City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
As we mark the end of 2020, I am looking back at our year and reflecting on key projects, ongoing initiatives and new plans on the horizon. In addition to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, with all its challenges, looking back on the year as a City organization includes some highlights and significant achievements. The City identified and hired a new Police Chief, welcomed four new members to the City Council, established a standing Race Equity Advisory Committee, broke ground on the Wyatt Way-Madison Avenue road construction and safety improvements, and approved the Climate Action Plan – these along with many more large and small actions sum up to a significant year.  

We are continuing other work, as well, including revisions to some development regulations, planning for significant upgrades to the water and sewer utility infrastructure, and the annual rotation of public art through the Something New program. Staff also work year in and year out on ongoing operations – processing permits, paying invoices, striping roads, providing police and court services, and delivering water and sewer services to many on the island – work that we don’t often highlight, but is fundamental to our community.

The recently-adopted budget provides funding to support projects related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the implementation of the Climate Action Plan, and new staffing in the Police Department dedicated to behavioral health services.

Please join me in expressing appreciation for the hard work and engagement shown by City employees throughout the year.

I’d also like to recognize and thank the many partners that assist the City, especially important this year with its many demands for support. The City is fortunate to cooperate with other governmental organizations and a wide range of community nonprofits and volunteer groups.  

Best wishes to all for a healthy, safe, and restful break over the holidays. Our next Council meeting will be Tuesday, January 5. We will also have a community (virtual) open house on Thursday, January 7 where you can hear from our three City Manager finalists. We hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Interim City Manager
City Council appoints Brenda Fantroy-Johnson to North Ward position
The City Council this week approved the appointment of Brenda Fantroy-Johnson to fill the North Ward vacancy following the resignation of Kol Medina.

Fantroy-Johnson, a 14-year resident, served on the City’s Race Equity Task Force and Sustainable Transportation Task Force. She is also involved in Kitsap ERACE (Equity Race and Community Engagement), NAACP, YWCA and Kitsap SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). Fantroy-Johnson works in information security. She is the first Black member of Bainbridge Island City Council since the incorporation as an all-island city.

The City Clerk administered the oath of office to new Councilmember Fantroy-Johnson during a virtual swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 16.

Jane Lindley withdrew her application for the Council vacancy on Dec. 11, leaving
Fantroy-Johnson as the sole finalist for the position.

Watch the Dec. 15 Council discussion here.
COVID-19 Updates
City's COVID-19 test site to close during week of Dec. 28, resumes Jan. 4
The City's COVID-19 testing site will be closed during the week of Dec. 28 to allow our incredible volunteers to have a week off. This will also give staff time to inventory test site supplies and prepare for testing in 2021.

Click here for a list of other COVID-19 test providers in Kitsap County.

As of Dec. 11, the City's site has tested 631 people and there were nine positive test results (less than 1.5% positivity rate).
Project Updates
Join us: Sustainable Transportation Task Force to meet this morning
The Sustainable Transportation Task Force will meet this morning (Friday, Dec. 18) at 9:30 a.m. on Zoom to discuss the gap analysis findings.

The gap analysis identifies unmet needs and opportunities for improvements, identifies critical gaps for the Sustainable Transportation Plan and begins to document areas where projects and programs may be needed.

The virtual meeting is open to the public, and you can join the meeting at
Watch: City hosts online meeting on Comcast franchise agreement
The City hosted an online meeting on Dec. 14 to hear feedback from the community related to the City’s franchise with Comcast. The meeting was rescheduled from Nov. 18 due to a power outage across much of the island.

The City currently has a franchise with Comcast and is in the midst of a franchise renewal process with the company.

As part of that process, the City is conducting a needs and interests assessment related to the services that Comcast is providing on the island, and the online meeting is a part of that assessment.

The meeting was hosted on Zoom by City Attorney Joe Levan and two attorneys who the City has retained for the renewal process. Those attorneys, Tom and Bob Duchen of River Oaks Communications, are very knowledgeable about the current franchise because they worked with the City previously in negotiating and entering into that agreement.

As part of the meeting, the City shared a detailed background presentation, then opened the meeting to allow participants to ask questions or provide comment.

The input received will be an important component of the information the City considers as it negotiates with Comcast regarding the franchise renewal.

Although the City’s legal authority over Comcast’s services on the island is limited in scope due to federal preemption, the City is committed to doing what it can to respond to issues and concerns raised by the community related to the Comcast franchise.

The current franchise is scheduled to expire in June 2021, and the renewal being negotiated would extend the franchise for five years.

After further information gathering and analysis is complete, City staff will bring this matter to the City Council for consideration.

Follow project updates on the Comcast Cable TV Franchise Agreement page.
City Council Updates
School district, community propose “pop-up” projects to safely get kids to school
The Bainbridge Island School District and Squeaky Wheels, a bicycle advocacy group, presented a plan to the City Council this week to encourage a set of “safe routes to school” projects that would be implemented when students return to the classroom for in-person learning, potentially in early 2021. The projects are intended to address the anticipated decline in bus ridership due to parent concerns about the close proximity of children on school buses.

The Safe Routes to School Plan, which had input and support from volunteers throughout the community, includes recommendations on “pop-up” drop-off areas and walkways and bike lanes (with traffic delineators) near schools. The plan aims to increase safety and reduce congestion.

The proposal was well-received by the Council, which requested that City staff return to a Council meeting in January with input on implementation.

Watch the Dec. 15 discussion here (click on Item 8A).
Council, staff discuss Grow Avenue traffic
The City Council this week also discussed how the “safe routes to school” plan overlaps with the community-wide discussion on the status of Grow Avenue, which has been closed to through traffic during the Wyatt Way reconstruction project.

With the Wyatt Way project schedule and related detours extended into early March, the staff presented an option to open Grow Avenue during the remainder of construction, but not until temporary traffic calming measures – including potentially the “pop-up” pedestrian/bike lane option proposed by the safe routes to school plan – could be implemented.

City staff are working on a plan for temporary traffic calming facilities that could be implemented in the next few weeks, after which Grow Avenue would be open to through traffic. The main reason for delaying the opening until facilities are in place is because Grow Avenue lacks established pedestrian and bicycle facilities, unlike the roads -- High School Road, Ericksen Avenue, SR 305, Knechtel Way - that make up the current detour routes.

More information on the temporary detour routes and project information can be found on the City’s project page.
Council postpones discussion on new tree retention requirements for small lots to Jan. 5
The City Council postponed discussion on possible new tree retention requirements for small lots to the Jan. 5 study session.

A recent permitted tree clearing near the Fairy Dell Trail and Olympic View Drive in the Battle Point neighborhood prompted concerns from some community members, and the City Council is considering new tree retention requirements for lots less than 12,500 square feet in the R-0.4, R-1, and R-2 zoning districts to address the clearing of entire lots.

Currently, lots in the R-0.4, R-1, and R-2 zoning districts that are 12,500 square feet or less have no tree retention regulations.

Council and staff first discussed regulatory options on Oct. 20. They will revisit this topic again by discussing a Small Lots Regulatory Options memo prepared by Councilmember Christy Carr as well as information provided by staff to determine an approach for future tree regulations on these lots.
Upcoming City Council meeting
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2021.

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 Council meetings:
  • 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
Planning Commission recommends approval of tree regulation changes
The Planning Commission is recommending approval of proposed changes to the tree and vegetation chapters of the municipal code (Ordinance 2020-28) to the City Council.

The purpose of the changes is to provide updated language and revisions to procedures that reflect best practices for tree and vegetation management, and to complete the Landmark Tree Ordinance workplan.

The City Council is anticipated to consider the Ordinance for adoption in early 2021. 

Watch the Dec. 17 Planning Commission discussion here.
Climate Action Plan to be discussed in online presentations
Members of the Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) in January will host two live online presentations on the Climate Action Plan (CAP) to help the City and community begin implementation of the plan.

The CAP, unanimously approved by the City Council on Nov. 10, includes more than 180 actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare our community for the impacts of climate change.

The online events will be held:
  • Wednesday, Jan. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. 
  • Saturday, Jan. 23. from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

CCAC members will give presentations on the plan, answer questions on the CAP and discuss next steps.

How to participate

The Council identified implementation of the CAP as its highest priority item for the 2021-2022 budget. Read the CAP here.
Other updates
Save the date: Jan. 7 online open house to meet the City Manager finalists
The community will get an opportunity to hear from the City Manager finalists during an online community open house from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7.

Community members may submit questions in advance by sending an email to by 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4.

How to participate
  • Zoom (Webinar ID: 960 5831 1933)
  • Join the online open house on Zoom (no registration required) at
  • Join by telephone: Dial +1 (253) 215-8782 and enter the webinar ID
  • City website livestream: Visit the Agendas & Minutes page, then click on "In Progress" when the meeting starts (similar to City Council meetings)
  • Bremerton Kitsap Access Television (BKAT): The meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 12 on Comcast & Channel 3 on WAVE

A recording of the open house will be available following the event at

The finalists, selected from a pool of 66 applications, listed in alphabetical order by last name, are:
Keith Campbell, who is the City Manager of Stayton, Oregon and has served in this role since 2014. He has 14 years of local government experience. He previously served as the City Clerk for the City of Shawnee, Kansas from 2010 to 2014 and the Deputy County Clerk of Douglas County, Kansas from 2006 to 2010. Campbell holds a Master of Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in psychology from the University of Kansas.
Blair King, who is the City Manager of Coronado, California and has served in this role since 2010. He has 36 years of local government experience, which includes 25 years as a City Manager at cities throughout California. Blair holds a Master of Public Administration and bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fresno.
Anthony Williams, who is the Mayor of Abilene, Texas, a position he was elected to in 2017. He is the Advancement & Executive Community Relations Officer at Abilene Christian University, where he has worked for 23 years in various positions that include Chief Business Services Officer from 2010 to 2017, Director of Retail Operations from 2000 to 2010 and Bookstore Manager from 1997 to 2000. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from McMurry University.
Happy Holidays! The City Manager's Report will not be published next week. We will resume Jan. 8, 2021.
Important Dates
Thursday, Dec. 24 & Friday, Dec. 25: City offices are closed for Christmas holiday
Thursday, Jan 7: Online open house to meet City Manager finalists; 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Zoom
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Contact Information

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