2019-2020 City Council Priorities and Work Plan
Mercer Islandís Vision:
The Cityís Comprehensive Plan states, ďMercer Island is not an island unto itself.Ē While we are part of a complex regional system, we strive to maintain local control and preserve a safe and livable residential community. We endeavor to continuously provide and improve quality municipal services and foster fiscal responsibility. We value excellence in education, act as stewards of the environment, and endeavor to be open and transparent and to balance the economic, environmental, and social well-being of our entire community.
City Councilís Priorities and Work Plan:
In the first part of the new year, the City Council holds its annual planning session to discuss past year successes and challenges and to identify its priorities and work plan for the upcoming year. Over the last few years, the City Council has adopted priorities focused on Residential Character, Community Engagement, Sustainability and Livability, Arts and Culture, Emergency Preparedness and Planning, and an Accessible and Healthy Business Ecosystem. And while these goals are still important and relevant to the Mercer Island community and to the City Council, the Cityís long-term structural deficit challenge has compelled the Council to focus and allocate its limited resources to address the Cityís most pressing needs and the City Councilís highest priorities.
Communications and Engagement:
In the 2018 Community Survey, a majority of respondents were very satisfied/satisfied with the availability of information about City programs and services (68%) and efforts to keep them informed about local issues (58%). In addition, the survey noted that residents would like the City to emphasize efforts to keep residents informed as well as efforts for public engagement on local decisions. The City Council has directed the staff to continue to prioritize communications and engagement efforts as it implements the work plan.
Priority 1. Implement a Fiscal Sustainability Plan that Aligns with the Communityís Priorities
Delivering quality services is an important part of Mercer Islandís exceptional quality of life; however, financial forecasts project an ongoing structural budget deficit. Unless clear, decisive, and long-term solutions are implemented, the City will have to make significant service level reductions each biennium to balance its budget. By adopting and implementing a fiscal sustainability plan, the City will improve its alignment of financial resources with the communityís and City Councilís priorities.
- Review and approve the Fiscal Sustainability Plan and identify recommendations for implementation.
- Conduct organizational efficiency assessments as determined through the Fiscal Sustainability Plan.
- Shrink the deficit spending that was proposed in the 2019-2020 Adopted Budget by implementing $1.2 million in additional service level reductions and new/enhanced revenues.
- Continue to evaluate and implement operational efficiencies at the Thrift Shop to enhance revenues and net income.
- Review and update the water and sewer rate models.
- Review transportation impact fees.
- Conduct the biennial citizen satisfaction survey in 2020.
- Explore City and community resources for restoration of MIYFS Mental Health School-Based Counselors for 2019-2020 biennium.
- Support community organizations and businesses to transition reduced/eliminated community events, services, and programs.
Priority 2. Prepare for Light Rail and Improve On-and-Off Island Mobility
It is imperative that the community has safe and efficient means for accessing and using the light rail station whether walking, biking or driving to or near the light rail station. To enhance this experience, the City Council secured just over $10 million to offset the impacts and to prepare for the East Link light rail project. The City has until December 31, 2025 to expend the funds and receive reimbursement from Sound Transit.
- Adopt Guiding Principles for Sound Transit Settlement Agreement projects.
- Continue to advance two proposed Commuter Parking & Mixed-Use Projects (Parcel 12/Tullyís and Parcel 7/Freshyís).
- Convene a design charrette of agencies and stakeholders to provide input regarding traffic flow in the streets surrounding the light rail station, and to address connectivity and safety concerns involving bicycles, pedestrians, vehicular traffic, and transit on streets surrounding the light rail station.
- Complete the Aubrey Davis Park Master Plan in coordination with the development of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit improvements at the light rail station.
- work closely with Sound Transit and King County Metro on the implementation of the Mercer Island Transit Interchange.
- Continue to identify and examine pilot projects for first/last mile solutions including regional smart mobility initiatives.
- Explore options related to private commuter shuttles.
- Explore transit solution partnerships with King County Metro.
- Implement traffic mitigation projects to address impacts of the East Link light rail project.
- Work with WSDOT to implement improvements to I-90 access ramps.
- Work with the State Delegation and Congressional Representatives to identify and implement state and federal remedies to improve access to I-90.
Priority 3. Support the Leadership Teamís Work Plan
The Cityís Leadership Team has identified projects and work plan items that will require considerable attention by staff and multiple reviews by the City Council and advisory boards/commissions over the next three years. Many of these items are ongoing or lengthy and have great community interest, requiring a focus on communication and public engagement.
to view the Leadership Teamís Work Plan.
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