City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
I can hardly believe how long ago last Friday seems. I am very grateful for how the Bainbridge Island community has moved quickly to offer and exchange help and resources to one another. Our preparedness efforts have allowed this effort to ramp up quickly and function well. Being a smaller place, where we know one another well, has helped to build these connections with both urgency and grace. Islanders are busy learning how best to take care of themselves and others, and applying their creativity and smarts to new problems. Keep up this great work and do not underestimate the importance of kindness and patience as we move together through these next few weeks.

This week, the City was closed to the public so that staff could complete the organizational work required to quickly pivot towards a new mode of service. Beginning on Monday, March 23, we will resume many of our essential City services to the public. However these services will, for now, be provided without our typical, in-person public access. See the City's COVID-19 webpage for more information on changes within specific City departments (scroll down to closures & cancellations). City facilities will remain closed to the public through at least April 3.

A main purpose of this pivot is to create capacity within the City to support the work of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC serves as a clearing house to identify, prioritize and respond to a wide range of community requests for assistance and information. As the City of Bainbridge Island is the lead agency for our community’s emergency response, this role and support for the range of emergency response requests/activities is now our highest priority. Some examples of this work include obtaining and identifying medical supplies within our community, emergency support for housing needs, coordination with County and regional resources to plan for capacity in our health care system, coordinating economic mitigation plans, matching volunteers with community organizations who have critical labor needs, supporting our key retail sites, support for first responders, support for efforts to ensure food security to youth and seniors, etc. It is important work that the City is required to lead. Our community is demonstrating exceptional capacity to help one another, and the City’s EOC is the place where our community’s needs get connected to our resources. 

Also of note, the City announced this week the selection of Joe Clark as our next Chief of Police. Joe comes to our community with an impressive range of experience, and has demonstrated particular engagement in the areas of outreach to diverse communities, mental health training, and public engagement. I am looking forward to having him join our first-class Police Department, I hope you will join me in welcoming him to the Bainbridge Island community.

To complete some business continuity items, the City Council will meet next Tuesday. There are some significant changes to the meeting structure, start time and public comment so please see below for more details. The meeting will include a previously noticed public hearing on whether to extend the development moratorium for an additional six months. In-person public comment will be allowed for this public hearing, but not for other items. Other than public comment for this public hearing, the Council meeting will be closed to the public. Written public comment is always encouraged and can be sent to the City Council at

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

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
Status of City operations
City facilities, including City Hall, Municipal Court, and the Police Station, will remain closed to the public through at least April 3. The City has implemented changes to its processes to allow residents to access as many City services as possible through electronic submittals, email and phone. Please see the closures/cancellations tab on the COVID-19 webpage for specific information for each department. 
Status of Emergency Operations Center
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to be the central location for our community’s response 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.

Thank you to the many community members who continue to donate protective equipment for health care workers on Bainbridge Island. Supplies are limited due to impacts on manufacturing and the increase in global demand. Through the EOC, we have already provided protective equipment and cleaning supplies for Bainbridge Pediatrics, Bainbridge Island Senior Living, and Helpline House but more items are needed to continue this support for our community. The curbside drop offs will continue next week Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of City Hall. Please click here for a list of the specific donation requests.

The EOC will continue to operate next week to support our community’s needs, which includes continued collaboration with Bainbridge Prepares, the fire department, school district and parks district.
Kitsap County seeking supplemental health care sites
The City is supporting Kitsap County’s efforts to consider facilities that have the potential to be used to supplement health care capacity during COVID-19. County officials have identified two sites on Bainbridge Island for potential use. City staff is working to support the County’s review of these options and will assist with planning and implementation if these resources are activated. The County's decision-making related to these plans is ongoing.
Kitsap Public Health update
As of March 20, the Kitsap Public Health District reports 12 positive cases of COVID-19 in Kitsap County (including 4 cases on Bainbridge Island). Get Kitsap Public Health updates here
City Council Updates
City Council to hold March 24 meeting
The City Council will hold a meeting Tuesday, March 24. We anticipate that some Council members will be present, and others may join by phone.

The agenda will be published Friday, March 20, and will be limited to an update on COVID-19 response efforts, transactional items required for business continuity, and a previously noticed public hearing on whether to extend the development moratorium for an additional six months.

The room surfaces (chairs, tables, door handles, other surfaces) will get an additional cleaning with disinfectant before the meeting.

During the March 24 meeting, the City will limit the number of people in the Council Chambers to 10 (including staff and Council members). As a result, the meeting will be closed to members of the public, except for people who wish to make public comment on the public hearing. 

The meeting can be viewed live on Bremerton Kitsap Access Television (BKAT) (Ch. 12 on Comcast & Ch. 3 on WAVE) or by using the streaming service on the City’s website. Visit the  Agendas & Minutes section, then click on "In Progress" when the meeting starts.

Public Comment

Written public comment on all agenda topics is encouraged and accepted. You can submit public comment to the City Council at  

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. (an hour earlier than the usual start time). The public hearing on the development moratorium will occur at or after 6:00 p.m. (as noticed). Per legal requirements, the City will provide an opportunity for in-person public comment on this topic.

In-person public comment for the public hearing will be organized with each person entering the chambers one at a time to speak at the podium.

At the lectern for public comment, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available and can be used by everyone to clean the area.

Members of the public will not be allowed to remain in the meeting room after their public comment is completed, per the guidance to limit gatherings.

There will be no opportunity for in-person public comment on other agenda topics.
Public hearing on proposed development moratorium extension planned for March 24 meeting
The City Council will hold a public hearing during next week's March 24 business meeting to consider extending the development moratorium (currently set to expire April 3) for six months. The six-month extension would allow City staff time to continue affordable housing tasks and work on adoption of the new Critical Areas Ordinance within the Shoreline Master Program.

See the story above for information on public comment.

At the Mar. 24 meeting, the Council will consider approving the six-month extension. If the extension is not approved, the moratorium will expire on April 3. If Council approves the extension, it would mark the fifth extension since the moratorium was approved in January 2018. 
City Council seeking applicants to fill south ward vacancy
Bainbridge Island residents interested in serving on the City Council have until 4 p.m. Friday, April 17 to apply to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Councilmember Matthew Tirman who held Position No. 3 in the south ward. 

Residents interested in applying for the Council vacancy must have lived in the City of Bainbridge Island for at least one year as of March 17, 2020, must currently live in the south ward, and be registered to vote. Click here to view the ward map on the City’s website to confirm your residence is in the south ward.  

Application forms are available at City Hall, located at 280 Madison Avenue North, or on the City’s website.

The term of the vacated position will begin once a candidate is appointed by a majority vote of the Council and will expire after the results of the November 2021 general election are certified.

The timeline for filling the Council vacancy is as follows:
  • Friday, April 17
  • Applications are due to City Clerk by 4:00 p.m.
  • To be determined (due to the COVID-19 outbreak)
  • Candidate interviews at City Council meeting(s); City Council makes appointment.  

The City of Bainbridge Island operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The seven-member City Council serves as the legislative body of the City. The Council is responsible for setting policy, adopting the annual budget, adopting laws, determining the services the City provides and the funding levels for those services, and appointing people to its advisory boards and commissions.

For more information on the Council vacancy, please contact City Clerk Christine Brown at 206.780.8618 or
Updates on City Advisory Groups
At this time, all City Advisory Group meetings are canceled through April 30.

Planning Commission and Design Review Board

The March 26 Planning Commission meeting is canceled.

At this time, we are assessing whether to hold meetings for the Planning Commission and Design Review Board in April.
Police Update
Joe Clark selected as new Police Chief
Please join us in welcoming Joe Clark as the next Chief of Police for the Bainbridge Island Police Department!

Clark currently serves as Deputy Chief of Police for the Norfolk Police Department, where he has been employed since 1986.

During Clark’s 34-year career, he has served in numerous positions throughout the Norfolk Police Department, beginning as an officer and advancing through the ranks to the Deputy Chief role in 2017. He currently leads the day-to-day operations of the department, including the 24-hour field command, public information office, and coordination of community affairs.

Clark has a Bachelor of Arts in criminology from Saint Leo University and a Master of Science in education (with a concentration in counseling) from Old Dominion University. He is also a 2008 graduate of the FBI National Academy.

“I am excited to come to Bainbridge Island, not only to serve as your Chief of Police, but as an active member of this community,” said Clark. “What attracted me to BIPD was the strong relationship between the officers and the residents. I look forward to joining this team and continuing to build upon that relationship.”

Clark collaborated with the YWCA and Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to establish a Family Justice Center (the first in Virginia); and worked with community partners to obtain grant funding to provide enhanced training and services under the End Abuse in Later Life Program. He also implemented a Spanish-speaking Community Police Academy to expand the Norfolk Police Department’s existing program to new residents.
In addition to his professional duties, Clark actively participates in literacy and chess programs in elementary schools. He was named ‘Tutor of the Year’ in 2017.

“Joe brings a wealth of policing experience to the City with a strong commitment to community engagement. He is the ideal choice to lead our high-performing department with his solid record of integrity and ethics,” said City Manager Morgan Smith.

An employment agreement will be brought to the City Council for approval at the March 24 meeting. Clark expects to begin his duties as Police Chief in late April.
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Contact Information

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