City of Mercer Island, Washington - Home City of Mercer Island, Washington - Home Facebook Twitter YouTube
site map
Notify me by Email
Thursday, February 21, 2008

Call To Order:

Chairperson Rita Moore called the meeting to order at 6:03pm in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.


Roll Call:

Rita Moore, Chairperson, Don Cohen, Vice Chairperson, Liz Sanderson, Dan Grausz, Tina Lanzinger and Elliot Newman were present. Fletch Waller was absent.



Pete Mayer, Director Parks and Recreation

Paul West, Parks Natural Resource Coordinator

Amanda Stuckey – Forest Steward

Deborah Alexander, Senior Admin. Assistant, were present.



(1)                 It was moved by Trustee Sanderson; seconded by Vice Chair Cohen to:

Approve the minutes of January 17th with the following amendment: On page 2 to add the word transmission after burying.


Motion passed 6-0



There were no public appearances


Regular Business:



(2)                 Welcome New Members – Rita Moore


Chairperson Moore welcomed new trustees Dan Grausz, Council Liaison, and Elliot Newman. Both trustees gave a brief introduction. Pete Mayer let Council Liaison Grausz know that he is permitted to vote on this board.


(3)        PSE Project – Pete Mayer


Pete Mayer gave a quick overview of the proposed PSE project for the new board members and presented the trustees with information clarifying the trust board’s role in the decision making process. On February 4th the City Council gave some guidance to the Maintenance Department to continue to work with PSE on this project, and asked staff to support this project. Pete Mayer’s presentation included a review of the OSCT policies especially those policies which relate to utility corridors. In Article V of the Trust Corpus states that “After consultation with the Trustees (except in emergency situations), the City may do whatever is necessary to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare, including, without limitation, maintaining storm water drainage basins; stabilizing steep slopes and other critical or sensitive areas; protecting wetlands; controlling erosion; installing, repairing and replacing utility lines; and removing potentially hazardous conditions.”


Vice Chair Cohen expressed his unhappiness that this content is just now coming to light, and the fact that the Council has discussed this without a member of the Trust present. Pete Mayer said that this information was as a result of recent legal consultation that the Trust Board requested and the evolution of the project. Pete Mayer stated that he feels that all of the work done to date is valuable and will be evaluated by the Council before a final decision will be made. Trustee Lanzinger stated that she feels the same as Vice Chair Cohen and feels that the initial question they were tasked with was directed at the wrong party. Pete Mayer feels that this board’s role is like other board’s roles in that they serve as an advisory body to the City Council with the responsibility of deliberating and evaluating the potential impacts of a certain action and identifying options, priorities and mitigation efforts and then bring their recommendation to the City Council. It is always been under the Council’s purview to determine whether they take the recommendation or a portion of it. Vice Chair Cohen just feels that this information would have made the Trust’s role clear from the beginning. Council Liaison Grausz stated that he feels the Trust Board’s recommendation will be taken very seriously and the City Council is not anxious to cut trees down in Pioneer Park.


Trustee Lanzinger asked for clarity on the Trust Board’s role in light of this new information. Pete Mayer explained that he does not feel the Board’s role has changed significantly, and feels the Board should continue on their current course.


Trustee Newman feels, given his limited knowledge of the project, that the Trust Board will play a strong role in determining the ultimate outcome of the project and has a responsibility to present their researched recommendations and expect the Council to defend anything they would do otherwise.


Trustee Sanderson commented on another unique aspect of this board being that the Trust is the owner of the property and not the City, which brings up the question as to when does the Trust have a trump card and when does Council have a trump card when making decisions about the property. She seems to think there is some concern about the Council making a decision before the Trust has had an opportunity to provide their recommendations.


Trustee Lanzinger asked for clarification on the project scope regarding the distribution lines that run along the north side of the south east quadrant. Pete Mayer confirmed that his understanding is that they are looking to possibly run the distribution line along the north side of the south east quadrant underground.


Trustee Sanderson asked if the South End Reliability Project is part of a larger project. Pete Mayer feels the Maintenance Director could address that question better.


Council Liaison Grausz does not think that the existing lines that are on the north side of the south east quadrant has a 30 foot corridor, so why would they need one on the north side of 68th.


Trustee Lanzinger requested that Pete Mayer’s Power Point presentation be distributed to the Trust Board Members.


Chairperson Moore closed the discussion until PSE can be available to address questions.


(3)           Election of Officers – Board


Chairperson Moore gave a brief description of the duties of each position.


It was moved by Trustee Sanderson; seconded by Trustee Newman to:


Nominate Liz Sanderson as Secretary of the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board.


No vote was taken. Trustee Sanderson nominated Don Cohen for Vice Chair. Vice Chair Cohen remarked that there may be another member who might have more time to commit to the position. There was some discussion about nominating Trustee Waller to the position of Chair. Trustee Sanderson agreed to speak with Trustee Waller about serving in the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson capacity.


After some discussion it was decided that elections would be postponed until the March 20th meeting when all board members could be present.


(4)           Annual Report to Council & 2008 Work Plan – Board


Chairperson Moore stated that she normally writes the annual report based on the minutes from that year. She asked when the report would need to be presented to Council. Pete Mayer suggested April 21st as the target date.


Paul West said he would provide the Chair a draft of the Work Plan for 2008. The trust board will review these drafts at the next meeting on March 20th. Chairperson Moore requested that Deborah Alexander e-mail her the minutes from 2007, to which she agreed to do.


(5)           SE Quadrant Update – Paul West


Paul West introduced Amanda Stuckey the Forest Steward for the Parks and Recreation Department. Paul West distributed a briefing that was included in the agenda packets. The trees that were damaged in the winter storm were slashed down last week and Restoration Logistics has started invasive removal and tree planting in the area. The Maintenance Department is in the process of bidding a trail construction project along Island Crest Way between 71st and 78th and Paul got a price from 4 contractors for restoring the eastern most portion of the fir trail in the SE Quadrant. This section of the trail has become gullied due to equestrian traffic and water erosion. Approximately 16” of soil has been lost. The proposal would be to hire a contractor to fill it with gravel and top it with ¼” minus surface and put in water bars to prevent this from happening in the future. This would take up the majority of the budget for trail maintenance this year. Paul feels this is the right course of action to take due to the need for heavy equipment and the inability for a volunteer group to do this kind of work.


It was moved by Vice Chairperson Cohen; seconded by Trustee Lanzinger


To approve staff recommendation to award a contract to the low bidding contractor to accomplish what is indicated on the agenda briefing for an amount of $16,000.


Motion passed 6-0


(6)           Forest Health Survey Proposal – Paul West


Paul West proposed staff pursue a matching funds grant from the Dept of Natural Resources Community Forestry Assistance Program to survey the park and take sampling of 60 random plots in the park (including areas where invasives have been removed, and areas that have not had invasives removed) so a comparison can be made as to the progress being made. He hopes this information will provide us with some answers as to whether or not we are funded sufficiently to restore the entire park. Paul contacted Seattle Urban Nature Project that does this kind of survey work and was quoted a cost of $30,000-$40,000. Paul considered looking into having some graduate students do a scaled down survey that would exclude certain potentially valuable data that would be collected with a more extensive survey.


Council Liaison Grausz encouraged a decision to be made on this issue very soon so it can be taken into consideration for the 2009-2010 budget, and/or to consider asking council for additional (un budgeted) funding from the 2007 budget surplus. He also suggested potentially proposing this project for a CIP placeholder which Pete Mayer agreed is a possible solution.


Chairperson Moore voiced her support of a study that would provide the Trust Board with a collection of data that would help to gauge progress of work in the park.


It was moved by Vice Chair Cohen; seconded by Council Liaison Grausz


To approve that staff prepare and submit an application for the 2008 Dept of Natural Resources Community Forestry Assistance grant without any particular focus on the source of City funds that would provide the matching share.


Council Liaison Grausz suggested that they request the City to fund this project out of surplus funds, which was accepted as an amendment to the motion.


Motion passed 6-0


It was moved by Council Liaison Grausz; seconded by Vice Chair Cohen that:


The board request staff to determine an appropriate placeholder in the 2009-2010 CIP budget.


Motion passed 6-0


(7)           Current/Proposed Pesticide Use – Amanda Stuckey


Paul West explained to the Trustees that this issue came to light last year after one of the contractors suggested the limited use of pesticides to control the invasives which would potentially speed up the process and keep costs down. Paul feels that this information, together with the survey data, can help us to address the larger question of can Pioneer Park can be restored given the current budget and methods being used. Paul is hoping to get a sense for how the Trust Board feels about this method of controlling invasives after hearing about the information presented by Amanda Stuckey.


Amanda Stuckey distributed a summary sheet on two herbicides: triclopyr (trade name Garlon®) and glyphosate (trade name Roundup®). The two invasives these herbicides could be used to control are ivy and yellow archangel. Around 2000-1 suite of test were performed independently of one another by The City of Portland, the Nature Conservancy, and Portland Metro Parks and Green Spaces program. These tests showed that there was good control of ivy with a 2-5% application of glyphosate providing the application was timed well. Triclopyr was used in this study as well. A graduate student at the University of Washington has done some work at Carkeek Park using a 4-8% glyphosate in addition to sheet mulching to control yellow archangel. She said the results were good but it required multiple applications.


Vice Chair Cohen expressed strong reservations about the use of herbicides in Pioneer Park given the few studies that have been done on them. There was some discussion about the possibility of doing a test plot in an area that is not easily accessible to humans or animals and/or controlling the area while the application is in process. Paul West suggested a good place for an ivy test patch application would be in the NE Quadrant.


It was moved by Council Liaison Grausz; seconded by Chairperson Moore


To conduct a small test plot of ivy spraying in the NE Quadrant that is off the path and protected.


Motion passed 4-1, Trustee Lanzinger abstained


(8)           Next Meeting – Rita Moore


The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 20th. There are no known scheduling conflicts with the Trustees for the next meeting.


Adjournment:   7:57pm





Rita Moore, Chairperson







Deborah Alexander, Scribe


City of Mercer Island Washington | All Rights Reserved © 2019| Privacy Policy | printer friendly version Printer friendly version | Site Handcrafted in Ashland, Oregon by Project A