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Monday, September 15, 2003

Call To Order

Acting Mayor Susan Blake called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

City Councilmembers, Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Jim Pearman, and Acting Mayor Susan Blake were present. Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns and Mayor Alan Merkle were absent.

Executive Session

Acting Mayor Susan Blake adjourned the Council to Executive Session at 6:04 pm.

The Executive Session was adjourned at 6:50 pm. The Regular Meeting reconvened at 7:31 pm.

Acting Mayor Susan Blake moved Item (6) AB 3802: Initiative No. 03-01: Mercer Island Parks & Open Space Preservation to the first item of regular business.

Special Business

Youth Service Resolution
Acting Mayor Susan Blake read Resolution No. 1325 acknowledging ten years of “VOICE”, Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Youth Volunteer Program. Youth Development Coordinator Kim Wright thanked the Council for supporting the VOICE program for the last 10 years and she shared a story with the City Council regarding how the VOICE program helped a volunteer face a life-threatening problem.

Day of Concern for the Hungry Proclamation
Acting Mayor Susan Blake read Proclamation No. 118 proclaiming September 27, 2003 as a Day of Concern for the Hungry. Youth and Family Services Director Cindy Goodwin stated that the Food Pantry served 75 families for approximately 365 visits and that the usage of has gone up 39% in only the first half of the year.

Resolution Acknowledging Mercer Island Citizen Barbara Brown
Acting Mayor Susan Blake read Resolution No. 1323 acknowledging Mercer Island Citizen Barbara Brown for her support and assistance in the Family Assistance and Support Program since 2002.


James Murphy, lawyer for Lybeck & Murphy, & Sarah Row, President of the Board of Directors for Patti’s Play Center, talked to the Council regarding the disruption relocating the play center would cause. He would like for the preschool to stay in the same place during construction of the new community center as relocating will be disruptive.

Erik & Charlie Jansen, 4897 Forest Ave SE, stated that relocating the three preschools will displace about 220 participants. He urged the Council to reassess the situation.

Melissa Milburn, feels that the young students need be taken care of because they are the future.

Tianna Trailer, 1355 Bellfield Park Lane, Owner of Little Acorn Day School, is concerned about the impact on Mercer Island families of the move of the preschools for 20 months. She is advocating for all three preschools to remain at the Community Center. She listed reasons why other locations will not work. City Manager Rich Conrad assured the preschools that the City wants them to be tenants after the construction of the new Community Center.

Carolyn & Robert Boatsman, 3210 74th Ave SE, support the Ivy Initiative and encouraged the Council to deal with invasive plants more strongly. Mrs. Boatsman encouraged the planting of native plants and believes the City should start educating residents about invasive plants, by sending out postcards.

Amy Sheehan, 9035 SE 51st Place, President of Pixie Hill Preschool, asked the Council to help the preschools in finding possible places to relocate for a year.

Brian Kuttner, 8001 SE 37th Place, requested that the Parks department create a plan to address issues of parks and open spaces over a period of time to inhibit growth of invasive species.

Barrett, 2748 73rd Ave SE, would like to see a systematic plan put into place to develop and maintain the Island’s greenbelt areas. He feels removing invasive species is a daunting task for only a few people to do. It shouldn’t require a lot of money, but it does require a plan.

Francil Gawryn, 3611 74th Ave SE, is concerned about the greenbelt above the downtown area. She believes the forest is dying.

Sue Stewart, 3205 84th Ave SE, feels that the wireless poles and cabinets don’t belong in Clise Park because it was gifted to the City as open space. She suggested that the City use other resources such as Weyerhaeuser to determine the Island’s true ivy problem. She would like an open house on the Community Center to find out the status of the building that the preschools would be moving back into.

Rita Moore, 4509 Ferncroft Road, is distressed about the situation with the preschools and suggested that portables be rented during construction. She is also concerned that the wireless pole in Clise Park is too visible from Island Crest Way.

Gretchen Jansen, 4857 Forest Ave SE, explained to the Council that Little Acorn Preschool prepares children for kindergarten and the parents feel it is very important to find sites for relocation.

Jonathan Shakes, 3422 74th Ave SE, chose to live on Mercer Island because of the green. He feels the invasive species problem is important.

Judy Peterson, 8438 North Mercer Way, lives next to Luther Burbank Park and has had problems with rats, invasive plants, and firecrackers. She had to remove 12 fir trees because of root rot 15 years ago. She encouraged citizens to help preserve the green on Mercer Island.


It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:

Approve the Study Session & Regular Meeting Minutes of September 2, 2003 as written.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 5-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 453,642.30  
Payrolls: $ 486,349.71

AB 3795: 2003 Water Service and Fire Hydrant Replacement Project Close-out: Accept the completed 2003 Water Service and Fire Hydrant Replacement project and authorize staff to close out the contract.

It was moved by Councilmember Pearman; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 5-0.

Regular Business

3802: Initiative No. 03-01: Mercer Island Parks & Open Space Preservation
City Attorney Londi Lindell presented the background and history of the initiative measure. She explained to the Council that the measure cannot be on the November 4th Ballot because of insufficient time to prepare the necessary noticing as set forth by King County Elections. She explained possible Council action options to either (1) adopt the petitioner’s ordinance; (2) adopt Resolution No. 1318 calling for a special election; or (3) take no action.

Public Comment:
Rita Moore, 4509 Ferncroft Road, thanked the Council for the additional $15,000 for Upper Luther Burbank Park. She announced that the petitioners intended to have the initiative measure on a larger ballot and suggested the March 2, 2004 election day (presidential primary). She supports the idea to have staff look further into the invasive plant issues on Mercer Island.

Jim Trombold, 4851 88th Place SE, admires the people who are concerned and involved in the Ivy Brigade. He stated that having staff do research on invasive plants shows that the Council is concerned, but he would like to know why it hasn’t happened sooner.

Scott Mc Murray, 3627 74th Ave SE, did some research on the internet and found that Mercer Island Parks Arborist Paul West wrote a Forest Management Plan for Ravenna Woods in Seattle which would work well for Mercer Island. He feels the City should use the Mercerdale hillside park as a test site to see if it would fit for Mercer Island. He would like to see the Open Space Conservancy trust run the project and use the additional $150,000 in their budget to fund the project.

Judith Roan, 7365 SE 38th Street, supports citizen’s initiative for parks and open space. She is a birder and feels that the initiative will help preserve a balanced habitat for all, including birds. She urged the Council to accept the initiative.

Myra Lupton, 3443 72nd Place SE, informed the Council that the latest version of the UW Columns magazine has an article titled “Invasive Plants”.

Ira Appelman, 6213 83rd Place SE, stated that the fact that over 3000 people are behind the citizen’s initiative means that it is important. He sees the problem being that the petition is not sufficient and does not meet the requirements of the city code. He is concerned that the option of “doing nothing” would not make the petition “go away”.

Rita Moore, 4509 Ferncroft Road, listed the various organizations who endorse the initiative petition.

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

Direct the City Manager to prepare a comprehensive staff analysis on the removal of invasive species in City parks and open spaces and accomplish the following tasks on or before March 31, 2003:
  • Gather necessary information including types of invasive species, removal methods, and extent of problem within parks and open spaces;
  • Retain experts, if needed, to assist with data collection and staff analysis;
  • Recommend estimated scope of work to be performed to address the defined problem;
  • Estimate all costs associated with identification, removal and future maintenance associated with such removal of invasive species; and
  • Report findings to the City Council.
It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Table the previous motion until the resolution has been considered.

The Chair put the question on the main motion; Motion Passed 5-0.

It was moved by Councilmember Pearman; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Amend Resolution No. 1326 to be “A resolution directing King County Records and Elections Division to submit a proposition to the qualified electors of the City of Mercer Island at an election to be held on March 2, 2004, authorizing the City to increase its tax levies annually for ten consecutive years above the limit established in RCW 84.55.010 for (1) Acquiring open space, (2) Building trails, (3) Removing non-native, invasive plant material from all City-owned parks, open spaces, street ends and public right of way, (4) Replacing invasives with native plants as needed, and (5) Educating Mercer Island residents on native vegetation and problems associated with non-native, invasive plant species.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 5-0.

The Chair put the question on the tabled motion; Motion Passed 5-0.

AB 3801: Public Hearing: Code Amendments on ROW Permits Indemnification and Optional DNS (1st Reading)
Principal Planner Gabe Snedeker summarized proposed changes in the Mercer Island City Code. The following three ordinances are housekeeping code amendments and were presented to the Council for review:

  • Ordinance No. 03C-09: Ordinance amending MICC19.09.060, Excavations, to clarify requirements for Right-of-Way Permits, and amending other affected sections.
  • Ordinance No. 03C-10: Ordinance amending MICC 19.01.060 and repealing 19.06.070 and 19.09.020 to clarify and revise Land Use Indemnification/Hold Harmless, Performance Guarantee and Liability Protection requirements.
  • Ordinance No. 03C-11: Ordinance amending MICC 19.07.100 to clarify and revise Environmental (SEPA) Procedures.
Staff answered questions from the Council and discussion ensued.

Acting Mayor Blake opened the public hearing.

There were no comments and Acting Mayor Blake closed the hearing.

Staff was directed to make the recommended changes to the ordinances from the Street Engineer as well as those discussed tonight and return with the final documents at the October 13 Meeting.

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Councilmember Pearman: October 20, 2003.

Planning Schedule:
October 13, 2003: Community Center Update and Oversight Committee.
Move Municipal Court Briefing to November 3, 2003.

Board Appointments:
It was the consensus of the Council to have Acting Mayor Susan Blake appoint spokespersons to the committees advocating approval and rejection for the Luther Burbank Levy Bond Measure Voter’s Pamphlet. The City Clerk will forward necessary paperwork to King County Elections.

Councilmember Reports:
Councilmember Goldmanis re: Community Center Oversight Committee.
Councilmember Grausz re: Wireless Code Facility in Clise Park.

Adjournment: 10:43 pm

[Important Note: The proceedings of the City Council meeting were recorded on tape and are filed in the City Clerk's Office. The complete agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also filed in the City Clerk's office.]


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