MI Weekly

    A weekly update from the City of Mercer Island

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Apr 11

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Apr 26

Debbie Bertlin

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9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040



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The Mercer Island Food Pantry relies on your non-perishable food donations to keep the shelves stocked year-round.
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Apr 11, 2018 | Vol. 13 | No. 15
Financial_AdvisoryCommunity Advisory Group Supports Placing Levy on Ballot
Click here for Advisory Group Membership
In its final meeting on Monday, April 2, a majority (74%) of the City's Financial Challenges Community Advisory Group (CAG) voted in favor of recommending a property tax levy on the November 2018 ballot as a remedy to the City's revenue shortage, along with raising the business and occupation (B&O) tax and retaining a utility tax increase slated to sunset later this year. 

The recommendation will be presented to the City Council in May, along with results of a community satisfaction survey. After hearing the City Manager's recommendation, the Council will kick off its deliberations at a June 5 Public Hearing.

The combined new revenues suggested by the CAG would allow the City to maintain current levels of service for the next six years.  It was a budget balancing solution devised by the members to address City deficits that is otherwise projected to grow from $1.8 million in 2019 to almost $7 million by 2024.

"We're so appreciative for all the time and work the CAG members put into looking closely at our City budget. They asked tough questions and always kept in mind the best interests of Island residents," said City Manager Julie Underwood.  She noted that the CAG's inclusion of higher B&O and utility taxes was designed to reduce the burden on Mercer Island homeowners, who already face higher property taxes this year due to elevated state education spending. The CAG members met for approximately 15 hours during five meetings with City staff over the past six months; click here to view a list of all members.

Mercer Island faces a revenue shortage stemming from the one percent cap on property tax increases put in place after Tim Eyman's Initiative 747 in 2001. "As lean as our city government is, we can only maintain service levels if we have revenues that keep up with inflation," said Underwood. 

More information here:  www.mercergov.org/FinancialChallenges
ScholarshipChar Fox Scholarship Available for Female Students
Click for more information on Youth and Family Services
Now in its third year, the Char Fox Girl Forward Award is available through Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (MIYFS) to an Island girl or woman (age 16+) planning advanced academic or vocational education. 

The award of $1,000-$2,000 will help a diverse group of women and girls who demonstrate a positive attitude and strong commitment to learning get a solid start in their careers by financing tuition, books or housing. 

"We are very proud of these students and the opportunity to honor those who exemplify the lifelong learning and positive attitude that Char Fox embodied.  We look forward each year to reviewing the applications of Mercer Island's many, highly qualified students," says MIYFS Director, Cynthia Goodwin.

All applicants must be female, a resident of Mercer Island, and enrolled in either a vocational or academic program. For more information or an application, contact  Cheryl Manriquez, Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Coordinator, at (206) 275-7869 or  cheryl.manriquez@mercergov.org .  All materials must be submitted by 5:00pm, on Monday, May 14, 2018.                      
AssaultMayor Proclaims Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Mayor Bertlin (left) with 
Lawton Penn; click to read 
full news release
At last week's April 3 City Council meeting, Mayor Debbie Bertlin proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the City of Mercer Island. The Proclamation is intended to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. Individuals can embrace their voices to show their support for survivors, stand up to victim blaming, shut down rape jokes, correct harmful misconceptions, promote everyday consent, and practice healthy communications with children. The attention SAAM generates is an opportunity to energize and expand prevention efforts throughout the year. 

Accepting the Proclamation on behalf of the community was Island resident Lawton Penn, Vice President of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) Board of Directors. 
Mercer Island Goes Green
Bike_MonthMay is Bike Everywhere Month!
Click for more information
Did you know May is Bike Everywhere Month, celebrated across the Puget Sound area? What better way to enjoy the end of a VERY rainy winter (soon!) than by taking a ride outside, enjoying some fresh air, and staying out of gridlocked traffic?

During Bike Month, all types of riders, from novice to veteran, use their bikes to get to work and do errands, and some even join teams and track their miles as part of the Bike Everywhere Challenge. City staff are planning to launch several teams, as in years past -- will your workplace join in?

The most popular event is on Friday, May 18, when 20,000 cyclists across Puget Sound will participate in Bike Everywhere Day (aka "Bike-to-Work Day"). The day is a great opportunity for first time riders: even if your bike isn't in tip-top shape, just make sure your brakes are working, pump up your tires, and blow the dust off your helmet.  Mercer Island cyclists will see thousands of fellow commuters across the region, and there is usually a support booth at each end of the I-90 floating bridge. Another newer favorite event is  Bike-to-School Day on Wednesday, May 9 - check to see if your neighborhood or school is participating.

The City of Mercer Island encourages all residents to try out cycling as a means of commuting, reducing traffic, and shrinking your carbon footprint. Click here for bicycle maps of the region, or plan out your custom route using the bicycle setting on Google maps. And stay tuned for a bikeshare pilot program here on MI...


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

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.