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Monday, July 10, 2006

Call To Order

Mayor Bryan Cairns called the meeting to order at 6:07 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

City Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis, Mike Grady (arrived 6:14 pm), Dan Grausz (arrived 6:10 pm), El Jahncke, Steve Litzow and Mayor Bryan Cairns were present. Deputy Mayor Jim Pearman was absent.

Study Session

AB 4110 Comprehensive Basin Review Briefing
City Engineer Patrick Yamashita and engineering consultant Jack Bjork from RW Beck presented an overview of Mercer Island’s recently completed Comprehensive Basin Review. The Basin Review is a planning document for the Storm and Surface Water Utility capital improvement program. It’s the City’s “road map” for the drainage system to ensure continued reliable operation while addressing ongoing erosion problems in ravines and protecting water quality in Lake Washington.

The Study Session adjourned at 6:56 pm.

Communications Coordinator Joy Bueling presented new, interactive information on Capital Improvement Program on the City’s website and she detailed the results from the City first newsletter, MI Quarterly, which was sent to every household last week.

The Regular Meeting reconvened at 7:06 pm.

Special Business

Parks and Recreation Month Proclamation

Mayor Cairns read a proclamation declaring July 2006 Parks and Recreation Month in the City of Mercer Island. Parks and Recreation Director Pete Mayer showed a presentation detailing the many aspects of the Parks and Recreation Department.


Myra Lupton, 3443 77th Place SE, asked that clear large signs that state the fines but put up in the parks when the proposed ordinance is adopted.


It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:
Approve the Study Session & Regular Meeting Minutes of June 19, 2006 as amended:
Page 3, Item 8, AB 4102…

  • Alternatives on affordable housing and height incentives and Town Center focus area location
  • Alternatives for retail uses on the ground floor on 77th 78th Ave SE
Motion Passed 6-0. It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:
Approve the Mini-Planning Session Minutes of June 24, 2006 as amended:
Page 2, Item 3: Macro-Financial Planning…
  • The Council prefers to use 20-year voter-approved bonds for financing fire truck replacement; fire station replacement and parks improvements (including most Luther Burbank Master Plan improvements).
  • Staff should look at the 2008-2009 timeframe for a “Public Safety” fire truck replacement bond issue.
  • Staff should consider long-term financial means for parks including Luther Burbank. look at 2009 for a Luther Burbank operating levy renewal vote. On the same 2009 ballot, the staff should assume a Parks Improvements bond issue will be developed and considered.
Motion Passed 6-0.

Consent Calendar

Payables: $ 1,085,771.29  
Payrolls: $ 593,599.23 (6/23/2006) $ 545,430.88 (7/7/2006)

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:
Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.
Motion Passed 6-0.

Regular Business

AB 4109: North Mercer Way Shoulder Improvements Project Bid Award

Street Engineer Clint Morris answered questions form the Council.

It was moved Councilmember Jahncke by; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:
Award the North Mercer Way Phase 2 and 3 Shoulder Improvements project to Earthwork Enterprises in the amount of $316,405. Appropriate $127,000 from the Street Fund for use on the project. Set the total project budget at $427,000, and direct staff to administer the construction contract.
Motion Passed 6-0.

AB 4108: Public Hearing: Revised Animal Control Ordinance (1st Reading)

Police Chief Ed Holmes, Parks and Recreation Director Pete Mayer, Assistant City Attorney Katie Knight, and Communications Coordinator Joy Bueling presented revisions to the Mercer Island Animal Code as it relates to leash laws.

The Mayor opened the public hearing at 8:13 pm.

Marguerite Smith, 7809 79th Ave SE, concerned with basis upon which this ordinance was created. She stated that at the May 11th Town Meeting the majority of people wanted to maintain current laws.
Wolf Schunter, 8010 84th Ave SE, he asked that the language regarding prohibiting dogs on swim beaches from May 1 through September 30 and must be on leach at all other times be cleared up. He asked why dogs cannot be off-leash in Pioneer Park and playfields.

Pete Johnson, 7930 SE 34th Street, lives adjacent to Mercerdale hillside. Doesn’t think the problem really exists. Many residents don't have a yard their dog can get exercise in. Since the off-leash areas are at extreme ends of the island, he suggested one in Mercerdale park next to the skateboard park.

Michelle Martin, 7427 91st Ave SE, spoke about how to behave respectfully in common areas on Mercer Island.

Margaret McCormick, 8034 SE 72nd Street, does not want any changes to the leash laws. She stated that she has met many people with other dogs at the South Mercer Playfields in the evenings.

Terry Hildebrandt, 7363 85th Ave SE, lives close to Wildwood Park. She disagreed with the park analysis included in the agenda bill. She stated that crime has been reduced at the South Mercer Playfields since the dog group has been present in the evenings.

Howard Robboy, 6944 96th Ave SE, proposed ordinance does not strike a balance for off leash areas. He suggested looking into time restraints, such as using the South Mercer Playfields before 8 am and after 8 pm. He feels the regulations are too restrictive. He suggested having one quadrant of Pioneer park be an off leash/under voice control park. He stated that Wildwood needs to be fenced and that Clarke beach doesn’t meet the purpose of an OLA.

Rich Wyde, 4048 East Mercer Way, should not adopt proposed ordinance as there are no facts to support the changes. He believes that the code discriminates against dog owners and that it is overbroad. He stated that the rules are impractical and will continue to be broken.

Art Michel, 8426 SE 83rd Street, found a community with other dog owners. He stated that he has found that dogs on leash have a greater propensity for charging.

Graham Nichol, 7640 SE 72nd Place, in favor of proposed ordinance and the need for it to be enforced.

Kathy Gusdorf, 8402 SE 53rd Place, uses Pioneer Park for exercising her dog. She hopes a happy medium can be found.

Joe Petrucci, 7702 SE 58th Street, is a soccer coach and player who uses the South Mercer Playfields frequently and has only seen two incidents in last two years on dogs running on the fields.

Helena Stenhardt, 7825 SE 63rd Place, believes that dog walking in Pioneer Park has diminished vandalism in the park. She believes that dogs should be allowed to be off-leash all over the Island. She uses South Mercer Playfields in the evenings to exercise her dog and for socializing.

Kathy Bruce, 8205 SE 71st Street, suggested that Parks and Recreation should offer classes to desensitize fears of dogs. She would like the City to use time frames for park use. She believes the problems at Luther Burbank non-residents.

David Witus, 8938 SE 54th Street, believes that there are three separate discussions: 1. Luther Burbank Park, (2) Parks that are natural setting parks, and (3) a leash ordinance and that the proposed ordinance tries to combine all three issues ineffectively.

Cissy Gray, 7531 83rd Place SE, takes her dogs to the South Mercer Playfields for exercise and socialization. She would encourage certain hours in south end for dog walking.

Carey Concannon, 4523 90th Ave SE, spoke about the City of Medina’s off-leash park. She stated that it has seasonal and hourly regulations that are clearly marked and signed. She believes more clarification is needed before adopting the proposed ordinance.

Diane Jones, 7704 88th Place SE, visits the South Mercer Playfields with her dog in evenings. She stated that vandalism stopped at Islander Middle School when dog owners returned to the South Mercer Playfields.

Tom Elsy, uses South Mercer Playfields in evenings and asked the Council to keep laws as they are.

Shoshana Weinstein, 5713 96th Ave SE, asked the Council keep laws that permit owners to use off leash areas. She stated that she has met a lot of people through having dogs.

Leslie Moore, 4730 89th Ave SE, reminded the Council about results from children’s interest small group meeting during the Luther Burbank Master Planning process.

Sue Robboy, 6944 96th Ave SE, agrees that there is a problem at Luther Burbank, but that the rest of the Island should use seasonal and time regulations for exercising dogs off-leash.

Barbara Eisenstein, 12609 SE 29th Street, Bellevue, spoke on behalf of MI-Dogs group. She stated that off-leash areas should rest with officials and that the creation of an off-leash area at Clarke Beach not ideal. She stated that she is pleased with 4 dog limit. She asked how and who will rules be determined for off-leash areas.

Julia Geier, 5603 West Mercer Way, would like to see seasonal and times for having dogs off-leash.

Carl Bryant, 8250 West Mercer Way, believes that dogs on-leash tend to be more aggressive then dogs who are off-leash.

The Mayor closed the public hearing at 9:24 pm.

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Deputy Mayor Pearman’s absence was excused.

Planning Schedule:
Add July 24th Study Session on I-90.

Board Appointments:
There were none.

Councilmember Reports:
Councilmember Litzow re: Planning Commission meeting.
Mayor Cairns re: King County Mayor’s meeting.
Councilmember Goldmanis: requested an update on I-90.

Adjournment: 10:19 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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