City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
We are nearing the end of the first calendar quarter of 2021. Looking back to the first three months of the year, I’d like to highlight our efforts to keep you informed on City projects and invite you to check out some new ways we are trying to invite your participation in City work. Input from the community has real and visible influence on City operations. For example, in my time with the City, the City has installed crosswalks based on community requests, implemented Big Belly trash cans and set up long or short-term committees, all examples of the power of community suggestions.  I'd like to share some of the ways we're trying to make sure you know what's going on with the City.

During the first quarter, the City resumed publication of COBI Connects, a periodic newsletter that arrives in every Island mailbox. This year, based on community suggestions, we will focus on sharing information about how our City government works.

We’ve also held a growing number of community (virtual) events, including open houses related to the climate action plan, “lunch” with the police chief and educational sessions related to sustainable transportation and race equity.

In an effort to reach out to as many community members as we can during this time of COVID restrictions, the City has launched Engage Bainbridge. This tool currently offers many opportunities to learn about and participate in the periodic review of the Shoreline Master Program (SMP). We plan to use this platform for other topics in the future.

If you have ideas on ways that we can reach the greater community (while in-person outreach is suspended), please let us know.

The City Council business meeting this week included a number of important policy topics detailed in this newsletter below, including implementation of hazard pay for grocery workers, discussion of non-motorized transportation projects and changes to portions of our land use code.

The Council also held a special meeting on Wednesday as a joint session with the Ethics Board.

Next week, there will not be a Council meeting as it’s the fifth Tuesday of the month. We are taking advantage of this week to schedule some much-needed improvements in the Council Chambers, such as installation of equipment that will allow for closed-captioning of Council meetings when we resume in-person meetings in the future.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Interim City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
Appointments full for Commodore vaccine clinic this weekend
The Bainbridge Island Community Pharmacy received a limited number of Pfizer doses this week from the Kitsap Public Health District and will hold first-dose appointments this weekend to those eligible at the Commodore clinic. Appointments for this clinic are full.

The COVID Response team began administering COVID-19 vaccinations in December and has now administered more than 10,500 doses for residents of Kitsap and Jefferson counties and beyond.

Details on the Commodore vaccine clinic are available at

Future clinics
When we receive shipments of first-dose vaccines, we will notify the community with a Nixle alert.

Register for Nixle alerts

KOMO News featured a story this week on the COVID Response Team volunteers as part of the "Eric's Heroes" segment. We hope you take a few minutes to watch the video (click on photo below). Thank you to those in our community who are answering the call to serve others!
City to close COVID-19 test site at City Hall next week
The City will close its test site at City Hall next Wednesday, March 31 as the COVID-19 case rates have decreased and the demand for COVID testing has dropped.

The City will be able to offer testing on an as-needed basis if an outbreak occurs and City support is needed.

The planned closure of the testing site at City Hall will allow emergency management staff and volunteers to focus entirely on supporting vaccine distribution on Bainbridge Island.

A list of Kitsap County COVID-19 test providers can be found here.
Small business recovery grants application process closes Sunday
The application process for a grant program to support the recovery of Bainbridge Island small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will close at 11 p.m. this Sunday, March 28.

The City of Bainbridge Island is partnering with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) to administer the $200,000 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.

Applications will be accepted through an online portal administered by KEDA. Awards are expected to be disbursed in April.

Please visit the KEDA website at for detailed information on the grant requirements and application process.
Project Updates
Council approves contract for non-motorized improvements on Eagle Harbor Drive
The City Council this week approved a construction contract for a project that will widen shoulders and create a separated bike lane along Eagle Harbor Drive between McDonald Avenue and the shoreline segment of the roadway (close to a mile). The project, known as the Eagle Harbor Phase II Shoulder Improvements project, has been on the City’s non-motorized project list for two decades.

The southbound non-motorized lane will be separated from traffic by a landscape strip between the travel lane and the new paved shoulder. The northbound lane will not be separated from traffic, as it will be adjacent to the new paved shoulder.

The contract was awarded to Seton Construction, Inc. in the amount of $512,254 – about 30% below the City’s estimate for the work. The project is funded with a federal grant, which will cover most of the costs.

As part of the Council’s discussion of this item, the Council asked staff to also investigate some refinements to the project design, including potential physical separation of the bicycle and vehicle lanes along the southernmost curve of the project alignment (just northeast of McDonald Ave); expanding the shoulder facility on the northbound side from 5’ to 6’; and, building out a gravel shoulder walking path on the outside edge of the north and southbound segments of the project.

Construction is expected to begin later this spring or early summer.

Phase I of the project will continue the improvements north from the northern point of Phase II to the turn at the Head of the Bay. Phase I, which will be challenging because of proximity to shoreline and wetland areas, is currently scheduled for 2024. That phase of the project will seek $735,000 in federal funding. Staff will present design options to Council on April 20.
Council approves expansion of Madison Avenue project scope 
The City Council this week approved $25,000 from the Transportation Benefit Fund to explore a scope expansion of the Madison Avenue Sidewalk project.

The original project scope, which is funded with a $1.4 million federal grant for design and construction in 2021-2022, is for sidewalk widening on the east side of Madison Avenue between Wyatt Way and High School Road. The staff proposed that prior to beginning design of that project, that a larger scope be evaluated – one that would combine two other planned City projects (the Madison/Village Basin sewer improvements and the Madison Road Reconstruction) and one project that is not yet planned, a separated bicycle facility on both sides of Madison Avenue from Winslow Way to State Route 305.

The advantages of combining and expanding the scope of these projects are that it would create cost efficiencies by overlapping utility and road replacements, and would also create staff efficiencies by focusing on a series of improvements along one corridor in a single project.

Additionally, the separated bike lane element of the project would create an “all ages and all abilities” north-south corridor through Winslow that could potentially connect downtown with the library, schools, parks, and other commercial establishments. Staff will be developing scope options and project estimates for the potential larger project for Council and community consideration later this summer. That work will also include evaluation of the cost-benefits of an “all ages and all abilities” facility on Madison Avenue, versus other north-south corridors through Winslow such as Grow Avenue and Ericksen Avenue.
Deadline approaching to complete surveys on shoreline periodic review
Bainbridge Island is conducting a state-mandated periodic review of the Shoreline Master Program (SMP), and we're looking for your input in a few surveys on aquaculture, future flood risk from sea level rise and SMP improvements. The deadline to respond is 4 p.m. today (March 26). Find the surveys here.

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.

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.
City Council Updates
Council discusses updates to land use code
The City Council this week discussed an
ordinance that would update and revise portions of the City’s land use code, including related to banning new hotels in some downtown districts.

Ordinance No. 2021-03 is part of a series of recommendations developed by a joint City Council and Planning Commission land use subcommittee that was formed in June 2020 to clarify an approach for affordable housing initiatives and to prioritize and develop a process for land use code revisions.

Ordinance No. 2021-03 relates to what is being referred to as Triage Phase 1 code changes. In summary, the proposed changes:

  • Prohibit new hotels in the Central Core, Gateway and Ferry Terminal Districts of the Mixed-Use Town Center. These districts have red, brown, and blue boundaries, respectively, on the adjacent map. 

  • Continue to allow hotels in the High School Road 1 and 2 zoning districts. These districts have green and purple boundaries, respectively, on the map. The ordinance would allow the Planning Commission and the Council to review the City’s regulations, including use standards, to determine if and how new hotels within these zoning districts could be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

  • Continue to prohibit hotels in the Madison Avenue and Ericksen Avenue zoning districts, shown with yellow and orange boundaries.

  • Clarify that the Planning Director and Hearing Examiner should give substantial weight to the Planning Commission recommendations on land use permits, including recommendations of denial.

The Council discussed the ordinance and forwarded a revised version of it for consideration of approval at the Council’s April 13 meeting.

Watch the March 23 discussion here.
Police-Court facility discussion postponed to April 6
The Police-Court facility discussion scheduled for March 23 was postponed to April 6 due to the absence of two Councilmembers at the March 23 business meeting.

Because the April 6 meeting is a study session, verbal public comment will not be accepted at that meeting. People who would like to comment on this item may do so in advance by emailing an individual council member, or the entire Council at
Council approves ordinance on hazard pay for grocery workers
The City Council this week approved Ordinance No. 2021-13 related to hazard pay for grocery workers.

The Council adopted the ordinance on an emergency basis, so it went into effect immediately. As described in the ordinance, ensuring that grocery workers on Bainbridge are compensated for the substantial risks of working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 emergency promotes retention of these vital workers, and retention of grocery employees is fundamental to protecting the health of the community as these employees directly facilitate access to food.

The ordinance requires hazard pay of $2 per hour for grocery employers with 500 or more but less than 2,000 employees worldwide, and $4 per hour for such employers with 2,000 or more employees. If a grocery employer is already paying hazard pay to its employees, the employer may use that hazard pay to offset the amount due under the ordinance.

"(Grocery workers) had to put up with a lot of stuff and this is the least the City can do to help these people," Councilmember Brenda Fantroy-Johnson said.
Council approves funding recommendations for tourism activities
The City Council this week approved the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee's (LTAC) 2021 funding recommendation to support tourism activities. Each year, the City allocates money from the Civic Improvement Fund to support proposals from community organizations. The City this year will award $225,000 to recipients. The funds are collected through a tax on overnight lodging on Bainbridge Island.

The proposals must be for tourism marketing projects, marketing and operations of special events or festivals, the operation of eligible tourism-related facilities or capital expenses for an eligible tourism-related facility. The funds may be used to create new tourism promotion programs or to support or enhance existing programs.

This year, the committee reviewed 12 proposals totaling $462,402 in funding requests.

Details of the LTAC's funding recommendations are included in the March 23 agenda packet. Some of the awards included funding for development of advertising and marketing materials, a trail map and operating expenses. The proposals are available for review on the City's website at

As a next step, City staff will develop agreements with each 2021 recipient organization.

LTAC members include two people from Bainbridge Island businesses that collect lodging taxes and two people from businesses or agencies eligible to receive lodging tax funding. Members cannot currently serve as active board members or paid staff of organizations that apply for lodging tax funding.
City Council, Ethics Board hold joint meeting
On March 24, the City Council and the Ethics Board held a joint meeting. The meeting provided an opportunity for the Council to receive direct input from Ethics Board members, who offered a variety of thoughtful suggestions to clarify and improve the Ethics Program.

The Council and the Ethics Board also committed to having a future meeting to continue their discussion and to consider additional action items related to the Ethics Board Operating Rules and the Ethics Program more generally.

Watch the March 24 meeting here.
Upcoming City Council agenda
There is no City Council meeting next week. The next meeting is scheduled for April 6.

If you would like to receive future City Council agendas by email, please 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
City seeks volunteers to serve on advisory groups
The City is seeking volunteers to serve on its advisory groups that assist and advise the City Council on topics that range from climate change and land use to utility-related policies.

Most of the committee positions require a three-year term commitment. The workload varies for each committee - some meet monthly and others more frequently. Some committees may require advance reading to participate meaningfully in the discussion.

There are individual applications for each advisory group. The applications are available at

Applications are due by 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 21. Candidates selected for interviews will be contacted, and must be available in May for interviews. The terms begin July 1, 2021.

Learn more about the committee openings here.
Island Center subarea planning committee to meet next week
The Island Center Subarea Planning Committee will meet Wednesday, March 31 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to continue discussion of a draft Island Center Subarea Plan (Plan).

After the committee completes review and recommendation on the Plan, it will then be forwarded to the Planning Commisison, and ultimately, the City Council for review and adoption.

The meeting will be held on Zoom. The public is welcome to share comments during the "public comment" portion of the meeting. Learn more about the committee's work at
Other Updates
Behavioral health, race equity focus of virtual 'Lunch with the Chief' event
Chief Clark hosted a virtual lunch on March 23 to update the community on the department’s activities over the last year. He was joined by Kelsey Lynch, the department’s new Community Health Navigator. Kelsey provided some insight into her background and experience that made her the right choice for this position. Kelsey described how her role would include work with both community members, organizations, and police officers to continue improving services to our community.

Thank you to all who joined the meeting asking important questions about our community and providing valuable input. If you were unable to attend the event you can view it here.

If you'd like to connect with Chief Clark about items that were discussed during the presentation or any other topic, please email him at
New boat engine law begins April 1
Beginning April 1, recreational boat operators will be required to wear a new engine cutoff device following the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.

The devices, commonly referred to as engine cutoff switches (ECOS), are designed to prevent a boat-strike injury if an operator is accidentally ejected overboard while underway.

Learn more here.
We're hiring!
Administrative Specialist II
This position provides administrative support to the Engineering division of Public Works, and the individual is expected to provide top-notch customer service on a daily basis, utilizing strong verbal and written communication skills. The ideal candidate is a team player who is organized, detail-oriented and able to multi-task.

Financial Analyst
The Financial Analyst performs financial research and analysis, develops and maintains crucial reporting and supports budget development. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated understanding of municipal finance and experience managing multiple projects utilizing strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Permit Specialist
The Permit Specialist position is the first contact for those seeking information or assistance regarding the City’s codes and permitting processes. Those with an innate interest in delivering high-quality customer service while actively participating in a collaborative working environment are encouraged to apply.

Learn more and apply at
Crews to flush water mains in Winslow area next week
The City of Bainbridge Island utility crews will continue flushing City water mains next week. They’ll be working in the southwest section of the Winslow area, including Lovell Avenue, Weaver Road and Grow Avenue.

This is annual work that is done to improve water quality by removing naturally-occurring sediments from the lines.

Signs will be posted in neighborhoods prior to flushing.

If you experience low water pressure or discolored water during the work, avoid running water or doing laundry for one hour. After one hour has passed, you should run cold water for approximately five minutes until it's clear.
Important Dates
Friday, March 26: 4 p.m. deadline to complete surveys on aquaculture, future flood risk from sea level rise and SMP improvements
Wednesday, March 31: Island Center subarea planning meeting; 7 p.m. on Zoom
Thursday, April 1: Race Equity Advisory Committee; 6 p.m. on Zoom
Monday, April 5: Design Review Board; 2 p.m. on Zoom
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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