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School and city briefs
Frohnmayer elected as School Board president
The Mercer Island School Board reshuffled its leadership last Thursday, electing Janet Frohnmayer as president, Adair Dingle as vice president and Pat Braman as legislative representative. All three nominated members were elected unanimously. Before turning over responsibilities, the board took a few moments to recognize outgoing president Pat Braman, who has led the team for the past year.
“I appreciate you in so many ways: your kindness, compassion, insight and wisdom. Your willingness to lead in a gentle way,” said board member Lisa Strauch-Eggers. “Serving with you has been a pleasure and honor.”
Superintendent Gary Plano, who was elected to the position under Braman’s leadership, echoed these words.
“Many times the teacher in [Pat] is so evident, and I have tried to be a good student. When students have great teachers, a lot happens,” Plano said. “You’ve guided me and have been a great leader and coach.”
Braman has served as president of the School Board, vice president and as the board’s legislative liaison since her election to the board in 2003. She was previously an English teacher and chair of both the English and humanities departments at Mercer Island High School.
Frohnmayer was elected to the School Board last year. This will be her first time serving as president. Dingle has been a member of the School Board for three years. In addition to Eggers, Island parent John DeVleming also serves on the board.
MISD year-end fiscal report
The Mercer Island School District ended the year within 5 percent of its 2007-2008 budget, according to Associate Superintendent of Business Services Liz Ziara.
“I hope with increased enrollment and city funds, we can increase our percentage next year,” Ziara said, after presenting the year-end fiscal report to the School Board during its Dec. 11 meeting.
The School District ended 2007-08 with a total fund balance of $1.5 million, an Associated Student Body balance of $300,000, debt service balance of $957,000, $1.3 million for capital projects and 823,000 for transportation vehicles.
In total, the district spent $188,000 less than it earned, “which is great news,” according to Ziara.
However, the MISD also received $559,000 less than it had anticipated in general revenues.
Out of the $37 million that the district earned last year, 50 percent came from general state funding, 13 percent from special-purpose state funding, 23 percent from local taxes, 10 percent from local non-taxes, 3 percent from the federal budget and .4 percent from grants and “other.”
The lion’s share of district expenditure (84 percent) went toward salaries and benefits.
The full report is included in the School Board’s Dec. 12 agenda, which can be downloaded from the district’s Web site: www.misd.k12.wa.us.
City Council approves budget, sets utility rates
The City Council unanimously approved its two-year budget with general fund expenditures at $23.4 million for 2009 and $24.7 million for 2010. The city trimmed over $1 million during its budget process to accommodate the current economic situation, and decreased the 2009 budget by 2.2 percent compared to the 2008 budget. The number of city employees was also cut by half a full-time position.
On Dec. 8, the Council also approved a utility rate increase of just below 10 percent across the city’s four utilities for the average single-family residence customer. The rate increase is due to rising water and sewer rates from Seattle Public Utilities and King County and the sewer lake line replacement project. Officials noted that the city’s portion of the utility rates had not increased for a period of about 10 years dating from 1994 to 2003. To view the draft budget documents, visit www.mercergov.org/BudgetInfo. Final budget documents will be posted on the city’s Web site by the end of the year.
Meeting minutes are posted on the city’s Web site after they are approved at the following meeting. Council meetings air live on the night of the meeting and are repeated at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day on MI-TV Channel 21. Council meeting reruns are also now available for online viewing. Visit www.mercergov.org/MITV for more information.
The Community Center at Mercer View has posted its December schedule.
Services will be limited to repairs and maintenance planned as the year comes to a close.
Dec. 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30 — 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Dec. 24, 31 — 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dec. 28 — 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Dec. 31 — 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dec. 25, Jan. 1 — Closed
No regularly scheduled programs will be held from Dec. 22 to Jan. 1, unless otherwise noted in the Winter Recreation Guide.