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Open Space Conservancy Trust - Minutes     
Thursday, April 09, 2015

Call To Order:
Chair Wachs called the meeting to order at 6:11pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
Roll Call:
Chair Wachs, Vice Chair Poor, Trustee Lanzinger and Trustee Westberg were present. Trustee Newman arrived at 6:21pm and a quorum was established. Secretary Weiker, Trustee Christy were absent.
Staff Present:
Jason Kintner, Parks Superintendent
Paul West, Parks Natural Resource Manager
Alaine Sommargren, Natural Resource Specialist
It was moved by Trustee Wachs, seconded by Trustee Lanzinger, to:
Approve the minutes of November 18, 2014 and January 15, 2015.
Paul West noticed the November minutes mistakenly marked October. Chair Poor suggested the January minutes only be up for approval until such time as the November minutes can be confirmed and edited.
Trustee Wachs withdrew the motion.
It was moved by Trustee Wachs, seconded by Trustee Lanzinger, to:
Approve the minutes of January 15, 2015.
Motion passed 5-0
There were no public appearances.
Regular Business:
  1. Welcome to Rory Westberg Chair Wachs
New Trustee Westberg introduced himself and talked a little bit about his background.
Chair Wachs expressed an interest in amending the Agenda to include a budget update and a report on a visit with a forester and Matt Distler.
  1. Forester Visit   Chair Wachs
Chair Wachs reported that Julie Stangel, retired forester, met with Matt Distler and toured the NW Quadrant. She noticed a number of issues with the park, which she discussed with Matt. Some items discussed were invasive species and canopy loss. She is currently reviewing the 10 year plan and hopes to get back to staff in the next 4-6 weeks with her suggestions.
  1. Budget Update Chair Wachs
Chair Wachs reported that Chip Corder, Finance Director, will be presenting a supplemental budget which will include the money that was eliminated at the end of last year from the biennium budget. The $50,000 open space line item will be restored. Vice Chair Poor expressed her appreciation to the Council Members who supported the restoration of the funds.
  1. Open Space Vegetation Plan Update Paul West
Paul West reported that Council received the Vegetation Plan on March 30th, and approved it as an amendment to the Open Space Vegetation Plan. Staff will now go forward with the new framework that takes into account climate change and strategies for plant resiliency.
  1. Letterboxing Update Paul West
Paul West reported that Robin provided him with the notes from the meeting she had with Elizabeth and Connie about the Letterboxing project, which is included in the agenda packet. Paul met with the Boy Scout who is making the new letterboxes, which hopefully will be more resistant to tampering and removal. Kick-off will be on National Trails Day again this year, with the fall celebration at a Trust Board meeting. Chair Wachs expressed his appreciation for the work of Trustee Weiker and the scout. Trustee Lanzinger noted that the Letterboxing campaign is looking for sponsors.
  1. Sharing the Trails with Horses Signs Christine Shafner
Christine Shafner, a 10 year resident of Mercer Island and a Pioneer Park user, addressed the Trust Board about a trend she is noticing. She expressed concern that users seem unaware that they might encounter a horse in Pioneer Park. She expressed a desire to educate the public, and proposed posting a sign in two different quadrants. Christine did some research on local and national signage samples that contribute to the successful sharing of trails with horses. She presented some information to the Trust Board for review. Trustee Lanzinger suggested installing temporary signage in the spring (when trail usage begins to ramp up). Trustee Newman asked if there are particular locations that she would like to place signs. Christine marked two places on the Pioneer Park map that she is recommending. Trustee Newman suggested providing information at the kiosk, and having the City Attorney review it. Trustee Westberg expressed a similar concern about the verbiage Christine provided and suggested something shorter for a quick impact. Jason Kintner suggested running a longer more educational piece in the MI Weekly and having the signage be more along the lines of what Trustee Westberg suggested. Trustee Lanzinger asked the Board if they would be willing to allow the Saddle Club to post temporary signage. Alaine Sommargren suggested a graphic sign illustrating a hierarchy of yielding for different types of users. Chair Wachs asked the Trustees if there was a consensus that some kind of signage can be used, and the Trustees answered in the affirmative.
It was moved by Trustee Newman, seconded by Trustee Westberg, to:
Request that Parks staff evaluate best practices for signage in all three quadrants concerning the multiple usage that trails get.
Motion passed 5-0
  1. Chair Position Replacement Joel Wachs
Chair Wachs reported that he will be stepping down as Chair for the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board in light of his appointment to the City Council. He opened up the nominations for Chair.
It was moved by Trustee Lanzinger, seconded by Trustee Newman, to:
Nominate Geraldine Poor for the Chair position.
Motion passed 5-0
            The remaining positions will be determined at the July meeting.
  1. Off-Leash Dog Update Jason Kintner
Jason Kintner spoke with the City Manager and the Mayor. He reported that it has been decided to postpone the off-leash dogs in Pioneer Park discussion until later in 2015 or early in 2016. He is working with Diane Mortenson, Recreation Superintendent, about holding another voice control class. He said efforts are being made to ramp up the public outreach campaign. The Parks and Recreation Subcommittee will continue to be updated on the issue, and complaints will continue to be tracked. Trustee Wachs reported he continues to receive messages about the issue, and that he has heard that the last time the issue was raised it was contentious. Jason Kintner added that the topic currently is specific to Pioneer Park, but has the potential for becoming a much broader issue.
  1. Annual Report to Council Paul West
Paul West presented a draft report to Council for the Trustees to review. Trustee Wachs mentioned that nearly all members of Council have served on the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board now, and are familiar with the park and its issues. Trustee Newman suggested the Trustees consider if they wish to continue having the annual reports on the consent calendar instead of it being presented by the Chair. Paul agreed to work with the Chair with any edits that the Trustees may have to produce the final report.
  1. Quadrant Reports Trustees
Chair Poor explained to Trustee Westberg that each Trustee has adopted a quadrant to report back on. Trustee Lanzinger reported noticing more trail wear and tear overall. Alaine Sommargren said she was noticing it as well, and spoke with the Trails Specialist about the issue. Paul West stated that he thinks it is becoming a larger issue that warrants some thought about how to address the problem better. Trustee Westberg agreed to adopt the NW Quadrant. Trustee Wachs agreed to adopt the NE Quadrant. Chair Poor sent some photos from the NE Quadrant to Paul.
  1. Next Meeting Chair Poor
The next meeting is scheduled for May 21st.
Adjournment: 7:19 pm

Download File
OSCT Agenda Packet April 2015.pdf


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