MI Weekly

    A weekly update from the City of Mercer Island

Table of Contents

A Strong Partnership to Support Local Youth

New Residential Development Standards Take Effect

Change Your Clock and Smoke Alarm Batteries Sunday

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

Nov 1
 6:00pm Planning Commission Regular Meeting

Nov 4
10:00am Restoration Event

Nov 6
6:00pm City Council Special Meeting

Nov 7
1:00pm Long Term Care Facility Meeting 

Nov 8
6:30pm Arts Council Regular Meeting 

7:00pm Design Commission Regular Meeting
Nov 11
Holiday - City Facilities Closed

Nov 15
6:00pm Planning Commission Regular Meeting

Bruce Bassett

Debbie Bertlin  



Dan Grausz 

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.
Nov 1, 2017 | Vol. 12 | No. 44
Resource_OfficerA Strong Partnership to Support Local Youth
SRO Art Munoz (far left) sits on a discussion panel with students
Many residents know the City's Youth and Family Services department (YFS) funds mental health counselors in every public school. What's not so well known is that the City also funds a full-time uniformed police detective to work in the middle and high schools as a School Resource Officer (SRO). The position has been in place 21 years.
SRO Art Munoz helps students understand their legal rights and responsibilities, make good choices, and access community-based help if they get into trouble with the law.  He also helps families as they navigate community resources to support their child. He collaborates closely with YFS counselors, teachers and principals, as well the High School's Drug and Alcohol Counselor and the YFS Diversion Coordinator.  "The relationship between the SRO, YFS, and the School District is very important as together we create a safety net and support system for our kids," says Police Chief Ed Holmes. 

"Students approach Art because he is friendly, helpful and supportive to them," says Vicki Puckett, principal at Mercer Island High School. "Art helps our students handle the big issues that arise in their lives, ranging from keeping their friends safe from making bad choices like substance abuse or possible suicide, to handling conflict at home or suddenly finding themselves homeless. He is so critical to our students, families and staff here at MIHS."

The total cost to the City for the SRO program this year is approximately $121,000. The MI School District contributes another $25,000 (17%) annually. 
Res_DevNew Residential Development Standards Take Effect
Click for a summary of adopted changes
At its September 19 meeting, the City Council adopted new Residential Development Standards and a new tree protection code - view a summary here.
As planned, the adopted regulations take effect today, November 1, 2017, placing new limits on house size and bulk, reducing construction impacts in neighborhoods, and allowing far fewer deviations and variances. 

City staff have been informing property owners and project applicants about these upcoming changes over the past weeks and months and staff remain available to address questions about how the new regulations will impact specific properties or projects.  Visit the Permit Center at City Hall or call (206) 275-7605 during regular business hours for assistance with these inquiries.
The City will also hold a series of information sessions at City Hall geared towards architects, builders, arborists and other building professionals to provide an overview of the new regulations and answer questions. The schedule is as follows: 
  • Residential Code Overview: Thursday, Nov 30, 4:00pm
  • Focus on Trees: Thursday, Dec 7, 4:00pm
  • Residential Code Overview: Tuesday, Dec 12, 4:00pm
Time_ChangeChange Your Clock and Smoke Alarm Batteries Sunday
Click to learn about changing 
smoke alarm batteries
Each year, approximately 600 individuals under the age of 20 die in house fires nationwide, and 80 percent of these deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm.  
To help avoid these needless tragedies, and especially to protect vulnerable children, the  Mercer Island Fire Department (MIFD) is strongly promoting the national home fire safety campaign " Change Your Clock - Change Your Battery," which urges Americans to adopt a simple life-saving habit: change out smoke alarm batteries when clocks are changed in the spring and fall.  

The next clock change occurs this  Sunday, November 5, at 2:00am when the time is  set back one hour. Most digital devices will change automatically. 
Mercer Island Goes Green
Recycling_SummaryFall Recycling Event Stats
Click to learn more about 
recycling on Mercer Island
The City's annual fall recycling collection event  occurred at the Boat Launch on Saturday, October 21 and generated an impressive amount of material despite cold, torrential rain at times. 

The City's contractor reported 534 vehicles arrived, carrying a total of 53,444 pounds of discarded material, which averages to 100 pounds each, comparable to other previous events.  The event also provided a collection opportunity for Mercer Island Youth and Family Services: attendees donated 450 pounds of items for the City's Food Pantry, and approximately $1,650 in cash. 

Some highlights this year included:
  • 22,700 pounds of appliances, scrap metal, and electronics
  • 6,840 pounds of reusable household goods
  • 5,580 household batteries
  • 52 used tires
  • 10,560 pounds of confidential paper shredded onsite
  • 6,080 pounds of cardboard
  • 15 cubic yards of Styrofoam
  • 1,000 pounds of scrap wood
The City thanks residents for their participation in protecting the environment, recycling as much as possible, and in supporting the Food Pantry.  Learn more about curbside recycling and other recycling options at this City webpage.
Island_History Learn More About Mercer Island History
Click to learn more about the 
MI Historical Society
Moving coal from Newcastle to Elliott Bay inspired the vision for a canal that would connect Lake Washington to Puget Sound, forever changing Mercer Island's shoreline. The project took 63 years to complete, and ended up lowering Lake Washington nine feet. 

The Mercer Island Historical Society invites anyone interested to attend a lecture by Jennifer Ott, co-author with David B Williams of Waterway: The Study of Seattle's Locks and Ship Canal.  Ms. Ott will share stories she uncovered during research and reflect on the far-reaching impacts of the canal's construction and 100 years of operation. The event occurs at the Mercer Island Library, at 7:00pm  on Thursday, November 2


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

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.