City Council 20 Jan 21 – Happy Inauguration Day!

Approved with funding: Rental Assistance w/ BHA 2020/2021; Normal building code triennial update (every 3 years); Gorst Coalition MOU; Home Weatherization & Repair w. KCR. Simpson the only voice of reason in this Council (a prophet crying in the wilderness reference?) Seems that Council will start next General Meeting with KPHD Covid update, a brief evidence-based presentation founded on facts, not feelings. Some sincere compassion shown by a few Councilors.

CITY COUNCIL — WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2021 — MINUTES (by Anna Mockler)

1. CALL TO ORDER: 5:30 PM

2. CONSENT AGENDA

A. Claims & Check Register

B. Minutes of Meeting – January 6, 2021

C. Minutes of Study Session – January 13, 2021

D. Contract Modification Agreement No. 2 with Parametrix, Inc. for the Complete Streets – Downtown Bremerton Bicycle/Pedestrian Circulation Improvements Project

E. Confirm Reappointment of Bob Moore to the Bremerton-Kitsap Access Television (BKAT) Citizens Advisory Committee

F. Confirm Reappointment of Jay Montgomery to the Bremerton-Kitsap Access Television (BKAT) Citizens Advisory Committee

G. Confirm Reappointment of Sheldon Parr to the Bremerton-Kitsap Access Television (BKAT) Citizens Advisory Committee

H. Purchase of 2021 Property Insurance bound with Hartford Fire Insurance Company

I. Interagency Agreement between the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts and Bremerton Municipal Court for Interpreter Grant Funding

J. Amendment No. 3 to the Agreement with Kitsap County for the Incarceration of City Prisoners

K. Goods and Services Agreement with L2 Systems, LLC for Water System SCADA Lifecycle Improvements

L. Ordinance No. 5411 amending Bremerton Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 18.02 entitled “City Fire Code”; and adopting 2018 Changes to the International Fire Code

The Consent Agenda was approved.

3. PUBLIC HEARING

A. Public Hearing on Ordinance No. 5412 vacating a portion of an alley east of Pitt Avenue, and South of 11th Street

Carried unanimously, no members of the public had a comment.

4. GENERAL BUSINESS

A. Professional Services Agreement with Kitsap Community Resources (KCR) for the City of Bremerton 2021 Weatherization and Minor Home Repair Program

In 2019, about $5500 each for direct assistance to 11 households, all below 60% of median income, roughly equal costs for administrative and overhead costs. They replaced leaking roofs, installed insulation, installed one handicapped shower. Total energy cost reductions about 35%, saved about $514 per household per year in direct utilities payments. Clients and KCR staff lauded the program. Younger asked why this was no longer being paid by CDBG — KCR (or Angela Hoover?) explains how the funding process had changed; whatever she said, Younger et al. seemed okay with the answer. KCR (Irmhardt and another person) says about 75 homes get weatherization; insulation etc. But if the roof is leaking, or the walls cracked open, you have to go to this Minor Home Repair program to get that underlying condition fixed. Landlords can apply, but they have to sign contract to keep rent at low-income levels for five years. Wheat and Gorman chimed in to appreciate the program, great value, hope we can expand its scope. Approved unanimously (Councilor Daugs couldn’t vote as she sits on KCR Board, so vote was 6 in favor, 1 abstention.)

B. Professional Services Agreement with Bremerton Housing Authority (BHA) for the City of Bremerton 2021 Rental Assistance Program. This is a $200K program, $100K from BHA.

In 2020, RAP helped 77 households; 85% for Covid assistance; 7% for short-term assistance; the rest for eviction proceedings, etc. Sarah Van Cleve notes that with the existing cushion, RAP was able to help renters hit by Covid immediately. Wheat asks if there’s any money left – Van Cleve says no, it’s all been gone for a while. She also describes the 3 full boxes of denied files, because people made too much, or had lost everything but were still reviewed on their 2019 income. For people who’ve been getting money for almost 12 months now, there are no known new funding sources for those clients. Gorman, Wheat, Goodnow, Daugs lauded the program, importance of people having a roof overhead. Younger asked about internal controls discussed at the program’s inception. $$ goes to landlord, not tenant. He likes that control, he says. He asks about small landlords who can’t pay their mortgages under the eviction moratorium. Simpson pipes up to emphasize how terrible lockdowns are, because people have to apply to this program. Government has caused this problem by locking down, and we as a city should be lobbying to have the lockdown lifted. Nonetheless, item carried unanimously.

C. Ordinance No. 5413 amending Bremerton Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 17.04 entitled “City Building Code”; and adopting State Building Code WAC 51 – 2018 Editions of International Building Codes and Uniform Plumbing Code

Presenter — Stuart! Stuart the really good City inspector who checked my pellet stove installation; funny and competent. He really knows his land use planning codes, and as a former land use person, I admire that. So, this guy that I respect, Stuart Anderson, repeats the explanation he gave last week; this is a set of codes that changes every 3 years, and every 3 years City adopts the new, updated codes in compliance with State mandate. He refers to Appendix J, which reduces basement ceiling height requirements, making many basement conversions to habitable spaces allowable. He notes that new energy code calls for increased costs to comply — more insulation, other energy conservation and efficiency requirements, more earthquake-proofing, Nonetheless, we have to comply with the State’s mandate that all municipalities etc. adopt the new codes. Simpson goes on about these regulations delivered from on high, capriciously. He uses common sense three times as an adjective, twice as a noun. We should lobby Olympia to oppose this. Government exists to preserve the rights of the individual. We should at LEAST delay implementation until July.. Younger points out that this goes into effect in DCD on Feb 1st, whether we act or not. We can get Appendix J if we create this ordinance, but if we do nothing, or delay, we lose our window to get this basement ceiling height waiver. Approved 6-1, Simpson opposing.

D. Gorst Coalition Memorandum of Understanding (Formerly under Consent Agenda…)

Wheeler repeats description of Coalition — multiple stakeholders, including municipalities, counties, Navy, Suquamish Tribe, Kitsap Transit, etc. who are gathered together to design, fund, and coordinate infrastructure that will eliminate the Gorst traffic bottleneck, WSDOT to do the installation. This is an MOU that all stakeholders are developing concurrently, which will lay out the terms of duties and responsibilities, and initiate lobbying efforts to raise additional funds. Simpson is not in favor of creating another agency that we will have to acquiesce to. It has an overly Port Orchard centric feel. Putting the interests of the people who transit through above those who live here is not something we should do. He brings up Sound Transit for the 735th time, or thereabouts, as a terrible, purposeless boondoggle. And then he really went off. “I am apparently the only voice of reason on this Council”. He went on, but I’m sorry that I can’t describe it, I was laughing too loud. [Three minutes missed.]  Sullivan ranted about how prices are higher at Costco if you’re not a member, so she’s being taken advantage of here. She however then points out that we’ve already paid the taxes for the Coalition, though she wishes we hadn’t, so she’s going to vote for bringing those tax dollars home in the form of this project. Gorman recaps the Trouble with Gorst, they call it the only 270 degree turn in the highway system. Wants to know what gave rise to this project? Overton (lobbyist coordinator and silver-tongued prince of the pitch) says Kilmer originated the idea after the success of the Pierce County recent project (described in my earlier Gorst Coalition posts). Approved 6-1, Simpson opposing.

5. MAYOR’S REPORT

Wheeler congratulates the Council, “you have done well”. Two slides: Mayor’s Youth Leadership Award, many conditions, $250 finalist award. Second slide had to be hastily pulled, as it was vaccine distribution plan for Phase 1b,

6. PUBLIC RECOGNITION

I asked why there had been no Council response to my multiple emails, and those of multiple constituents, over the past several weeks, AND why Public Recognition had been moved to the end of the Agenda, placing an undue burden on members of the public who have had no success with official channels, such as the emails I and others have sent. Gorman says there was a miscommunication, he’ll get in touch with me privately. Caroline Stein, WA Science and Engineering Fair, etc., explained what was going on. A woman and tiny child got on to thank Council for some City help, said she enjoyed hearing the Council members discuss and question.

7. COUNCIL REPORTS

Younger got a plaque! He seemed to be quietly happy about it. Is enjoying Committee work with DPW, who are doing a bang-up job. Gorman announces that Simpson has had to leave for “a reason” which cracked me up, so I missed Goodnow’s report, which talked of the new VP. Wheat talked about a person who’d been a hub, beloved, who died of Covid, and how she doesn’t want anyone else to suffer that unnecessarily. Announces Council retreat Jan 30th, members of public very specifically encouraged. She was very touched to see a peaceful transfer of power this morning. Happy MLK Day, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…” and she goes on to “affects all directly.” Daugs expresses some good wishes around. BPD starts receiving students next week! Appeals for drivers to pay attention in these dark mornings: kids are at bus stops again. This is Leslie at her best. She adds some current local Covid stats, I missed the attribution. [Four minutes missed.]

8. ADJOURNMENT OF CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS MEETING  and so there was an end.

2 thoughts on “City Council 20 Jan 21 – Happy Inauguration Day!

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