MI Weekly

    A weekly update from the City of Mercer Island

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(For event details, visit the City's online calendar or click on a specific event)

Jan 10
6:30pm Arts Council Regular Meeting

7:00pm Design Commission Regular Meeting

Jan 15
 Holiday - City Facilities Closed

Jan 16
6:00pm City Council
Special Meeting

7:00pm Utility Board Meeting

Jan 17
6:00pm Planning Commission Regular Meeting 

Jan 18
12:00pm Senior Lunch

6:00pm Open Space Conservancy Trust Board Meeting
Jan 22
6:00pm MI Library Board Regular Meeting

Jan 23
7:00pm City Council Regular Meeting 

Debbie Bertlin

Volunteer Opportunities 

9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040



Monday - Friday
8:30am to 5:00pm

Donations Requested 

The Mercer Island Food Pantry relies on your non-perishable food donations to keep the shelves stocked year-round.
Click for more info.
Jan 10, 2018 | Vol. 13 | No. 2
CouncilCouncil Selects Bertlin as Mayor and Nice as Deputy Mayor
The Deputy City Clerk swears in Debbie Bertlin (left) as Mayor, and Salim Nice (right) as Deputy Mayor; click to learn more about the City Council
At its first meeting of the year last night, the City Council selected a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor from among themselves, in a process used by about 50 other cities across Washington State. Learn more about this system of local government here.

Councilmember Debbie Bertlin, who first joined Council in 2011, was chosen as Mayor for a two year term, after having served the prior two years as Deputy Mayor. She is assuming the role from Councilmember Bruce Bassett, who served six years as Mayor -- he will continue as a Councilmember for another two years.

At the same meeting, Council selected Salim Nice as Deputy Mayor for a two year term. He first joined the Council in July 2017 to fill a vacated seat, and then ran uncontested in last November's election for Position No. 2. 

Learn more about the Mercer Island City Council, and watch meetings at: www.mercergov.org/council
Finance Financial Challenges Advisory Group Helping the City
Attendees engaged in lots of good discussion; click to view entire meeting schedule
Last weekend, 24 Islanders gathered for four hours in an ongoing series of meetings intended to help the City find a way to balance the budget starting in 2019. 

This wide-ranging and diverse Community Advisory Group (CAG), appointed by the City Manager, is volunteering its time through April to review the data, discuss the challenges and solutions, and provide a recommendation to the City Manager on a possible levy lid lift to raise property taxes to maintain City services.

On Saturday, January 6, the group learned more about the City's operating budget, the compensation and benefits allocated to employees, and heard the latest financial forecast from the City's Finance Director.  View the day's materials and Powerpoint presentation here.
With two dozen members of the public attending as observers, and all of the City's senior staff available to answer questions, the total group size exceeded 60 people. The next CAG meeting is slated for Monday, February 5, from 6:00-9:00pm at the Community and Event Center. The group will discuss 10-year staffing levels, respond to a service cut scenario, briefly explore alternative service delivery models (e.g. items such as: the Library, Fire Department, Marine Patrol), and learn about mandatory vs. discretionary services.
Learn more about this important topic at the City's dedicated webpage: www.mercergov.org/FinancialChallenges or read an extensive FAQ covering many topics in great detail.
All residents are invited to attend any of the public meetings running through this spring, including another of the well-received Telephone Town Hall call-in options. We hope you can join us! 

Bomb_Threat Bomb Threat Incident at Islander Middle School
Click to read a joint
letter to families
Last week, on Wednesday morning, January 3, the Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) was notified of a bomb threat note discovered at Islander Middle School, located at 7447 84th Avenue SE.

Police arrived to assist school staff, and helped the School District implement its decision to evacuate the occupants of the building to the Mercer Island Community and Event Center, for safe and orderly reunification with parents and guardians.  A search conducted at the Middle School found no suspicious items. 

Neither the MIPD nor the School District can share specifics about the threat or the students involved due to ongoing investigations and state and federal privacy law.  However, the School District has made explicit to parents and students the possible repercussions of such behaviors - view an update sent to all families on January 5.

The City's Police Department works in close partnership with the School District every day to ensure student safety, and both agencies conduct practice drills frequently to prepare for emergencies such as this incident.  
RailSound Transit Rail Construction Update
Pouring concrete for station sound walls; click to learn more
This winter, much of the light rail construction work along the floating bridge is occurring out of sight, inside the pontoons, where crews are strengthening the structure to support future rail cars and track. Watch a video explainer here.

Meanwhile, at the future station area on Mercer Island, noise walls adjacent to I-90 are beginning to take shape, and in a few months, the headhouse construction (elevators and stairs) will commence.

To read about rail construction milestones for 2017, read this Sound Transit summary blogpost. To learn about current road closures related to construction, visit this summary page, or subscribe to ST Alerts.
Mercer Island Goes Green
RestorationVolunteer at a Restoration Event
A recent volunteer revegetation crew; click for details
Each year, Mercer Island citizens donate hundreds of hours of their time to maintain the community's parks and open spaces: picking up litter, planting trees, cutting down ivy, painting over graffiti, or repairing trails.

Many people are interested in preserving the forested character of the island, but are not sure how to help. Fortunately, there are dozens of opportunities annually, and the City just published the 2018 calendar of restoration events.

For more information on Forest Stewardship, or custom service opportunities for large groups, call the Parks Department's Natural Resources Specialist at (206) 275-7882, or Email kim.frappier@mercergov.org


For questions and comments on the MI Weekly, contact
Sustainability & Communications Manager Ross Freeman at

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.