City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
Earlier this week, staff and City Council picked up a discussion of the City’s work plan, reviewing some of the highest priority projects completed in 2020 as well as those which have been removed from the work plan. On Tuesday, we also resumed the discussion of the 2021 priority projects, especially those related to City policy, with a particular focus on how to organize that discussion going forward.

In 2020, the City Council and City staff worked together to identify key projects and initiatives for the year ahead through the budget process and ongoing review of the work plan. Work plan priorities represent areas of additional focus, new activities, or those of particular community significance. In many cases, the City’s priority items have a multi-year planning horizon, and so it is helpful to report regularly in order to track progress and next steps, and to also identify unexpected challenges or capacity issues. When considering this topic, it’s important to realize that a large amount of City work is not captured on a project list – key service delivery items such as filling potholes, traffic patrol, and paying invoices are among those ongoing services represented by the blue portion of the column in the chart which follows.

Chart One: Total ongoing and work plan projects
Overall, more than 350 different actions have been identified by staff through the Priority-Based Budgeting efforts. While some of the specifics may have changed, we used this number as a reference point to show the balance between ongoing projects and work plan projects in any given year, as shown in the chart, with the blue portion of the column showing ongoing projects and the orange portion showing the priority work plan projects.
The first step to organizing the work plan discussion was to describe the driver to the priority projects, or, why the projects are on the City’s project list. The work plan list includes 115 projects, which we divided into four categories, to assist with review:
  • Policy – projects which support the development of new policies, code, programs or services.
  • Capital – capital projects.
  • Operations – projects funded through the budget which support funded City programs and services.
  • Required – projects which the City must complete for regulatory reasons.

These categories are intended to provide rough guidance as to where tradeoffs will occur if new projects are contemplated or projects are taken off the list.

Chart Two: Projects tracked on the work plan
Within the 115 work plan projects represented above, staff are actively working on 84 projects, with an additional 26 projects that are either deferred or pending, and five that have been completed in 2021. More information and a project list is provided on the City’s website.

The green portion of the column in the graph above represents the “Policy” projects, 39 projects that staff are currently tracking, and which are mostly generated by direct Council action. These projects are worked on by a small number of staff citywide, in most cases the department director and one or two senior staff. An initial review of City staff indicates that there are about 13 people who support the policy projects, which I highlight to underscore the need to identify tradeoffs when considering new work. All of these staff members have significant other responsibilities in addition to policy projects, so using 20% for directors and Executive Department staff and 75% for other staff, the City has roughly 7.0 FTE available to do the research and analysis to complete policy projects, assuming all positions below are filled.

Staff available to assign to policy and capital projects such as the ones on the work plan include:
  • Public Works: Director, Engineering Project Manager, Project Manager
  • Planning and Community Development: Director, Senior Planner (2)
  • Executive: City Manager, Deputy City Manager, City Attorney, Communications Coordinator
  • Police: Chief
  • Finance: Director, Senior Financial Analyst

A second step towards organizing the work plan projects was to suggest categories or areas of focus. A draft sort was included in the discussion, and Council will further review and revise this list going forward. During the meeting, some councilmembers suggested adding equity as a category, while others felt that this important concept underlies all City work. The draft categories used in this week’s discussion were:
  • Climate/Natural Resources
  • Community 
  • Land Use/Housing
  • Mobility
  • Safety
  • Accountability/Governance

I encourage you to review the discussion at the March 2 Council meeting and the information provided on the City’s website. Council will pick this topic back up in April and is likely to schedule a retreat when the new City Manager joins our staff.

Looking ahead to next week’s Council meeting, I hope that you will join us for topics including consideration of the employment agreement for the new City Manager, discussion of the City’s options for requiring island businesses to provide hazard pay for certain workers, and consideration of the process related to the acquisition of the Harrison Building and what steps the Council could take to ensure that the project is completed at or under the approved budget.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Interim City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
COVID Response Team to hold high-throughput vaccine clinic
The Bainbridge Island COVID Response Team, which includes the City of Bainbridge Island, Bainbridge Island Fire Department, Bainbridge Prepares and Bainbridge Island Community Pharmacy, is operating a high-throughput vaccine clinic this Saturday and Sunday at Woodward Middle School.

All appointments for this week, March 6 and March 7, are full. Please do not show up unless you have a confirmed appointment.

Please see the COVID-19 vaccine page for more details about what to expect when you arrive at Woodward for your appointment.

We are hopeful that we will receive another shipment of first doses next week and will notify the community with a Nixle alert on Monday if appointments are available.

Register for Nixle alerts

A portion of our appointments are reserved for people who do not have internet access, are not able to use an online registration form, or have other barriers to getting vaccinated.

Thank you to all our community partners and volunteers who have made the vaccine efforts possible (Senior Community Center, Island Volunteer Caregivers, Bainbridge Island School District, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Rotary Club, and all of our emergency management volunteers).

Follow the City's vaccine page at for updates on vaccine distribution efforts.
Teachers and staff in schools and child care settings added to current phase of COVID-19 vaccination
President Joe Biden this week issued a directive that all states must prioritize vaccinations of teachers and child care workers. In response, Gov. Jay Inslee added educators and licensed child care workers to the current phase of COVID-19 vaccination (Washington’s Phase 1b, Tier 1). Read the announcement here.

The Bainbridge Island COVID Response Team is now coordinating with local schools and child care facilities to get their staff and educators vaccinated. Updates will be posted on the COVID-19 vaccine page.
VA announces all veterans eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine at its clinics
Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound announced it is now providing COVID-19 vaccinations to all veterans at its clinics in Silverdale, Seattle, American Lake and Mount Vernon. All ages are eligible, but appointments are required (no walk-in vaccines). Call 206-716-5716 to schedule an appointment or contact your primary care team at the Veterans Clinic in Silverdale.

Read the full announcement here.
Governor Inslee announces new timeline for COVID-19 vaccine
Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday a new projected timeline for making more Washingtonians eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • By March 22, workers in certain congregate settings like agriculture, transit, corrections and first response will be eligible. People age 16+ who are pregnant or who have a disability that puts them at higher risk will also become eligible then.

  • By April 12, anyone over the age of 50 with two or more comorbidities is expected to be eligible. You can learn more about comorbidities and COVID risk at the CDC website.

  • By April 26, anyone over the age of 16 with two or more comorbidities is expected to be eligible. People living in congregate settings or people experiencing homelessness will also be eligible then.

Learn more about the state's vaccine progress here:
Project Updates
City installs wayfinding signs in downtown
Fourteen new wayfinding signs went up in downtown this week, directing visitors to businesses, parks and museums, and facilities like government buildings and public restrooms.

The signage will reduce sidewalk congestion by helping pedestrians reach destinations efficiently, City Engineering Project Manager Mark Epstein said, and boost visibility for businesses and attractions.

The signs were designed, built and installed by Blackmouth Design of Bainbridge Island.

The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association (BIDA) and Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) approached the City about improved wayfinding signs in 2019. The City worked through last year with BIDA, the Chamber and Blackmouth to develop designs and sign locations.

The signs can be found on Winslow Way, Bjune Drive, Olympic Drive and Harborview Drive.

Learn more here.
Wyatt Way project update
The Wyatt Way Reconstruction and Safety Improvement Project made progress with the good weather the last two weeks, with the pedestrian guardrail installed along the new sidewalk on the western end of the project and a significant amount of concrete curb installed at the Wyatt Way-Madison Avenue intersection.

During the next two weeks, weather permitting, the crew is anticipating completing the curb work and beginning concrete sidewalk and roundabout work. Once that work is completed, the final paving work can be scheduled for completion.

Separate from the Wyatt Reconstruction contract work, but next to the project location, the contractor will likely be starting the replacement of existing drainage facilities further east along Wyatt Way near the end of March. That work, which is part of the City’s annual drainage program, will alleviate flooding of the public right of way and private property in the vicinity. The work will include the removal of a large willow tree at the eastern end of the work, the roots of which have contributed to failures of the existing drainage system. The tree is not a landmark or heritage tree, and has been reviewed and approved for removal by the City’s arborist due to its current condition and contributions to drainage issues.
City Council Updates
Council to consider approval of city manager employment agreement
The City Council next week will consider an employment agreement with city manager finalist Blair King. If approved, King is scheduled to join the City in early May. The proposed agreement will be available as part of the meeting agenda packet later today.

King has served as City Manager of Coronado, California, since 2010, and has 36 years of local government experience, which includes 25 years as a City Manager at cities throughout California. Visit the City’s website to learn more about King and the search process.

Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics on the March 9 City Council meeting agenda.

  • City Manager employee agreement
  • Transportation Benefit District funding discussion and budget amendment
  • Update on the development moratorium
  • Hazard pay for grocery workers
  • Police-Court facility 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)
Councilmember Deets to hold virtual office hours March 6
Councilmember Joe Deets is hosting virtual office hours this Saturday, March 6. Everyone is welcome to meet with him.

The virtual office hours will be held 10 a.m. to noon on Zoom. Details can be found here.

'Walk the Ward' March 6 with Councilmember Carr
Join Councilmember Christy Carr Saturday, March 6 for Walk the Ward - an opportunity to get outside and explore the south ward! For the time being, appropriately masked and socially-distanced, of course.

The location (meeting spot) and details about the walk (distance, terrain, notable features, suggested topics for discussion, etc.) are posted on Carr's Instagram page or please email her at for details.

Can't make the March 6 walk? Join Carr for the next one. She plans to host Walk the Ward during the first Saturday of each month, and the location will vary.
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
Emergency Flotilla team featured in 48 North magazine
The Emergency Flotilla team, a group of local boat owners who have volunteered to help during disasters and led by Harbormaster Tami Allen, was featured in the 48 North March issue.

The flotilla is one of 19 teams that make up the Bainbridge Prepares Partnership (now more than 500 volunteers).

Read the article here and consider getting involved if you're a boat owner.
Public Works seeks to fill engineer positions
The Engineering division of Public Works seeks qualified candidates with engineering backgrounds for two key positions. 

The City Engineer oversees the capital program which involves the planning and delivery of a range of road preservation, utility upgrade and sustainable transportation projects. The position manages a team responsible for project management, survey and inspection.

Also under the capital program umbrella, the position of Engineer was added in 2021 to help manage and deliver water, sewer and stormwater utility projects. This position will be filled as either Engineer I or Engineer II, depending on the qualifications of the applicant selected.

Learn more and apply at
Environmental Conference begins this weekend
The 2021 Bainbridge Island Environmental Conference begins this Sunday, March 7.

The organizers are hosting a community conversation on the research and best practices for stewarding our natural environment in the face of climate change.

This weekend’s session focuses on the climate crisis and the future of Western Washington forests. Hear from WA State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and Michael Case of the Nature Conservancy.

City arborist Nick Snyder will present 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.

The sessions will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. each Sunday throughout March. You will need to register for each session individually. Register for the virtual conference (which is free) and learn more about the sessions at
WSF improves best time to travel guides
Please see the message below from Washington State Ferries.

Customers can now check out WSF’s updated Best Times to Travel guides for every route from now through Saturday, May 8. The new online interface allows customers to more easily navigate and view guides for multiple routes to better plan their travel arrangements.

The safety of our customers and crew is WSF’s top priority. Please remember that all traveling customers are required to wear face coverings inside the terminal, at the tollbooth and aboard the ferry. Please also consider limiting your travel to only the most essential trips while service continues to be constrained by the pandemic. For additional travel information regarding COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 Travel Updates webpage.
Important Dates
Saturday, March 6: Councilmember Joe Deets to host virtual office hours on Zoom; 10 a.m. to noon
Sunday, March 14: City Arborist Nick Snyder to present on tree and vegetation regulations at the virtual Bainbridge Island Environmental Conference; 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 14: Deadline to apply to volunteer on the SMP Periodic Review focus group
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.
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