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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Call To Order:


Chairperson Don Cohen called the meeting to order at 6:09 pm in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.


Roll Call:


Don Cohen; Chairperson, Elliot Newman, Fletch Waller; Vice Chairperson, Tina Lanzinger, and Rita Moore were present. Peter Guyer arrived at 6:15, and Dan Grausz was absent.


Staff Present:


Keith Kerner, Parks Superintendent

Paul West, Parks Natural Resource Coordinator

Deborah Alexander, Senior Administrative Assistant



(1)           It was moved by Trustee Moore, seconded by Trustee Waller, to:

Approve the minutes of August 13, 2009.

Motion passed 5-0




There were no public appearances.


Regular Business:


(I)         Letterboxing Update – Elliot Newman


Trustee Newman reported that he now has nine volunteers participating in the Letterboxing “steering committee”. Among the volunteers are representatives from Scouts, and several Mercer Island Schools. Trustee Newman expressed a desire to get representatives from West Mercer Elementary and the Middle School to participate as well.


The first meeting will take place on September 18th. The primary objectives of the meeting will be to introduce everyone, to give a presentation of the program, solicit feedback, and form smaller groups to begin work.


Chair Cohen asked Trustee Newman how the Trustees might stay apprised of the progress of the steering committee. Trustee Newman stated that he could provide the Trustees with meeting minutes and give a brief update monthly on progress made.


Trustee Waller made contact with Island Vision about the possibility of including Pioneer Park in the after school nature programs they run in Luther Burbank Park. Trustee Waller has been communicating with Susan Madison, an island resident, who has expressed an interest in including Pioneer Park in the programs. Trustee Waller told Ms. Madison about the Letterboxing program, and he believes she might be a valuable addition to the steering committee. Trustee Newman offered to contact Ms. Madison.


Paul West told the Trustees about the Wilderness Awareness School out of Duvall which takes an experiential approach with their programs. Chair Cohen requested that Paul forward on a website for the Wilderness Awareness School.


(II)         Ravine Trail Update – Paul West


Paul West showed some photographs of the work that was done on the Ravine Trail by Justin Howell and Sarah Anderson since the last meeting. Trustee Waller reported receiving positive feedback from trail users. Chair Cohen congratulated staff on addressing the issue promptly and following through with implementing a solution.


(III)        No Harvesting Sign Update – Paul West


Paul West reported that he produced a no harvesting sign in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Cambodian. He said that he made a judgment call to post the signs before formal Board review of their content, due to anticipated harvesting of mushrooms before the Board’s next meeting. The posting of these signs should provide the Mercer Island Police Department with what they requested in order to enforce no harvesting in Pioneer Park. They were placed on existing sign posts around the Pioneer Park.  The Board expressed appreciation for Paul’s work on this matter.


(IV)       Tree Work Update – Paul West


Paul West mentioned an update distributed to the Trustees regarding upcoming tree work  in Pioneer Park. The work was postponed by several weeks.


(V)                                   Horse Waste Update – Keith Kerner

Keith Kerner reported that he is still receiving complaints from the same citizen. Keith also stated that he is satisfied with the efforts the Saddle Club is making to clean up after the horses. He believes that  the Board has done as much as it can to address this issue. Trustee Lanzinger stated that she feels the best course of action may eventually be to modify the ordinance so it is more in line with other bridle trails in Bellevue and Redmond. Discussion followed.


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

Take no action. Sufficient mechanisms currently exist for citizens to file a complaint regarding the lack of immediate horse manure removal by their owners in Pioneer Park.

Motion passed 6-0


(VI)                                  NW Quadrant chemical toilet discussion – Don Cohen

Chair Cohen reviewed the issue of further screening of the chemical toilet in Pioneer Park, which has been discussed at previous meetings. Paul West said the existing screen was made from lattice sheets, and said more can be done but would require more carpentry. Trustee Waller had talked about the visibility of the toilet when heading south on the perimeter trail. Paul said that a third panel might be installed on that side, but that it might not screen the toilet well because it would have to be sufficiently far away from the toilet so the company can service the unit.


Trustee Waller suggested that it might make sense to construct a higher quality screen. Keith Kerner said he would return to the next meeting with a staff report for options for enclosures.


(VII)                                 Wayfinding project proposal – Paul West

Paul West requested an estimate from a printer for printing 2,000 copies of the folded Pioneer Park map and was quoted about $500. Paul said that Deborah Alexander suggested that it would be cheaper printing them in house and using a folding machine. Paul stated that the challenge is getting the maps out to the existing 6 locations regularly and perhaps finding new locations for the maps that make sense. Paul proposed that two more map trail head signs be installed. He also recommended updating the existing maps that are out of date replacing them with the updated GIS map on the kiosk. Trustee Waller agreed to stock the maps in two locations.


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

Direct Parks and Recreation staff to implement options 1-6 in the staff report dated September 10, 2009, but to strike the phrase on #2 to eliminate “and fold them during non-business hours;” and Fund sign purchases out of Parks and Recreation budget line item earmarked for Pioneer Park wayfinding and interpretation.

Motion passed 6-0


(VIII)                                Next Meeting – Don Cohen

Chair Cohen took a poll of the Trustees for attendance in October. Because of a lack of a quorum and no time-sensitive business anticipated, the October meeting was cancelled. Chair Cohen requested that Deborah Alexander e-mail the Trustees letting them know of the meeting cancellation.



Adjournment: 7:10 pm


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