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Monday, October 06, 2008

Call To Order:


Mayor Jim Pearman called the meeting to order at 6:09 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 (arrived 9:00 pm), Deputy Mayor El Jahncke and Mayor Jim Pearman were present.  Councilmember Mike Grady was absent.





(1)        AB 4360            Sewer Lake Line Project Update


Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher and Troy Piles from Vanir provided the Council with an update on the work completed to date as re-advertising the Sewer Lake Line Replacement Project for construction bids approaches.  They spoke about the project funding sources, finalizing sewer rates for 2009 and the preparation of the engineer’s estimate for the construction of the project.  The project is currently on schedule to be advertised for construction in mid-October. If bidding is successful, award of a construction contract is anticipated for December 2008. Construction of the Pump Station would begin in early 2009. In-water work on the sewer main would begin in July 2009.





2008 Boating/Sailing Program at Luther Burbank Park Presentation


Assistant City Manager/Parks & Recreation Director Pete Mayer presented information on “Destination Recreation”, Mercer Island Parks and Recreation’s newest endeavor to encourage citizens to explore, escape and experience the community.  He also spoke about Mercer Island being named one of 67 “Playful City USA” communities by KaBOOM! and qubo.  Mercer Island was selected for its dedication to play, creating a frog mascot to promote parks and programs and for the “Destination Recreation” program.


Aquatics Coordinator Dannie Lambert-Wit gave a presentation about the boating programs that were started this summer at Luther Burbank Park.  Mayor Pearman recognized citizens Myra Lupton and George Chambers for their help in getting the program off the ground.



Tent City Oral Report


Police Chief Ed Holmes reported on Tent City 4 for the past two weeks: no arrests, one report regarding persons in the Lid Park, one report for a call from Tent City 4 regarding a non-extraditable warrant and 42 walkthroughs completed (for a total of 215 walkthroughs to date).  He encouraged people to visit and learn about Tent City. 


Councilmember Cero stated that he remains uncomfortable with a reduced police presence at Tent City.  He doesn’t believe that self-policing is a reliable way to protect citizens.








Pat Brahman, MISD Board President and Gary Plano, MISD Superintendent, addressed the Council regarding a letter that was sent to the Council that outlines important issues for the Mercer Island School District such as the general operating budget and class size, the capital facilities review committee, Title IX and field use, technology, bond refinancing and I-90 tolling.  They spoke about the proposal for the City to examine the interlocal agreement between the City and MISD and fully fund the school counselors for the 2008-2009 school year.


Terry Pottmeyer, 6207 Parkside Lane, asked Council to fully fund the school counseling program for this school year only from the 2007 year-end surplus.  She believes these funds can be redirected to fund much needed programming.  She supports option #2 as presented in the agenda bill.


Alison Schwarz, 8229 SE 36th Street, encourages the completion of walking path or sidewalk on 84th Ave SE from SE 30th Street to SE 39th Street. She would like it to be safer to cross and walk along Island Crest Way. She suggested installing more bike racks at Mercerdale Park and at City Hall.


Christina Faine, 8436 SE 36th Street, Urged the council to consider to put a flashing light at SE 32nd Street and Island Crest Way for pedestrians.


Ira Appelman, 6213 83rd Ave SE, opposes additional funding for school counseling programs. His three issues are that 1) the program has been presented as a matching program, but the logic behind it has seemed weak; 2) The district is providing funds to PEAK, but is claiming to not have enough funds for programming; and 3) the City going to the public claiming it needs funds for parks.  He urged the Council to not shift funds.


Marcia Dawson, 8812 SE 77th Place, spoke about the Island Crest Way Trail project.  She has observed that there needs to be better communication between the designers and the builders on City construction projects.


Maretta Holden, 8221 SE 24th Street, objects to pedestrian and bicycles sharing space on the road as it is not safe and she hopes that separating the two will be taken into consideration during the Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update.


Hillary Bensen, 7344 Island Crest Way, thanked City and Council for (almost) finishing the Island Crest Way Trail path. She has seen kids and elderly use the path. She urged the Council and staff to pay close attention to the one section that has no barrier from the road and cars.


Lisa Belden, 8453 SE 63rd Street, spoke about I-90 tolling.  She presented traffic volume data to and from the Island from the WSDOT ramp and roadway report study.


Bart Dawson, 8812 SE 77th Place, believes that the Island Crest Way trail is well used and he asked the Council to approve the landscape design.  He expressed his concern with lack of project oversight as the current trail does not follow the original plan. When he asked to look at the proposed landscape design was told the plan was not available to view. He feels open communication is needed for the completion of this project.


Stowe Sprague, 4553 84th Ave SE, wanted to clarify that monetary support for the PEAK project by MISD is capital dollars, and that the MISD general fund is what is lacking. She feels the City should fully fund the school counseling program as the kids use counselors during school hours.


Lynn Thomas, 7360 Island Crest Way, loves the Island Crest Way trail. She encouraged the Council to install finer gravel as it is difficult to use strollers and riding bikes down hill is unsafe. She would also like to see a barrier on the hill section as it is wide enough to keep cars separate from pedestrians.


Tara Johnson, 2438 62nd Ave SE, wanted to inform the Council that she believes that Tent City 4 on Mercer island is being used as a staging ground for the homeless encampment in Seattle, Nickelsville, and that SHARE/WHEEL is behind it.





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

Approve the Special Meeting Minutes of September 8, 2008 as written.

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of September 15, 2008 as written.

Motion passed 5-0.



Consent Calendar:


Councilmember Grausz moved AB 4358: Island Crest Trail Project Landscaping Design to Regular Business.


Councilmember Cero moved AB 4362: Interlocal Agreement for Cable Franchise Negotiations to Regular Business.


(3)        Payables: $1,144,095.31            Payroll: $595,157.77


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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion passed 5-0.



Regular Business:


(4)        AB 4358            Island Crest Trail Project Landscaping Design


Councilmember Grausz asked about the landscape concept and design. 


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

Authorize staff to install landscaping along the Island Crest Way Trail Project and appropriate $40,000 from the Street Fund for the landscaping project.


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

Postpone AB 4358 (Island Crest Trail Project Landscaping Design) to the October 20, 2008 Council Meeting.

Motion failed 1-4 (Councilmember Cero proponent of motion).


Main motion passed 5-0.



(5)        AB 4362            Interlocal Agreement for Cable Franchise Negotiations


Councilmember Cero asked about the costs associated with the interlocal agreement.


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

Authorize the City Manager to enter into an interlocal agreement in 2009 that creates a consortium to assist with negotiations for cable franchising.

Motion passed 5-0.



(6)        AB 4363            Public Hearing: 2009-2010 Preliminary Budget


City Manager Rich Conrad and Finance Director Chip Corder presented the 2009-2010 biennial budget to the City Council.


The presentation included a budget process recap, the City’s fiscal status including revenues and expenditures and budget issues and initiatives including the General Fund, Utilities and the Capital Improvement Program.




The Budget Hearing schedule is as follows:

·         October 6: Budget overview presentation to Council & distribution of budget document

·         October 20: Budget review by Council (Operating Budget for: City Council, City Manager’s Office, City Attorney’s Office Development Services Group, Finance Dept, HR Dept, Municipal Court and Youth and Family Services

·         November 3: Budget review by Council (Operating Budget for: Police Dept, Fire Dept, Parks and Recreation and Maintenance Dept)

·         November 17: Budget review by Council (Follow-up Items, Revenues and Finalize Changes and Proposed 2009-2010 Capital Improvement Program) & Adopt 2009 property tax levy

·         December 8: Adopt 2009 Utility Rates, 2009 Fee Increases (if any) and 2009-2010 Budget Ordinance


The Mayor opened the Public Hearing at 9:04 pm.


Ira Appelman, 6213 83rd Place, expressed his concern about additional costs that are proposed for the Community Center.  He suggested that there should be a list of funds that are transferred out of the City and are being expended by other agencies.


The Mayor closed the Public Hearing at 9:07 pm.



(7)        AB 4364            Interlocal with MISD for Counseling Services


Youth and Family Services Director Cindy Goodwin provided the history of the interlocal agreement between the City of Mercer Island and the Mercer Island School District for Counseling Services.


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

Approve the revised 2008-09 Interlocal Agreement as depicted in Exhibit 2 of AB 4364 with the City paying 100% of the counselors cost for this school year only, incorporating the following conditions being satisfied prior to 2008 calendar year end:

1.       MIHS establish and designate seven (7) reserved parking spaces on campus for the exclusive use of student car pools.

2.       All high school fields to remain open and available for public use (as scheduled by the MI Parks and Recreation Department) during summer and vacations when school is not in session (i.e. not locked).

3.       Start regular meetings of a School Board/City Council subcommittee (i.e. 2 School Board Directors and 3 City Councilmembers) to address field and gym scheduling, use and availability issues.

4.       MISD to publish on its website individual class sizes by teacher, by subject and by subject area for the academic years 2002 to present and continue to do so annually.

5.       MISD to start and continue high level staff attention to field and gym scheduling issues.


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

Amend condition #3 of the above motion as follows:

3.       Start regular meetings (at least quarterly) of a School Board/City Council subcommittee (i.e. 2 School Board Directors and 3 City Councilmembers) to address issues of mutual interest field and gym scheduling, use and availability issues.

Motion to amend passed 6-0.


Main motion passed 6-0.



(8)        AB 4359            Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update Briefing


Development Services Director Steve Lancaster presented information regarding the next steps in preparation for launching the public involvement phase of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan update.  In response to Council’s desire to better answer the question: What are we trying to achieve with the plan?, he posed two questions to Council for consideration and feedback:


1.       Does the draft “Vision and Guiding Principles” statement adequately articulate the City Council’s vision for the future of pedestrian and bicycle facilities on Mercer Island?

2.       Do the draft Public Workshop Issues and Questions adequately capture the kind of public feedback we need to move the planning process forward?



(9)        AB 4361            Policy Position on Tolling I-90 Resolution


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

Adopt Resolution No. 1402 establishing Mercer Island policy positions on highway tolls that affect Mercer Island mobility (with two deletions provided at the Council meeting).

Motion passed 6-0.





Councilmember Absences:

Councilmember Grady’s absence was excused.


Planning Schedule: 

City Manager Conrad added the Amendment to the Development Agreement the PEAK Project Regarding Parking to the October 20, 2008 or November 3, 2008 Council meeting.


Board Appointments:

Councilmember Litzow asked about applications for the Island Crest Way/Merrimount Intersection Committee and when the committee will meet.


Councilmember Reports:

Mayor Pearman spoke about a letter he received from the Boys & Girls Club Director for formal request for $1 million.

Councilmember Cero asked about the DARE program.



Adjournment:           11:00 pm


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