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)

Bruce Bassett

Debbie Bertlin  



Dan Grausz 

City of Mercer Island Website

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.
June 22, 2016 | Vol. 11 | No. 25
City_ManagerCouncil Names Second Interim City Manager: Pam Bissonnette
Interim City Manager Pam Bissonnette
At its regular meeting on Monday night, June 20, the Mercer Island City Council selected Pam Bissonnette as Interim City Manager. Based on Council vote, Bissonnette will replace outgoing Interim City Manager Steve Lancaster from July 1 through November 30, 2016, temporarily refilling the position previously held by Noel Treat who resigned in December 2015 for a position with Seattle School District.
Prior to retirement a year ago, Ms. Bissonnette served in a number of interim positions, most recently as Interim Deputy City Manager of Bellevue for nine months. This followed 14 months as Interim Public Works Director for the City of Kirkland, 14 months as Interim Director of NORCOM (the central 911 dispatch agency for the Eastside), and two years with King County as Deputy County Executive.
"While we were disappointed to have to reopen this position, we are very pleased to draw Pam out of retirement to lead the City for the remainder of the year. Her very extensive experience will serve us well, and I look forward to working with her" said Mayor Bruce Bassett.

Read full press release on the City's homepage news column here.
Mercer Island Goes Green
PaperlessPlan Review Process Becomes 100 Percent Paperless
Click to learn more about the plan review process
In May 2008, the City pioneered an electronic plan review process and became a leader in the nation by opening it to all types of permit. Many customers took advantage of the benefits: 24/7 access; elimination of paper plans, which are expensive and require storage space; and many avoided trips to City Hall. The system also saves City staff significant time, and the reviewer and client can easily clarify and resolve problem issues while looking at the plans online simultaneously.  In July of 2015, the City further improved the submittal process with the introduction of MIePlan (click here for video instructions on how to submit).

Collectively, these programs have been very successful with approximately 95 percent of all submittals now arriving online. As a result, and in an effort to achieve even greater efficiency, the City has decided that effective July 1, 2016, all submittals for Building Permits will be paperless. The City will no longer accept any paper Plan Submittals and all Building Applications must be submitted via an electronic format (such as MIePlan, thumb drive, etc.).

The only exception to this new rule are plans which qualify for, and are submitted during, the over-the-counter (OTC) process at City Hall, at 10:00am on Mondays and Wednesdays.
EarthquakeEarthquake Exercise Provided Critical Practice Opportunity
Click for emergency
preparedness information
Along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) is the most complex disaster scenario that public safety officials in the Pacific Northwest could face.  Two weeks ago, on June 7 through 10, emergency personnel and volunteers across the entire region participated in Cascadia Rising, a four-day exercise to practice executing a coordinated and effective response to such an incident.
Since this event was focused on refining agency protocols, the general public was not involved in the exercise. The City's various emergency teams, however, were fully incorporated into a range of activities. On Day 1, a communications blackout day entailed communication with other jurisdictions via Ham radio, satellite phone, and 800-megahertz handheld radio.  On the second and third days, a team of Mercer Island Emergency Volunteers observed and assisted at the emergency operations centers (EOC) of four other neighboring cities (Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond and Kirkland) which provided excellent cross-training. 

Lastly, on Day 4, Mercer Island fully activated its own EOC, testing new badging systems, new regional tracking software, new alerting systems, and cross training participants in varying EOC roles. According to Officer Jennifer Franklin, the City's Emergency Manager, over 53 participants, comprising six different agencies, worked together during seven hours of practice on the final day of the event.
Learn more about the City's extensive training program for emergency preparedness volunteers, or read about ways to prepare yourself and your family, on the City's website.
Ham_RadioLearn About Emergency Communications at Annual Ham Radio Field Day, June 25
Click to learn more about Ham Radio on Mercer Island
The City of Mercer Island is pleased to announce that on Saturday June 25, from 1:00 to 5:00pm, volunteers and emergency management representatives invite the public to share an afternoon at Luther Burbank Park (at the 2400 block of 84th Ave SE), where everyone can learn about local efforts to prepare our communities for disasters.

The Mercer Island Radio Operators (MIRO) will participate with a larger group of volunteers in a simulated emergency to test various communication and auxiliary power capabilities. This event marks the second time our Eastside cities and volunteers have worked together in the annual "Field Day" event, a national day of amateur radio practice. MIRO reminds the public that while radios and communications technologies are important, practicing together as a community is key.

The emphasis of Field Day 2016 on Mercer Island is about the capacity of the community to help itself in an emergency. Please join Mercer Island, Issaquah, Bellevue, and Puget Sound Energy Ham Radio operators and emergency workers in this second annual event to learn what you can do to be more prepared, and discover local volunteer opportunities.

Learn more about the MIRO Ham Radio group.
MI_VideoMercer Island Featured in Comcast Neighborhoods Series
Click to watch the MI video
Earlier this spring, Mercer Island was featured in Comcast's Neighborhoods Series on cable TV, which promotes local towns and cities.

Now the ten minute video is available online here - sit back and enjoy some highlights of your community!


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

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.