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City Council - Minutes     
Monday, March 15, 2010

Call To Order:


Mayor Jim Pearman called the meeting to order at 6:07 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.



Roll Call:


Councilmembers Bruce Bassett, Mike Cero, Mike Grady, Dan Grausz, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor El Jahncke and Mayor Jim Pearman were present.



Study Session:


(1)        AB 4519            2010-2016 Capital Improvement Program Kick-Off


Finance Director Chip Corder and Deputy Finance Director Francie Lake presented the preliminary Capital Improvement Program (CIP) revenue forecast and key policy issues for initial Council direction, as follows:

·         CIP project presentation (first by project category, then by project status);

·         CIP revenue forecast (including REET, motor vehicle fuel tax, and utility rates);

·         2009 year-end, available (i.e. neither reserved nor committed) fund balances;

·         2011-2012 CIP funding summary by fund;

·         CIP-related results of the 2010 biennial citizen survey; and

·         Other significant issues: CIP related budget policies, CIP administrative overhead costs, South Fire Station re-construction, Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) revenue distribution, and prioritization of non-utility projects.



The Study Session adjourned at 6:57 pm.  The Regular Meeting reconvened at 7:05 pm.





Peter Donaldson, 3635 88th Ave SE: Spoke about Portland’s bicycle plan as they are the most sustainable city in America and Seattle area as second most sustainable city in America. He would like to see all of the information that was taken out of the draft plan put back in.  He trusts the Council to make good decisions on the final plan. 


Greg Lipton, 9301 SE 46th Street: Most concerned about safety. He is a bicycle commuter. Believes there is an illegal situation that is dangerous at Homestead Park, which is creating liability for the City.  Would like to see an educational section in the bicycle plan to address safety concerns, including bicycle lighting


Dan Sommerfield, 7612 SE 34th Street: Advocates for the original plan.  He would like to see the things that were removed from the plan inserted back before final plan is adopted.  He is disappointed that all the bicycle lanes and sharrows have been removed from the plan.  He believes the lanes are especially need on SE 40th Street.


Jim Eanes, 2930 76th Ave SE: Shocked that the bicycle lanes have been removed from the draft plan, he would like the sharrows and bicycle lanes should be put back into the plan.  Bike lanes should be put wherever there is enough room and sharrows should be put in where there is not enough room for bike lanes.  He believes this is the least expensive and most effective ways to address safety.



Maria Stepanov, 7612 SE 34th Street: The Mercerdale neighborhood has formed a committee to improve neighborhood safety.  She has safety concerns for the 50 children in her neighborhood, especially at the intersection of SE 34th Street and 78th Avenue SE.  Cars speed down 78th regularly and she believes the City is risking a big lawsuit by not addressing this intersection.  She wants to see a 4-way stop put in at this intersection since there is a lot of activity in the area due to the location of the Thrift Shop and Mercerdale Park.


Andy Voss, 8403 SE 46th Street: He and his family are regular bicyclists on the Island. He believes that most people on the Island don’t ride bikes because of safety concerns.  East and West Mercer Ways are very dangerous right now, particularly for children.  He would like to see bicycle lanes and sharrows re-introduced to the plan to address safety issues, especially on East and West Mercer Way.  He believes the configurations on SE 40th have gotten worse for bike riders since the improvements have been put in place.


Cliff Chrils, 6050 94th Ave SE: Wants to see the bicycle lanes and sharrows put back into the plan.  Last week while riding his bike, he was almost hit by a truck.  This is not the first time that he has seen this happen on the Mercer Ways due to the lack of a shoulder and/or bike lanes.  He applauds Council’s attempts to make improvements on the Mercer Ways over the past couple of years and hope that effort continues.


Bert Loosmore, 4639 Forrest Ave SE: Would like his 4 ˝ year old son be able to walk and bike safely to and from school in the future.  Wants to know why the sharrows have been removed from the plan.  He would like to see Council consider the use of smaller sharrows and/or eliminating directional chevrons.  Sharrows create safety for both bicyclists and pedestrians.  He believes the sharrows are less expensive than signage.  Please put the sharrows and bike lanes back into the plan.


Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, 4212 West Mercer Way: spoke about her daughter almost being hit by a car while riding her bicycle to school today.  She would like to see bicycle lanes and sharrows inserted back into the plan and that the plan should address safety of children.


Bruce Zunser, 2843 61st Ave SE: Avid recreational bike rider and occasional bike commuter.  He asked that the sharrows and bike lanes be put back into the plan.


Tom Hildebrandt, 6880 West Mercer Way:Rides his bike to work every day.  He is concerned about the narrowing of Island Crest Way at Merrimount since it leaves little room for cyclists.  He wants the Council to make clear to staff that a lined shoulder is appropriate in a final plan.  He cited a University of Texas study that shows it is safer for both motorists and cyclists when there is a lined shoulder along the roadways.


Lynn Thomas, 7360 Island Crest Way: Her husband commutes daily by bicycle and currently, there is not a safe way to bike on either West Mercer Way or on Island Crest Way.  She would be very disappointed if Council did not adopt a plan that created a safer environment for families to ride their bikes.  She biked with family to the Farmer’s Market this past summer, which she found very dangerous.  She asked the Council to reconsider adding sharrows and bicycle lanes back into the plan.


Lynn Johnston, 4048 90th Ave SE: Is disappointed about the things that were removed from the draft Plan. She asked the Council to consider taking out the red lines in the current plan and add back sharrows and bike lanes.  She would like safe bike riding to be adequately addressed, since the future will have light rail and more bus riding.





(2)        It was moved by Councilmember Grady; seconded by Councilmember Bassett to:

Adopt the Regular Meeting Minutes March 1, 2010 as written.

Motion PASSED 7-0.



Consent Calendar:


(3)        Payables:         $569,417.12 (3/3/2010)

Recommendation: Certify that the materials or services hereinbefore specified have been received and that all warrant numbers listed are approved for payment.


Payroll:             $606,661.15 (3/12/2010)

Recommendation: Certify that the materials or services specified have been received and that all fund warrants are approved for payment.


(4)        AB 4514            SE 40th Street Improvements Project Close-Out

Recommendation: Accept the completed SE 40th St Improvements project and authorize staff to close out the project.


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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion PASSED 7-0.



Regular Business:


(5)        AB 4517            Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update Discussion


Interim Development Services Director Manny Ocampo introduced the Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan to the Council for continued discussion and deliberation.  He summarized the recommendations presented by the Planning Commission.  Director Ocampo introduced the MacLeod Reckord consultants who answered questions from the Council.


Following discussion, the Council provided direction to staff to return at the Council’s April 19, 2010 meeting with a revised Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update incorporating general direction related to the following topics for further discussion and deliberation:

·         Bike lanes and sharrows

·         North/south bicycle route identification

·         Parking and other issues related to the Mercer Ways

·         Park and Ride pedestrian/bicycle conflict issues

·         Shared streets

·         Identification of potential Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities implementation tools

·         Safe routes to school

·         Potential regulation of cyclists



(6)        AB 4416            2011-2012 Biennial Budget Citizen Survey Results


Deputy City Manager James Mason introduced Ian Stewart from EMC Research to review the 2011-2012 Biennial Budget Citizen Survey results.  Ian Stewart reviewed the survey methodology and results with the Council.  He also described the overall key findings as follows:

·         Despite economic conditions, optimism about the direction on the Island has improved, though it is not as strong among South End residents.

·         Traffic and parking continue to be the top mentioned (26%) concerns in open ended questions. At the same time, concerns over overcrowding and overbuilding have dropped by half since 2008 (24% 2008 / 11% 2010).

·         Favorable rating for the King County Council is unchanged since 2008 but have declined a net 10 points in the same period for the City Council, even though the use of tax dollars rating is unchanged from 2008 (55% Positive / 37% Negative).

·         Job ratings for a series of items tested over past surveys are unchanged with the notable exception of water quality which has improved a net 15 points.

·         In 2008, half (49%) favored increasing taxes to maintain services. This has reversed with half (48%) saying taxes should stay the same and services cut as needed.

·         While satisfaction with the choices for shopping and dining in the Town Center continues to be a majority (57% Satisfied) it is unchanged from 2008. Satisfaction with the appearance and condition of the Town Center has improved (Net +12).

·         Perceptions of safety are unchanged since 2006, as are people’s perceived preparedness for an earthquake.

·         Roughly 10% say they would be more likely to use public transit if a “Mercer Island residents only” garage were built.



(7)        AB 4518            4th Quarter 2009 Financial Status Report and Budget Adjustments


Finance Director Chip Corder presented the 4th Quarter 2009 Financial Status Report and an update on the status of each Capital Improvement Program project as of December 31, 2009. 


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

Suspend the City Council Rules of Procedure 5.2 requiring a second reading for an ordinance.

Motion PASSED 7-0.


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

Adopt Ordinance No. 10-02, amending the 2009-2010 Budget.

Motion PASSED 7-0.





Councilmember Absences:

Councilmember Cero will be absent April 5, 2010.

Councilmember Litzow will be absent April 19, 2010.


Planning Schedule:

There were no changes.


Board Appointments:

There were no appointments.


Councilmember Reports:

Councilmember Litzow spoke about the recent Eastside Transportation Partnership Meeting.

Assistant City Attorney Shane Moloney reported that an investigation, requested by Councilmember Cero regarding the City’s Twitter account being hacked, concluded no wrongdoing or inappropriate action by City staff.  The City Manager has directed staff to cease using Twitter until controls can be identified and incorporated into policy.



Adjournment:          10:33 pm


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