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News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

I want to send a personal welcome to the City's new Finance Director, DeWayne Pitts. DeWayne is an island resident and will officially begin his work with us in late May. I am excited to have him join the City's leadership team, and I expect he will make important contributions to our organization. Please see below for more information on DeWayne's previous roles and experience.

The City has kicked off a monthly podcast series in partnership with Bainbridge Community Broadcasting (BCB). You can find the link to our first podcast below, and if you listen you can hear directly from our Public Works Director, Barry Loveless, about the status of some of our key capital projects such as Olympic Drive, the Police-Municipal Court facility, and utility upgrades. If you have ideas to suggest for future podcasts, please let us know.

Next week, the City Council study session will cover several important topics. The Council will review changes to the City's sign code that are intended to improve enforcement, and will also consider whether the current rules related to "sandwich boards" should remain in place. The Council will receive a report from local arborists with suggestions on how to approach vegetation management across the island. Finally, the Council will continue the discussion on potential changes to subdivision regulations. If these topics are of interest to you, please view the meeting online or join us in person on Tuesday evening.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
City Manager appoints new Finance Director

Please join us in welcoming DeWayne Pitts as the new Finance Director.
Pitts comes to the City with more than 30 years of experience in finance. He is currently the Director of Finance for the City of Bremerton, where he has worked since 2017. Pitts has also held leadership positions with the Washington State Auditor's Office, King County Public Health and the King County Sheriff's Office. Pitts is a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner. 
Pitts will lead the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, which provides accounting, front desk reception, budget and financial policy and planning services to City departments, the City Council and the community. 
Pitts, a Bainbridge Island resident, graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in business administration.
"I am very excited and humbled at the opportunity to contribute my skills and experience to the community where I live," said Pitts. "I look forward to working with City staff, Council and residents to ensure a bright and sustainable future for Bainbridge." Pitts will start on May 30.

The Finance Director position became vacant in October 2018 when the former Finance Director Ellen Schroer was promoted to Deputy City Manager. 

Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) launches campaign to celebrate 'places that matter'

What are the places on Bainbridge Island that are meaningful to you and make our community a great place to live? The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is participating in the 'This Place Matters' national campaign this month and hopes you'll get involved, too!

Here's how you can participate:
  • Pick up a 'This Place Matters' sign at the Planning & Community Development counter.
  • Take photos at places (building, structure, etc.) that matter most to you - in groups or on your own! 
  • Share your photos on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #ThisPlaceMattersBI and tell us why this place matters to you. You can also send it to and we'll share it for you!  
The HPC will pick one photo to be featured in a future COBI Connects newsletter. 

Interested in historic preservation? Visit the HPC webpage here.
Join the discussion: Design Guidelines meeting

The City is hosting a design guidelines update meeting on Wednesday, May 22 to present draft recommendations and get feedback from the public. The meeting will be held 6:30-8 p.m. in the Council Chamber.

The meeting will include a presentation from the City's consultant, Framework, and information about draft guidelines, recommendations, and opportunities for input. 

Draft guidelines were developed based on an existing conditions assessment and input from the City's Design Review Board, focus groups, and the first public meeting in January.

"Two of the big issues that we heard from the public are highlighted in the draft guidelines," said Leslie Bain who is the lead consultant at Framework. "One is that new development should 'Say Bainbridge' --  in other words, looks like it belongs on and to the Island. That does not mean one particular style, but projects should draw from and contribute to their context."

Bain said the other feedback received was to put sustainability at the forefront of design. She said the new guidelines will also be "clearer, better organized, and more user-friendly."

Following the public meeting, the draft design guidelines are scheduled to be presented to the City Council on June 4. The draft design guidelines will be revised and finalized based on input received at both meetings. 

It's expected the update will be finalized this summer.  Learn more here .
Share your thoughts: One-year review of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) update

City staff is conducting a one year review of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) update. As part of this process, we'd like to know about your experience. Please take a few minutes to complete a short survey. 

Results will be summarized in an assessment report provided to the Planning Commission and City Council.

If you have any questions about the survey, please send an email to Senior Planner Christy Carr.

Start the survey now: click here
Tune in: City begins podcast series with BCB

What's the role of the City Manager? How's the new police-municipal court facility being financed? What's sustainable transportation? If you're curious about all this,  listen to our first podcast episode as host Christina Hulet, City Manager Morgan Smith and Public Works Director Barry Loveless discuss these topics and more.

We've started a podcast series with Bainbridge Community Broadcasting (BCB) to share what's happening at City Hall.

Listen to the podcast  here
You asked: What's going on with the trees along SR 305?

The City Council received a couple of questions from residents about trees that the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) cut and left along Highway 305 near Reitan Road.
Mayor Kol Medina reached out to WSDOT and learned the trees in the area were removed based on an inspection that was conducted after receiving several inquiries from residents on the condition of the trees. 
According to WSDOT's Olympic Region staff, the focus was to get the selected trees down and use the tree debris to help stabilize the adjacent slope where the soil was exposed. 
WSDOT crews will return in a couple weeks to remove the debris and put down grass seed and straw. WSDOT reports that some of the native vegetation is starting to grow back, so they expect vegetative cover soon in the area with their combined efforts.
The tree removal was a joint effort between WSDOT's maintenance crews and Asplundh Tree Expert. 
WSDOT crews are expected return to Bainbridge Island later this spring with an arborist crew from Washington State Parks for additional tree removal along SR 305. We'll share any traffic alerts we receive from WSDOT once the schedule is confirmed. 
PCD celebrates Building Safety month

The Planning & Community Development team is raising awareness this month about building safety. Each week, they're focusing on a different theme: 
Stop by the PCD counter to learn more about these topics- we even have a fun kit for the kiddos. 

Read more here.
WSDOT still seeking feedback on SR 305 safety improvement project

If you weren't able to attend t he Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) open house at City Hall  last month on the safety improvement project along State Route 305 between Poulsbo and Bainbridge - there's still time to share your thoughts. 

Please visit WSDOT's online open house to get in-depth information, ask questions and share your thoughts with the project team. The online open house will close 11:59 p.m. Thursday, May 9.

Following the online and in-person open houses, WSDOT will evaluate public feedback, complete design and  environmental  work and acquire the  right-of-way It's anticipated that construction  will  begin in 2020.    
Looking ahead: May 7 City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the May 7 City Council study session.
  • Arborist report
  • Sign code (sandwich boards)
  • Moratorium update
  • Subdivision update

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).
Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Thursday, May 9: WSF meeting on Long Range Plan; Bainbridge Island Senior Center; 6-8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 14: Public Hearing on sewer & water rates during City Council meeting; Council Chamber; 6 p.m.
See the full calendar list here.
City of Bainbridge Island