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City Council - Minutes     
Monday, July 12, 2010

Call To Order:


Mayor Jim Pearman called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.



Roll Call: 


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



Mayor Pearman thanked staff, volunteers and citizens for another successful Summer Celebration! festival.


Mayor Pearman complemented City Clerk Ali Spietz for a job well done at capturing motions and amendments during the Council meetings.


Deputy Mayor El Jahncke recognized Mayor Jim Pearman for his achievement of the Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities.   The program challenges leaders to step beyond their current role as elected officials and enhance their professional development through additional community service.


Councilmember Grady acknowledged and thanked citizen Bert Pound for organizing the All-Island Band that performed in the Summer Celebration! parade.





(1)        Mercer Islandís 50th Mercerversary Proclamation


Mayor Pearman read a proclamation declaring July 2010, Mercer Islandís 50th Mercerversary and encouraged the citizens of Mercer Island to join in the festivities at Summer Celebration! and the Mercerversary Celebration to honor the rich and vibrant history of Mercer Island and itís community.


The Mercer Island Fifty Year Anniversary Committee Co-Chairs Susan Kaplan and Terry Pottmeyer thanked the Council for their support, recognized the committee members and asked citizens to attend the birthday party on Jul 18, 2010.


            Camp Fire USA Centennial Proclamation


Mayor Pearman read a proclamation declaring July 31, 2010, as 100 Years of Camp Fire Day throughout the Central Puget Sound and saluted Camp Fire USA Central Puget Sound Council for both its rich history and bright future. He applaud the mission of the organization and its continued effort to strive for excellence as it forges into its second century of existence, dedicated and committed to positively impacting youth, families and communities across the country.



Mayor Pearman announced that in addition to the City of Mercer Islandís 50th anniversary, the Arts Council is celebrating their 25th anniversary and the Sister City Program is celebrating its 10th anniversary.  City Manager Rich Conrad presented two gifts from Mercer Islandís Sister City, a framed map of Lac Leman as well as an antique print of Versailles.





Sam Sullivan, 4441 86th Ave SE, expressed his disappointed that the Council decided not to reconfigure Island Crest Way.  He feels that the public process was ignored and the safety issues need to be addressed immediately.


Mark Wilson, Property Manager for the Rite Aid shopping center, stated that since the recycle center closed, more recyclables are ending up in the recycle bins in the shopping center and that stated that after public events, the garbage receptacles are overflowing. He also spoke about the number of fireworks pieces that were found on the roofs of buildings in the shopping area after the Summer Celebration fireworks show.


Mary Stoll, 4355 Island Crest Way, expressed her outrage at the Council actions during the June 21st meeting when 2 years of public process was reversed with no process. She believes the Council threw away public money with no benefit. She was a member of the citizens committee and now feels like it was a waste of time.


Sam Hickman, 8631 SE 63rd Street, expressed disbelief in the Council's action regarding Island Crest Way. He read a statement from former Mayor Elliot Newman about his dismay in the Council actions regarding the public process for the ICW corridor.


Callie Ridolfi, 3432 72nd Ave SE, spoke on behalf of the Mercer Island Farmers Market about the alternatives for the recycle center site. She reminded that Council that during the Farmers Market, that there are access restrictions for the recycle center.


Elizabeth Cross-Nichol, 7640 SE 72 Place, believes the public process for Island Crest Way was through and had an informed decision-making result.  She asked what happened to the Councilís respect for public process.


Carol Gullstad, 8241 SE 47th Street, concerned with safety on Island Crest Way as 4 lanes is more dangerous than 3 lanes. The data she has reviewed supports the need for 3 lanes. She asked the Council to make the necessary changes this summer.


Kathy Middelton, 7424 78th Ave SE, expressed dissatisfaction with the Council's decision to un-fund the Island Crest Way reconfiguration. She was disheartened that 2 years worth of research and public process can be thrown out the window in 15 minutes of political maneuvering. She asked the Council to immediately rescind the the June 21st vote on Island Crest Way.


Marc LaCrampe, 7415 80th Place SE, was saddened and surprised about the Councilís decision at the June 21st meeting regarding Island Crest Way.  He understands that budget is tight and items need to be prioritized, but the Council had an opportunity to improve safety for citizens and the Council made a poor choice. He believes the Council now has another opportunity, a chance to reconsider the decision and the budget.


Steve Umbehocker, 4704 East Mercer Way, complained about decision regarding Island Crest Way.  He spoke about his experience in crossing a 4 lane road like Island Crest Way. He would like to see the Council reconsider the vote.


Wayne Gullstad, 8241 SE 47th Street, he stated that the point people were making during the public process was about the danger of the 4-lanes. He asked Council not to be stubborn and reverse the decision to improve safety on Island Crest Way.


Tami Mora, 9019 SE 63rd Street, believes that the Council has clearly chosen to take public process away from citizens. She believes the Council can turn it around and make the situation right. She believes this is an integrity issue, and cannot believe the Council would pull the money to change a decision that only a few did not like. She asked the Council to go back to original decision and reprioritize the money back to the project.


Joanne Abelson, 8836 SE 60th Street, feels very strongly about the reversal of the vote. She stated that she was unclear about what happened, but she urged the Council to reconsider the vote.


Tom Hildebrandt, 6880 West Mercer Way, is disappointed in Council's lack of action for the Island Crest Way corridor. He believes that the Council failed to meet their legal, social, financial, and political responsibilities. He believes the Council needs to fully fund the Island Crest Way project in order to restore faith.


Joel Wachs, 7635 SE 29th Street, for the Mercer Island Farmers market, spoke about the plans for the recycle center.  He reminded the Council that the Farmers Market is dependent on bathrooms, equipment storage and hot water at the recycle center.


Kris Kelsay, 4743 Fernridge Lane, believes that is fiscally irresponsible to do anything but 3-lane configuration on Island Crest Way as the City spent a great deal on money on the public process.  She stated that the Council has an obligation to use tax dollars responsibly and that it will cost more money to do the project in 2011 or 2012 on top of funds already spent.


Diane Taylor, 8007 SE 60th Street, spoke about the recent accidents on Island Crest Way.  She spoke about her family increasing their use of crossing Island Crest Way to reach the High School.  She thinks that Island Crest Way has become too large of a road in the middle of a residential area. She asked the Council to reverse their June 21st decision.


Steve Bryan, 2426 70th Ave SE, asked the Council to reconsider the streets scheduled to be repaved may not be a safety hazard and could be postponed.


Ira Appelman, 6213 83rd Place SE, believes that the Council is addressing the safety issue at Island Crest Way, by putting in the pedestrian lights. He stated that the polls showed that the majority of citizens who responded were against the road diet.  He believes that people here tonight are a small interest group and are not representative of the Island.





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

Adopt the Regular Meeting Minutes of June 21, 2010 as written.

Motion PASSED 6-0.



Consent Calendar:


(3)        Payables:         $592,898.26 (6/17/10), $1,014,296.29 (06/22/10) & $299,630.00 (7/6/10)

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


            Payroll:             $661,526.36(7/2/10)
Recommendation: Certify that the materials or services specified have been received and that all fund warrants are approved for payment.


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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion PASSED 6-0.



Regular Business:


(4)        AB 4556            Recycle Center Ė Community Process Results


Deputy City Manager James Mason and representatives from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute provided an overview of the process for determining possible uses for the Recycle Center site.  They also presented the uses suggested by the public and the lessons learned from the public process.


Following discussion, City Manager Conrad proposed that the Council hold off on formulating a next step for the Recycle Center until the Council is further into the budget process in the fall.  The Council concurred and thanked the Bainbridge Graduate Institute for their help and work in this process.



Councilmember Grady left the meeting at 8:00 pm.



(5)        AB 4553            ARCH Centralized Contracting and Trust Fund Resolution


Development Services Director Tim Stewart introduced Arthur Sullivan, Program Manager of ARCH, who presented information to the Council regarding a proposed Resolution that will allow the streamlined contracting process to be used for two projects that were previously approved by the City of Mercer Island.  The purpose of the proposed Resolution is to implement elements of the interlocal agreement the City entered into in March 2010 to streamline the administration of housing trust funds for ARCH members and local housing agencies once projects are approved by member cities.


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

Approve Resolution No. 1426 authorizing the Administering Agency for A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) to execute all documents necessary to enter into agreements for the funding of affordable housing projects, utilizing approved funds previously awarded by the Mercer Island City Council.

Motion PASSED 5-0.



(6)        AB 4558            ARCH Property Tax Exemption Program for Affordable Housing


Development Services Director Tim Stewart introduced Arthur Sullivan, Program Manager of ARCH, who presented information to the Council to evaluate the appropriateness the establishment of a Multi-Family Property Tax Exemption Program in order to encourage affordable housing.  


Following discussion, the Council directed staff to prepare an Ordinance creating a Property Tax Exemption Program for Affordable Housing in the Town Center and some additional portion of the multifamily zoned areas adjacent to the Town Center (Option 2), that offers both 8 year and 12 year exemptions (Option 2), that does not offer the exemption program for ownership units (Option 1) and prepare a Resolution to establish a moderate fee to cover city expenses but not necessarily recover all expenses (Option 3).





Councilmember Absences:

Councilmember Grauszí absence was excused.


Planning Schedule:

City Manager Conrad reviewed the upcoming Council meeting agenda items.

Councilmember Cero asked about when the Island Crest Way project will come back to the Council.


Board Appointments:

There were no appointments


Councilmember Reports:

Councilmember Cero spoke about the JobLink program through Youth and Family Services.



Adjournment:          9:46 pm

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