City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

For now, our community remains at Phase 2 of re-opening, along with the remainder of Kitsap County. New rules that require the use of face coverings in public have been widely embraced, and the effort to publicize and encourage both the use of masks and social distancing will continue in the coming weeks.

The current data on COVID-19 cases in Kitsap County remains at relatively low levels, although cases in other areas of Washington State are increasing. The latest data on Kitsap County unemployment indicates unemployment reported as of May was 13.3%, nearly a five-fold increase since the start of 2020. Our community, along with the rest of the country, continues to work together to respond to these unprecedented challenges and impacts.

At their Study Session this week, the City Council received a mid-year update from the Race Equity Task Force on their recent accomplishments and plans for the remainder of 2020. The Council also received briefings on several projects in progress: the work to develop a Green Building Code and the “re-launch” of the Sustainable Transportation Plan.

Next week, the Council Business Meeting will include a briefing from Police Chief Joe Clark on the City’s “use of force” policies. Other meeting topics include changes to rules for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), a set of various “housekeeping” changes to BIMC Title 2 and Title 18, acceptance of a State grant to support watershed planning for Springbrook Creek and Manzanita Creek, and several additional items related to Public Works and internal services.

For more information on these topics and other items, please see below.  

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
Kitsap County Phase 3 Application On Hold

Last week, Governor Jay Inslee announced a two-week pause on further reopening in Washington State. This means that the Kitsap County application to move to Phase 3 is on hold until July 16.

Additionally, the Governor expanded a “no mask, no service” rule to apply to the entire state and also announced the extension of the Safe Start proclamation until August 6. This extension clarifies the interaction between Safe Start and Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman's facial coverings order. Key points include: 
  • No business may operate, allow a customer to enter a business, or conduct in-person business with a customer in any public setting unless the customer is wearing a face covering (as required, and with the exceptions outlined, in Order of the Secretary of Health 20-03);
  • Individuals are prohibited from entering a place of business without wearing a face covering (again, per Order of the Secretary of Health 20-03); and
  • Employers must notify the employer’s local health jurisdiction within 24 hours if the employer suspects COVID-19 is spreading in the employer’s workplace, or if the employer is aware of 2 or more employees who develop confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within a 14-day period.

The Governor also announced additional clarification for restaurant and taverns in Phases 2 and 3. Under this guidance, bar-style seating and live music are prohibited in Phase 2 and Phase 3. 
Additionally, restaurants and taverns in Phase 2 or beyond are now permitted to resume self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, and other similar communal food sources and drink stations, subject to business adherence to safety standards.
This additional guidance serves to clarify how business and other community activities will move forward, on a county-by-county basis, under Washington’s Safe Start recovery plan
While Kitsap County remains in Phase 2, City of Bainbridge Island facilities remain closed to the public. Many City services are available to customers via remote access by phone and email. For additional information, and details on what changes to expect when City facilities resume in-person public access, please see the City’s COVID-19 resource page.  
City reopening status

While Kitsap County remains in Phase 2, City of Bainbridge Island facilities remain closed to the public. Many City services are available to customers via remote access by phone and email.

For additional information, and details on what changes to expect when City facilities resume in-person public access, please see the City’s COVID-19 resource page.
Police Updates
Process for Police Officer Hiring
Please see the message below from Chief of Police Joe Clark.

We are often asked about the process for hiring police officers. This question comes from two perspectives; from those interested in becoming police officers, and from those who wish to understand how people are selected to serve their community. Having recently completed this process myself, and also selected two new officers, I thought this would be a timely conversation.

For entry level candidates, the process begins with Public Safety Testing (PST). PST provides a standardized testing process that evaluates a candidate’s suitability for employment in law enforcement. This process includes a written test designed to measure aptitude in dimensions such as integrity, service orientation, social engagement with others, customer service, conflict resolution, team orientation, cognitive abilities, problem-solving, stress tolerance, ethical decision making, and intercultural sensitivity.

Testing also includes a Physical Abilities Test to ensure the candidate will meet the physical requirements of the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy. Lateral candidates must meet all the requirements of the position in addition to graduation from a law enforcement academy recognized by the State of Washington and have completed 12 months of active law enforcement employment.

Qualified candidates are invited to participate in oral interviews conducted by the Bainbridge Island Civil Service Commission (CSC). The interview panels are composed of a member of the department, a member of a neighboring department, and a Bainbridge Island community member. Candidates are scored based on the interviews and placed on eligibility lists. Separate lists are maintained for entry level and lateral candidates. Candidate names are forwarded to the Police Department by the CSC only after there is a vacancy. Three names are provided for any opening.

An extensive background investigation is conducted for each candidate. The investigations include a criminal background check, a review of credit history, and personal interviews with current and former employers, family members, friends, neighbors, and other references. These candidates are also interviewed by the background investigator to evaluate their communication and interpersonal skills. Candidates who successfully complete this background investigations may be given a conditional offer of employment.

Only then can the candidate complete the additional steps mandated by the State of Washington. Every candidate is required to complete a psychological examination administered by a psychiatrist or psychologist licensed in the state. The qualified professional evaluates the suitability of the candidate through a minimum of two written psychological examinations and an in-person clinical interview to identify any potential mental or emotional impairments relevant to the position. The candidate must also complete a polygraph assessment and medical examination. All results are reviewed with the Human Resources Manager and a final decision is made on the most suited candidate. A final offer of employment is made with the approval of the City Manager.

The Department seeks a diverse group of candidates who reflect the values of the Bainbridge Island community; candidates who are compassionate, professional, and service-minded. If you, or someone you know, meets this description; I want to hear from you!

Thank you,

Chief of Police Joe Clark
Project Updates
Wyatt Way Project Begins, Detours in Effect

The City’s contractor has begun work on the Wyatt Way Reconstruction Project, and is starting with the replacement of aging water mains between Lovell and Grow Avenue. This work will require a complete street closure in this location, with detour routes focused on the use of Weaver Avenue and Madison Avenue for access around the closure area. 

A detailed detour map can be found on the City’s project website here.  Changes to the detour route will occur as the project moves east along the Wyatt corridor, and the phase of work moves from utility to street and sidewalk improvements.
Update on Sustainable Transportation Plan

At the July 7th Study Session, City Council received an update on restarting the Sustainable Transportation Plan (STP). The update was led by Jennifer Wieland of Nelson Nygaard, a transportation planning firm hired by the City to guide the year-long planning effort.

The overall goal for the Sustainable Transportation Plan is to identify projects and actions to achieve a 90% reduction in our community’s transportation carbon emissions by the year 2045. The core areas of focus for the plan include:
  • The integration of land use and transportation;
  • Using equity framework and analysis tools; and
  • Focusing on feasibility and implementation.

A Sustainable Transportation Task Force composed of 20 representative community members met once in February before the project was suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Task Force will meet again in a virtual meeting on July 17 at 9:30 am. We invite community members to watch that meeting via a remote webinar platform. A link to the meeting will be provided on the City’s calendar webpage.

The STP is designed to solicit and reflect extensive community input on the future of island transportation. The project’s outreach and public engagement will begin with an online open house in August, date to be determined.

Additional information may be found on the Sustainable Transportation Plan project webpage
City Council Updates
Council to Discuss Changes to Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Regulations 

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), sometimes called mother-in-law units, are second, small dwelling units on properties with a single-family residence. City regulations limit ADUs to a maximum size of 900 square feet, and this size limit and other regulations are codified in BIMC Section 18.09.030.I.5 .

On July 14, the City Council will discuss Ordinance 2020-02, which modifies the Use Specific Standards/ regulations for ADUs, BIMC Section 18.09.030.I.5 . The most substantial change proposed through this ordinance is to require that the single-family home and the ADU remain owned by the same persons or legal entity (see new subsection 18.09.030.I.5.e on page 2 of Ordinance 2020-02). This new regulation is prospective, and will apply to ADUs permitted and constructed after Ordinance 2020-02 takes effect.

In addition to the common ownership requirement and some clarifying changes, Ordinance 2020-02 makes the following changes to the ADU regulations:
  • Added “shops” and “barns” as types of detached buildings that are appropriate to construct an ADU above (current regulations only refer to detached garages).
  • Adds a regulation to prohibit ADUs from being used as short-term rentals in the future (see new subsection 18.09.030.I.5.o on page 3 of Ordinance 2020-02). 

The staff memorandum for this agenda item includes a history of the City Council’s work during 2018-2019 to complete policy discussions on various aspects of ADU regulations, and also includes a summary of the Planning Commission review of the ordinance. The July 14 Council agenda materials can be viewed on the City’s website here .  

Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics scheduled for the July 14 business meeting.

  • Review of Police Department Use of Force Policy
  • Discussion on new ADU rules
  • DOE watershed planning grant for Springbrook and Manzanita Creeks
  • Parks Foundation donation of two benches for Sound-to-Olympics trail

If you would like to receive the City Council agenda by email when it's published, sign up on the Council Agendas webpage.

Ways to Watch
  • Zoom
  • City website livestream (visit the Agendas & Minutes page, then click on "In Progress" when the meeting starts).
  • You can also watch the meetings on BKAT (Channel 12 on Comcast & Channel 3 on WAVE).
City Advisory Group Updates
Race Equity Task Force Updates 2020 Plans

At this week’s City Council study session, the Race Equity Task Force (RETF) presented a mid-year update to the RETF’s 2020 workplan. The briefing reviewed the RETF’s accomplishments to date, including the RETF’s partnership with the Martin Luther King Day Planning Committee and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art to host the Jan. 19 th “Move and Be Moved” themed Martin Luther King Day March for Unity, and Community Celebration.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, several planned community events for Q2 and Q3 were cancelled or delayed. As a result, the RETF has adjusted their outreach activities for the remainder of 2020. An evening poetry event originally scheduled for April is now planned for September, and multiple community engagement events are being developed for the Fall. The RETF also plans to resume their weekly outreach table at the Saturday Farmers Market.

At the Council briefing, the RETF members also reviewed proposed changes to their previous recommendation for technical assistance and training from the Governmental Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE). In December, 2019 the City Council unanimously approved a RETF recommendation for the City to engage GARE to provide a series of training sessions to include City Council, City staff, RETF members, and community members. 

In early 2020, changes to GARE staffing and services, along with COVID-19 closures, necessitated a pause in the planned launch of this program. In response, RETF now recommends the City pursue a modified set of services from GARE, in order to accomplish the intent of the original program within the current constraints for group activities and training.

The RETF members also discussed their plans to develop a proposal for Council on the creation of a standing advisory committee on race and equity.

For more information about the formation of the RETF in 2018, their meeting schedule and other activities and materials, please visit the City’s RETF webpage .
Apply to City and Regional Advisory Groups

The City is currently accepting applications for volunteers to serve on a number of City and regional groups. There are roughly a dozen groups for which we are seeking volunteers, with topics ranging from climate change to historic preservation to utility matters. Most groups meet monthly and address items on their work plans and provide advice to the City Council or to County boards.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, July 31. Applicants must be available in August for interviews. Terms begin September 1, 2020.   

For more information, please visit the City webpage for advisory groups.
Important Dates
Thursday, July 16: Race Equity Task Force meeting
Friday, July 17: Sustainable Transportation Task Force meeting
Thursday, July 23: Planning Commission meeting
Friday, July 31:
Deadline to apply for City Advisory Groups.
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Contact Information

280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Phone: 206-842-7633