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Monday, November 01, 2004

Call To Order

Mayor Alan Merkle called the meeting to order at 5:08 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns, City Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Steve Litzow, Jim Pearman, and Mayor Merkle were present.

Study Session

AB 3926: Luther Burbank Planning Parameters
Deputy City Manager Deb Symmonds began the facilitated discussion for the “big picture” planning parameters for Luther Burbank Park as directed by Council at the 2004 retreat.

Guy Michaelson, Landscape Architect and Principal in the Berger Partnership and Margaret Norton-Arnold, President of Norton-Arnold & Company, reviewed the inventory of Luther Burbank that will be used during the upcoming community workshops.

Following Council discussion, the draft parameters were confirmed with minor changes.


The Study Session was adjourned at 6:40 pm to Executive Session to discuss property acquisition under RCW 42.30.110 during the Council’s dinner break. The Executive Session ended at 7:35 pm and the Regular Meeting reconvened.

Appearances

Rita Moore, 4509 Ferncroft Road, asked the City Council and the citizens of Mercer Island to come to the November 15th Council Meeting and urge the Council to fund the priority parks at Level B.

Ben Keylin, 2929 76th Ave SE, Executive Director of Youth Theatre Northwest, asked the Council about the possibility of forming a partnership between the City, the School District and Youth Theater Northwest as they are facing budget constraints.

Madeleine Morrison, 8416 SE 36th Street, expressed concern that the City parking spaces in the Cassan/Dollar Development are no gone and that the suggestion of parking in Luther Burbank is not realistic and may become a problem in the future for park users.

Bob Thorpe, 5800 West Mercer Way, commended Development Services Director Richard Hart on an excellent level of service. He made specific comments regarding work between the City Arborist and landscape architects, undue financial burden for code amendments, and reasonable restrictions for fire sprinklers in homes and commercial facilities.

Dave Chappelle, 8218 SE 29th Street, thanked the Council for the public involvement process regarding Luther Burbank Park. He stated he would like to see uses in the park such as a community sail center, Mercer Island rowing center, climbing wall, sand volleyball court and community fire pit.

Dorothy Mason, 3205 Shorewood Drive #126, suggested the possibility of assessing every resident, including multi-housing residents, to keep Luther Burbank as is. She also inquired about the impact downtown development will have on Luther Burbank.

Minutes

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

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of November 1, 2004 as amended:

  1. Page 1:
    “It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:
    Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of October 4, 2004 as amended:
    Councilmember Goldmanis asked if the salary commission meeting was an open public meeting. City Clerk Allison Spietz Assistant City Attorney Wayne Stewart confirmed that it was. Councilmember Goldmanis then requested the name of the commissioner who dissented on the vote for an increase. Commissioner Orser responded that he would speak with the individual and then get back to Councilmember Goldmanis.
    The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 67-0.

    It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis to:
    Confirm that all City Council Board and Commission meetings are open public meetings.
    The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 67-0.

    Councilmember Goldmanis requested that the minutes of the Independent Salary Commission distributed to the City Council.

    CONSENT CALENDAR:
    (3) Payables: $1,039,372.43

    It was moved by Councilmember Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:
    Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.
    The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 67-0.”


  2. Page 2, Item 4:
    Public Safety staff ensured the City Council that stun guns or tasers will not be purchased until the matter is brought back to the City Council for discussion and decision.
The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 994,758.73  
Payrolls: $ 454,890.46 (10/15/2004) $ 436,931.23 (10/29/2004)

AB 3918: Forest Avenue Improvements Project Close-Out: Accept the completed Forest Avenue Improvements project and authorize staff to close out the contract.

AB 3923: 2004 Water System Improvements: SE 42nd Street/83rd Avenue SE Project Close-Out: Accept the completed 2004 Water System Improvements – SE 42nd Street/83rd Avenue SE project and authorize staff to close out the contract.

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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

Agenda Addition

AB 3929: Early Ordering of Police Vehicles and Mobile Data Terminals
It was moved by Councilmember Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Authorize the City Manager to proceed with ordering six police vehicles and eight mobile data terminals as soon as possible, consistent with the proposed 2005-2006 Biennial Budget.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

Regular Business

AB 3927: Public Hearing: Luther Burbank Planning
Deputy City Manager Deb Symmonds introduced the Public Hearing to begin the Public Involvement Process for Luther Burbank Park.

The Mayor opened the Public Hearing at 8:10 pm.

Ralph Caldwell, 19828 SE 8th Street, Sammamish, spoke as one of the members of the Friends of Luther Burbank Park organization. He spoke of projects sponsored by the group, including a shoreline erosion study, the wetland project and boardwalk.

Jim Thornton, 3418 97th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, suggested adding boat rentals in the park, picnic fees along with resident and daily use fees. Addition of food and marina would change the character of the park. He suggested taking care of beach erosion and expanding the swim area.

Diane Vanderbeek, 7815 West Mercer Way, Mercer Island, suggested that the public should have a vote on the future of Luther Burbank. She favors doing nothing to the park. She questioned why some sort of development would be desirable, and prefers spending tax dollars to maintain the park. She reiterated that the question of what to do with the park should be put to a vote. She also suggested that the Council should hold another public hearing after the consultants’ report is delivered. She stated that she is starting an initiative petition seeking to require a vote.

Rita Moore, 4509 Ferncroft Road, Mercer Island, spoke about the third seasonal wetland south of the Wallace Pond area of the park. She favors implementing King County’s [Wetlands] Plan – Phase 3. She also spoke about restoring shorelines, making the Community Center and Luther Burbank connections, adding meandering trails in the north end of the park, incorporating shoreline habitat planting as a demonstration garden for what could be done by private property waterfront owners and retaining shoreline access. She doesn’t want to see Coulon Park-type development, encouraged use of City utility bills for mailers and favored implementing day use and annual passes.

Tom Kinsman, 1940 82nd Avenue SE, Mercer Island, thought that future Town Center density will contribute park users. He spoke in favor of preventing further shoreline loss to erosion. He would like to see the park remain fairly natural.

Anna Sortello, 2420 76th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, said that as a restaurant owner she does not think a restaurant in the park would succeed. She liked the idea of day use and annual passes.

Cary Concannon, 4523 90th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, suggested that Luther Burbank is a well-used park just the way it is. She thought that [public involvement] meetings do not make for a long process. She questioned the actual expenditures for the “nuts and bolts” work in the park. She suggested that the Council consider moving the [public involvement] process into early next year and/or through March 2005.

Jim Trombold, 4851 88th Place SE, Mercer Island, complimented the Council on the window of time being given for idea generation. He wants to leave something meaningful for future generations even if it means having to tax the current generation of taxpayers to do so. He recommended being slow to think about commercialization (restaurant, marina). He is a little uneasy about fees worrying that access for all might be lost. He doesn’t support a public vote.

Sue Stewart, 3205 84th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, Co-chair of Citizens to Preserve Upper Luther Burbank Park, thanked the Council for deciding not to sell off any part of the park, and for not contemplating housing on any part of the park. She said that public notice and process need some work, liked the idea of the future of the park going on an advisory ballot. She likes festivals in the park, but the rest of the time having the park stay pristine. She questioned what King County paid to maintain the park. She also commented upon the proposed Critical Areas Ordinance relating to habitat and shoreline matters.

Stephen Burgess, 3508 96th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, stated that Mercer Island should be the exception to the rule and not develop the park.

Deb Ferse, 3203 84th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, also Co-chair of Citizens to Preserve Upper Luther Burbank Park, agrees that the “big picture” feasibility work [about food concession and marina services] should be done up front. She asked to have such information available on the City’s website and at a future public hearing.

Phil Flash, 3005 69th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, said he was impressed by the consultants’ professionalism and with the potential opportunities presented. He thought it would be desirable to keep the park pretty much the way it is.

The Mayor closed the Public Hearing at 9:09 pm.

AB 3928 Dispatch Contracts with Bellevue and Kirkland
Public Safety Director Ron Elsoe answered questions from the Council.

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

Authorize the City Manager to sign the dispatch contracts as presented in AB 3928.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

AB 3913 Hazard Mitigation Plan Adoption
Public Safety Director Ron Elsoe answered questions from the Council.

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

Adopt Resolution No. 1335 adopting the City of Mercer Island 2004 Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

AB 3925 Public Hearing: Proposed 2005-2006 Budget: Priority 3 and Priority 4 Services
Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher described the changes in the Utilities budget as it pertains to operations and management and the water, sewer and stormwater programs.

Finance Director Joanne Sylvis gave the Council the financial information regarding the water, sewer and storm water funds.

Deputy City Manager Deb Symmonds detailed the changes in the Capital Improvement Program.

Development Services Director Richard Hart gave an overview of the department services and reviewed the expenditures and revenues for 2004. He detailed the budget cuts, presented facts on permit volumes and valuations, and explained the time lines and challenges the department faced in 2004. He then explained the plans for change in the 2005-2006 proposed budget.

The Mayor opened the Public Hearing.

Ron Kaufman, 8200 SE 65th Street, Chair of the Utility Board, spoke regarding utility rates for 2005 and 2006 and the current issues that the Utility Board is working on.

Jim Owens, 8012 SE 71st Street, Open Space Conservancy Trust Chair, thanked the Council for their support of Pioneer Park. He spoke about the Forest Management Plan as a part of the Capital Improvement Program.

The Mayor closed the Public Hearing.

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Councilmember Dan Grausz will be absent January 3, 2005.

Planning Schedule:
There were no changes.

Board Appointments:
There were none.

Councilmember Reports:
There were none.

Adjournment: Tuesday, November 2, 2004, 12:15 am

[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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