June 4 Council Meeting

3 months ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

6/4/19 Agenda (5:00 pm Executive Session; 6:00 pm Study Session; 7:00 pm Regular Business)

6/4/19 Packet

Past Council Meeting Agendas and Packets: www.mercergov.org/councilmeetings

Comments received by June 4 will be compiled and given to Council ahead of the meeting.

Comments are now closed.

Categories: CAO, Interim City Manager, Thrift Shop, Boards&Commissions
struckmi 4 months ago
Observations & Comments on the Mercer Island City Council Agenda for 6/4/19AB5571 – Pilot Project for Short-term Commuter Parking (Study Session)Current Parking Conditions & Restrictions – The Tully’s lot is currently available to all commuters/parkers. Should it be restricted to Island residents only? It appears that the Sunset Hwy cul-de-sac may be able to have similar restrictions?Technology – The staff recommends a Pay-by-Phone payment approach. Is this approach available to all residents OR would a certain % of residents (mostly seniors) be excluded by virtue of their technology usage (or lack thereof)? Shouldn’t or couldn’t there be a community engagement process to better understand the impacts on particular classes of residents before we get to the recommendation stage?Enforcement – One option presented is to have the City’s Police Dept. handle parking enforcement. One has to question why the City would have its’ highly-trained (and highly compensated) police officers handling what is essentially a minimum-wage type job. In addition, if the MIPD were to handle wouldn’t this become a bargained union activity that may be hard to claw back. Finally, I doubt this would be a high priority for the police force. Clearly, a separate organization dedicated to parking management/enforcement is preferable.Pilot Parking Project Costs – It is not clear from the agenda bill whether the Table 1 costs (one-time & ongoing) can be funded from Sound Transit mitigation funds for short-term parking? The Council should understand if reimbursement is possible? Estimated Revenue & Rate Structure – Although City staff does not provide the assumptions for their net revenue projection (Table 2), it appears it may be on the low side. How does the MI proposed parking rate (assumed at $1/hr) compare to the proposed Sound Transit charge for reserved paid parking at the main Park n’ Ride?Proposed Pilot Timeline – The staff indicates that the Tully’s lot would be not be available for parking in Nov/Dec ’19 instead giving priority to the MIYFS Foundation Tree lot. Should (or will) the MIYFS Foundation reimburse the City for the rental of the lot to offset expenses and/or lost revenue?Also, there does not appear to be any scheduled monitoring or reporting to the Council after the pilot is started. A six-month review of the pilot to see if revenue projections are being met, occupancy assumptions, etc. would be recommended. This is just a basic business practice that the City has used for other pilots. AB5573– Employee Wellness Program Support (Consent Agenda)The agenda bill outlines a program that allows the City to take advantage of a 2% discount from the insurance carrier that, de facto, suggests the carrier believes that such a program leads to better health, and by extension, lower health claims, etc.What is missing or not presented are certain salient facts that City, as the employer, and the community would (or should) be interested in: While the program requires a $5,000 budget which would imply that there are cash expenses of that amount for a variety of the elements listed, the agenda bill does not estimate the soft dollar cost of running the program, several “free” items that do have maintenance costs, etc.o For example, the Wellness Committee needs to have seven members that meet periodically on City-time, take minutes, organize events, submit an annual report, etc. It’s not hard to image that this significantly increases the cost of the program. More importantly, has the City recorded fewer sick days since the program started, and other tangible metrics to demonstrate that we have a healthier work force.AB5574 – Interim City Manager Agreement Approval (Regular Business)The agenda bill states “since the interim position will be filled by an internal candidate, significant one-time salary savings is expected over the interim period”. Please quantify the value of “significant”, and how can those savings can be identified to ensure they truly are savings.Respectfully, Peter Struck (mid-Island)