City council sets permanent meeting start time / City briefs

With a unanimous vote at its Jan. 3 regular hybrid meeting, Mercer Island City Councilmembers approved an ordinance to permanently establish the 5 p.m. starting time for its meetings.

Since June 2020, meetings began commencing at 5 p.m. while being run in fully remote form during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the ordinance. At that time, council approved temporary ordinances to alter the start time from 6:30 p.m. in response to the pandemic; the final ordinance expired on Dec. 31, 2022.

The Jan. 3 ordinance notes that the permanent start time has been approved because council finds and determines that it is necessary “in order to provide open and efficient operations of City Council meetings, and to promote administration of the affairs of the city.”

* Also at the Jan. 3 meeting regarding last month’s snow and ice accumulation on the Island, City Manager Jessi Bon thanked the city’s Public Works team and police and fire departments for navigating through the problematic week-long situation.

* In an upcoming service event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, volunteers are invited to help restore part of the Lake Washington shoreline at Luther Burbank Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 21. Participants will spread mulch to improve soil health on an old trail and create ivy rings around large canopy trees that shade and protect the shoreline. To register, visit: