City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
As one part of the ongoing conversation we will be having about our Police Department, current policies, best practices and recommendations for continuous improvement, I would like to provide some introductory information about our Police Department’s Use of Force policies. Use of Force policies are developed to establish procedures that:

  • Comply with state and federal laws,
  • Meet accepted best practices,
  • Are consistent with court rulings, and
  • Are consistent with community expectations.

The current policy manual used by the Bainbridge Island Police Department (BIPD) is developed for police agencies by Lexipol,
a company that provides policy and training solutions for public safety and government professionals. That policy manual is utilized by all Kitsap County agencies. Lexipol provides periodic updates and training bulletins regarding policies, training mandates, court decisions, and legislative changes that are specific to Washington agencies. The Lexipol model policies provide a foundation for best practices and these can then be modified to fit the community.

Another factor in our policies is the fact that BIPD is a Washington State accredited agency, which is a designation achieved by roughly 25% of the state’s law enforcement agencies. At the direction of the Washington State Legislature, the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs (WASPC) establishes mandatory standards for law enforcement agencies. Compliance with those standards is verified through independent assessors who review agency policies, examine agency records, and conduct interviews with agency employees.

Our new Chief of Police, Joe Clark, is conducting a review of all agency policies and practices. Considering current events, he is making his review of policies related to Use of Force his first priority. The results of that review will help to ensure that our Police department is in compliance with best practices, and that our department has adopted policies that meet our community’s expectations. Chief Clark’s review and any recommendations for changes will be informed by best practices, current events, and the goals and concerns of the broader community.

With the support of City Council, Chief Clark will provide a briefing at the July 14 business meeting that will focus on our Use of Force policies, and will present any recommendations for changes. That will allow the Council and the community to be educated on what practices and training are currently in place, where our policies could be improved or enhanced, and what changes are proposed.

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to respond to questions and concerns about policing issues, and share information about Police Department policies and operations. Please look for that information in these weekly messages, and on the City website. If you missed Chief Clark’s community statement last week, please see that message here.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
City Council approves resolution to encourage face coverings, creates subcommittee
The City Council approved Resolution No. 2020-12 this week to strongly encourage Bainbridge Islanders and visitors to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The directive, which is intended to be a forceful, clear statement from the Council about the importance of wearing face coverings during this unprecedented time, applies to properties that adjoin Winslow Way, from the Washington State Ferry Terminal to Grow Avenue.

People are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in public when they can't maintain six feet of distance from others who do not share their household. People are encouraged to wear a face covering while at a retail establishment, picking up food, walking along the sidewalk and trails, and in other circumstances as described in the resolution. The directive includes certain exceptions, including for any individual who has a physical disability that prevents easily wearing or removing a face covering.

In addition, the Council created an ad hoc committee, consisting of Councilmembers Kirsten Hytopoulos, Michael Pollock, and Christy Carr. The committee is tasked with developing for the Council’s consideration an ordinance to legally require, rather than strongly encourage, face coverings as a possible next step. The Council plans to discuss such a proposed ordinance at an upcoming meeting, the date of which has not yet been determined.

On June 23, the Council will discuss additional proposals related to this topic offered by Councilmember Joe Deets. Those proposals include efforts to make face coverings widely available, and an outreach program to provide information to the public about the importance of such measures to keep the community safe in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Watch the June 9 discussion here.

Updates will be posted on the City's COVID-19 page.
Governor Inslee launches 'Wear a Mask' initiative
Why do you wear a mask? Gov. Jay Inslee wants to know!

The governor's office launched the "Wear a Mask" intiative this week with Restart Partners , a nonprofit organization, founded in May 2020, that is focused on fostering collaboration among state and local government leaders around the issue of personal protective equipment (PPE) and working together with behavioral experts to change social norms about wearing masks to help save lives.

"We should all wear masks. And we need your help to spread the word," read a post on the Governor's Facebook page.

As part of the program, participants are encouraged to grab a mask and camera and share why you wear a mask.

Post your video using the hashtag #WearAMaskWA and upload it at

Organizers will share their favorite videos.

Learn more about face coverings on the Governor's COVID-19 page.
Council approves COVID-19 safety officer
The City Council this week approved a request to hire a part-time COVID-19 Safety Officer to assist with the City's COVID-19 response. This term-limited position would be responsible for activities related to City service delivery, facility use and public health best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The formal approval is scheduled for the June 23 Council meeting.
Council approves Economic Recovery Plan Ad Hoc Committee
The City Council this week formally approved the creation of an Economic Recovery Plan Ad Hoc Committee to support an economic recovery plan for Bainbridge Island due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ad hoc committee consists of Mayor Leslie Schneider (a small business owner) and Councilmembers Joe Deets and Kol Medina. The group is working with the Bainbridge business community to identify ways the City can help the local business community recover from the economic losses suffered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preparing for Phase 3 of the Safe Start plan
Please see information below from the Kitsap Public Health District website .

Kitsap County will become eligible to apply to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of the Safe Start plan on/after June 18.

Kitsap Public Health is already working to compile the extensive data and analysis required to complete the state’s Phase 3 application.

To operate under Phase 3, businesses must develop a written safety plan and follow all available guidance.
BISD's 'Grab and Go' meal program ends next week
The Bainbridge Island School District's Grab and Go meal program that was established during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide meals to children will end next Thursday, June 18.

The school district will provide additional support for families who qualify for free and reduced lunches to receive groceries during the school closure.

In addition, Helpline House has a Kids Pantry program during summer vacation to provide meals. Learn more here.
Project Updates
Council requests revised design for Eagle Harbor Drive shoulder improvements
The City Council this week discussed accepting a $700,000 federal grant for non-motorized improvements along Eagle Harbor Drive between McDonald Avenue and the Eagle Harbor shoreline.

Staff presented a design option for 7-foot-wide, “visually separated” bicycle lanes on each side of Eagle Harbor Drive, recognizing that the timeline for delivering the project this summer was very short, and a more elaborate facility design would take more time and resources. The City learned late last month that it was awarded the funds and, in order to meet the grant requirement, the project needs to be submitted to the granting agency by July 15 and constructed in summer/fall of 2020.

The Council, echoing comments from several community members, stressed the importance of building bicycle facilities that meet “all ages and all abilities” criteria, which for this project would mean potentially building separation between the vehicle and bicycle lanes. Councilmembers requested that staff further investigate the “separated” options and report back at the June 23 meeting. During that meeting, Councilmembers will decide whether to accept or return the grant funds.

If the grant is accepted, the City would need to contribute $100,000 in matching funds.
Staff to present update on Town Square improvement options
Staff will provide an update next week to City Council on options for improvements to the Town Square (the area between City Hall and Bainbridge Performing Arts).

In August 2019, the Council directed staff to research options for a canopy over the Town Square (the location of the Farmers Market) to provide shelter for people shopping at vendors' tents during the wetter spring and fall seasons. The project was funded in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan at $65,000. Last fall, staff performed preliminary research on potential canopies and determined a suitable cover -- over just the center concrete walk -- would cost in the range of $170,000.

Following the Council's direction to further investigate cover options and costs with the Farmers Market organizers, staff employed a landscape architecture firm to meet with representatives of the Farmers Market and Bainbridge Performing Arts, and research other options. At those meetings, Farmers Market representatives expressed that different improvements - namely, electrical upgrades and lawn drainage improvements - would help the Farmers Market more than a cover.

Staff instructed the consultant to take a holistic look at the Town Square area and recommend site improvements to the area, which will be presented to the Council on June 16.

The previous Council discussion, held Dec. 3, 2019, can be viewed here.
City Council Updates
City Council to begin search for new City Manager
The City Council decided this week that it will begin the search for a new city manager with the assistance of Strategic Government Resources (SGR), a firm that specializes in public sector executive recruitment (and was hired to conduct the recent Police Chief search).

City Manager Morgan Smith’s contract expires Dec. 31, 2020.

The City Council will begin its hiring process for a new city manager after finalizing an approach at a meeting later this month.

Smith has been the city manager for the City of Bainbridge Island since 2018 and has worked for the City since 2010. She will continue to serve as the city manager through the rest of the year and will assist the City Council with the search process.
City Council approves landmark tree ordinance extension
The City Council approved a six-month extension of the landmark tree ordinance this week to allow staff more time to work on updating the City's tree regulations. The ordinance now expires Dec. 26, 2020.

The Council adopted the landmark tree regulations in 2018 to protect landmark trees after hearing from concerned residents about the loss of landmark trees on Bainbridge Island due to land clearing and development activities. The ordinance designates landmark trees based on size and species, requires a permit to remove any landmark tree, and imposes fines if a landmark tree is removed without a permit.

It's anticipated that staff will present the updated tree regulations to Council during the fall.
Councilmember Joe Deets to host virtual office hours
Councilmember Joe Deets will host virtual office hours throughout the month of June, and you're invited to join the conversation. Please see below for a list dates and times.

  • Saturday, June 13 10:00 AM
  • Saturday, June 20 10:00 AM
  • Saturday, June 27 10:00 AM

For information on how to join the Zoom office hours, please visit Councilmember Deets' Council page.
Upcoming City Council Agenda
Below are some of the topics scheduled for the June 16 study session.
  • Proclamation declaring June 19 as the "Day to Celebrate Juneteenth 2020"
  • Self-service storage facilities moratorium
  • Green Building Task Force update and next steps
  • Update on Safe Streets/Grow Avenue Pilot Project
  • Discussion on the Capital Improvement Plan
  • Discussion on the Farmers Market improvement options
  • Appointments to the Planning Commission

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

The meetings are broadcast live on the  City website . Visit the  Agendas & Minutes  section, then click on "In Progress" when the meeting starts. You can also watch the meetings on BKAT (Ch. 12 on Comcast & Ch. 3 on WAVE).
City Advisory Group Updates
Race Equity Task Force to resume meetings next week
The City's Race Equity Task Force (RETF) will hold a virtual meeting Thursday, June 18 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The June 18 meeting will be the first RETF meeting following Gov. Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order.

The City Council established the RETF in 2018 after hearing compelling stories from Bainbridge Islanders about their own experiences of racism in our community. The task force, made up of Island residents, is working to identify ways on how the City can help Bainbridge Island be an open and welcoming community for all.

An agenda for the June 18 meeting will be published early next week. Sign up here to get the agenda by email when it's published (scroll down to Agenda Center and click on Race Equity Task Force -- be sure to confirm the email subscription). This Zoom meeting is open to the public.

In addition, there are currently two vacancies on the RETF. If you'd like to learn more about the openings and apply, please visit the RETF page.

If you’d like a paper copy of the application, please email
Planning Commission recommends approval of Police-Court facility project
The Planning Commission made a recommendation of approval on the Police-Court facility project during its June 11 virtual meeting.

The next step is for Director of Planning and Community Development Heather Wright to make a recommendation to the Hearing Examiner at a public hearing. The hearing date has not been set.

In January, the City finalized its $9 million purchase of the Harrison Medical Center building, located at 8804 Madison Avenue N. The project has a current approved budget of $20 million, which includes design, site acquisition, construction, and project management.
Other Updates
Superior Court judge dismisses public records lawsuit against City
Below is a statement from City Attorney Joe Levan regarding the dismissal of a public records lawsuit against the City.

On Friday, June 5, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge William C. Houser dismissed in its entirety a lawsuit against the City that was filed by Lisa Schulze in 2019. Ms. Schulze alleged that the City violated the state law Public Records Act based on requests for records she had made related to former City Councilmember Ron Peltier.

The City is pleased, but not surprised, by the result. Judge Houser’s dismissal of the Schulze lawsuit is further recognition that the City takes its duty under the Public Records Act very seriously and works diligently to fully comply with all legal requirements. The City’s Public Records Officer, City Attorney’s Office, Information Technology staff, other staff members, and former Councilmember Ron Peltier devoted significant time and effort into fully responding to the records requests at issue, and the Court took notice of such effort in making its decision.

Kari Lester of Ogden Murphy Wallace represented the City in the lawsuit, and the City appreciates that Ms. Lester was able to clearly show the Court that the allegations against the City in this matter were not supported by the facts or the law.
PSE to begin meter upgrade project next week on north end
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is updating its electric and natural gas metering equipment across its entire service area to improve system delivery, and will begin improvements next week on Bainbridge's north end.

Next week, PSE's service partner, Aclara, is expected to begin replacing current automated meter reading (AMR) equipment with new advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) equipment. Aclara will be starting in the Agate Pass area and will work their way south.

The first groups of customers previously received mailed and emailed notices. Customers should also receive a reminder phone call two days prior to their meter swaps.

On the swap day, customers get a knock on their door before work begins. Aclara personnel will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and use social distancing practices when engaging with customers. If the customer is not home, a note will be left letting them know the swap out is complete or if there was an issue that prevented the meter swap with instructions to contact PSE to resolve the issue.

Customers will experience a brief interruption of power service (typically less than 10 minutes) during the swap.

More information is available on the PSE website at
Minor delays expected next week for some sailings arriving at Colman Dock
Please see the message below from Washington State Ferries.

Customers traveling into Colman Dock may experience minor delays next week as crews continue making progress on replacing the Seattle terminal. Maintenance work on a pedestrian overhead loading ramp will affect two sailings each day Monday, June 15 through Friday, June 19:
  • The 2:05 p.m. sailing from Bainbridge Island will depart at 2:15 p.m., and its arrival at Seattle will be delayed about 15 minutes.
  • The 9 p.m. sailing from Bremerton will depart at 9:05 p.m., and its arrival at Seattle will be delayed about 10 minutes.

The delays will be due to contractor crews taking the second slip offline to complete the work. A barge will be positioned in that second slip, necessitating the closure.

We apologize for the disruption in service and thank you for your patience while we continue to make progress on this important project.

You can view all travel alerts at the WSF Travel Bulletins page.
Important Dates
Week of Monday, June 15:
Thursday, June 18:
Race Equity Task Force virtual meeting; 5 p.m.
Monday, June 22:
Joint City Council & Planning Commission meeting: The meeting will start at 5 p.m. and will be held via Zoom. You can watch the livestream on the City  website.
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