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At its March 1992 retreat, the City Council decided to seek professional assistance in reviewing the City’s existing public involvement practices. As envisioned, the review was to include an analysis of citizen participation as it relates to specific issues facing the Council and community as well as to look at the role of City boards and commissions in public input processes. Ultimately, the Council was interested in the identification of strategies and techniques that would enhance City decision-making in general, and how citizen participation is conducted on Mercer Island in particular.

Upon completion of the review, the City adopted its Public Participation Strategy (August, 1992). The strategy included Objectives and Principles which help to guide the crafting of future public involvement plans for future public issues. At the time of adoption, the Council committed to applying its new Strategy to its two most important and immediate concerns: Downtown Revitalization and development and implementation of the (GMA-required) Comprehensive Plan.

The Objectives and Principles are described below, followed by the specific public involvement strategies adopted and implemented for the Downtown Revitalization and Comprehensive Plan processes.