
Finance Director Chip Corder presented his 2006 through 2010 financial forecast for the general fund including three scenarios for revenue and expenditure assumptions.

Council received the Finance Directorís report and asked the Finance Director questions about revenue and expenditure assumptions. Some Councilmembers were interested in seeing different financial scenarios including a best case and worst case scenario. The Council noted that this presentation raises the issue of allocating the $1.2 million of the 2005 year-end surplus. The City Manager noted that the issue of the $1.2 million surplus will be discussed during the regular City Council meeting under AB 4070.

The Study Session was adjourned at 7:08 pm. The Regular Meeting reconvened at 7:36 pm.

Alita Farrila, 4020 82nd Ave SE, doesnít visit the north part of Luther Burbank Park anymore because of the dog issue. A large wet dog came up to her children and scared them. She would like to see dog regulations adopted and enforced. She doesnít want to see the playground changed too much; she likes it old fashioned.

Michael Stern, 6942 96th Ave SE, spoke regarding his neighbor planting 26 trees on their property line and they lean toward his property and put shade on his property. He requested that Council adopt an ordinance to prohibit planting of trees on property line. He pruned trees and his neighbor is suing me for $1.3 million in damages.

Grady Sweats, stated that he is afraid of dogs without leashes. Whenever he went to upper Luther Burbank Park, dogs scared us. Dog poop on playgrounds is gross.

Tsering Yuthokshort, lives in the neighborhood adjacent to Luther Burbank Park and out like the City to consider the Seattle ordinance for dog enforcement and requiring dogs remain on leash.

Leslie Moore, 4730 89th Ave SE, recommends an enforceable leash law ordinance for Luther Burbank Park. She stated that her visits to Luther Burbank Park are spoiled by off leash dogs. During her last visit she observed 11 dogs off leash. Her children and elderly parents are afraid to visit Luther Burbank Park because of off leash dogs. She would like the Council to consider moving the off leash area for several reasons: too large an area to reserve for dogs only; inconsistent with enhancing natural elements of Luther Burbank Park; waterfront park under I-90 bridge would be good alternative for off leash area for dog.

Maretta Holden, 8221 SE 24th Street, lives across from Community Center and across from Luther Burbank Park. She supports what prior speakers have said about dogs on leash. She also spoke about that there is no alternative sidewalk now that the Park & Ride is closed and the sidewalk is blocked off.

Leah Sprague, 4553 84th Ave SE, has had two big dogs pounce on her and smother her with kisses at Luther Burbank Park and they are really scary. Dogs should not run free.

Jeanne Schreuder, 9225 SE 59th Street, keeps her dogs on a leash and scoops. She has had large dogs off leash barrel over her kids. She doesnít visit the playground anymore because of the dogs off leash. She visits the swim beach because the lifeguards ask the off leash dogs to go elsewhere. She would like the Council to consider a leash ordinance and poop scoop.

Michelle Dumler, 7454 West Mercer Way, is a dog owner and visits Luther Burbank Park regularly. She have a big problem with off leash dogs approaching her dog while she is traveling to the off leash area. She has seen see dogs off leash in the childrenís play area. She encourages adopting an ordinance to regulate poop scooping and requiring leashes.

Linda Floyd, 7201 Holly Drive, supports an enforceable dog leash ordinance that is enforced. Dogs off leash are intimidating to her and her 3 young children. There are always off leash dogs over at Calkins Point.

Elizabeth Cross Nichol 7640 SE 72nd Place, is an advocate for on leash ordinance and enforcement. She has been scared by dogs both while walking and while in a stroller while biking. She told a story to the Council about a boy being bitten by a dog at Luther Burbank Park by an off leash dog.

Deanne Kanenaga, 7230 87th Avenue SE, supports the ordinance and loves the idea of relocating the off leash area. Preserve wetland area.

Judy Witmer, 8206 SE 41st Street, doesnít go to Luther Burbank Park because of poop and scary dogs. She thinks that dogs should be on leash when not in off leash area.

Stowe Sprague, 4553 84th Ave SE, stated that at the earlier planning sessions for Luther Burbank Park almost every parent spoke of dogs vehemently about their fear of dogs. She is happy with the Master Plan for Luther Burbank Park. Advocate for a poop scoop, on leash ordinance. If enforcement isnít realistic, then why not find an alternative location?

Callie Ridolfi, 3432 72nd Ave SE, stated that she was part of the volunteer taskforce that worked with the Planning Commission to consider the issue of sustainability that hopefully will result in revisions to the Comprehensive Plan that would allow incentives for LEED green buildings and green roofs. To take advantage of these opportunities, please consider this as part of the Planning Commissionís Work Plan tonight.

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:
Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of March 6, 2006 as written.
Motion Passed 7-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 465,541.31  
Payrolls: $ 499,177.36 (3/3/2006) $ 841,435.09 (3/17/2006)

AB 4073: MIYFS Foundation Grant: Authorize the City Manager to accept the Enhancement Funds from the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Foundation.

It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:
Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.
Motion Passed 7-0.

Regular Business
AB 4071: Proposal to Improve Public Information
Deputy City Manager Deb Symmonds presented the report on improving public information in a proactive as opposed to a reactive manner. The Deputy City Manager discussed the recommended option of adding a new position to best achieve Councilís goal of improving communication with the community. Some of the initial tasks for this coordinator would be to place Council packets on line, schedule Council meetings in neighborhoods, and prepare a proposal of a City newsletter for Councilís consideration.

It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Jahncke to:
Not authorize addition of the Communications Coordinator position at this time. (Effect: Continue public communications on a reactive basis. Hire outside consultants for selective services, as needed and directed by City Council.
Motion Failed 2-5 (Proponents of motion were Councilmembers Goldmanis and Jahncke).

It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:
Authorize the City Manager to add a Communications Coordinator as a new full time position on City staff. Appropriate $40,425 for this position for the balance of 2006 from the General Fund Surplus from 2005 and review the position at the expiration of 6 months to determine the effectiveness of this position.
Motion Passed 5-2 (Councilmembers Goldmanis and Jahncke dissented).

AB 4069: 2005 Year End Financial Status Report
Finance Director Chip Corder summarized his presentation from the earlier Study Session. The General Fund balance of $2,172,404 was discussed. The CIP Project Management Report was presented. Council considered Ordinance No. 06-03 containing budget adjustments either previously approved by Council but not formally adopted and some new requests for budget adjustments.

It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:
Adopt Ordinance No. 06-03, amending the 2005-2006 Budget.
Motion Passed 7-0.

AB 4070: 2005 Year End Transfer
Finance Director Chip Corder discussed the net surplus available of $1,423,494 available for year end transfer. Council previously agreed not to spend more than 20% of the year end fund balance or approximately $300,000. The Finance Director listed some options for the expenditure of this 20% including LEOFF I long term care, public information coordinator position, sewer lake line, fire truck replacements, south fire station renovation or replacement, open space vegetation management, property tax reduction, and/or redemption of community center bonds. Council discussed these options.

It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:
Authorize $55,000 to be spent from the 2005 Year End fund balance on open space vegetation management to be spent in fiscal year 2006.
Motion Passed 7-0.

It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:
Authorize $69,000 in 2007 for property tax reduction.
Motion Passed 5-2 (Councilmember Grady and Mayor Cairns dissented).

AB 4068: EMS Rates and Code Amendment (1st Reading)
Finance Director Chip Corder presented the Emergency Management Services rate study and a first reading of Ordinance No. 06C-02.

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:
Suspend City Council Rules of Procedure requiring Second Reading of all Ordinances.
Motion Passed 7-0.

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:
Approve Ordinance No. 06C-02 amending Mercer Island City Code, Chapter 15.02 covering the Emergency Medical and Ambulance Service Public Utility.
Motion Passed 7-0.

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:
Approve Resolution No. 1370 establishing Monthly Utility Fee for EMS and Ambulance Services.
Motion Passed 7-0.

AB 4060: Planning Commission Work Plan
Development Services Director Richard Hart Planning Commission 2005 Work Plan and tasks completed and the Planning Commission proposed 2006 Work Plan including the number of staff hours to accomplish the proposed tasks. Council Liaison Litzow supported the Work Plan and stated that the Planning Commission is passionate about sustainability but that this term needs to be defined.

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:
Receive Planning Commission 2005 Annual Report and Approve Planning Commission Proposed 2006 Work Program.
Motion Passed 7-0.

Other Business
Councilmember Absences:
There were none.

Planning Schedule:
Mayor Cairns indicated that the Planning Schedule should indicate two meetings for the finalization of the Luther Burbank Master Planning Process. Add April 17th for Luther Burbank Park Master Plan adoption.

Councilís first reading on PEAK will be moved from the April 17th City Council meeting to May 1st and change the scheduled second reading on May 1st to the May 15th meeting.

Add the amended off leash dog ordinance to the Councilís Planning Schedule following adoption of the Luther Burbank Park Master Plan and the City Manager will return with a plan to add an item to the Councilís Work Plan to consider enforcement of this ordinance.

Board Appointments:
There is a Planning Commission vacancy but the process has not commenced for replacement.

Councilmember Reports:
The Mayor reported that the Cabinet had a meeting this morning regarding I-90 and the reconvening of the MOA Steering Committee later this month. The Cabinet briefed Council on the items the City believes the Steering Committee will need to discuss under the MOA requirements that the parties engage in concurrence and consultation for any modifications to the operation of the I-90 facility. The Mayor also mentioned that a meeting occurred among Secretary MacDonald, Representatives Clibborn and Jarrett and City staff regarding the WSDOT study.

Deputy Mayor Pearman reported on the Cabinet meeting and the necessity of transparency in all matters involving I-90.

Councilmember Jahncke discussed the PEAK subcommittee meeting and discussions that occurred regarding impervious surface code amendments and parking issues. The parties suggested pushing back first and second reading two weeks to allow staff technical groups time to reconsider code language.

Councilmember Grady reported on the Utility Board meeting which is considering rate structure and the list of projects being considered, update on test well (emergency relief well), update on lake line ($5 million gap in financing).

Executive Session
The Council recessed into Executive Session at 10:45 pm to discuss property acquisition per RCW 42.30.110(1)(3) for approximately 30 minutes. The Executive Session adjourned at 11:00 pm.

Adjournment: 11:00 pm

[Important Note: The proceedings of the City Council meeting were recorded on tape and are filed in the City Clerk's Office. The complete agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also filed in the City Clerk's office.]


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