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 30

Feb 1

Feb 2

Feb 5

Feb 6

Feb 7

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 30, 2019 | Vol. 14 | No. 5
Annual_BreakfastCelebrating 30 Years of MIYFS Foundation Support
Click to donate or register for the annual breakfast
The MIYFS Foundation Annual Breakfast on Wednesday, February 13, will honor the foresight and fortitude of the pioneers who established the Foundation, as well as all ensuing Board members and volunteers that have helped it fund the City's human services department.
This year's theme - 30 Years, 30 Stories - celebrates the positive impact the Foundation has on our community today through testimonials from a wide array of residents who have received support and assistance enabling a healthy and fulfilling life within an interconnected, caring community.
This year's Master of Ceremonies is MI resident Bill Radke, a local radio talk show host on KUOW, web video host, author, comedian and columnist. The Community Guest Speaker is Pat Braman, who has been constantly involved in the community for 50+ years, as a MIHS teacher, Union representative, a parent and grandparent of Islander students, and a member of the MISD Board of Directors.
The 2019 MIYFS Philanthropy award goes to Mercer Island Preschool Association (MIPA) for its decades of tirelessly and enthusiastically supporting the MIYFS preschool scholarship fund and volunteering in so many capacities.
Summer_CelebrationSummer Celebration Canceled to Help Balance Future Budgets
Click to read full news release
Last week, the City announced the next round of proposed cuts in non-essential programs and services, necessary as a result of the failure of the Proposition 1 Levy Measure.

This round of cuts is expected to impact a larger number of residents as it covers, regrettably, many annual community events including the largest and longest-running, Summer Celebration.

The family-friendly event is a regionally known, multi-day festival that draws approximately 25,000 attendees to a wide range of activities for all ages and interests. This well-loved event has included a Grand Parade (50-70 entries, and marching bands), a major fireworks show, and dozens of public performances throughout the weekend. Other typical highlights are: hands-on arts & crafts activities, a kids' inflatable fun zone, skateboard competitions, boat rides around the island, a car show, over a hundred booths for vendors and other organizations, and 15 food trucks.

Both full-time staff positions largely responsible for planning and orchestrating this multi-day event were vacated prior to the November 2018 election, and with the failure of the levy, there is insufficient funding to refill them.  These two vacated positions had a wide range of responsibilities directly related to the production of Summer Celebration, 
Even accounting for modest annual revenues of approximately $25,000, Summer Celebration costs the City almost $115,000 to produce, and requires over 1,400 hours of staff time throughout the weekend from many different departments in direct support of the event. 

In addition to Summer Celebration, the two vacated positions coordinated other well-known events, canceled beginning this year, that include: the Leap for Green Sustainability Fair, Community Campout, and the All-Island Track Meet.  

Parks and Recreation Director Jessi Bon said, "Our focus is on preserving core services that serve the greatest number of community members. The maintenance and safety of our parks, playgrounds and trails remains our top priority."  

These reductions will be finalized at the Council's annual planning session (February 1 and 2), then implemented gradually throughout the remainder of the year.  

Read the full news release here.
Mercer Island Goes Green
Bike_CollectionDonate Used Bicycles at New Seasons Market, Feb 9
Click to view event poster
From 10:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday, February 9, New Seasons Market will be hosting a used bicycle collection event in their parking lot (2755 77th Ave SE).

Come donate your old bikes and accessories to Bike Works, a Southeast Seattle nonprofit; donations are tax-deductible. Bike Works accepts thousands of bicycle donations every year to refurbish for sale or to give away to those who cannot afford to buy one. Staff also teach bike repair to youth and adults and provide empowering bike-related youth programs year-round.  
Marine_PatrolServices Provided by City's Marine Patrol
Marine Patrol responds to a wide range of incidents, even airplane crashes; 
click for more information
The City's Marine Patrol program consists of two full time Police staff, two primary boats, and one back-up boat; additionally, 18 patrol officers are cross-trained in the boats' operation, which allows for year-round 24/7 emergency response.

The program costs about $540,000/year to operate, but vessel registration fees, an agreement with Renton, along with WA State grants, lower that amount to approximately $329,000/year.
The City of Renton pays a fee to Mercer Island for services, while the City of Bellevue pays for the service via an "exchange of services" agreement. In exchange for Mercer Island's Marine Patrol services, Bellevue provides MI with specialized police support such as: K-9 units, forensics, firing range, major investigations, and SWAT.
Mercer Island also receives preferential fire/EMS mutual aid assistance from Bellevue; this is particularly notable because it means MI doesn't have to purchase a ladder truck (valued at $1.2 million) and hire 15 more firefighters to staff it (5 per shift x 3 shifts). When a ladder truck is required on the island, the City calls on Bellevue's resources without being directly charged. The City believes this single benefit alone makes the financial case for Marine Patrol, compared to the alternative. 
Many residents may not realize that Marine Patrol covers much more than BUI enforcement during Seafair weekend.  It includes investigations of marine-related collisions/crimes, training boat operators, providing safety/drowning prevention classes, maintaining the regulatory buoy system, providing response to environmental incidents, hazard mitigation and debris management, conducting search and rescue/dive operations, enforcing boating laws, and more importantly, providing critical life-safety support.

 Learn more about Marine Patrol.


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

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.