City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, there is much to reflect on. We are all working to manage our individual challenges while also offering support to neighbors and friends. We are mindful of the extensive impacts across our community and the nation, in terms of health, economic loss, and are trying to do what is needed to move ahead towards a more “normal” time. 

In the midst of all this, I hope islanders will use some time this weekend to acknowledge our traditional Memorial Day remembrances, and to appreciate the service and sacrifices of military families everywhere.

I’d like to also mention that this is National Public Works Week (May 17 – 23). The City’s Public Works team has been performing throughout our COVID-19 emergency, and has been working hard to provide excellent service while learning new safety requirements and processes. I’m very proud of their professionalism and commitment, and I know that our community has benefited from their extra effort during these past weeks.

Finally, please note that the Grow Avenue "Safe Streets" project will return this afternoon. The temporary redirection of non-local traffic in this area will allow more room for walkers, bicyclists, and other users to share the road.

This week, the City Council held a virtual meeting and completed its initial review of COVID-19 impacts to 2020 workplans and budgets. City staff will be providing monthly updates on revenue forecasts for the remainder of the year. The Council also approved a revised plan for intersection improvements at Sportsman Club and New Brooklyn Roads, and moved forward submission of a grant opportunity to remove a fish barrier at Cooper Creek.

For more information on some of these topics and other items, please see below. 

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
Emergency Operations Center to reduce hours next week
Beginning Wednesday, May 27, the City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which supports the City's response to COVID-19, will scale back to Wednesday activation only to continue processing resource requests for local healthcare providers, dentists, and other community businesses. The EOC will remain activated through the end of June.

The City activated its EOC March 16 to manage and prioritize resource requests across the community.

During an emergency, the EOC serves as a central location for staff and community partners to meet to gather information and coordinate response and recovery efforts.
The participating agencies include the City of Bainbridge Island, Bainbridge Prepares, Bainbridge Island Fire Department, Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, and Bainbridge Island School District. The Bainbridge Island community looks to Kitsap Public Health to provide guidance to the community on health concerns like COVID-19. The City is the lead agency for our community’s response efforts.
Grand Old 4th Parade, Street Dance canceled due to COVID-19
The Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce staff announced this week that the popular Grand Old 4th Parade is canceled due to the Washington State directives regarding public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The staff and board of directors are heartbroken that we have to cancel,” said Chamber of Commerce Marketing & Tourism Director Mickey Molnaire. “We know how much the Fourth means to this community.”

Molnaire said the event, which has been organized by the Chamber of Commerce for 52 years, requires the support of more than 100 volunteers, the City's Public Works team and Police Department, and Bainbridge Island Fire department.

The Chamber is considering virtual options for this year’s celebration and plans to be back again with the traditional celebration in 2021.

The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association Executive Director Jerri Lane announced this week that the July 3 Street Dance is also canceled. The decision was made by the BIDA board, which is made up of downtown merchants.

The Fun Run, sponsored by Bainbridge Youth Services, is also canceled. Organizers plan to host a virtual event.

Last month, the Rotary Club announced the cancellation of its annual Auction & Rummage sale, traditionally held as part of the Celebrate Bainbridge events, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kitsap Public Health Board to hold special meeting May 27 to consider COVID-19 county variance request
Please see information below from the Kitsap Public Health District.

The Kitsap Public Health Board will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, May 27, from 1-2 p.m. to consider a COVID-19 county variance request

This meeting will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Board members and staff will participate remotely. There is no physical location for this meeting. 

The public can listen to the meeting using a computer or phone and submit verbal comments during the time allotted for public comment. Instructions are listed at the end of the meeting agenda. Virtual meeting participation is capped at 500. 

The meeting will be broadcast live on Comcast channel 12, WAVE channel 3, and the BKAT website.


The Health Board anticipates there may be a high number of people who wish to provide comment and there may not be enough time for all interested to make verbal comment during the limited time of the virtual meeting. The Health Board recommends and encourages the public to provide written comment before the meeting through one of the following methods:
  1. Online: Please CLICK HERE to submit written comments online.
  2. Email: Please send an email to and include "VARIANCE" in the subject line. 
  3. Letter: Please send a letter to: Kitsap Public Health Board, Attention: VARIANCE, 345 6TH Street, Suite 300, Bremerton, WA 98337

Comments received by 10 p.m., May 25, 2020, will be made available to Health Board members prior to the Special Meeting.

The board meeting agenda and documents are available online
Victim of unemployment claim scam? What you need to know
The Employment Security Department (ESD) has experienced a dramatic rise in “imposter fraud," where an individual uses stolen personal information to fraudulently apply for unemployment benefits. ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine released an update Monday about the additional steps ESD is taking to protect people.

Read more about imposter fraud and report it at
Grow Ave 'Safe Streets' project to extend May 22 to June 1
Beginning at 3 p.m. today (Friday, May 22), through traffic on Grow Avenue will be temporarily redirected to Madison Avenue until the morning of Monday, June 1 as part of the “Safe Streets” initiative supported by the City Council, Squeaky Wheels and Bainbridge GreenWays.

During this time, local traffic and deliveries will be allowed, but there will be no through traffic allowed. Any patient of Bainbridge Pediatrics will have continued access.

Drivers should use Madison Avenue as an alternate route to Grow Avenue.

“This is a way to give the Grow folks a break in traffic while it’s slow,” said Councilmember Joe Deets during the May 19 City Council discussion.

The “Safe Streets” project is an extension of the Grow Avenue demonstration that occurred May 8-12 to protect people walking and biking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City Council formed an Ad Hoc Committee to work with members of Squeaky Wheels and Bainbridge GreenWays to launch the program. The Councilmembers include Joe Deets, Michael Pollock, and Kol Medina.

“Climate change is real – it’s coming. We are going to have to have changes to our traffic modalities and patterns. It’s going to have to happen sometime. This is an opportunity to try something on as a pilot project, see how it goes, let people see it in real life and what it functions like, and make some judgments about it. We rarely get an opportunity to do something like this and I think we should take it,” Kol Medina said.

Learn more about the “Safe Streets” program and read the results of a recent survey here (click on "Link to results").

When the project resumes, organizers plan to launch a new survey that will be shared on the Squeaky Wheels’ website.

The Grow Avenue “Safe Streets” project is not related to the City’s Wyatt Way Reconstruction and Safety Improvement project that is scheduled to begin construction June 8.
Kitsap Transit extends fare-free period through June 30
Kitsap Transit stopped collecting fares on all of its services starting March 23 and is extending the temporary suspension through the end of June to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

To learn more about Kitsap Transit's response to the pandemic, visit
Ferry customers advised to limit travel to essential purposes
Please see the important message below from Washington State Ferries.

As a reminder, the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” emergency order is still in effect. Customers are advised to limit travel on ferries to essential purposes only, and to observe physical distancing by remaining in their vehicles whenever possible.

Customers who must travel on ferries are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings to help promote the health and safety of themselves and our frontline employees. On some sailings, the number of walk-on passengers may be restricted so that riders can maintain physical distance.

Thank you for doing your part to keep Washingtonians safe and healthy during this challenging time.

You can view all travel alerts at the WSF Travel Bulletins page.
Project Updates
Road failure on Country Club Road leads to upcoming partial lane closure
For the past several months, Public Works staff has been monitoring a 600-foot stretch of shoreline bulkhead that secures Country Club Road, between Toe Jam Hill Road and Upper Farms Road, that is failing rapidly and threatening to destabilize the westbound (shoreline) vehicle lane.

Out of concerns for public safety, the Public Works staff will be implementing a partial closure of the westbound lane to traffic until a suitable repair can be implemented. The road closure plan is anticipated to be put in place June 17, and will remain in effect until the required permits are received, and the Council can be briefed on project alternatives and budget.

The segment of Country Club Road that will be partially closed serves approximately 35 residential homes, but the partial closure will allow safe access for residential, delivery and emergency service vehicles.

Public Works staff has developed a bulkhead repair plan for the stretch of road, which is estimated at $375,000, but is not currently budgeted. Work on the repairs at this location cannot begin on the project until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues the required permits. Staff is actively working with the Corps to determine the type of permit that is most suitable for the project, and the timeliness for permit issuance. Depending on that timeline, the project could potentially proceed in 2020 or in 2021 if funding was made available.

The bulkhead repair is expected to last between 8 and 12 years, as sea-level rise and other site conditions will continue to contribute to erosion of the low-bank shoreline.

The City Council will be briefed on the project costs as part of the 2021-26 Capital Improvement Plan discussion at the May 26 City Council meeting.

Please see the Country Club Road project webpage for more information.
Staff to present update on Capital Improvement Plan
At the upcoming May 26 City Council Meeting, and as part of the biennial budget process, the Council and staff will discuss an update to the City’s 6-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2021-2026.

In accordance with the City's Comprehensive Plan, the CIP "...provide(s) the public facilities needed to promote orderly compact urban growth, protect investments, maximize use of existing facilities, encourage economic development and redevelopment, promote private investment, increase public well-being and safety, and implement the Comprehensive Plan."

As part of that discussion, the staff will provide an overview of the Public Works Department’s capacity to deliver on capital projects, as well as background information on how the City has historically budgeted for capital projects. This information is intended to assist the Council and staff with building a realistic and achievable plan for the next six years.

City staff has prepared a first draft of the 2021-26 CIP for Council’s consideration that includes projects from the current plan that have not yet been completed, and new projects that have been identified by the staff and the community as part of a public process in February 2020.
Design Review Board recommends approval of Police-Court project
The Design Review Board recommended approval of the City's Police-Municipal Court facility project at its meeting earlier this week.

The Police-Court project will return to the Planning Commission for additional review at an upcoming meeting (date to be determined), then will require Hearing Examiner approval for the proposed Conditional Use Permit Major Adjustment and Site Plan Review Major Adjustment.

The project sustainability features will be discussed again at the June 2 City Council meeting. In February, the City Council directed staff to complete an analysis and construction estimate to help assess whether to pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the project.

In January, the City finalized its $9 million purchase of the Harrison Medical Center building, located at 8804 Madison Avenue N. The building will be renovated to support completion of a new police station and municipal court.

The project has a current approved budget of $20 million, which includes design, site acquisition, construction, and project management.
Council approves revised plans for Sportsman Club-New Brooklyn intersection improvements
The City Council approved revised plans for the Sportsman Club-New Brooklyn intersection improvement project that include new safety improvements for people walking and bicycling and remove previous plans for a roundabout.

Previously, staff proposed a project design with a roundabout that would also include sidewalks, bicycle lanes and extensions of separated paths. During the March 3 study session, Council members expressed that they were not in favor of pursuing a roundabout project at the intersection, in part, due to the timing for project design that was occurring ahead of the City’s Sustainable Transportation Plan effort. The Council asked staff to investigate the potential for extending the federal grant deadline, in order to consider whether to pursue smaller scale non-motorized improvements at the intersection.

In late April, the granting authorities agreed to a grant timeline extension for construction in 2021, and the requested scope revision.

The revised plan, which includes a budget amendment, was forwarded to the May 26 City Council consent agenda for final approval. Learn more about the new project features here.
Police Chief marks one month on the job
We recently welcomed Joe Clark as our new Police Chief – and this week marked one month on the job! The Chief has not been able to get out and meet as many of you due to the current “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” restrictions, but take a couple minutes to learn more about him in the video below.
Updates on City Advisory Groups
Committee to present update on Climate Action Plan
Members of the City’s Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) will present an update on the draft Climate Action Plan during the May 26 virtual City Council meeting. This update was originally planned for the Council’s March 17 meeting, but was postponed due to the City closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Climate Action Plan, being developed by the CCAC, will establish goals for the City’s municipal carbon emissions or reductions, and provide input to other aspects of community leadership, such as development regulations and planning for capital projects.

On May 26, CCAC members will present an introduction (and seek feedback) on the goals and strategies in the current version of the draft Climate Action Plan.

The CCAC is expected to complete the Climate Action Plan later this year when members are able to resume meeting. The document will then be reviewed by staff, the Council and community, and revised based on stakeholder input.
City Council Updates
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are the topics to be discussed during the May 26 meeting.

  • Capital Improvement Plan workshop
  • Next steps for Ethics Program
  • Set public hearing on extending the Landmark Tree ordinance
  • Overview of draft Climate Action Plan goals and strategies

If you would like to receive the City Council agenda by email when it's published, click  here to sign up on the Council Agendas webpage.

The meetings are live-streamed 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).
Other Updates
Gray whale carcass found on Bainbridge towed for examination
A gray whale carcass that washed ashore on Manitou Beach earlier this week has been towed to south Puget Sound for an examination and natural decomposition.

On Tuesday morning, Bainbridge Island Police got a report of a deceased gray whale near Murden Cove. The Police worked with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries to remove the carcass and tow it to a remote location for a limited examination and necropsy.

For more information on gray whale strandings, please visit the NOAA Fisheries website.
25% of Bainbridge households still need to take Census
As of May 20, 74.8% of Bainbridge Island households have responded to the 2020 Census. It’s a great start, and Bainbridge Island is ahead of Kitsap County (68.7%) and Washington State (65.2%) in our response rate, but there are still more households on Bainbridge Island that need to take the Census.

Why respond to the 2020 Census? 
  • It's quick and easy. The 2020 Census questionnaire will take about 10 minutes to complete.
  • Your response helps to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services. 
  • Results from the 2020 Census will be used to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and your political representation at all levels of government.
  • The Census can be taken online or over the phone in many languages.
  • Taking the Cenus now will minimize the need for the Census Bureau to send census takers out into communities to follow up.

You can respond to the Census several ways (in many languages): 
  • Online: Even if you misplaced the postcard sent to you with the access code, you can still respond online:
  • Over the phone: 844-330-2020
  • Prefer pen and paper? Paper surveys will arrive in your mailbox soon, for those who haven’t responded. Mail it back!

NOTE: Households that receive mail at post office boxes won’t receive a paper survey in the mail. Those households that use post office boxes that have not responded to the Census online or over the phone will be visited by a Census worker when the door-to-door field operations start in August.

How You Can Help:
  • Check in with family, friends and neighbors about whether or not they have taken the Census, and encourage them to do so. For households without access to the internet, encourage them to respond to the Census over the phone.
Important Dates
Monday, May 25:
City Hall closed for Memorial Day.
Tuesday, May 26:
Thursday, May 28:
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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