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Monday, August 18, 2008

Call To Order:

 

Mayor Jim Pearman 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:

 

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

 

 

Mayor Pearman congratulated Katie Knight who was recently appointed City Attorney and he spoke about the first Farmer’s Market on Mercer Island last weekend.

 

 

Appearances:

 

Mayor Pearman opened the Appearances section for comments from the public regarding any topic other than Tent City.  There were no comments.

 

 

Regular Business:

 

(2)        AB 4348            Tent City Report

 

Interim Deputy City Manager Linda Herzog introduced various speakers who reported on Tent City 4 on Mercer Island thus far.

 

Development Services Director Steve Lancaster spoke about the daily site inspections that staff are conducting, the purpose being to ensure that site layout and use requirements meet the City’s code requirements.  He stated that Development Services staff have conducted the inspections including the Building Inspector, Principal Planner, the City’s Ombudsman, the Code Enforcement Officer and himself as Development Services Director. He reported that the findings to date are: tents in the northwest corner of the encampment had been encroaching 3 feet into the 20 foot setback but were being moved, the site-obscuring screen is in place and conforms with the Temporary Use Agreement, parking is sufficient, and the interior lighting, water supply, solid waste and gray water disposal and electricity has been properly established and permitted.

 

Deputy Fire Chief Steve Heitman reported that the Fire Department has made 18 visits to Tent City so far and that a Crew Watch Commander or he as Deputy Chief visits each day. The Fire Marshal has also made a visit and found a couple of issues that have been corrected, such as spraying fire retardant on the main tent, designating no-smoking areas with proper distances and putting up signage. Deputy Chief Heitman reported that there have been no calls for emergency medical services, but there was one 911 call to the Fire Department from someone who was concerned about prenatal care for a pregnant Tent City resident. The Fire Department now has a cell phone number for direct communication with the encampment and will continue visits and code compliance inspections.

 

Heather Barr, Public Health Nurse with Seattle King County with Healthcare for the Homeless Network, has visited Tent City twice and both times the camp was found to be neat and clean. She reported that the mess tent was clean and the food was properly stored.  The bathing area was clean, neat and well stocked and hand sanitizer was well distributed throughout the camp. To her knowledge there are no illnesses or communicable diseases in Tent City at this time. She spoke about the prenatal care that has been lined up for the pregnant resident.

 

Police Chief Ed Holmes reported that there have been four arrests to date in relation to Tent City, one for violation of a no-contact order, two for driving without a valid license and one warrant arrest. There have been seven other reports for graffiti, loud noises, suspicious people, malicious mischief and littering.  He gave more details about the seven incidents and stated that there are also two reports under investigation in the First Hill neighborhood, but that they are not related to Tent City residents. Chief Holmes was asked what constitutes a “Tent City call” and he responded that if it likely would not have happened if Tent City wasn't here, then it’s a Tent City related call.  He stated that if there is a question about whether a call is Tent City-related, he errs on the side of posting on the website with an explanation, while respecting the neighborhood and Tent City.  He stated that an example of an incident that occurred close to Tent City but was not related to Tent City was the SWAT team serving a search warrant on a Level 3 sex offender on August 9th.  Chief Holmes answered some recent questions he has received:

·         The Mercer Island Police Department itself does not receive lists of Tent City residents’ names and does not double-check sex offender or warrant status. 

·         When Tent City moves from one venue to another, residents’ names are not rerun for sex offender status or outstanding warrants.

·         Tent City allows no more than 100 people in the camp at one time, unless someone arrives unexpectedly at night needing shelter; and then that person must leave in morning.

·         No one under 18 is living in Tent City, but occasionally there are people under 18 in the camp to serve meals.  

·         Tent City reported 4-5 housekeeping violations and one person who violated more serious rules who was asked to leave the encampment.

Chief Holmes reported that the Police Department has conducted 75 walkthroughs and that Tent City residents have been welcoming. He stated that he appreciates input from the neighbors and wants to keep communication lines open.  In his opinion Tent City has gone fairly well thus far, as expected.

 

Reverend Leslie Ann Knight spoke representing the Mercer Island United Methodist Church and the Mercer Island Clergy Association.   She believes that this week there has been calming regarding Tent City and that the church, neighbors and Tent City are finding ways to communicate. The Mercer Island Clergy Association has been talking to each other to find out how to have a more meaningful conversation with the neighbors. She stated that the blog on the Mercer Island Reporter’s website was overwhelming but has calmed down now. She spoke about the pregnant resident and reported that she and her husband were assisted in networking for social services. An outreach worker took her to get prenatal care and safe and appropriate housing. DSHS will place the family in transitional housing once the baby is born. Reverend Knight spoke about the new connections that have been made between Tent City residents, City employees and the neighborhood. She said that Tent City folks have been great neighbors, polite and helpful and that the experience that has not been without problems, but it has also been joyful and has enlivened her congregation.

 

Steve Bryan, First Hill resident who lives in close proximity to Tent City, has talked to dozens of neighbors within four houses of the Church. He stated that some homes are directly impacted, but that very few problems have been reported by neighbors. He was impressed with fast police response regarding noise complaints.  He noted that there is increased traffic on the hill during rush hour, but it is manageable right now. He stated that one family he spoke with is concerned with camp followers (those who do not live in Tent City), but that there no problems at the moment. He stated that some of the neighbors feel that the impact seems to be minimal and they had to walk or drive by the camp to know it was there. Some neighbors do not like the blue tarps, even though the screening is present. There was a complaint about a motion detector light going off, but it turned out to be police patrolling neighborhood. He stated that the residents surrounding the Mercer Island United Methodist Church have lived there for a long time and a lot of them spoke about helping those who are less fortunate. Feedback from the neighbors is that the City needs to get word out sooner, so it’s not such a surprise. Mr. Bryan stated that Tent City may be an inconvenience for short period of time but he thinks it is great that Mercer Island is able to help.

 

Tara Johnson, First Hill resident, thanked the Council for the opportunity to speak. She stated that she speaks for the majority of the neighbors and that the success of Tent City should not be measured by how many incidents are posted on website. She reported on a survey that was done by First Hill resident, Manni Batra. He canvassed the neighborhood (24 households) and asked the following questions: How has your experience been with Tent City so far? Have you changed your daily routine because of Tent City? Knowing what you know now and knowing that Tent City could return to this neighborhood in the future, would you still purchase or rent your home? Twenty-two of 24 households had concerns about Tent City and have altered their daily routines as a result of Tent City.  All but two claimed they are much more aware of their surroundings.  Some of the additional comments included: concern about having 100 people with unknown backgrounds living in their neighborhood, women feeling uneasy especially those who are home alone during the day, more pedestrian and vehicle traffic, afraid to let kids play in the neighborhood or at the Lid Park, having to close windows because of cigarette smoke and having to install and use security systems in their homes. Twenty-two out of the 24 households stated they would not purchase or rent their home in the neighborhood knowing what they know now or purchase a home near a church in the future.  Some of the comments regarding how their experience has been with Tent City so far include: Tent City residents are quiet and respectful, but the visitors to Tent City are more of a nuisance, cars leaving the church parking lot in the middle of the night, concerns about the small space Tent City is in and the long walk for the residents to the park-and ride, why wasn't the community more involved in the process, the Mercer Island United Methodist Church (MIUMC) should have communicated better, the Mercer Island Clergy Association implied that children at their own churches’ preschools are more important than the children living in the MIUMC’s neighborhood.  Ms. Johnson spoke about other frustrations from the neighborhood, such as the fencing, people entering and exiting the camp from other areas than the main entrance, Tent City’s security walks in the middle of the night waking up residents, concerns that 93 current Tent City residents have not had warrant and sex offender checks done since they moved from the Bellevue camp and Tent City not allowing the police department to view the log of checks that have been done.  She feels that there are some processes that can be improved upon in the future and she encouraged the next Church that hosts Tent City to work with the neighbors and keep an open dialogue.

 

Tent City 4 Residents Craig Corey, Alan Borden & Karisa Vaughn thanked the Council, City staff and citizens for their hard work in getting Tent City 4 to Mercer Island.  They spoke about the wonderful meals that have been prepared for them, the generous food and clothing donations, dental care and haircuts for women from a local salon. They responded to a Councilmember’s written query that the zero-tolerance policies for drugs, alcohol, violence and degrading, ethnic or sexist remarks in their Code of Conduct would be seen as rehabilitative or protecting the neighborhood. They reported that in the first twelve days of Tent City on Mercer Island they have taken in 29 new residents, all of whose warrant and sex offender checks have been complete. Fifteen residents have moved out to more permanent housing. There have been seven “code of conduct bars”, three of them temporary.  Overall, the community reception has been very good.

 

Following the presentations the Council asked questions regarding:

§         Posting other crime statistics on the website in addition to Tent City incidents;

§         Conducting additional warrant and sex offenders checks for residents who moved from the Bellevue Tent City;

§         What happens if someone is arrested while in Tent City;

§         Weekly meetings between the Mercer Island Clergy Association and the neighborhood;

§         The number of arrests related to Tent City in comparison to the entire Island; and

§         If there is a need to change the current site-obscuring screening.

 

 

Appearances (CON’T):

 

Joe Ingram, 14165 73rd Ave NE, Bothell, is an outreach case manager for Tent City.  He has been working with Tent City for 2 ˝ years and has never had a negative experience with his active clients there.

 

Johnie Freatman, 2278 71st Ave SE, stated that he has tried to keep open mind regarding Tent City and that some days are better than others. He spoke about some of the incidents that were reported to the police, who he feels has done an excellent job, but he also feels that there are two sides to every story.  He also added that throughout Tent City’s stay so far his sleep patterns have been very different.  He stated that there have been talks about how there have been great relationships forged through Tent City being here, which he can see, but he also sees there have been decades of good will between the church and the First Hill neighborhood that is degrading due to the disagreements.

 

Glo Ceteznik, 8425 SE 46th Street, presented a letter of commendation from the MI Presbyterian Church with 150 signatures to the Council and to the Mayor thanking them for their leadership in supporting the coming of Tent City 4 to Mercer Island.

 

Karen Griffen, 3426 72nd Ave SE, thanked the Councilmembers who have called her to answer her concerns. She believes that if a public process was done before the Temporary Use Agreement was signed, then maybe this meeting may not have needed to happen. She stated that she was the one who called the Fire Department regarding the pregnant resident at Tent City, for the purpose of making she was okay and taken care of.

 

Hunt Priest, 7809 SE 75th Place, rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, presented a letter signed by 100 members of his congregation thanking the Council for finding a balance between supporting the constitutional right of a church to practice beliefs and the safety concerns of some residents. He stated that during the controversies over the last two months have caused public and private verbal attacks on the Council, but he thanked the Council for their leadership and for all that they do to make Mercer Island a great place to live.  He also presented a letter of commendation from the Redeemer Lutheran Church to the Council and to the Mayor with 25 signatures thanking them for their leadership in supporting the coming of Tent City 4 to Mercer Island.  He is concerned that the complaints of small group of residents are drowning out a much wider support and enthusiasm for Tent City.

 

Peter Robertson, 9910 SE 40th Street, moderator of the Mercer Island Congregational Church, presented a letter of commendation from the Mercer Island Congregational Church to the Council and to the Mayor with 25 signatures thanking them for their leadership in supporting the coming of Tent City 4 to Mercer Island.  He stated that his congregation has been aware of the oncoming nature of the Tent City and they held a special meeting to specifically vote to support the Tent City concept.

 

William Blakney, 8540 SE 72nd Street, presented a letter of commendation from the Mercer Island United Methodist Church to the Council and to the Mayor with 70 signatures thanking them for their leadership in supporting the coming of Tent City 4 to Mercer Island.  He also stated that the opportunity to see grass roots democracy at work should not be taken for granted.  He thanked the people at Tent City because they have given him the opportunity to re-connect with some of his values.  He feels blessed to have the opportunity to participate in some small way.

 

Susan Ogilvie, 8433 SE 37th Street, is a retired Medical Social Worker and member of the Mercer Island United Methodist Church who helped send mailings to First Hill residents about Tent City. She asked people to people to listen more.

 

Linda Stolo spoke about her experience with Tent City 3.  She stated that Mercer Island may look like the perfect community, but there are problems in every community.  She believes that people in Tent City are there because they have found a safe haven away from the streets and that Tent City has nothing to gain by having criminals in their midst. She feels that Mercer Island has a unique opportunity to teach children to gain a greater compassion. She is a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and would be happy to answer anyone’s questions about Tent City.

 

Joshua Williamson, Tent City 4 resident, has been homeless for two months and has been at Tent City 4 for a week. He spoke about his experiences sleeping under bridges, doorways and church basements. He believes that Ten City allows him to keep a job and have a safe place to sleep and store his belongings.  He stated that residents may not be the most aesthetically pleasing to look at, but that we are all human and we all have the same emotions and needs to be happy, safe and loved. He asked that if it is not within your power to help your fellow man, at least don’t harm them.

 

Jake Beard, Tent City 4 resident, thanked the Council for the opportunity to speak.  He has felt very welcomed by those he has met so far, but he is concerned about some allegations that have been made. He stated that Tent City has abided by all the City code regulations. He spoke about some of the comments on Mercer Island Reporter blog about Tent City, such as someone choosing to live in a tent and not work.  He stated that he does not want to sleep in a tent forever and his goal is to have a home.

 

Eric Stewart, Tent City 4 resident, thanked the Council for opportunity to clear up some errors about Tent City 4. He spoke in regards to the Mercer Island Reporter blog that Tent City residents believe they have the right to privacy and Tent City has nothing to hide. He stated that they are happy to cooperate as long as their privacy is respected.

 

Karen Akiyama Ressmeyer, 3055 70th Ave SE, understands the concerns about children's safety, but she views Tent City as an opportunity to reach out to others on Mercer Island. She has volunteered for a meal and still walks and bikes in neighborhood and has found it to be a very positive experience for her.  She feels that sometimes the lake acts like a moat between Mercer Island and the outside world and this is an opportunity to be more engaged.

 

Donald Fuller, Tent City 4 resident, loves being a part of Tent City. He stated that Tent City 4 residents have a high respect for the law and they are open to hearing concerns from the neighborhood.

 

Orm Sherwood, 7444 West Mercer Way, was struck by the fact he spent hours dealing with homelessness in Seattle for many years and that the Council is continuing to do the same.

 

Dean Pollock, 6580 81st Ave SE, presented a letter of commendation from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church to the Council and the Mayor thanking them for their leadership in supporting the coming of Tent City 4 to Mercer Island. He believes that Tent City gives Mercer Island a chance to give a hand up instead of a hand out. He was skeptical at first, but he has met some Tent City residents and is now co-chairman of the committee to have his congregation help the United Methodist Church during Tent City’s stay. He also told a story of a couple he met in Tent City.

 

Karin Lottis, presented a letter of commendation with 90 signatures from the Mercer Island Covenant Church to the Council and to the Mayor thanking them for their leadership in supporting the coming of Tent City 4 to Mercer Island.

 

Trella Hastings, 4650 89th Ave SE, member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, sees Tent City as an opportunity to help for the next three months. She has chosen to welcome Tent City resident to Mercer Island and befriend those in need.

 

Kristen Jamerson, 2706 60th Ave SE, presented a letter of commendation from First Church of Christ Scientist to the Council and to the Mayor thanking them for their leadership in supporting the coming of Tent City 4 to Mercer Island. She spoke of her experiences with a relative who was homeless and she is grateful for the temporary encampment that can house the homeless.

 

Chris Fauske, 8518 SE 78th Street, member of St. Luke’s in Bellevue, thanked the Council for the opportunity to speak.  She told a story about Tent City residents. She stated that Tent City residents are looking for work and struggling with jobs they do have.  She is confident that they are great community members and that Mercer Island will benefit by reaching out to help everyday.

 

Tom Heywood, 8105 Fortuna Drive, presented a letter of commendation from his neighbors to the Council and to the Mayor thanking them for their leadership in supporting the coming of Tent City 4 to Mercer Island.

 

Ellen, Mercer Island resident, is excited to have Tent City on Mercer Island and she thanked the council for breaking the mold. She spoke about the time that Mercer Island made the cover of life magazine in 1967 for being an affluent community. She spoke about issues on Mercer Island such as alcoholism. She stated she could easily be member of Tent City 4 because of her struggles.

 

Karen Morris, 1578 NE 4th Street, Bellevue, believes that there shouldn't be sides to this issue.  She thinks that everyone deserves to be heard with respect. She lives close to Temple B’Nai Torah and the fence issue is example of how history is conveyed by those with a view point. She agrees that the trust but verify approach is best in dealing with Tent City issues because in order to trust people the information must be accurate. She resents the implication that those who are pointing out inaccuracies are against Tent City. She asked people to be more respectful to those who are trying to bring up the issues and improvements that are needed.

 

Steve Oaks, 2423 71st Ave SE, stated that he has spoken before to the Council and tried to identify safety concerns and holes that needed to be fixed and is encouraged that the issues are being addressed and that there may be some resolutions. He is concerned about the 93 residents came from the Bellevue Tent City that have not had warrant and sex offender checks since coming to Mercer Island.  He stated that he is surprised that the Police Chief is okay with the warrant and sex offender checks that are currently being done even though it is unknown how long it has been since the checks have been done. He has concerns about how the checks fit into Tent City’s Code of Conduct.

 

S. King-Stoval, Tent City 4 resident, admitted that his past is damaging but that he came to Tent City make himself a better person than he was before. He has found people who support him and help him stay away from the old world he used to live in. He asked for support for those trying to achieve a better life.

 

Chuck Hodge, 4235 Holly Lane, member of Mercer Island United Methodist Church, thanked the Council, Police Department and City Attorney for the professionalism and thoroughness that has been used to approach this issue and he encouraged it to continue.

 

Victor Bode, 6616 SE 24th Street, husband of Rev. Dr. Leslie Ann Knight, thanked the Council, staff and the Mercer Island Clergy Association for their work regarding Tent City.  He stated that he has had the chance to talk with Tent City residents, cook a meal for them and learn from them.

 

Jim Meaners, Bellevue resident, member of Mercer Island United Methodist Church, thanked the Council and has been impressed with this Council meeting.  He offered a ride home to Tent City residents.

 

Randall Ennis, Tent City 4 resident, stated that the Executive Committee and Camp Advisor are not paid positions in response to the Mercer Island Reporter blog.

 

Ira Appelman, 6213 83rd Place SE, thanked Councilmember Mike Cero for asking the tough questions.  He believes there is an increase in cronyism among the Council and that well-connected people get special privileges and that the neighbors suffer. He stated that Tent City was not required to go through the permit processes, SEPA checklists, notification and public hearing and that this has aslo happened with other groups, such as building density housing First Hill. He spoke about the names of Tent City 4 residents submitted by Ms. Tara Johnson.  He also stated that staff is not free to disagree and people who disagree are not treated well.

 

Jim Ogilvie, 8433 SE 37th, read a reflection regarding his experience with Tent City 4 on Mercer Island.

 

Linda Hodge, 4235 Holly Lane, member of Mercer Island United Methodist Church, stated that people find what they are looking for. She thanked those who have looked for ways to help Tent City 4 and for meals that have been served and those that will be.

 

Sue Wanwig, 3843 83rd Avenue SE, believes that it takes discipline it takes to live in Tent City.  Life in Tent City is more stringent than the shelters she worked in for many years and she supports it on Mercer Island.

 

Bob Hughes, 2707 68th Avenue SE, member of Mercer Island United Methodist Church, believes that we are beginning to discover that Mercer Island needs Tent City more than Tent City needs us.

 

WRITTEN COMMENTS SUBMITTED:

 

Elizabeth Hunter, 9105 Fortuna Drive #8310, hopes that Tent City will have a positive experience here on Mercer Island. She appreciates the work that the Council has done and is doing.

 

Sue Sherwood, 7444 West Mercer Way, thanked the Council for working with the Mercer Island Clergy Association to help the community to do a small part in the tragic reality of homelessness.

 

Julie Duffie, 7240 87thy Ave SE, supports Tent City.  She stated that it may be inconvenient, but it’s the right thing to do.

 

Martha Davenport, 7605 SE 40th Street, admires the Council’s patience and courage.  She has a new awareness of the superior quality of our police force and thanks the Council.

 

Rita Lou Clarke, 9100 Fortuna Drive #1204, supports Tent City and commends the police chief for working so hard to deal with the concerns of some of the residents.

 

Vicki & John Smolke, 8945 SE 44th Street, members of the Mercer Island United Methodist Church, support Tent City.  They thanked the Mayor, supportive Councilmembers and the City staff who are involved, especially the police chief.

 

Jan Strohn, 9100 Fortuna Drive, thanked the council and staff for having the meeting and for the great work.

 

David Rice, 2501 71st Ave SE, has personally seen the Tent City 4 residents enter and leave the camp from 71st Ave SE (not the front gate).  He feels that had the City ordinance been in place, the protective fence would have been in place whether Tent City 4 liked it or not.  He believes that pre-planning with the neighborhood should have been accomplished prior to Tent City 4’s arrival.

 

Elizabeth Insinger, 3627 73rd Ave SE, stated that Tent City 4 has been a very negative experience in many ways for the entire community.  She believes that had proper communication preceded this event and that due process been followed, things would have been different.

 

Elizabeth Eason, 8370 Woodbrook Lane, is glad to hear people calmly discussing the issues that concern them so much, but she feels that it is a “tempest in a teapot”.  She’s read and heard so many reports of other communities hosting Tent City 4 and there just doesn’t see to be good reason for the fear of poor people.  She is a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church and supports this kind and compassionate treatment of folks who are not a fortunate as she.

 

Kevin Scheil, 6189 92nd Ave SE, believes that Tent City is a good thing for the Island, but the police should have a better handle on outstanding warrants and police records as it seems like a process out of control.  He thinks that the police should not delegate this responsibility to Tent City or King County, but should take responsibility because they “are” responsible.

 

Bobette Scheid, 6189 92nd Ave SE, would like Tent City to stay and would love to have them return.  She thinks it is very important for our community to reach out to the poor and we should apologize to the Methodist Church.

 

David Eason, 8370 Waterbrook Lane, is a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church.  He feels that it is an intrinsic nature of all of us to want to help someone in need. He is in favor of Tent City 4 as it is a small step to provide an opportunity to help someone get back on their feet.

 

Larry Lunden, 8620 SE 47th Street, is a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and he thought that this was a great meeting that was well conducted.

 

Charlotte Lunden, 8620 SE 47th Street, is a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and very much supports Tent City of Mercer Island.

 

Richard Hedges, 9106 Fortuna Drive #4301, appreciates the supportive role of the Mayor, Council and Mercer Island Methodist Church in inviting Tent City 4 to Mercer Island.

 

Lynn Tuttle, 4341 Island Crest Way, feels grateful to live in a community that is caring and compassionate and willing to help those in unfortunate circumstances by hosting Tent City.  She stated that many people have referenced sex offender issues, which she believes stem for a lock of knowledge regarding sex offenders and that the fear that Tent City residents will perpetrate sex offenses is misplaced.  She wholeheartedly supports embracing Tent City residents in our community. (Also spoke during the Council Meeting)

 

David Selvig, 7604 SE 41st Street, thanked the Council and the Mercer Island United Methodist church for making it possible to welcome and serve the residents of Tent City 4.

 

J. Allen Smith, 7810 SE 30th Street #223, as a person over 80, would like to point out that the tenure of the Tent City is a small blip of time in the larger time picture.  He recommended that a periodic or weekly forum be set up and moderated by the Clergy Association for local residents to communicate their earnest feelings.

 

Dale Sewall, 9535 Mercerwood Drive, commended the Council for respecting the constitutional rights of faith congregations, being a good citizen among Eastside municipalities and doing our part by hosting Tent City, desiring a non-contentious process of bringing Tent City to Mercer Island and being willing to take the heat and respond professionally.

 

Alex Maxim, 3836 Greenbrier Lane, stated that as a wealthy and powerful community, Mercer Island has an excellent opportunity to demonstrate tolerance to diversity.  He encouraged the Council and especially the First Hill neighbors to welcome Tent City 4.

 

Ruth Ann Biggers, 8820 SE 77th Place, stated that while she supports more long-term housing for all, Tent City 4 is one way of providing secure housing in our community at least for a while.

 

Eliana Maxim, 3836 Greenbrier Lane, thanked the Council for courageous hospitality to Tent City 4.  She can’t wait to host them again.

 

Melissa Finch, 9030 SE 64th Street, is proud of Mercer Island for reaching out to citizens in need.  She feels that there are many residents of First Hill who see an opportunity for educating themselves and their children, for learning to practice compassion, and for understanding that truly, we are all one. She believes we all benefit by approaching the concerns and problems spotted by using the approach to make this endeavor work and not to prove that it is a mistake.

 

Dorothy Hughes, 2707 68th Ave SE, supports Tent City 4.

 

Peter Davis, 2669 60th Ave SE, thanked everyone who has contributed to the success of Tent City on Mercer Island, including the Council, police, Clergy Association and residents.

 

Kristiann Schoening, 2669 60th Ave SE, applauds the Clergy Association and the Council for their leadership and courage in hosting Tent City for 90 days.

 

The Council discussed how the City can enforce the Temporary Use agreement in relation to Tent City’s Code of Conduct and what the City can do if violations are found. Staff will review documents provided by citizens and will report back to the Council at the September 2nd Council Meeting.  The Council decided not to review the site-obscuring screening as the current screening abides by the Temporary Use Agreement.  Councilmember Grausz asked the Mercer Island Clergy Association to hold regular meetings with the neighborhood to encourage communication.

 

 

Consent Calendar:

 

(1)        Payables: $1,152,453.49            Payroll: $688,969.97

 

Councilmember Grady made comments regarding purchasing vehicles.

 

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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion passed 7-0.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS:

 

Councilmember Absences:

Councilmember Bassett’s absence was excused.

Mayor Pearman will be absent September 2nd.

Deputy Mayor Jahncke will be absent September 15th.

Councilmember Litzow will be absent September 15th.

 

Planning Schedule: 

Councilmember Cero asked about having the Approval of the Funding Recommendations for the ARCH Spring Trust Fund approval and the ARCH Priorities Presentation on separate meetings.

 

Board Appointments:

There were no appointments.

 

Councilmember Reports:

Councilmember Grady spoke about the striping of North Mercer Way in relation to bicycle and pedestrian facilities

Councilmember Grady spoke about his involvement in a group of Bainbridge and Mercer Island officials meeting on sustainability issues.

 

 

Adjournment:           10:31 pm

 

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