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Monday, October 01, 2007

CALL TO ORDER:            Mayor Bryan Cairns called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.


ROLL CALL:                    City Councilmembers Mike Grady, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor Jim Pearman and Mayor Bryan Cairns were present. Councilmember Sven Goldmanis was absent.





(1)                 Mayor Cairns read a proclamation designating October 2007 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.





Brian Emanuels, 1900 Faben Drive, President of the Mercer Island Little League, spoke in favor of the ballfield analysis. He spoke about the need for turf infields at South Mercer Playfields #1 and #2 as they are too muddy to play on for most of the season.


Frank Morrison, 8545 SE 45th Street, Committee for Mercer Island Public Schools supports an engagement with the City Council and the school district to address the issues surrounding an education levy partnered with a parks levy. The Committee agrees to provide political support for the City for parks effort provided it is a fair return for the schools. The Committee is not asking for money, but is asking to be engaged in a political process for this levy.


Stowe Sprague, 4553 84th Avenue SE, is head of PTA legislation and advocacy for the Island schools. She believes that parents want to talk about the issues surrounding a parks and education levy.





(2)                 It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Deputy Mayor Pearman to:

Approve the Revised Regular Meeting Minutes of September 19, 2007 as written.

Motion passed 6-0.





(3)        Payables: $949,340.44               Payroll: $567,801.11


(4)        AB 4224 Interlocal with Jail Advisory Group for Professional Services: Authorize the City Manager to sign the Interlocal Agreement for professional services with the Jail Administration Group.


It was moved by Deputy Mayor Pearman; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion passed 6-0.





(5)        AB 4220 Jail Task Force Status Report on Jail Planning


Deputy City Manager Londi Lindell provided the Council with a brief history of jail contracts with Mercer Island.


JAG Task Force Coordinator Linda Herzog presented information about current and future jail bed needs for the 37 participating cities, the cooperative planning by the cities, the Jail Task Force preliminary findings and King County’s interests in possibly partnering with the cities. Ms. Herzog also detailed the Task Force’s agenda through December, the specifics of the feasibility study and a timeline for the next steps.



(6)        AB 4221 Ballfield Use Analysis and Improvement Option


Assistant City Manager/Parks & Recreation Manager Pete Mayer spoke about the Ballfield Use Analysis that was conducted give a clear picture of the current state of Mercer Island facilities and their respective capacity and to guide future decisions in maintaining a strong and community-supported sports and recreation program on Mercer Island.


In response to the increase in popularity and level of competition in both youth and adult sports programs, the City engaged the Beckwith Consulting Group to systematically inventory existing ballfield assets and survey users to assess use, guide future capital improvements, give counsel on field upgrades and improvements, and recommend amendments to current scheduling practices.


The Council approved the next steps presented by staff including: developing a working group review/revise BUG policies, recommendations on revising Parks and Recreation fee schedules, Island Crest Park Master Planning, Parks and Recreation Subcommittee Meetings, Parks Capital Levy Citizens Stakeholder Committee convening to identify and develop capital levy needs and make recommendation to the Council.



(7)        AB 4222 South Mercer Playfields Project Update


Assistant City Manager/Parks & Recreation Manager Pete Mayer introduced Project Manager Joan Weiser who presented information about the current status of the project as well as the request for $85,600 in additional funding (from CIP contingency funds) for scope added at bid by Council (not awarding the fencing bid alternate, curb adjustment and addition of football lines), additional contractor construction costs (preparation of the fill site and curb adjustment) and additional owner directed costs (outside legal review and construction administration of multiple contracts).


It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Deputy Mayor Pearman to:

Authorize the expenditure of $85,600 from CIP contingency funds to complete Phase I of the South Mercer Playfield Renovation.

Motion passed 6-0.



(8)        AB 4223 Parks Capital and Education Levy


Mayor Cairns stated at the June 16, 2007 Mini-Planning Session, the Council discussed a capital levy for Parks and Recreation and decided to target a ballot measure for November 2008, set the maximum dollar amount at $900k a year (both capital and O&M) and engage community outreach with a citizen-stakeholder group to make a recommendation by May 2008 for the levy.


Councilmember Grausz presented information about moving the Parks & Recreation capital and operations levy to the May 2008 ballot and about the City financing some of the school district’s programs in conjunction with the levy.


It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:

Direct staff to return on November 19 with a preferred public process and plan for a Parks & Recreation Levy for the May 2008 ballot and form a Council sub-committee to determine the feasibility and scope of the City absorbing more of the shared costs with the school district to determine what it would look like, how it would work and how it would be funded.

Motion passed 4-2 (Councilmember Jahncke & Mayor Cairns dissented).





Councilmember Absences:

Councilmember Goldmanis’ absence was excused.


Planning Schedule:

There were no changes.


Board Appointments:

There were no appointments.


Councilmember Reports:

Councilmember Grady asked about the bicycle ordinance being reviewed by the Council before the update to the Bicycled and Pedestrian Facilities Plan.

Councilmember Grausz asked about the plan for a “handkerchief fleet” at Luther Burbank Park.

Councilmember Grady spoke about “Walk to School Day” on October 3rd and the regional sustainability effort at the Clean Vehicles Conference which several Councilmembers and staff attended.




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