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Monday, March 17, 2008

Call To Order:


Mayor Jim Pearman called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.



Roll Call:


Councilmembers Bruce Bassett, Mike Cero, Dan Grausz, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor El Jahncke and Mayor Jim Pearman were present. Councilmember Mike Grady was absent.





(1)        AB 4283            Housing


Development Services Director Steve Lancaster introduced Arthur Sullivan, Program Manager of ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing).  Mr. Sullivan presented Housing 101 East King County, an overview of affordable housing needs in local communities of east King County.





Jason King, 3709 88th Ave SE, offered personal support of the Emergency Manager position being proposed in the Police Department. He stated that it is critically important that the City is well-represented in order to effectively prepare the community for various emergencies.


Matt Leibsohm, 3206 74th Place, stated that affordable housing has been under the radar. He appreciates that the issue will be discussed on April 7th. He expressed a great deal of concern about the City conducting “spot zoning” in the middle of a residential zone. He stated it would change the character and sets a precedent for the rest of the Island. He believes that other pieces of property on First Hill will be affected if the affordable housing issue goes through. He stated that he is concerned about the action that Council will consider.


Bob Medved, stated that the GMA does not require the City to change density within neighborhoods. He believes the First Hill consideration to be a rezone. He cited language from the Comprehensive Plan. Cottages would be more palpable than affordable housing.  States that 60% to 70% of the First Hill residents are against the affordable housing proposal. He presented a letter to the Council for consideration.


Ruth Maloney, 7610 85th Place SE, stated that she has been conducting presentations for emergency management since 1990. She wants to see the Council support a full-time position for emergency management.


Fred Crothwell, 2951 74th Ave SE, stated he is here to represent the trauma that is occurring on First Hill. He feels like his neighborhood is under challenge. He and others in the neighborhood are traumatized and want Council to take the slow and considerate approach before considering spot zoning on First Hill.


Stephanie Finch-St. Marie, 7244 SE 32nd Street, stated that First Hill is an amazing and diverse area. A multi-family housing unit going up would absolutely ruin the First Hill neighborhood.  She stated that ARCH is great, but there are many other places on the Island better suited for affordable housing than First Hill.  She urged Council to take a slow approach and consider the comments of the neighborhood.


Ira Appleman, 6213 83rd Place SE, renewed his objection to the way the Comprehensive Plan was changed to accommodate cottage housing. The law was not followed and an application was not filled out for a deviation from the Comprehensive Plan.  He stated that the process didn’t follow City code and the Council should not put cottage housing in any Mercer Island neighborhoods and the Council should remove the allowance of cottage houses from the Comp Plan.





(2)        It was moved by Councilmember Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:

Approve the Study Session & Regular Meeting Minutes of March 3, 2008 as amended:

Page 2-3, Item 6, AB 4282;

3.   The Finance Director wishes to develop a 2009 and 2010 estimated facilities sinking fund charge based primarily on his experience with facilities life cycle models.  Does the Council agree?

Yes,No, instead show the true cost of building maintenance for each of the City facilities for the 2009-2012 CIP plan.

Motion passed 6-0.



Consent Calendar:


Councilmember Cero asked that item 4, AB 4277 (2008 ARCH Budget and Work Plan) be moved to the first item of regular business.


(3)        Payables: $440,442.37               Payroll: $582,691.52


(5)        AB 4279            Fall 2007 ARCH Housing Trust Fund: Approve the use of $20,000 from the City’s ARCH Housing Trust Fund for the Friends of Youth New Ground Kirkland Project, with conditions as recommended by the ARCH Executive Board, and authorize the City Manager to execute any related agreements and documents.


(6)        AB 4278            Ratification of Regional Affordable Housing Plan (RAHP): Authorize the City Manager to sign the Interlocal Agreement between the City of Mercer Island and King County regarding the “Regional Affordable Housing Program” (RAHP) fund that distributes the local portion of Substitute House Bill 2060 revenue in a manner that is consistent with local and Countywide housing needs and policies.


It was moved by Deputy Mayor Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Bassett to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion passed 5-1 (Councilmember Litzow dissented).



Regular Business:


(4)        AB 4277            2008 ARCH Budget and Work Plan


Councilmember Cero and Litzow asked questions about specific points in the work plan.


It was moved by Deputy Mayor Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Bassett to:

Approve the ARCH 2008 Work Program Budget and authorize expenditure of $27,927 for Mercer Island’s contribution to the 2008 ARCH Administrative Budget.


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

Amend the previous motion by removing the following points, which are specific to Mercer Island, from the work plan:

·         Assist City staff and City Council in developing a public process for discussion of a possible innovative housing project on surplus City property; assist the City in evaluating options, should the project proceed. 

·         Assist City Staff and Planning Commission with updating the Housing Strategy Plan, and with the initial implementation of high priority strategies.

Motion failed 2-4 (Councilmembers Cero and Litzow proponents of motion).


Main motion passed 6-0.



(7)        AB 4287            Council Meeting Cable Broadcasting


Communications Coordinator Joy Johnston provided background on the Public, Education and Government (PEG) capital to the City of Mercer Island in connection with the Viacom franchise renewal. In the 2007-2008 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget, the Council approved the budget, but requested that the project be reviewed before implementation.  She provided a project proposal for installing remote-controlled cameras in the Council Chambers in order to broadcast Council meetings.


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

Authorize staff to proceed with the project approved in the 2007-2008 CIP Budget to broadcast city council meetings via Mercer Island’s local cable broadcast station and via the internet.  Set the total project budget at $117,515.  Appropriate $32,515 from Educational & Government funds reserved in the Technology and Equipment Fund.


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

Amend the previous motion as follows:

Broadcasting will not go into effect until an operating plan is presented and approved by Council.

Motion passed 6-0.


Main motion passed 5-1 (Councilmember Jahncke dissented).



(8)        AB 4286            Emergency Manager Position (Police)


Police Chief Ed Holmes provided a history of City’s administration of emergency management. He proposed staffing the Emergency Management position with a full-time Police Officer, including start up costs, on-going costs, labor costs, and the addition of a dedicated vehicle for the position.  He explained that currently, a .5 FTE is dedicated to Emergency Management. Chief Holmes presented funding options for the proposal, including funding a hybrid vehicle at (up to) $26,000 through the General Fund Surplus and the Sustainability Work Plan Fund; and funding the salary and benefits at an increase of $50,000 through the General Fund.


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

Increase the City’s budgeted Full Time Equivalent workforce by 0.5 FTE for the purpose of providing one full-time police officer to serve as the City’s Emergency Manager.  Appropriate and budget an additional $50,000 from 2008 General Fund revenues to finance the additional start-up and operating costs for the Emergency Manager position.

Motion passed 6-0.



(9)        AB 4285            2007 Year-End Financial Status Report


Finance Director Chip Corder presented the Financial Status Report through December 31, 2007 and a comprehensive update on the status of each CIP project as of December 31, 2007.  Finally, he presented a budget amending ordinance, which consisted of budget adjustments previously approved but not formally adopted (via an ordinance) by the Council. Finance Director Corder explained that the budget amending ordinance relates to financial “housekeeping”, therefore the Council’s procedural requirement for a second reading should be suspended, allowing immediate ordinance adoption.


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

Suspend the City Council Rules of Procedure 5.2.

Motion passed 6-0.


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

Adopt Ordinance No. 08-03, which amends the 2007-2008 Budget including the amendments to the ordinance as presented by Finance Director Corder.

Motion passed 6-0.




(10)       AB 4288            Jail Oversight Assembly – Vote Direction


It was moved by Councilmember Bassett; seconded by Councilmember Cero to:

Authorize Mayor Pearman to represent Mercer Island’s interests at the Jail Oversight Assembly according to the recommended positions as follows:

1.       Vote for the distribution of JAG property sale proceeds that best assures Mercer Island’s ability to secure needed jail beds for the long term future.

2.       Support a fund release agreement that transfers fiscal responsibility from the JAG to the recipient cities with conditions as described in this agenda bill.

3.       Support the regional jail planning and analysis efforts currently underway, but defer the city’s support for regional or subregional jail construction until results of the planning refinements and financial analyses are delivered.

4.       Support a budget supplement to pay for the upcoming feasibility study and financial analysis of jail alternatives to supply jail beds for the north and east JAG cities. 

Motion passed 6-0.





Councilmember Absences: 

Councilmember Grady’s absence was excused.


Planning Schedule: 

There were no changes.


Board Appointments:

There were no appointments.


Councilmember Reports:

Mayor Pearman spoke about the ETP meeting and tolling issues.

Councilmember Litzow about the Parks & Rec Sub-Committee tour around the City.


Adjournment:           9:56 pm


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