City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
We are nearly midway through December, and have managed together through nine full months of COVID-19 impacts and changes. Our community has performed very well in terms of compliance with public health guidelines and Governor Inslee’s Safe Start reopening plan. This week, the Governor announced that current COVID-19 safety restrictions on indoor dining and fitness centers will extend through the holidays to Jan. 4. It will be important in the coming weeks to do what is needed to continue our commitments to keeping one another safe and healthy.

The health of our local businesses is also an important component of our community’s safety and wellness. As you make your holiday purchases, please consider shopping local. The Rotary Club, in partnership with the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association and Chamber of Commerce, launched an online Bainbridge Island General Store to make it easier to shop local and allow residents to benefit from the creativity, skills and services of our island businesses. The “Save our Stores” campaign is also still active and is highlighting a Home for the Holidays special.

Next week, the City Council will take the next steps in the ongoing City Manager search process, with panel interviews scheduled for four finalist candidates. Please see more information below about these candidates, selected through a national search led by Strategic Government Resources. And, please plan to participate in a community online open house to meet the candidates, which will be scheduled in early January. We’ll have more information to share soon.

Next week, the City Council has two meetings scheduled – a study session on Tuesday, Dec. 15 and a special joint meeting with the Race Equity Advisory Committee on Wednesday, Dec. 16. Both meetings start at 6 p.m. and will be held on Zoom, streamed on the City’s website and broadcast on BKAT. Please see below for more information on some of the topics that are scheduled for discussion, as well as other items of community interest.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Interim City Manager
City Council selects City Manager finalists
The City Council has narrowed its search for a new City Manager to four finalists who will participate in a series of virtual interviews with City staff, community partners and advisory group representatives during the week of Dec. 14.

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.
Raymond Lee, who is the Director of Public Works for the City of Amarillo, Texas and has served in this position since 2017. He has served 13 years in local government. He previously worked for the City of Dallas, where he served as Assistant Director of Street Services from 2015 to 2017 and in various other Street Services positions from 2012 to 2015. He also served as Business Manager of the City of Dallas Library Services from 2010 to 2012. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Henderson State University.
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 20 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.
“The City Manager search has been a robust process with significant input from the candidates and review from the Council,” Mayor Leslie Schneider said. “I’ve been impressed by the qualifications of those who have expressed interest in working here, and look forward to the selection of a new City Manager early next year.”

Meet the finalists
  • The community will get an opportunity to hear from the finalists during a live, 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)
  • To join the community open house on Zoom, please click the link below (no registration is required):
  • 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 candidate selected will replace City Manager Morgan Smith whose contract expired in December 2020. The Council selected Ellen Schroer to serve as Interim City Manager until a new City Manager is hired. Schroer joined the City 10 years ago as the Director of Finance and Administrative Services. She was promoted to Deputy City Manager in 2018. 

The City Manager reports to and is appointed by the City Council, as the City operates under a Council-Manager form of government. The City Manager provides policy advice, directs the daily operations of City government, handles personnel functions and is responsible for preparing the City budget. 

The City Council hired Strategic Government Resources (SGR) to lead the nationwide search. SGR specializes in public sector executive recruitment.
City Council to continue north ward selection process next week
The City Council this week held a second round of interviews with two finalists for the vacant north ward seat, but did not make an appointment due to a tie vote.

The Council will again discuss selection and appointment during next week's Dec. 15 meeting.

By state law, the Council has 90 days following the vacancy, or until early February 2021, to appoint a new member to the vacant position or the County Commissioners will make the choice.

Watch the Dec. 8 discussion here.
Update on regulation of Triangle Property 
In early 2020, the City worked with state agencies to respond to a range of community concerns related to a site known as the “Triangle Property”. The site is located at the intersection of Fletcher Bay Road and Lynwood Center Road and is currently used as a mining and reclamation site.

As part of this process, the City communicated with both the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and State Department of Ecology (DOE) to share information and review issues related to regulation and permitting of activities at the site. A link to the City’s Feb. 7 update on this topic, including several background documents, can be viewed here.

Over the past few months, the City has continued to communicate with state agencies regarding outstanding questions about the site. By way of update on those questions, City staff provided a Dec. 9 memo to convey the current status of discussions related to the property, present information that has been developed in recent months, and identify the remaining outstanding questions. Going forward, the City will continue to seek resolution on these issues in coordination with DNR, DOE and the site operator.
COVID-19 Updates
City adds more appointments at COVID-19 test site
The City's COVID-19 testing site this week added four more appointments per day. The site, which started with 24 daily appointments, has increased to 48 appointments per day. The test site is open by appointment only 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The test 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.

As of Dec. 4, the City's site has tested 484 people and there were seven positive test results (less than 1.5% positivity rate).

Due to a significant increase of COVID-19 testing across the state, the University of Washington lab results are delayed. People who receive a test should now expect results in 48 to 72 hours.

Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage provided an update on the City's COVID-19 test site to the City Council during the Dec. 8 business meeting. Watch the presentation here.
Gov. Inslee extends statewide restrictions to Jan. 4
On Dec. 8, Governor Inslee announced a three-week extension of the enhanced statewide restrictions, now in place until Jan. 4, 2021 to give the state’s medical system much needed time to increase Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity before it’s overwhelmed.

Read the update here.
Update on state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan 
Please see the update below from the Washington State Department of Health that was sent out on Dec. 10.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts. If everything goes as planned, we expect to have the vaccine delivered early next week in multiple locations across the state.

The federal government has given us an estimate of 62,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for our initial allocation – we expect this shipment next week, assuming the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the emergency use authorization. An advisory panel voted to recommend approval today. We expect additional allocations for a total of about 222,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of December. That’s about 20,000 more than we had originally thought.

More good news: we think we will receive about 183,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of December as well, assuming the FDA approves the emergency use authorization. Regular weekly shipments should begin in January.

Last week we decided the first sites that will get the vaccines next week, which includes 17 sites across 13 counties. We will be making the decisions about where the remaining doses will go over the next several days.

In the early days of vaccine distribution, since we’re targeting the vaccine to high-risk workers in healthcare and long-term care facilities, we will only be sharing locations that are getting vaccine by county and number of doses. As we expand to vaccinating broader groups, we will share more details about where vaccine can be obtained.

Continue reading the full update here.
Project Updates
City to host Comcast Cable TV services virtual meeting next week
The City will host an online meeting to discuss Comcast cable television services at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 14. The meeting was initially scheduled for Nov. 18 but was rescheduled due to an extensive power outage on the island.

The purpose of the Dec. 14 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. If you are a City resident or the owner of a business located on Bainbridge Island, please join us for the Zoom meeting to share your thoughts.

The online 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.

How to watch and participate:
  • Zoom (Webinar ID: 948 9698 0773): 
  • To join the meeting on Zoom and participate in the discussion, please use this link (registration is not required):
  • Join by telephone: Dial +1 253-215-8782

Click here to learn more about the project.
Sustainable Transportation Task Force to discuss 'gap analysis' next week
The Sustainable Transportation Task Force will meet next 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 using this link:

The City Council reviewed and approved the Final Plan Goals and Objectives for the Sustainable Transportation Plan at its Nov. 10 meeting. The six goals include:
  1. Climate Action and Resilience;
  2. Natural Systems and Rural Character;
  3. Safety and Comfort;
  4. Equity and Accessibility;
  5. Connected and Convenient and
  6. Implementation and Funding.

Objectives are the measurable tasks that will be employed to accomplish the goals, and there are several objectives for each goal. Detailed information may be found under the “Task Force” tab on the project page.

The Sustainable Transportation Plan will help us reach the City Council’s goal to reduce carbon emissions by 90% by 2045 and improve safety and mobility for all. The core areas of focus for the plan include:
  • The integration of land use and transportation;
  • Using equity framework and analysis tools and 
  • Focusing on feasibility and implementation.
City Council Updates
Council approves ordinance to create standing Race Equity Advisory Committee
The City Council this week approved an ordinance to establish a standing Race Equity Advisory Committee (REAC) with the current members of the Race Equity Task Force appointed as initial members of the standing committee. The standing committee will add two positions for a total of nine members. The vacant positions will be filled in 2021.

The City Council established a Race Equity Task Force, made up of seven community members, in 2018 to seek suggestions on how the City can help Bainbridge Island be an open and welcoming community for all. As a task force, the work of the group was intended to be of limited duration and focused on specific tasks.

The REAC will work to provide informed recommendations to the City Council on programmatic, community, and legislative options to address and rectify systemic and structural racism and bias within government and law enforcement.
Council approves ban on new self-service storage facilities
The City Council this week approved Ordinance 2020-34 to prohibit the construction of new self-service storage facilities on Bainbridge Island to preserve commercial areas for activities with the greatest potential for job creation and business enterprise.

The Council's decision to eliminate new storage facilities was made following a review and recommendation by the Planning Commission. Staff also compiled information and analysis on self-service storage capacity following a request from the Council.

The new rules, which take effect Dec. 16, allow existing facilities to expand and remodel.
Council approves six-month landmark tree ordinance extension
The City Council on Dec. 8 approved a six-month extension of the landmark tree ordinance to allow staff and the Planning Commission time to complete the legislative process to adopt regulations for the City Council's consideration regarding amendments to the City's tree and vegetation regulations.

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. The landmark tree ordinance applies only within the Winslow Master Plan study area.
Council to continue discussion on new tree retention requirements for small lots
The City Council will continue discussion next week on possible new tree retention requirements for small lots.

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 now 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 and reviewed by staff to determine an approach for future tree regulations on these lots.
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Dec. 15 City Council meeting.

  • Selection and appointment of north ward Councilmember
  • Discussion on tree unit requirement options for lots less than 12,500 square feet in the R-1, R-2 & R-0.4 Zoning Districts
  • Staff update on joint City Council and Planning Commission Land Use Subcommittee
  • Introduction to Safe Routes to School pop-up projects
  • Introduction to Grow Avenue traffic calming
  • Discussion of eCommerce alternatives to support local businesses during the pandemic

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)
City Advisory Group Updates
Council approves appointment of Ashley Mathews to Planning Commission
The City Council has approved the appointment of Ashley Mathews, a Real Estate Broker at Windermere Real Estate, to Position 3 of the Planning Commission.

Mathews is a board member for the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. She also serves as the board development chair for Treehouse for Kids, an organization that provides youth in foster care with academic and essential support.

Mathews began her term as a Planning Commissioner at the Dec. 10 meeting.
Planning Commission recommends approval of ordinance to prohibit new hotels in downtown districts 
On Dec.10, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on Ordinance 2020-40 that addresses priority code changes and prohibits new hotels in downtown districts. After closing the public hearing, the Planning Commission recommended approval unanimously to the City Council.

Most of the changes proposed by the ordinance fall into the following categories:
  • Clarifies that the Planning Director and Hearing Examiner should give substantial weight to the Planning Commission recommendations on land use permits, including recommendations of denial.  
  • Prohibits new hotels in the Mixed Use Town Center, Central Core, Gateway and Ferry Terminal Districts. Hotels are currently allowed as “conditional uses” in these zones. Under this ordinance, hotels would still be allowed in the High School Road zones.
  • Increases the duration of required affordability for designated affordable housing units from 30 years to 50 years for rentals and 99 years for homeownership.

This ordinance originates from priority land use code changes that were identified by the joint City Council and Planning Commission Land Use Subcommittee. The subcommittee presented a list of recommended priority code changes to the Council during the Oct. 13 business meeting. The City Council forwarded the list of priority code changes to the Planning Commission for immediate legislative work.

The City Council will consider the ordinance in early 2021.

Watch the Dec. 10 Planning Commission discussion here.
Other updates
Prepare for winter weather
Staff presented a winter weather briefing to the City Council during this week's business meeting.

The National Weather Service is predicting wetter and colder weather, specifically for January through March. It is important for residents and businesses to be prepared for snowy/icy road conditions and potential power outages. Information on preparing for winter weather can be found here.

During winter storm events, the City Operations and Maintenance crews provide snow and ice removal and treatment on public roads through a priority system. The crews focus first on the main roads then neighborhood streets. A map of the prioritization and other information can be found on the City’s website here.

This year, City crews are challenged to provide a level of service that meets the expectations of previous years primarily due to impacts on staff availability related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Roads will still be addressed in priority order, with a focus on routes that serve transit, emergency services and Puget Sound Energy crews working to restore power.
City seeks to hire a Building Official
The City is seeking applicants for the position of Building Official, which oversees building permits and inspections in the Planning & Community Development Department. The successful candidate will have a key role in the ongoing transition to electronic permit review and the development and adoption of a green building code.

Important Dates
Monday, Dec. 14: Comcast Franchise Agreement community meeting; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Tuesday, Dec. 15: Final City Council meeting of 2020; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Wednesday, Dec. 16: Joint City Council and Race Equity Task Force meeting on "Threats to a Welcoming Kitsap: Xenophobia, White Nationalism and Racism in Kitsap County"; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Wednesday, Dec. 16: Climate Change Advisory Committee meeting; 6:30 p.m.; Zoom
Thursday, Dec. 17: Planning Commission meeting; 6 p.m.; Zoom (Tree and Vegetation Public Hearing;
Discussion of multifamily tax exemption; Discussion of revisions to the pre-application process)
Friday, Dec. 18: Sustainable Transportation Task Force meeting; 9:30 a.m.; Zoom
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