City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
This first week of November met our expectations in two respects: the arrival of some typical seasonal fall weather, and the predicted layers of complexity related to the US presidential election. Islanders are accustomed to the weather shifts, and we happily avoided significant outages or impacts from the winds and rain this week. Our community also navigated concerns about election logistics, as voting went smoothly and turnout was quite high (over 83% of registered Kitsap County voters). Throughout 2020, we have continued to learn a lot about one another, our priorities, and our capacity to respond to challenges. I am proud of Bainbridge Islanders’ ongoing commitment to dialogue and connection on a range of issues, and I expect we will carry that commitment forward to whatever next problem-solving lies ahead.

At the City, this week also marked the launch of our community COVID-19 testing site. Not only is this important project for the benefit of Bainbridge Island, but the testing site is also notable because it is staffed and supported with trained island volunteers. It is a remarkable effort that has been put forward with a relatively short lead time, thanks to combined efforts of the City’s Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage, COVID-19 Safety Officer Chris Rubin, the many members of our local Medical Reserve Corps, and other support from Bainbridge Prepares and Rotary Club volunteers. The goal is for this site to supplement and expand the testing capacity available from local medical providers, and to thereby support Bainbridge Island community schools, businesses, workforce and families as we prepare to resume increased levels of activity and contact.

This week, the City Council held a special meeting dedicated to budget issues, as the Council works to complete the City’s Biennial Budget for 2021-2022.

Next week, the Council business meeting will begin with a recognition of service for outgoing North Ward Councilmember Kol Medina, who is resigning from his position due to his family’s relocation. A number of other topics are scheduled, including continued deliberations on the next City budget, plans for the process the Council will use to review finalists for the City Manager position, consideration of the Climate Action Plan, and proposed revisions to the City’s Ethics Program.

For more information about some of these topics and other items of interest, please see below.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
City's drive-thru COVID-19 testing site now open
The City's COVID-19 testing site, which opened this week, is seeing high demand as appointments are now booked through Nov. 30 and the December appointments are filling up.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please get tested through your primary care physician or urgent care. A list of medical clinics and pharmacies in Kitsap County offering COVID-19 testing can be found here.

We are assessing our operations and will inform the community if additional testing dates and times will be offered.

Many participants booking appointments have said the test is needed to return to work or they recently traveled to an area with a high prevalence of COVID-19 cases.

Additional testing options are available through at-home test kits that can be purchased at Costco online and Safeway pharmacies. These are a good option for people who want pre-travel testing. The COVID test offered by Albertsons Companies Pharmacies (Safeway) does not currently meet the requirements for pre-travel testing to Hawaii, per a message on the company website.

Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage will provide an update on the testing site to the City Council at the Dec. 8 Council meeting.
Biennial Budget
City Council continues budget discussion
During this week's Nov. 4 budget workshop, the Council affirmed majority support for the following adjustments to the 2021-22 biennial budget.

  • Senior Center improvements: Building improvements of $440,000 as outlined by Public Works, to be supported by $280,000 in City funds and $160,000 in matching funds from the BISCC nonprofit. Council will hold further discussion on the impacts of scheduling this project to begin in 2021 rather than 2023.

  • High priority Sustainable Transportation projects: A new reserve fund will be created, using $600,000 in existing fund balance generated from prior Transportation Benefit District revenues. The funds will be used to support eligible transportation projects to be identified in the future.

  • Country Club Road bulkhead repairs: The City will move forward with $265,000 to complete spot repairs in 2021.

  • Professional Services for "Complete Streets" ordinance: Proposed budget of $25,000 is removed, and this work will instead be completed by City staff relying on a model ordinance.

  • Winslow rain garden fencing: Proposed budget of $100,000 is removed, and City staff will investigate alternatives to address safety concerns.

  • City Hall renovations: Project initiated in 2017 and planned for 2021 restart will be deferred.

  • Planning Department staff: One full-time planner position will be eliminated and a new full-time Senior Natural Resource Specialist position will be created.

  • Community survey: Funding of $15,000 is added to support a statistically valid community-wide survey.

  • Climate Mitigation Officer: A new full-time position is created for a Climate Mitigation Officer, to be located within the City's Executive Department.

  • Add $200,000 for Climate Action activities: Funding for climate action initiatives in the 2021-2022 biennial budget is increased from $300,000 to $500,000. Specific projects and activities will be determined. These funds will be categorized as "designated funds" and the use of the funds will be explicitly directed and approved by the City Council.

During the Nov. 4 budget workshop, the Council approved the following motions as preliminary potential changes to the proposed 2021-22 budget:
  • Removal of the Grow Avenue traffic calming project.
  • Addition of the Springbrook Creek fish passage project to the 2023 CIP in the amount of $50,000.
  • Removal of funding for Island Center Subarea Plan implementation and Comprehensive Plan Periodic Update and instead use those professional service dollars for the Winslow Master Plan Update, including floor area ratio and affordable housing strategies.

The Council will hold additional discussion on these preliminary motions during next week's meeting on Nov. 10.

The proposed 2021-2022 budget can be viewed here.

The public will get an opportunity to comment on the 2021-2022 budget during a public hearing at next week's Council meeting on Zoom. Instructions for how to comment will be included in the Council agenda when it's published later today.
Project Updates
City to host Nov. 18 Zoom meeting to discuss Comcast Cable TV services
We’re seeking input on the cable television services provided by Comcast on Bainbridge Island, as part of a franchise agreement renewal process. If you are a City resident or the owner of a business located on Bainbridge Island, please join us for a Zoom meeting Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. to share your thoughts.

A cable television franchise agreement is a legal agreement between the City and Comcast that is required by state and federal law. The agreement allows Comcast access to the City’s rights of way to deliver its services, and the franchise addresses other issues such as access to public educational and governmental access channels, non-discriminatory rates for customers, permitting, notice requirements before digging in the right of way, and payment of applicable costs and fees. In June 2016, the City granted Comcast a franchise for its cable television system located within the City. The 2016 franchise agreement is set to expire in June 2021.

The purpose of the Nov. 18 meeting is to hear the community’s views on the cable television service they receive from Comcast to help the City understand the needs of the community as the City reviews Comcast’s franchise agreement.

The Nov. 18 Zoom meeting will include a presentation from the City’s consultant team, River Oaks Communications Corporation, on current cable communications policies and the Cable TV franchise renewal process.

The City conducted a community web survey July 30 to Sept. 30 to gather feedback from the community on Comcast services. Read the results of the survey here.

For more information on the franchise agreement and the renewal process, please visit the City’s Comcast Cable TV Franchise Agreement webpage.

A Zoom link will be posted soon. Registration is not required for the event.
Water line issue delays Wyatt Way project construction
The contractor for the Wyatt Way reconstruction project and City staff are working together to solve an ongoing water line issue that has delayed the project construction.

When new water lines are installed, they must be sanitized, flushed with clean water, and tested to ensure that no bacteria or other contamination is present prior to be being put into service. A majority of the water line segments at the project site have been cleaned and tested without a problem. However, one segment continues to not pass the post-cleaning tests despite numerous attempts and different process approaches. Until the project team resolves this issue, the paving and sidewalk work cannot be scheduled. Adding to the delays are weather conditions, which are less and less favorable to paving work as mid-November approaches.

As the work progresses over the next couple weeks, the project team will be looking ahead to the road, sidewalk and stormwater work that remains to be completed at the Wyatt Way-Madison Avenue intersection. There is a possibility that once the project work (west of the Wyatt-Way Madison Avenue intersection) is mostly completed this fall, the intersection work may be postponed until early spring 2021 when weather conditions will be more favorable for smooth completion of the project.

We are grateful for the patience shown by neighboring residents, and those impacted by the temporary detour.
City Council Updates
No applicants yet for vacant City Council seat
As of Thursday afternoon, the City has not received any applications to fill the north ward vacancy following the resignation of Councilmember Kol Medina.

Residents interested in applying for the Council vacancy must have lived in the City of Bainbridge Island for at least one year prior to Council appointment, must currently live in the north ward, and be registered to vote. Click here to view the ward map on the City’s website to confirm your residence is in the north ward.

The term of the vacated position will begin once a qualified candidate is appointed by a majority vote of the Council. The appointed Councilmember will hold office until a person is elected to the position at the next general municipal election, in November 2021, and after the results of that election have been certified.

Applications are due to the City Clerk by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Application forms are available on the City’s website at

Click here for more information about the vacancy.

Medina was elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. A recognition of service for Medina will be held during the Nov. 10 Council meeting. Medina is leaving to take the position of President of the Blue Mountain Community Foundation in Walla Walla, where he spent his childhood.
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Nov. 10 City Council meeting.

  • Recognition of service of Councilmember Kol Medina
  • Proclamation honoring Veterans Day
  • Budget discussion
  • City Manager search process
  • Public hearing: Biennial Budget
  • Public hearing: Self-service storage facilities moratorium extension
  • Approval of Climate Action Plan
  • Discussion on Sustainable Transportation goals and objectives
  • Revisions to the City's Ethics program
  • Process and schedule to fill North Ward City Council vacancy

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
Upcoming Planning Commission meetings
The Planning Commission will meet Nov. 12 & Nov. 19 this month due to the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 26. Below are the topics to be discussed during the November meetings.

Nov. 12 topics:
  • Tree regulations
  • Joint City Council and Planning Commission Land Use Subcommittee

Nov. 19 topics:
  • Tree regulations
  • Public participation meeting on the Wintergreen proposal (see message below)
  • Joint City Council and Planning Commission Land Use Subcommittee

If you would like to receive the Planning Commission agenda when it's published, sign up on the Agendas & Minutes page. The meetings are livestreamed on the City's website (similar to the City Council meetings).
Planning Commission to hold public participation meeting on Wintergreen Townhomes project proposal
The Planning Commission will hold a public participation meeting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 to provide an opportunity for the community to learn about the Wintergreen Townhomes proposal, a 74-townhome long subdivision proposal that incorporates affordable housing (as defined in the Municipal Code) on two lots totaling 2.94 acres. The project site is located at 1332 Wintergreen Lane.

The applicant is in the process of slightly modifying the proposal in response to comments from the Design Review Board’s Design Guidance meeting on Nov. 2. Learn more about the project proposal here.

Members of the public who wish to participate in the public participation meeting, can join via Zoom. Instructions will be included in the agenda when it's published.
Other Updates
WSF completes paving project at ferry terminal
The upper parking lot at the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal has reopened following asphalt and repaving work. The before and after photos show the front of the building's main entrance.
Ofc. Carla Sias retires after 21 years of service
Ofc. Carla Sias is retiring after dedicating 21 years of service to the Bainbridge Island community.

For part of that time, Carla served as the community resource officer -- sharing birthday doughnuts, organizing our Community Police Academy, hosting Cops and Kids Camp, visiting classrooms and museums (sometimes with her guinea pigs), and so much more!

Thank you for your service, Ofc. Sias. Congratulations on retirement!

Click on the video below to learn more about Ofc. Sias' career.
Important Dates
Wednesday, Nov. 11: City offices are closed for Veterans Day.
Thursday, Nov. 12: Planning Commission meeting; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Wednesday, Nov. 18: Comcast Franchise Agreement Community Meeting; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Wednesday, Nov. 18: Climate Change Advisory Committee meeting; 6:30 p.m.; Zoom
Thursday, Nov. 19: Planning Commission meeting; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Thursday, Nov. 26 & Friday, Nov. 27: City offices closed for Thanksgiving
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Contact Information

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