Council approves renewal of jail services agreement with county

Mercer Island City Council gave the nod for City Manager Jessi Bon to renew the Island’s interlocal agreement for jail services with King County at its Feb. 21 meeting.

The agreement was part of the consent agenda, which was unanimously approved by council. According to a city document, $4,000 is the budgeted amount for the two-year contract.

The document explains that, “Under state law, the city of Mercer Island is responsible for paying all costs associated with housing of subjects for violations of misdemeanor crimes occurring within the city.” The most recent agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2022.

According to the document, the city utilizes King County Jail in Seattle for felony bookings, with the state footing the bill to house inmates committing those crimes. For misdemeanor bookings and jail sentences, the city contracts with the South Correctional Entity (SCORE) in Des Moines and the Issaquah City Jail.

“For individuals with medical or psychological conditions that preclude them from being accepted at SCORE or Issaquah, the city utilizes the King County Jail and pays a booking fee and daily rate,” the document reads.

Available statistics from the Mercer Island Police Department indicate that it averages 88 misdemeanor bookings per year, which translates to an average of 600 housed days in the three jails.

Additionally, the department noted that it filed 41 felony cases last year and five thus far in 2023, with some of those recent cases stemming from crimes that occurred in 2022. During case processing, the Mercer Island city prosecutor will receive some felony referrals back from King County to be recommended for misdemeanor charges.

* With this being an election year for Mercer Island City Council, prospective candidates can participate in a hybrid workshop at 5 p.m. on March 30 in the council chambers and via Zoom. Attendees can glean insight from city staffers, who will attend the event and discuss local elections and “the unique role councilmembers serve in the community,” according to a city report.

Four Island council positions will be subject to election this year, with candidate filing week occurring from May 15-19. The spots are as follows, with current office holders in parentheses: Position 1 (David Rosenbaum), Position 3 (Wendy Weiker), Position 5 (Craig Reynolds) and Position 7 (Jake Jacobson).

The primary election is set for Aug. 1 and the general election is slated for Nov. 7.

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* The Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (MIYFS) Foundation raised $427,000 at its recent breakfast, which drew more than 500 community members at the community center. The funds will support crucial Youth and Family Services programs.

At the event, MIYFS Administrator Tambi Cork thanked community members, the MIYFS Foundation, city leaders and the city council “for recognizing and elevating the critical supports that are provided by Youth and Family Services staff, for giving so generously of their time and financial resources.”

* The city will be offering Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training on Mondays from 6-8:30 p.m. from May 1 through June 26. For more information and to register, visit: