Call To Order:
Chairperson Rita Moore called the meeting to order at 6:06pm in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.
Rita Moore, Chairperson, Don Cohen, Vice Chairperson, Liz Sanderson, Bruce Bassett, Tina Lanzinger and Fletch Waller were present. Mike Grady was absent.
Paul West, Arborist
Deborah Alexander, Senior Admin. Assistant, were present.
(1) It was moved by Vice Chairperson Don Cohen; seconded by Trustee Bassett to:
Approve the minutes of November 15th with the following amendment: On item 4 change Vice Chairperson Moore to Chairperson Moore and have the last sentence read “The issue of retrieving downed wood for significant value will likely die at the end of 2007 or early 2008.”
Motion passed 6-0
There were no public appearances
(2) Pioneer Park SE Forest Management Presentation – Paul West
Paul distributed a memo from Tom Hanson, which indicates that the value he quoted on harvesting the downed and dead wood from Pioneer Park was pretty close. He also noted that the number of healthy cedar trees in the SE quadrant planted in 2002 is encouraging, and that controlling blackberries and planting more cedars might be a good option.
Paul provided the Trust Board with a comparison between Tom Hanson’s proposals and the existing Forest Management Plan. Paul has proposed that the Forest Management Plan for area 18 in the SE quadrant be accelerated, and he has already secured $50,000 in extra money from Council to do so. Paul expressed the possibility of sticking to the Forest Management Plan, but modifying the boundaries of area 18 to encompass the portion of the SE quadrant most effected by the storm. The trust board discussed the issue of possibly trying to keep the quadrant primarily coniferous, consistent with it’s current character.
It was moved by Vice Chairperson Don Cohen; seconded by Trustee Waller that:
The Trust Board not pursue the original Tom Hanson INFO proposal or the modified INFO proposal at this time, and instead ask that staff prepare an amendment to the existing Forest Management Plan that includes staff recommendations for addressing the geographical description or revision of area 18, the potential accelerated timing of work in that area and any other areas in need and the tree species issue in that area in light of the preference expressed by some board members for greater numbers of coniferous plantings than would be called for under the existing plan, and any other subjects that staff may deem appropriate.
Motion passed 6-0
Trustee Waller asked if there is some way the board could support Paul in putting together a proposal and Paul expressed a desire for a committee to be formed for this topic to help in making small decisions that would speed up the process. Chairperson Moore and Trustee Waller offered to serve in this capacity.
(3) Forest Management Plan – Paul West
Paul provided the board with a report on the status of the Forest Management Plan that includes expenses. Paul feels we are accomplishing the plan with some minor modification of boundaries where it is needed within budget. Paul feels the control of invasives have been successful so far.
Trustee Waller raised the question as to whether or not we have sufficient funding to accomplish all that is needed especially in light of some of the challenges that are being faced. He feels the board should also be a resource for “going to bat” for the staff for additional funding when needed.
Vice Chairperson Cohen feels the board and Paul need to develop a statement of the progress of the Forest Management Plan to date.
Trustee Waller also suggests Paul include any suggested modifications to the existing Forest Management Plan as well as identifying additional needs.
Trustee Lanzinger suggested the summary include successes. She also mentioned that there are several interior trails, especially in the ravine area, that are in need of maintenance. Trustee Waller echoed that the ravine area has degraded substantially in the last few months. Trustee Lanzinger suggested the board work together with the Saddle Club to make some improvements to the trails. There also may be a need to examine trails that are highly erosive and susceptible to damage during the winter months and possibly close them to all heavy impact traffic during that time.
(4) Retreat Outcomes/Status Report – Board
Trustee Waller gave a report on the School Outreach Program. Penny Webber asked the board not to proceed with the survey to assess their interest and awareness of their usage of the park and instead to defer to her curriculum development task force that met this fall. Trustee Waller and Trustee Sanderson followed up with her in September and she seemed uncomfortable with the board being involved. Trustee Waller expressed that he is getting the feeling that there is so much going in the school system that the board is not going to command the attention required. Trustee Bassett has put him in contact with Nature Vision Inc and the work going on in Luther Burbank Park. Trustee Waller is watching to see how those programs go to see if it might be a way to accomplish the Outreach Program outside of the school district.
There was some discussion about doing a Trillium again, and possibly utilizing some existing City of Mercer Island publications for getting news out to the community. Chairperson Moore said she would contact the Reporter to give them contacts for the story on the eagle rescue that took place today.
(5) St Patrick’s Day paw promenade 3/15 – Paul West
Paul West reinvited the board to participate in this event. The Board members preferred to focus their attentions on other things.
Vice Chairperson Cohen suggested the board members bring ideas to the next meeting for the Summer Celebration! booth.
(6) Parks Levy Stakeholders Group – Chairperson Moore
Chairperson Moore wanted to mention that Trustee Waller is participating in the Parks Levy Stakeholders Group as a representative of the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board.
Vice Chairperson Cohen mentioned that he is serving as Chairperson for the group.
(7) Agenda Packets – Deborah Alexander
Deborah Alexander requested that the board consider the possibility of receiving their agenda packets via e-mail as opposed to having them sent out via USPS, to cut down on paper waste and to get them more quickly. The board expressed openness and suggested to check with policy to make sure it is okay.
(8) Washington Conservation Voters – Trustee Bassett
The City of Covington has a park that was closed for lack of funding from the City and a coalition of citizens and churches have signed a letter of intent to maintain the park on behalf of the City. They have had task forces of 30-40 individuals out doing work on the park. Trustee Bassett suggested there might be an opportunity to pull together something similar here.
(9) Parks Levy Stakeholder’s Committee – Trustee Bassett
Trustee Bassett expressed an interest in having money set aside for open space acquisition and requested the involved members consider this as a potential use of the Parks Levy money.
(10) Priorities for a Healthy Mercer Island – Trustee Bassett
Trustee Bassett is starting a campaign which would pull citizens together to discuss health priorities for our community and speak with one voice when addressing the council. Trustee Bassett invited board members to come forward with any thoughts they may have on this topic.
(11) Farewell – Trustee Bassett
Trustee Bassett expressed to the board that he will be pursing a position as a liaison with another board and that the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board could benefit from a fresh perspective. He expressed his gratitude for having the opportunity to serve on the board.
(12) Next Meeting – Board
Paul mentioned that Trustee Waller had suggested we consider an extra meeting in January. The Board concluded that because so much was decided at this meeting, an extra meeting would not be necessary. Vice Chairperson requested Deborah Alexander recirculate the meeting dates for 2008.
Rita Moore, Chairperson
Deborah Alexander, Scribe