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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Call To Order:


Chairperson Don Cohen called the meeting to order at 6:04 pm in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.


Roll Call:


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


Staff Present:


Keith Kerner, Parks Superintendent

Deborah Alexander, Senior Admin. Assistant

Paul West, Parks Natural Resource Coordinator

Alaine Sommargren, Forest Steward




(1)           It was moved by Trustee Lanzinger, seconded by Trustee Grausz, to:

Approve the minutes of May 14, 2009.

Motion passed 5-0




There were no public appearances.


Regular Business:


(I)         No harvesting action items – Keith Kerner


Keith Kerner reviewed the various issues that have been raised about the harvesting of plants in Pioneer Park. Keith met with the Mercer Island Police (Commander Jokinen and Sergeant Robarge), who suggested signage be posted to assist them in enforcement. Keith Kerner and Paul West met to discuss locations where signage might be placed, including the kiosk, parking areas and adding to existing signage. Chair Cohen requested that Keith bring back samples of signage and a map of locations where signs might be posted. Keith mentioned that Paul West recommended the signage be in multiple languages in order to reach a broader audience.


(II)         Horse waste update – Keith Kerner and Tina Lanzinger


Chair Cohen asked Mr. and Mrs. Hood if they would like to speak briefly on this subject since they had communicated with Parks and Recreation staff and Chair Cohen about this issue. They declined to comment at this point in the meeting.


Keith Kerner reported on activity surrounding this issue since it was first raised last fall. He stated that Mercer Island Parks & Recreation has been working with the Saddle Club regarding regular clean ups (especially on the trail that runs along the north side of the SE quadrant). Keith reported that he felt it was going well, and had not received a complaint in several months until last week. After receiving this complaint, Keith spoke with the Saddle Club and made requests for them to increase monitoring and clean up of the north perimeter trail in the SE quadrant, preferably daily, and to have the riders avoid using that trail when they suspect that the horse may need to defecate. Keith mentioned the City Ordinance that states that domestic animals must be cleaned up after, but also noted that there are safety concerns regarding riders mounting and dismounting the horse on the trail in order to clean up waste. Keith requested guidance from the Trustees on how to proceed with this issue.


Trustee Lanzinger reported that the Saddle Club received a complaint via their web site and a member was contacted by phone. She stated that the Saddle Club is concerned about the issue and has been monitoring it. She stated that she had monitored it throughout the winter and did not see any deposits left on the north perimeter trail.


Chair Cohen summarized potential actions of the Board might take to resolve the issue. Among the alternatives he mentioned were:  recommending a change to the ordinance to the City Council, prohibiting horses on the north perimeter trail in the SE quadrant (which may require a change to the Pioneer Park Master Plan), requiring horse diapers on horses using certain trails, requesting that Parks Maintenance staff clean and maintain the trail, or that the Trust Board takes no further action. Chair Cohen then presented the following possibilities for the Board’s consideration:

1)     The Trust Board take no further action;

2)     The Trust Board request that staff prepare a written report including alternatives (if any) and any cost implications there would be;, or

3)     Some combination of the above.


The Trustees discussed the pros and cons of the various alternatives. Trustee Grausz suggested that staff continue to monitor the situation, working with the Saddle Club and the Stevenson property to resolve the issue or be in violation of City Ordinance. There was no motion made on this subject.


Chair Cohen requested monthly reviews on the issue followed by a staff report in September.  Mr. and Mrs. Hood expressed their displeasure about the Board’s approach to this issue.


(III)        Summer Celebration! Booth update – Don Cohen


The Trustees discussed the merits of having a booth at Summer Celebration!. Due to limited Trustee availability that weekend and other considerations, they concluded that the Trust Board would not have a booth at Summer Celebration! this year.


It was moved by Vice Chair Waller, seconded by Trustee Newman, to:

Not participate in Summer Celebration! this year, and provide Earth Corps with Pioneer Park maps and perhaps some staffing support.

Motion passed 5-0


(IV)       Letterboxing – Elliot Newman and Paul West


Trustee Newman summarized the information about Letterboxing included in the agenda packet. The Trustees asked questions and expressed support for the program. Deborah Alexander suggested that the Letterboxing program might be a good fit with the Mercer Island Parks & Recreation Department. She suggested that Trustee Newman contact Dannie Lambert-Wit, Aquatic and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator. Trustee Waller suggested the Friends of Luther Burbank Park as another partner in the program.


It was moved by Trustee Newman, seconded by Trustee Lanzinger to:

Approve the Pioneer Park Letterboxing program set forth in the June 11, 2009 agenda packet.

Motion passed 5-0


(VII)         Next Meeting – Don Cohen


The next meeting is July 9, 2009.


(VIII)        Old Business – Trustees


Trustee Waller reported that the kiosk at the corner of Island Crest Way and 68th street in the NW quadrant is installed and populated with maps and information. He extended his thanks to staff for getting that project finished.


Chair Cohen and Trustee Grausz reported that there are plans to develop a trail in Engstrom Open Space with King County grant funds.



Adjournment: 7:00 pm





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