City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
As we near the end of February, we can look back at some items already completed this year. Noteworthy items have included hosting two community workshops related to the Climate Action Plan, launching a partnership effort for community COVID-19 vaccinations, supporting a community conversation on race equity, and nearing completion of the city manager search process.

Looking forward to March, I want to highlight a few of the most important topics that City staff and City Council are working on this week and in the coming weeks.

At the business meeting this week, the City Council approved a grant program to support Bainbridge Island businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will be administered by the Kitsap Economic Development Association (KEDA) and is modeled after successful programs elsewhere in Kitsap County. Please see below for more details on the program and how to apply.

Friends of the Farms (FOF) staff this week provided an update on their reHOME proposal, through which FOF plans to build satellite bedrooms on the City-owned Morales property for use by farm interns.

The Council this week also began consideration of requiring hazard pay for grocery workers on Bainbridge Island. Next steps related to this topic include the establishment of a Council ad hoc committee. The committee and City legal staff will research actions taken by other jurisdictions.

Watch the Feb. 23 discussions here.

Next week, please tune into the Council meeting that will be devoted to discussion of the City work plan. Staff and Council had an initial discussion of the 2020 work plan results and status earlier this year, on Jan. 19, and will continue this important discussion on March 2. The goal of the meeting is to develop an articulated set of Council priorities for 2021.

Finally, in follow-up to information I provided earlier this month related to a lawsuit that had received attention in the local media, we learned this week that the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request for review that was made by PRSM, a group of community members. The litigation relates to PRSM’s appeal of the City’s Shoreline Master Program, and the request for review was about an evidentiary issue. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the request for review. This decision means that the matter has been referred back to Kitsap Superior Court for a determination based on the court record.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Interim City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 vaccine distribution on Bainbridge Island
We are hopeful that Bainbridge Island will receive first dose vaccines next week and will inform the community via Nixle if appointments are available.

Register for Nixle alerts

Follow the City's vaccine page at for updates on vaccine distribution efforts.
Kitsap Regional Library to host virtual program on COVID-19 vaccine
Kitsap Regional Library (KRL) is partnering with Kitsap Public Health District (KPHD) for an informational program on the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, March 1, from 5 to 6 p.m.

A KPHD representative will share updates on the County’s vaccine distribution efforts, as well as their work to connect with underserved populations and communities of color for equitable distribution. There will be plenty of time for questions from the public. Visit the KRL website for more details.
COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from the Washington State Department of Health 
Below is a COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from the Washington State Department of Health that was sent Feb. 25.

Allocation increase
Washington’s 3-week allocation forecast from the federal government continues to increase. This information allows us to develop a multi-week strategy that helps with consistency and predictability. The forecast is subject to change as vaccine availability from the federal government may change.

  • Week of February 28: 279,800 total doses (156,640 first doses, 123,160 second doses)

  • Week of March 7: 285,200 total doses (156,640 first doses, 128,560 second doses)

  • Week of March 14: 313,280 total doses (156,640 first doses, 156,640 second doses)

A third vaccine will be coming to Washington in March if the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) grants Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Johnson & Johnson – Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

Click here to read the full update.
Washington state experts host webinar on COVID-19 vaccine phases
The Washington State Department of Health hosted an online event Feb. 18 to discuss the phasing and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in our state.

The webinar, "Understanding WA's COVID-19 Vaccine Phases," featured Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, secretary of health; SheAnne Allen, COVID-19 vaccine director; and Dr. Christopher Chen, medical director - Medicaid, Health Care Authority.

The conversation was moderated by Louis Shackelford, HIV Vaccine Trials Network project manager at Fred Hutch.
New hours for Kitsap County COVID-19 drive-thru test sites
Due to the reduction in testing numbers, the Kitsap County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is reducing the hours of operations at various community-based testing site locations. New hours are as follows:

  • Kitsap County Fairgrounds: Mondays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

  • Bremerton Harborside Parking Garage: Tuesdays only 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Poulsbo City Hall Parking Garage: Fridays only 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

These COVID-19 testing sites are operated by the Kitsap County EOC and Kitsap Public Health District, in partnership with various community organizations.

For information on all COVID-19 drive-thru testing options and to register for an appointment, visit

The City of Bainbridge Island's drive-thru COVID-19 test site remains open Mondays and Wednesdays. Information on this test site can be found at
Council approves business recovery grant program
The City Council this week approved a grant program that will provide $210,000 to support Bainbridge Island businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The City is partnering with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (“KEDA”) to administer the grant program. Businesses may receive between $5,000 and $10,000 based upon their COVID-19 financial impacts and the number of total applications received by the City.

Program details
  • The application period will open March 12 and closes March 28. Applications will be available at
  • Awards are expected to be disbursed in April.
  • Use of proceeds: If awarded, grant proceeds can generally be used for business expenses permitted under IRS regulations.
  • All applications will be reviewed for eligibility criteria and verified for application requirements.
  • Grant amounts will be based on financial impact due to COVID-19, number of eligible applicants, available funding, and other criteria.
  • Applicants will be required to provide a detailed explanation describing how COVID-19 impacted them negatively and how grant funds will be used. Applicants are not required to submit receipts.
  • Priority will be given to industries most negatively affected by the pandemic, such as hospitality, tourism, fitness, and small retail. 

How do I know if my small business qualifies?
  • You must have an active business license with the City of Bainbridge.
  • You must have a physical, commercial location in the City of Bainbridge on or before March 1, 2020 and have been in business since at least March 1, 2019 or earlier.
  • You must be a for-profit business, nonprofit, or financial cooperative with no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees and annual revenues $5 million or less.
  • You must be able to demonstrate significant negative financial impact due to COVID-19, backed up by documentation. (Note: Most commonly this will be shown by comparing annual revenues from 2019 to 2020, though other justifications will be considered.)
  • You must be in compliance with Governor Inslee's Healthy Washington guidelines and previous related guidelines.

The business recovery grant program will be supported through the City’s general fund balance reserves in lieu of federal grant monies.

Watch the Feb. 23 discussion here.
Project Updates
Sustainable Transportation Task Force to meet this morning
The Sustainable Transportation Task Force will meet this morning at 9:30 and you're welcome to join on Zoom.

The task force will discuss the list of potential projects, policies, and programs assembled from previous plans, community input, consultant recommendations, and task force analysis.

The current work of the task force is to review the projects, policies, and programs list for errors or omissions. Task force members will also discuss the proposed Evaluation Framework that will eventually group identified projects and programs based on community values. The meeting may be viewed live via Zoom here.
Community engagement begins on SMP periodic review
Bainbridge Island is conducting a state-mandated periodic review of the Shoreline Master Program (SMP), and we're looking for your input.

The SMP includes our community's goals, policies, regulations and programs regarding the use, development, conservation and restoration of our shorelines. The periodic review is intended to ensure the SMP stays current and effective and is a significantly more focused effort than the comprehensive update completed in 2014. The City’s primary objectives during this periodic review are to:

  • Update the SMP to be consistent with relevant changes in state law and City plans/codes since 2014.
  • Improve the clarity and implementation of the SMP.
  • Begin to manage for future flood risk from sea level rise, a priority in the Climate Action Plan.
  • Update how we manage aquaculture.
  • Consider possible updates to aquatic shoreline designation boundaries and procedures.

Learn More & Engage
The City has created a new online engagement site, Engage Bainbridge, where you can follow the periodic review process, provide input through polls and surveys, read documents, sign up for email updates and see meeting schedules.

Opportunities to engage during the current project phase include:
  • Apply to participate in a focus group
  • The planning department is seeking a diverse group of volunteers to provide early policy input regarding aquaculture and flooding due to sea level rise as well as feedback on other improvements to the SMP. The deadline to apply is March 14.
  • Complete surveys on:
  • Future flooding risk and sea level rise
  • Aquaculture
  • Clarifying the SMP and improving the shoreline permitting process

Start engaging here.

Future Project Phases
Using the early policy input from the current project phase, the planning department will finalize a proposed amendment. City Council will endorse a draft amendment on which the community can provide input during a joint 30-day public comment period (anticipated to begin in May) and a joint public hearing (anticipated in June). Informed by the community input, the Planning Commission, City Council, and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) will review the draft amendment. Final adoption is a two-step process by the City Council and Ecology. The adopted amendment is appealable to the state Growth Management Hearings Board.
Ecology approves SMP amendment related to critical areas regulations
On Feb. 19, the City received notification that the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) approved Ordinance No. 2020-17, amending the City’s Shoreline Master Program related to critical areas regulations and nonconforming structures, uses, and lots and amending several sections of Chapter 16.12 of the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code accordingly, as specifically identified in Exhibit A to this ordinance.

This amendment becomes effective on March 5.

Additional information can be found on the Shoreline Master Program webpage, including a copy of the approval letter from Ecology and additional information about its final decision.

This amendment is the final item on the City’s Development Moratorium work plan. As such, the Planning Department will request on March 9 if the City Council wants to terminate the moratorium before its expiration on April 3, extend the moratorium to allow for a 60-day appeal period of the SMP amendment, or allow the moratorium to sunset on April 3. 
City Council Updates
City Council approves race equity welcoming signs
The City Council this week approved implementation of a race equity sign project that will inform visitors and residents that all are welcome on Bainbridge Island.

The welcoming sign project started in 2019 as an effort of the City's race equity committee. The committee selected three designs for signs that will be placed in six locations across Bainbridge Island:
  • Agate Pass
  • Waypoint Park
  • WSF ferry terminal
  • Lynwood Center
  • Blakely Harbor
  • Battle Point Park

"I'm glad to see that we were able to bring it all together and to have it in so many places with so many different signs and so many perspectives," said Councilmember Brenda Fantroy-Johnson who proposed the sign project in 2019. "I think it's fair to say that once these signs are up we will be finally perceived as a welcoming city."

The $6,700 funding for the signs will come from funds set aside for race equity.

The item was moved to the March 9 consent agenda for final approval by the Council. Learn more about the sign project here.
Upcoming City Council agenda
The March 2 City Council study session will focus on a review of the City's 2020 work plan and discussion on the 2021 work plan.

The City Council discussion related to changes to land use regulations and processes that was scheduled for Feb. 23 was rescheduled for the March 23 Council meeting.

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
Race Equity Advisory Committee deadline is today
Applications are due by 4 p.m. today for anyone interested in applying to serve on the Race Equity Advisory Committee (REAC).

The REAC is seeking two volunteers to serve three-year terms.

The REAC, which meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, advises the City Council on race equity issues within local government and in the community.

Terms begin immediately following City Council appointment and expire in June 2024.

For more information on the REAC and to complete the online application, please see the City's News Flash.
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
Vote now: Something New III People's Choice Award
Please see the message below from the Public Art Committee.

We need your vote: Please tell us which Something New III Sculpture is your favorite! The Public Art Committee (PAC), managed by Arts & Humanities Bainbridge (AHB), and the City of Bainbridge Island (COBI), are pleased to announce the voting has begun.

The three sculptures are: Reflection by Abe Singer; (located outside of City Hall), Fumi Amano’s piece, Shape of Memory; (located just off Madison Ave. N. next to Doc’s Restaurant) and Lin McJunkin and Milo White’s, Fossil III (located along Winslow Way near the intersection of Ericksen Ave.

You can cast your vote online at or with a paper ballot at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Winslow Way. We are excited to hear what you think and look forward to seeing your choice.

“It’s obvious that Bainbridge Island truly values art and it is especially satisfying to display my sculpture in a community that appreciates, encourages and celebrates the arts in so many forms” comments Abe Singer.

The Something New program, now in its third year, aims to provide both a dynamic public art experience and an ongoing opportunity for sculptors from around the Pacific Northwest to exhibit their work. The project brings a collection of sculptures to three outdoor sites around Winslow for a yearlong exhibition. New pieces are selected and rotated into these permanent locations annually, bringing “something new” to Bainbridge Island each year.
Other Updates
BIPD officers take plunge for Special Olympics
Bainbridge Island police officers "took the plunge" yesterday with some help from the Bainbridge Island Fire Department to benefit Special Olympics.

The police department raised more than $1,900 for Special Olympics Washington. Learn more about the team's effort to raise awareness and funds here.

Watch the plunge here.
Important Dates
Wednesday, March 3: Island Center Subarea Planning Process Steering Committee meeting; 6:30 p.m. on Zoom
Wednesday, March 3: Joint Environmental Technical Advisory Committee/Utility Advisory meeting; 5:30 p.m. on Zoom
Thursday, March 4: Race Equity Advisory Committee meeting; 6 p.m. on Zoom
Sunday, March 14: City Arborist Nick Snyder to present on tree and vegetation regulations at the virtual Association of Bainbridge Communities Environmental Conference; 3 p.m.
Friday, March 19: Deadline to apply to serve on Ethics Board; 4 p.m.
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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