City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
After a robust community and Council process, the Council this week unanimously approved an employment agreement with the City’s new city manager, Blair King. Mr. King will be joining the City team in mid-May and I hope you will join me in welcoming him to the Island.

This week marks one year since the City declared a state of emergency due to the pandemic. Since then, COVID response has been among the highest priorities of City operations. The focus of our efforts has shifted and built on itself over time, as first we adjusted to providing services in a new context, to providing testing, and now to participating in a partnership community vaccine effort.

I want to acknowledge and thank the many volunteers who made last weekend’s COVID vaccine clinic at Woodward Middle School possible . Despite inclement weather, the team vaccinated over 1,000 eligible residents of Bainbridge Island and Kitsap County. This week, and going forward, the clinic will move to an indoor location at the Commodore Options School gym. I want to also acknowledge and thank the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, Bainbridge Prepares, Bainbridge Island Community Pharmacy and Bainbridge Island School District for their cooperation and support. The vaccine distribution effort is truly an example of what our community can do when it works together.

The Council business meeting this week included a number of important policy topics discussed below in this newsletter:

  • Hazard pay for grocery workers.  

  • Police/Court Replacement project.  

  • Traffic Calming.   

Next week, please tune in Tuesday evening for a special Council meeting focused entirely on sustainable transportation. The evening’s discussion will include a presentation from an international expert on community transportation design, and is structured to include leaders from several Bainbridge organizations that provide trails across the island.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Interim City Manager
City Council unanimously approves city manager contract with Blair King
The Bainbridge Island City Council this week unanimously approved an employment agreement with its next city manager.

Blair King, currently the city manager of Coronado, California, accepted the position and plans to start May 17.

“I am looking forward to working for the City Council for the benefit of the residents of Bainbridge,” King said. “I’ve had the good fortune of spending most of my career working for coastal communities, and Bainbridge shares the characteristics common to those places: beautiful, engaged citizenry and a pro-environmental orientation. I am a good match for the community, and I’m looking forward to getting to work.”

King has served as city manager of Coronado since 2010, and has 36 years of local government experience, which includes 25 years as a city manager at cities throughout California. King is a former president of the San Diego County City/County Managers Association and former director of the League of California Cities City Managers Department. King holds a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Fresno.

King will relocate to Bainbridge Island with his wife, Nancy Adams. The couple has three daughters (two of whom currently live in the Pacific Northwest).

Read the full announcement here.
COVID-19 Updates
Bainbridge COVID-19 vaccine clinic relocates to Commodore Options School 
The Bainbridge Island COVID-19 vaccine clinic scheduled for Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14 will now be held in the gymnasium at Commodore Options School, located at 9530 High School Rd NE, to allow all participants to be indoors in the event of inclement weather. Any future high-throughput vaccine clinics will be held at this location. There will not be a clinic at Woodward Middle School.

As the clinic site is now closer to downtown, we strongly encourage visitors to please walk if possible. If you must drive, please see instructions for ADA and general parking on the COVID-19 vaccine clinic page at

If you have an urgent request related to your appointment (e.g., need to cancel your appointment), please call 253-204-2816. We are receiving an overwhelming number of phone calls and must prioritize appointment-related calls only. Please do not call about waitlists, eligibility and/or similar matters. Thank you for understanding.

NOTE: This high-throughput clinic move to Commodore does not affect existing second-dose clinics scheduled for the Senior Community Center.

Future clinics

When we receive shipments of first-dose vaccines, we will notify the community with a Nixle alert.

Register for Nixle alerts
Inslee announces statewide move to Phase 3 of recovery plan and Tier 2 vaccine eligibility
Gov. Jay Inslee announced yesterday that starting Wednesday, March 17 everyone in Tier 2 will be eligible for a COVID vaccine. This includes workers in agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, public transit, firefighters and law enforcement, among others. Tier 2 also includes people over the age of 16 who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high-risk.

The governor also announced that Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery will be transitioning from a regional approach to a county-by-county evaluation process. The governor also announced a new third phase of the Roadmap and a return for in-person spectators for professional and high school sports. Effective Monday, March 22, the entire state will enter Phase 3. Get more information here.
Small business recovery grants application process to open
The application process for a grant program to support the recovery of Bainbridge Island small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will open at 8:00 this morning.

The City of Bainbridge Island is partnering with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) to administer the $200,000 grant program. Businesses may receive between $5,000 and $10,000 based upon their COVID-19 financial impacts and the number of total applications received by the City.

Applications will be accepted through an online portal administered by KEDA. The applications may be submitted through 11 p.m. Sunday, March 28. Awards are expected to be disbursed in April.

Please visit the KEDA website at for detailed information on the grant requirements and application process.
Council to consider ordinance on hazard pay for grocery workers
The City Council this week directed City Attorney Joe Levan to prepare an ordinance implementing hazard pay for grocery workers on Bainbridge Island due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Feb. 23, the Council formed an ad hoc committee, consisting of Councilmembers Joe Deets and Brenda Fantroy-Johnson, to research the possibility of an ordinance regarding hazard pay for grocery workers, and directed the city attorney to do a preliminary analysis
of the legal risks.

Other local governments in the region have adopted measures on this issue.

The Council will consider approval of the ordinance at the March 23 Council meeting.

Watch the March 9 discussion here.
Project Updates
Expert on transportation to speak at March 16 Council meeting
What if every way of travel on Bainbridge Island – going to the park, school, ferry or restaurants – was suitable for an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old? If it’s good for 8 and 80-year-olds, then it’s good for everyone, sustainable transportation expert Gil Penalosa says. This “communities for all” concept will be the focus of Penalosa’s presentation at the March 16 City Council study session, and you’re invited to listen to the conversation.

Penalosa, the founder of Canadian-based nonprofit 8 80 Cities, will discuss the benefits of transforming transportation systems and public spaces for an all-ages community, and tactics and lessons learned from his experience assisting small and large communities around the world.

The presentation, which begins at 5 p.m. on Zoom, is part of the City’s ongoing effort to build a Sustainable Transportation Plan to establish a vision for how we travel safely around the island and reduce our carbon footprint.

Leaders from some community organizations will participate in the March 16 event with the Council.

Read the full announcement here.
Crews to begin water main flushing next week
The City of Bainbridge Island utility crews will begin annual flushing of City water mains in the Winslow and Fletcher Bay areas on Monday, March 15.

Signs will be posted in neighborhoods prior to flushing.

If you experience low water pressure or discolored water during the work, avoid running water or doing laundry for one hour. After one hour has passed, you should run cold water for approximately five minutes until it's clear.

The City anticipates the annual flushing process to be completed within two months.
Police Updates
Police Chief to host virtual lunch event 
Bainbridge Island Chief of Police Joe Clark will host a virtual ‘Lunch with the Chief’ event 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 23. This event will be an opportunity for the public to enjoy open dialogue with the Chief about public safety topics and ask questions. Participants will also get to meet Kelsey Lynch who was hired in January to serve as the City's first full-time community health navigator. The role is intended to support a more integrated approach between law enforcement and social services. Learn more about Kelsey and the position in the March COBI Connects.

The event will begin with a presentation followed by a listening session for the community to ask questions, express concerns, and share ideas on how the police department can best serve Bainbridge Island.

Ways to watch and participate

A recording of the event will be available on the Police website following the event.

We hope to see you there!
City Council Updates
City Council seeks independent audit on purchase of Harrison facility
The City Council this week directed Interim City Manager Ellen Schroer to begin research into hiring an independent auditor to look into the purchase of the Harrison property. This building was purchased to be the location of the Police-Court facility.

In 2019, the City purchased the Harrison Medical Center Building, located at 8804 Madison Avenue N, for $8.975 million. Based on studies performed in 2018, the approximate cost for the project, including property purchase and renovations, is estimated to be $20 million.

The Council this week discussed potentially setting up an oversight committee for the construction phase of the project. Staff is waiting for the Council to make a decision on next steps before seeking bids for construction.

The Council will continue its discussion March 23.

Watch the March 9 Council discussion here.

Learn more about the project at
Council approves traffic calming proposal
The City Council this week approved a proposal that outlines the next steps on spending from the Transportation Benefit District (TBD) fund to support traffic calming projects.

In 2019, the Council approved a $10 car-tab fee increase and adopted Resolution No. 2019-06 to specify that the additional revenue would be used to support traffic calming measures, climate change mitigation and marketing of Kitsap Transit’s BI Ride service.

The traffic calming and climate change mitigation program was on hold for most of 2020 due to a legal challenge to the 2019 voter-approved Initiative 976 that would have eliminated the City’s ability to collect car-tab fees. In October 2020, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled Initiative 976 unconstitutional, which allows cities to continue collecting car-tab fees. For Bainbridge Island, the fees provide $400,000 for annual pavement repairs and $200,000 per year in funding for traffic calming measures and climate change mitigation projects.

This week, City staff offered the Council some options in line with Council’s intent for the additional car-tab fees.

The staff proposal that the Council approved includes the following:

  • The funding for neighborhood traffic calming is expected to grow to almost $500,000 by the end of 2023. The staff proposed spending $35,000 of those funds to support the following work:

  • $15,000 for development of a Bainbridge Island-specific traffic calming handbook for reference in the development of neighborhood traffic calming projects;

  • $10,000 for community engagement and a preliminary analysis of traffic calming options for Grow Avenue (per the Council's previous direction);

  • $10,000 for a preliminary analysis of traffic calming and safety enhancements at the Grand Forest and Miller Road crossing, and Schel Chelb and Point White Drive crossing; and, 

  • Formal solicitation of traffic calming requests from the community for evaluation later in the year.

The funding for climate change mitigation was capped by Resolution No. 2019-06 at $100,000. To date, those funds have been collected, and staff is recommending that action on that program be postponed until the completion of the Sustainable Transportation Plan.
Upcoming City Council agenda
The March 16 City Council study session will focus entirely on a presentation and discussion related to sustainable transportation. We hope you'll join for the discussion.

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)

  • BKAT (Channel 12 on Comcast & Channel 3 on WAVE)
City Advisory Group Updates
Ethics Board seeks two volunteers
The Ethics Board is seeking two volunteers to complete three-year terms expiring in June 2022.

The board, which reviews complaints alleging violations of the Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics, meets the third Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m.

Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. Applicants must be available in April for interviews. Applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, March 19.

If you previously applied to serve on the Ethics Board, you will need to reapply as there is an updated application form.

Terms begin immediately following City Council appointment. For more information on the Ethics Board and to complete the online application, please visit

Questions? Please contact Executive Assistant Roz Lassoff
at 206-580-6735 or
Other Updates
We’re hiring: Seasonal Maintenance Workers
Each year, the City seeks to hire several seasonal maintenance workers in the Operations and Maintenance division of Public Works.

These individuals perform a variety of manual labor and semi-skilled maintenance work in support of the City’s streets, facilities, fleet, stormwater, water and wastewater operations. This temporary work lasts up to four months, depending on operational needs.

Learn more and apply at
Arborist to speak at Environmental Conference this weekend
City arborist Nick Snyder will present at the Bainbridge Island Environmental Conference this Sunday, March 14 on the City's tree and vegetation regulations and how they intersect with forest stewardship planning for the future of our community forest.

Every Sunday in March, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., the event organizers are hosting a community conversation on the research and best practices for stewarding our natural environment in the face of climate change.

You will need to register for each session individually. Register for the virtual conference (which is free) and learn more about the sessions at
Important Dates
Monday, March 15: Design Review Board meeting; 2 p.m. on Zoom
Monday, March 15: Crews begin flushing of City water mains in the Winslow and Fletcher Bay areas.
Tuesday, March 16: Sustainable Transportation Plan educational session with Gil Penalosa; 5 p.m. on Zoom
Friday, March 19: Deadline to apply to serve on Ethics Board; 4 p.m.
Tuesday, March 23: Virtual 'Lunch with Chief Clark' event; 12 p.m. on Zoom
Friday, March 26: Deadline to complete surveys on aquaculture, future flood risk from sea level rise and SMP improvements
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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