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News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

I want to start this week's message with one last THANK YOU to the many community volunteers and City staff who worked hard to make last week's holiday festivities so successful.  Island-wide, there were many events, large and small, and all seemed to come together with few disruptions and a great deal of good cheer. I hope each of you - and all our extra visitors - found something to enjoy and celebrate.

As we move through these summer months, City staff are working to complete the key projects that rely on fair weather (Olympic Drive improvements, road maintenance and striping, mowing, etc.). We are equally busy within City Hall, particularly in our work to complete key land use policies related to the development moratorium. The Council and staff are currently in progress on numerous initiatives, including changes to Design Guidelines, new subdivision regulations, changes to our Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program, and a new designation for Agriculture Resource Land.

We are also moving forward with important steps related to the $20 million Police Station and Municipal Court replacement project. At the Council meeting this week, the Council formally approved project financing using $12 million in existing fund balance and $8 million from a future bond issue. The Council elected to use Long-Term General Obligation (LTGO) bonds, also known as "Ccouncilmanic" debt. This type of financing is repaid using the City's existing revenue sources, and so does not create any additional tax impact to City taxpayers.

The City Council also discussed this week a resolution supporting a County-wide ban on the aerial spraying of glyphosate, next steps for the planned Sustainable Transportation project, and a new rebate program to allow low-income residents to request a partial refund of the City's annual car-tab fees.

At the study session next week, the topics will include continued discussion of potential changes to the City's sign code, general issues and funding related to the master lease with Friends of the Farms for management of our public farmland, and options related to an existing "shade covenant" for some of these public farm properties. For more information on these issues and other topics, please see below.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Council moves ahead with financing options for new police-court building

During the July 9 business meeting, staff and Council continued the discussion on the funding approach for the Police Station and Municipal Court Building project. Key topics and decisions were to move forward with $12 million of funding from existing City resources and $8 million of funding from long-term debt and to issue "Councilmanic" bonds, also known as Limited Tax General Obligation (LTGO) bonds, this fall.

Authorizing LTGO bonds does not increase property taxes. These important decisions allow staff to continue with project work while also preparing for Council consideration and approval of debt later this year.  In early September, the City's financial advisor will attend a study session to provide Council and the public with information about the bond issuance process.
Ferry Alert: Schedule changes July 13-15 for Colman Dock construction

All Bremerton and Bainbridge Island sailings will be on a temporary schedule due to construction at Colman Dock  from the first sailing Saturday, July 13 through the last sailing Monday, July 15.  See the changes  here

The sailing schedule changes are necessary as WSDOT prepares to move into a new terminal building and opens a new passenger-only ferry facility. In August, all walk-on operations and ticketing will begin in the new terminal building. There will not be any changes for people driving onto a ferry. 

To help keep ferry riders informed of the changes, WSDOT project staff will  have information tables in the terminal and on the boats throughout July.

Seattle Terminal (indoors, at the Information Booth)
  • Wednesday, July 17 1:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 25 1:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry Route (aboard the vessel, near the galley)
  • Wednesday, July 17
    • To Bainbridge Island 4:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. sailings
    • To Seattle 5:35 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. sailings
The entire Colman Dock Project is expected to be complete in early 2023.
City Council continues discussion on Ethics program

The July 2 study session was devoted entirely to City Council review of advisory opinions and determinations issued by the Ethics Board, which included several complaints involving Councilmembers.

During the discussion of ethics complaint 2019-05, which involves a complaint against Councilmember Ron Peltier and communication regarding former City Manager Doug Schulze, the Council issued a reprimand for Article I violations found by the Ethics Board and dismissed the Article II determination.

The Council continues to discuss changes to the Ethics program.  This has been an ongoing discussion to address and clarify the procedures under the Ethics program and the roles of the Council and Ethics Board. During the July 9 business meetingCouncil directed staff to return with a revised Ethics Program for further review. Council will continue this discussion at the July 23 business meeting.
City Council supports ban on glyphosate

Photo Courtesy: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The City Council approved a resolution at the July 9 business meeting to support a county-wide ban on the aerial spray of glyphosate and to state the Council's intent to pursue a city-wide ban on the general use and sale of glyphosate on Bainbridge Island due to the danger to ecosystems, soil systems, water quality, and human health.

Glyphosate, an herbicide generally used to kill weeds, is often used by a land and timber company in Kitsap County and other areas for aerial spraying during reforestation of logged timberland.

The City of Bainbridge Island has already ended its own use of glyphosate and other toxic chemicals on City property and in City operations.

The Council will consider final approval of the resolution at the July 23 business meeting.
Looking ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics expected to be discussed during the July 16 City Council study session:

  • A discussion on the City's sign code (sandwich boards)
  • An update on the moratorium 
  • A discussion on the structure of future committees
  • Consider changes to annual funding and master lease with Friends of the Farms

You can receive the Council agenda every week when it's published -- sign up for Notify Me on the City's website-- select "City Council Meeting Notifications" from the list. You can get the updates by text or email.

The meetings are livestreamed on the City website. Visit the Agendas & Minutes section, then click on "In Progress" when the meeting starts. You can also watch the meetings on BKAT (Ch. 12 on Comcast & Ch. 3 on WAVE).
Task Force members join celebration at Grand Old 4th Parade 

Members of the Race Equity Task Force, including City Council liaison Joe Deets, walked in the Grand Old 4th Parade to raise awareness of the group's efforts and to engage the community in discussions about race. 

The Task Force meets the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. All are welcome to attend. 
Behind the Bar: Mayor Kol Medina serves up drinks, discussion at Starbucks

Starbucks recently invited Mayor Kol Medina (who is not a coffee drinker) to go "behind the bar" at the Bainbridge location for an hour of conversation and service. We followed up with the Mayor to ask about his experience. See his responses below. 
Q: What did the event & discussion entail?
A: My hour "behind the bar" was a lot of fun and quite eye-opening. It started with a number of Starbucks partners (that's what they call their employees) sitting down with me to talk with me about the Starbucks culture and the history and happenings of the BI Starbucks. I didn't realize that Starbucks is such an environmentally-conscious and progressive company. Most impressive to me is that they will pay for a college education at AZ State for any of their employees.
Then, they gave me a Starbucks apron with my name on it and set me to work!
Q: What drinks did you make (and serve)?
A: The only drink I made was their newest iced tea lemonade, which, honestly, I don't remember the name of -- it was a long name! It was quite yummy. I was put to work taking samples of that to share with the customers. I think they took pity on me and kept me off the coffee station because they knew I'm not a coffee drinker. (We confirmed the drink that Mayor Medina served was the Blueberry Black Tea Lemonade).
Q: Overall, what was your thought participating in this kind of event?
A: I thought it was a lot of fun. I was grateful for how nice they were to me. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I was more nervous showing up for this gig than I am for a hard Council meeting. I know how to handle a Council meeting!
Q: Any chance they turned you into a coffee drinker after this experience? 
A: Not a chance. =)
Community Classroom: Wildfire Risk Reduction

Interested in learning how to protect your home from a wildfire? Join Bainbridge Prepares and staff from the Bainbridge Island Fire Department for a workshop on wildfire potential, wildfire mitigation, and more.

 The free class will be offered next Wednesday, July 17 at 7 p.m. at the Bainbridge library, located at 1270 Madison Ave N. Registration is not required. Learn more here
Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Saturday, July 13: Central Ward Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ City Hall 
  • Saturday, July 20: North Ward Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ Seabold Hall 
  • Saturday, July 27: South Ward Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ Island Center Hall 

See the full calendar list here.

City of Bainbridge Island