Another long one, over 4-1/2 hrs., but at least I got called a socialist, a Marxist, so I must be doing something right.
Major discussions were: Gold Mountain golf course Design Master Plan; renewal of Johnston Group lobbying contract: and of course the public hearing on new proposed regulations for ADUs.
See you all in 2021, and for your viewing pleasure, check out John Oliver’s Season 7 finale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzlCOg-37hI — all of us will deeply enjoy the second half in particular.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2020 CITY COUNCIL Virtual/Live Stream MEETING AGENDA
Link to BKAT video of meeting: https://bremerton.vod.castus.tv/vod/?video=67ed75f1-6a7c-413c-9e8b-80a174afc61c&nav=programs%2FBremerton%20City%20Council.
1. CALL TO ORDER: 5:30 P.M.
2. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Claims & Check Register
B. Minutes of Meeting – December 2, 2020
C. Minutes of Study Session – December 9, 2020
D. Confirm Reappointment of Jeffery Flood to the Bremerton Housing Authority Board of
E. Confirm Reappointment of Kirsten Dahlquist to the Design Review Board
F. Confirm Reappointment of Dean Kelly to the Design Review Board
G. Confirm Appointment of George Tomisser to the Design Review Board
H. Telecommunications License Agreement with Kitsap County Amateur Radio Club for Equipment
on Cheryl Street Tower
I. Ordinance No. 5409 amending Ordinance No. 5387 establishing the City of Bremerton’s FY-
2020 Budget as amended by Ordinance No. 5397
J. Interdepartmental Agreement between Parks & Recreation and Public Works & Utilities
Departments for the Lease of Gold Mountain Golf Complex and Irrigation Water Supply
K. Contract Modification Agreement No. 1 to Professional Services Agreement with Robinson
Noble, Inc, for Hydrogeological Services
L. Sole Source Purchase of Equipment from Whitney Equipment Co. for OB-1 Pump Station
M. Resolution No. 3335 to establish January 20, 2021 as the Public Hearing date to vacate a
portion of alley east of Pitt Ave and south of East 11th Street
N. Contract Modification Agreement No. 1 to Professional Services Agreement with Parametrix,
Inc. for the Oyster Bay Beach Sewer Upgrades Project
O. Purchase of 2021 Vehicles and Equipment
There were two comments from the public on the Consent Agenda: Roy Runyon objected to Item I, especially the part that gave $450,000.00 to Bremerton schools, part of Covid financing received by the City. Runyon’s objection was that the Mayor had done this without approval from the Council. My feeling is that it literally never occurred to the Mayor that anyone would object to helping schoolchildren. Younger then recognized me, prompting Runyon to say here comes the socialist, the Marxist. Since Younger said nothing, I thanked Mr Runyon for his input. I also commented on Item O, regretting that I had not given input at the proper time, during the several Budget workshops & hearings in late summer, because I’d’ve objected to buying nine 2021 SUVs for the police force — everybody else is tightening their belts, why not the police too?
3. GENERAL BUSINESS
A. Professional Services Agreement with Mingay Golf Course Design Ltd. for Master Plan Architectural and Design Services for the Gold Mountain Cascade Course (15:00)
Council President Younger was quite surprised that there was so much discussion on this point. Most of it was Mike Simpson reiterating points he’d made and repeating questions he’d asked of Knowles and Elevado during the study session. He seems very exercised that an Enterprise Fund is paying for this Master Plan, etc. At one point he told Elevado that he paid his salary, sir, (at minute 28:00 of the video — see link above). He asked why the City was even in the golf business. Knowles and Elevado repeated the explanations they gave at study session: it’s a tourist attraction AND many locals enjoy it too, and go on to Brother Don’s after their league games. It’s a world-class course; everyone who took the ferry in the Before Times has heard people coming over here just to play there. Eventually, Younger directed Simpson to address himself only to the question before the Council. Councilor Wheat read out the requirements for decorum and mutual respect among Council members.The Council voted to approve.
B. Contract Modification No. 2 to Professional Services Agreement with the Johnston Group (42:00)
Johnston Group lobbies for the City in Olympia and in DC. The Mayor’s Report back in summer 2019 described a host of contracts we’d gained, grant funding discovered, and opportunities revealed. Johnston was asked a question from the public about ways that DofD can partner with Bremerton to create and maintain infrastructure necessary to the operation of the Shipyard, especially the commuter plan. (42:00). Roy Runyon disagreed with streamlining egress, and asked who determined what Johnston lobbies for, recommended all to vote no because Mayor & city officials, and Assoc of WA Cities, should do all the lobbying. Matthew Adams had a question for Johnston about the MILCON process, which took me out of my depth immediately. But basically, per Knuckey, MILCON is for military contracts, e.g., inside the fence line, and we’re looking for improvements outside the fence line. I noted that I was glad to hear commented that Mr Johnston had expertise, just like the man creating the golf course Master Plan, that he was a professional lobbyist who knew what he was doing. Daugs pointed out that AWC focuses on WA state, Johnston goes to DC too. Gorman said that this decision was historic, because while DofD may have responsibility for surrounding infrastructure, e.g., our downtown, there has until now been no mechanism for them to do so. Sullivan asked about cost of this PSA. Initially, we paid Johnston $5K/mo. This was increased, but now for 2021 it’s back to $5K/mo. And then here came Simpson. What limits the lobbyists’ activities? Knuckey says Contract Scope, in Council packet, identifies the City’s priorities. Johnston adds that as legislation or other situations change, lobbyist activities change. Simpson then asks if Johnston could lobby for/against lockdowns, or for/against abortion, etc. Johnston said he lobbies at the City’s direction, informs City of upcoming changes, takes guidance mostly from the Mayor. Simpson says politics is the second oldest profession, especially when money is involved. How odd that Simpson, a politician, feels that he is one small step above sex workers. Simpson went on say that professional lobbying is morally repugnant, morally bankrupt. Simpson then went on, and on and on, to echo and elaborate on Runyon’s points, asking questions and making points to advance a very clear New Republican agenda. He’s not subtle about it, not trying to hide his convictions, appears to use every public appearance to promote that agenda, as he is repeatedly alone or in a small minority in every vote I’ve seen this month. After a long while, Younger eventually recommended that questions should be better asked during study sessions. Younger commented that he personally disagrees with professional lobbyists, but he will put personal feelings aside and support the contract with Johnston group. More details about what Johnston does and who directs him to do it from Mayor Wheeler. The vote to accept is 6-1, Simpson the sole NO vote.
4. PUBLIC HEARING
A. Public Hearing on Ordinance No. 5410 to amend Bremerton Municipal Code Section 20.46.010 of the Zoning Code regarding Accessory Dwelling Units
Allison Satter, Planning, gave the presentation she gave to the study session, with a few alterations. I commented that I thought the provision permitting the owner to live off-site was a substantial error. Absentee landlords tear at a neighborhood — this is basically giving developers free rein. Personal note: I cracked a rib, so you can hear that the pain meds are kicking in at this point. I signed off after testifying, because I’d become stupid. For more on the hearing, start the BKAT video at 1:50:00. The hearing alone went on for over three hours, so maybe make a pot of tea first.
Happy New Year to all of you — see you in 2021!
5. MAYOR’S REPORT
6. PUBLIC RECOGNITION
7. COUNCIL MEMBER REPORTS
President Younger announced that he would not run again for President OR Vice-President.
8. ADJOURNMENT OF CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS MEETING