Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
This past week has been filled with fun community events that require thousands of volunteers and countless hours of volunteer time to plan, execute and then clean up after everyone else has gone home.......exhausted! From the Rotary Club Auction & Rummage Sale to the Eagle Harbor Fireworks display, without our volunteers it would just not be possible. Please remember to thank our community volunteers for their hard work.
The Celebrate Bainbridge events bring many visitors to Bainbridge Island as well as returning family members who no longer live on the Island. These community events help to retain the small town character of the Island and build a strong sense of community. I have lived and worked in cities without the small town feel that lacked sense of community - it is hard to enjoy living in those communities. It is important to remember that welcoming and inclusive communities celebrate all people because diversity makes a strong community.
Bainbridge Island is very fortunate to have a thriving downtown that swells with visitors throughout the summer. I occasionally hear locals complain about all the tourists and lack of parking, which is hard to understand. Without the summer tourists, our small businesses simply could not survive, but I am on Winslow Way almost every weekday of the year and many times on weekends. I see the number of "locals" who frequent the downtown on a regular basis. Don't buy into the criticism you hear that Winslow is for tourists. It is a great place to meet community members shop at our local stores or enjoying a latte while visiting with friends.
Annual property taxes paid by those who own property on Bainbridge Island do not generate enough revenue to cover basic services like the police, road maintenance, records management and financial administration. Without sales tax revenue, the City could not provide the services expected by the community.
City Manager, Bainbridge Island