City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
Yesterday, the Kitsap Public Health District shared the news that the State’s review of Kitsap County’s application to move forward to Phase 3 of reopening would be on hold until at least July 9. This means that our community, and the rest of Kitsap County, will remain within Phase 2 restrictions until at least that time.

In addition, island businesses, residents and visitors are working to comply with State requirements to wear a mask in public settings where a minimum six-foot distance is not guaranteed. While there are some exceptions to the requirement to use a mask (e.g. people with certain disabilities or health conditions, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and children under the age of 2), in general it is now mandatory to do so in both indoor and outdoor public spaces to support efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

To support awareness and compliance related to the use of masks, the City is working with downtown businesses to publicize the proper use of masks, and has also provided $10,000 in funding to make free masks available to island businesses and members of the community.

This week, the City Council held a special meeting that covered several Finance topics, including the use of the City’s CARES Act funding allocation, the biennial review of the City’s financial policies and cost allocation methodology, and the June monthly update on 2020 fiscal impacts from COVID-19. The Council also moved forward proposed changes to the City’s Ethics Program, and finalized appointments to fill two vacancies on the Planning Commission. Watch the meeting here.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
State places Kitsap County's Phase 3 application on pause until July 9
Please see the message below from the Kitsap Public Health District.

The Kitsap Public Health District has received notification from Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman that the state is pausing review of Kitsap County’s application to move to Phase 3 of the Safe Start plan until at least July 9, as public health officials evaluate changing circumstances. Kitsap County remains in Phase 2.

Kitsap met many of the criteria used by the state to evaluate whether counties are ready to move to the next phase of Safe Start. However, the situation has changed significantly since Kitsap County’s application was submitted June 19.

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in Kitsap has risen substantially. A total of 78 cases were reported in June, compared with 11 in May. In addition, several COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported in the county, including three linked to long-term care facilities.

Read the full announcement here .
City reopening date postponed due to pause on Phase 3 application
We anticipated reopening some City facilities to the public for in-person services next week, but that date has been postponed due to the state's pause on Kitsap County’s Phase 3 application. The City’s facilities will remain closed to the public and staff will continue to offer services by phone and online.

The timing of any changes to reopening City facilities will be dependent on the county’s move to Phase 3.

When the doors reopen to the public at City Hall, you should expect the following changes:

  • Plexiglass barriers at front counters
  • Directional signage for movement of staff and visitors
  • Six feet floor markings and stanchions to guide visitors
  • New, lower occupancy limits for conference rooms

City Police personnel and Public Works Operations and Maintenance crews will continue to perform their regular duties, within the limitations established by the current restrictions.

The Municipal Court remains closed to the public through Friday, July 10. Limited building access will begin Monday, July 13 for court hearings and window service. Learn more here.
Council approves CARES Act funding
The City Council this week approved a motion to accept a grant in the amount of $735,600 to help the City recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The grant, awarded by the State as part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant, provides aid to families, governments, and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.  

Of the $735,600 grant award, the Council considered the following potential allocation of funds:
  • $475,600 to support City's eligible expenses
  • $60,000 to Helpline House (already approved in April by Council via contract modification)
  • $200,000 remaining amount to be allocated to community partners such as the Park District and to support for local businesses.

The Council will complete its discussion on the use of CARES funding at an upcoming meeting, with the specific date to be determined.
Police Updates
Learn about de-escalation techniques
Please see the message below from Chief of Police Joe Clark.

Over the last few weeks, I have received several questions about de-escalation techniques. De-escalation is considered a best practice in law enforcement to reduce risk and create opportunities for alternatives to the use of force. Law enforcement organizations such as the Police Executive Research Forum and the International Association of Chiefs of Police both published recommendations on de-escalation in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Other organizations across the country, such as Campaign Zero and 8cantwait, advocate for mandatory de-escalation policies. The BIPD policies emphasize the importance of de-escalation techniques in the context of arrests, use of force applications, and, particularly, in crisis intervention incidents.

What is de-escalation and what training do officers receive?
De-escalation is defined in the National Consensus Policy on Use of Force as “taking action or communicating verbally or non-verbally during a potential force encounter in an attempt to stabilize the situation and reduce the immediacy of the threat so that more time, options, and resources can be called upon to resolve the situation without the use of force or with a reduction in the force necessary.”

While an important consideration in all situations, de-escalation takes on the greatest significance in encounters with individuals experiencing mental illness. The Police Executive Research Forum reports that in approximately 25% of fatal encounters with police there was a component of mental illness. The key to de-escalation is mitigating the urgency of the situation to create opportunity for additional options that resolve incidents through means other than force. This is accomplished through slowing the pace of the incident, creating distance, and utilizing cover to reduce the threat posed by the individual. Communication then becomes the foundation of that strategy.

The officers of the BIPD attend the 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training offered by the Criminal Justice Training Commission. This enhanced course focuses on understanding mental illness and Intervention strategies for dealing with both low and high-risk situations. This training includes role-playing to allow officers to practice their communication skills in scenarios they are likely to encounter on duty. Beyond this, additional training in de-escalation and mental health is now required as part of LETSCA.

What is LETCSA?
The Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act (also known as I-940) was enacted by Washington State in 2019. This act is intended to make communities safer by requiring “violence de-escalation and mental health training, so that officers will have greater skills to resolve conflicts without the use of physical or deadly force." New officers are required to complete a minimum of 200 hours of training in these topics. Currently certified officers must complete 40 hours of continuing training in de-escalation and mental health every three years. Additional details on the training requirements can be found here.

LETCSA also established requirements for conducting external, independent investigations of officer-involved shootings that result in injury or death. Those standards include: excluding the involved agency from the investigation, establishing a liaison to the injured or deceased individual’s family to keep them advised of the investigation progress, providing public updates on the progress of the investigation, and identifying training requirements for members assigned to the team. Locally, an incident meeting this requirement would be investigated by the Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team.

Thank you,

Chief of Police Joe Clark
City Council Updates
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics scheduled for the July 7 City Council meeting.

  • Race Equity Task Force briefing and workplan update
  • Update on development moratorium
  • Green building update
  • Update and next steps following joint City Council & Planning Commission meeting
  • Selection of City Council liaison to business community
  • Discussion of process to evaluate applicants for the Planning Commission
  • Explanation on noticing of special City Council meetings
  • Update on Sustainable Transportation Plan

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).
Council approves Planning Commission appointments
The City Council this week approved the appointment of Kimberly McCormick Osmond, a current Planning Commissioner, to Position 1 and Sarah Blossom, a former Councilmember who represented the south ward, to Position 2.

McCormick Osmond is a land use attorney and has practiced since 1989.
Kim is interested in energy matters,shoreline uses, and the management of
environmental impacts associated with development.

Blossom is an attorney who served as a Councilmember from 2012 to 2019. She served as a liaison to the Planning Commission during her time as a Councilmember. She was also a member of the Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committee.

Blossom will begin her term as a Planning Commissioner during the July 9 meeting.
Other Updates
Celebrate safely this Fourth of July
Please see the message below from the Bainbridge Island Fire Department.

In the wake of canceled public events, fireworks shows, and an upcoming ban on consumer fireworks, we urge Bainbridge Islanders to make safe choices as you look for other ways to celebrate the Fourth of July.

If you will be discharging your own consumer fireworks, please use extreme caution. Make sure you are in a safe area away from homes, trees, and anything else that could accidentally catch fire from fireworks. Learn which fireworks are legal and which are not ( click here). Discharging consumer fireworks on Bainbridge Island is only allowed on July 4 between 5:00 PM and 11 PM. Instead of fireworks, we ask you to consider safer options.

Wildland fires are a continuing threat in our community, and it's around the Fourth of July when fireworks spark the majority of fires. As you enjoy celebrating with family and friends around the bonfire, please be aware of the outdoor burning regulations on Bainbridge Island.

To learn more, please visit We wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Apply now: Something New Phase III
Artists are invited to submit their artwork for Something New Phase III. Three sculptures will be selected as part of the Something New III rotating art exhibition for 2020. Each selected artist will receive a $1,000 honorarium with the opportunity to be recognized for a $1,000 People’s Choice Award. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1.

Learn more here.
Important Dates
Friday, July 3: City Hall closed in observance of the July 4 holiday
Thursday, July 9: Planning Commission meeting (topic to include Floor Area Ratio bonus density).
Thursday, July 16: Race Equity Task Force meeting
July 31:
Deadline to apply for City Advisory Groups.
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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