In early December, a group of private citizens and organizations came together to begin a discussion of potential short and long term solutions for funding MIYFS (and possibly other) services cut in the 2019-2020 budget adopted by the City Council. The purpose of this group is to engage the entire Mercer Island community to determine appetite for retaining these services and explore fundraising options to maintain such services where the community as a whole so desires.
A kickoff meeting was held on December 4 among various groups and individuals, including members of the Board of the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Foundation, Mercer Island Schools Foundation, PTA Council, concerned citizens who advocate in favor of gun responsibility and safety, and citizens who advocated on both sides of the Prop 1 campaign. A few members of the Mercer Island School Board and District, the Mercer Island City Council, and Mercer Island city government participated in their individual capacities to provide relevant information requested by the citizen group, but they did not initiate the process, select the membership of the group or set the agenda.
After the initial meeting, the group agreed that it would be beneficial to open future meetings to the public to receive input and comment on the issues being studied. Our next meeting will occur on Wednesday, December 19 from 11am-1pm in the City Council Chamber (the City offered use of the space because the MICEC will be closed this week). Mercer Island residents are invited to attend. We will have a short public appearance period at the beginning of the meeting to hear comments of no more than 3 minutes in length. You are welcome to stay to observe the remainder of the discussion thereafter.