I hope you have all received your 2018 Voters Pamphlet. Please remember that ballots are being mailed today, October 19, and are due by Election Day on November 6. There are several important issues for Islanders to consider in this election. I encourage everyone to take a moment to become educated about the various Initiatives and Propositions and to make sure you participate in the decisions that will affect you and your community. Your vote truly matters, and is particularly impactful in the case of local issues.
If you are still seeking additional information and background on this topic, the SAFE Mobility Levy website has a great deal of information to help voters understand this proposed levy lid lift. If approved, the levy will provide $15 million in funding for a wide range of transportation and accessibility projects.
This week, I learned two facts about the community that I think are worth sharing and thinking about collectively. The first is that, in the next few years, our island's population will have more than 50% of our residents over the age of 55. We need to continue to think about how to support and prepare for this trend in terms of our infrastructure, but also through community-building and interpersonal connections.
The other fact I found interesting is that fully 50% of City employees are now relatively new hires, having been with the organization for four years or less. This is a change since my time with the City, and is part of the general U.S. trend as workforce turnover accelerates. It is important to recognize this period of transition as an opportunity for increased emphasis on professionalism and organizational culture. It continues to be the case that roughly 40% of City employees are also residents of Bainbridge Island. I think that plays an important role in our City staff commitment to customer service, stewardship and connection.