Council Retreat, 30 Jan 2021

Emphasis on sidewalks, streets, bikes, parks. Affordable housing programs working & funded, tiny house permits to be studied. Economic development goals are 4 specific projects & look for ways to help small businesses. Kitsap Lake clean-up working. But — We are no longer seeking environmental stewardship opportunities, as no Councilor could think of any specifics. Good geeky discussion of need for sustainable funding that includes maintenance of Parks & other capital projects. Noise ordinance punted again. Outreach to specific groups reviewed & encouraged. But — no move to restore Public Recognition to top of meeting, so ordinary individuals must continue to wait for 1-4 hours before President announces Public Recognition. Gorman moves for trails to connect to other regional trails but says fatal words “King County” so it got no traction. A pity, as they’d really add to quality of life for all.

 Saturday, January 30, 2021   9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

~ Remote Joint Planning Session ~ Minutes and Comments by Anna Mockler

Council Members, Mayor, and Department Directors

9:00 AM… Joint Planning Session Called to Order

Pres Gorman opens with revised agenda — talk about each Agenda Item on its own, while doing so will carry out the Review of Council Goals (below).

Review of Council Goals (To determine the following for each goal…)

Remove items completed

Decision to carry forward remaining item

New goal proposal brainstorm

9:00 to 12:00 Noon (Note that all listed times are approximate)…

1. Local Streets and Sidewalks Improvements

A — Complete a Sidewalk Policy and Work Plan Changed to “Complete a Sidewalk Policy”

Check in with Knuckey re status. “Policy is still in development, we are prioritizing how to make improvements … with a goal of establishing a 5-year capital improvement plan.” He compares goals to status, notes that supply chain glitch on concrete lasted for months, slowing down the process. Re chip seal, 9 lane miles of prep was delayed, but it’s a 2021 goal. Very bad audio on Knuckey.

How does Council want to proceed? Wheat: Change to “continue implementing sidewalk plan”, Knuckey says it can be done, but no deadline offered. Goodnow: what’s the value of this as a goal? Wouldn’t DPW be doing the same work without us? He supports the goal, but why have it on the Goals & Priorities list if we’re just going to keep working on it, i.e., improving infrastructure. It’s as though the goal was: ensure DPW does their job. Wheat supports Goodnow’s position, i.e., delete this as a goal.

B — Secure Additional Funding  (this became not only funding, but restructure to substantially reduce administrative costs) Remains as is.

Daugs: is there funding we should be seeking? Knuckey: Grants typically available in even years, plans to pursue more funding. He wants to eliminate the residential street fund and merge it with the street fund as it generates excess administrative costs, 75% of time, 20% of budget. Sullivan: if we do this, can I see residential streets as a separate item? since $30 car tab fees go to this. Simpson wants to allocate other funds from stormwater etc. on a yearly basis (not clear to me). Younger supports getting a sustainable funding source for streets and parks without increasing taxes (increasing utilities?) Wheeler proposes assembling a presentation for study session on nuts & bolts of this, Gorman agrees & locks down discussion. Goodnow’s vision of goals is something we measure ourselves against regularly — weekly or monthly — let’s focus on bigger picture items for our annual Goals & Priorities retreat. Because what we’re talking about is strategy that’ll be resolved by a yes/no vote.

Gorman moves to strike this goal. Discussion. Wheat supports Goodnow, Sullivan asks long question that I can not follow, ends with “do we have enough staff to fulfill this?  … Isn’t our goal to support the Mayor? Or are we off on our own. I’m totally lost now. I’m not sure if I should even be asking this question.” Gorman says this annual retreat is a sanity check, a way to keep Council focused. He wants to retain this item in case, down the line, something comes up that goes against the goal. Sullivan thanks him for clearing that right up. (It did not clear it up for me — is Council legislative branch independent of executive, or is it subservient to executive?)

C — New Proposals? Younger wants to address both streets and tax funding by increasing slice of utilities tax income that goes directly to streets and parks, instead of to General Fund. 100% of stormwater (?) goes to streets right now, other utilities should follow or at least increase their funding of streets. We’ve seen no drop in sales tax income, why not? Riley notes that insurance costs will probably double, so we’re budgeting for that. Younger wants more $$ for parks. (Not sure why this is coming up here.) He and Elevado discuss details of this, but all hypothetical. Younger wants more funding for streets and parks as a goal. (Nothing about sidewalks in any of this, or bike lanes for that matter.) And Gorman slides in “Streets and Sidewalks” (emphasis added) as new title for 1B. Wheeler notes that other initiatives, like police body cameras, have been put on hold due to possible pandemic impacts. Daugs notices that “Parks” is not even on this list of goals, much less securing funding for them. Wheeler replies that this is one of the projects his office is actively pursuing funding for. “We’ll be spending a lot of time in Olympia, we’ll bring home some funding”. She wants “Parks” to be set as its own separate goal, either later today or in the future. Gorman agrees, perhaps as its own committee. Younger says he wants to make systemic long-term changes for the future, to “take a bite at that elephant” by securing sustainable funding sources for these infrastructure issues in 2022 budget and going forward. Daugs and Sullivan concur. Sullivan wants to hear Simpson’s comments. He says Younger’s comments are what he’s said in the past. Praises the idea of a dedicated funding stream, easy to implement for 2022 budget. Wheat notes that since Parks was not on the agenda, and we’re discussing securing funding for them — is this the time to discuss securing funding for affordable housing? Gorman says no, that’s an agenda item. Wheat expresses concern that we very closely examine the sustainability of our revenue sources, not to act as though there were never going to be a recession or disaster, when aid to the most vulnerable is routinely cut. Gorman moves on to the next Agenda item, with a note that Parks will be discussed in future. Goodnow asks, when will we discuss bike lanes & bike storage? In Item 3? Gorman: Yes.

2. Economic Development

A.        Seek ways to support local small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic

Gorman asks about new ideas, e.g., storefront use and/or beautification (with plexiglas instead of plywood, for instance), help to small businesses. Discussion about the plexi. Daugs says, do we want to discuss helping small businesses? Gorman says yeah, let’s brainstorm this, but he has no off the cuff ideas. Daugs suggests “Open for Business” page on our City’s website, as other cities are doing. Sullivan feels dining in a tent is no different from dining in a restaurant, so why aren’t we lobbying to let restaurants re-open? She points out that Daugs’s suggestion would impose additional admin burden. Wheeler says the best thing we can do for restaurants is to follow the science and subdue the virus. Simpson says we should follow the science and let the public self-select, as lockdown is tyranny. (sound problems — he’s in Japan). We should lobby the government and let the people make their own choice, because when we don’t give them that freedom, they will decide, as they have, that the restrictions are too confining and rebel against them. We cannot tell the public what to do, we can only persuade them. Goodnow: Gosh. Yes, small businesses are in trouble. Let’s add a goal that we should support small businesses, again, so that we can measure our future actions against this stated goal. “Seek ways to support small businesses and entrepreneurs”. Wheeler notes that while Bremerton has reduced the B&O taxes, other cities are increasing them to create cushion against anticipated shortfalls. Our city will continue to support outdoor dining, wants to expand to outdoor merchant events. (Note: this discussion followed Item B, below, in chronological order.)

B.         Adopt Code Changes to Support Redevelopment by Providing Incentives and Framework, and  Provide Incentives and Framework for Redevelopment of, and Securing Additional Funding for:

Gorman asks are all code changes in place? Andrea Spencer says yes.

o Wheaton Way Corridor      Remain as is.

Knuckey: We’re at the finish line of the $500K study, the improvements are really the focus of the legislative ask we’re working on with our state lobbyist. #1 is the Warren Ave ped and bike improvements. Daugs wants follow-up.

o Callow Business District Site Reuse and Revitalization

Andrea Spencer: We have a report of proposed changes which we will review. Goodnow agrees to keep this item on the list, wants to review BIDs (PBIDs in our state) throughout our City. No further meaningful discussion.

o Implement and Review East-side Employment Center Village Plan Harrison) Study

Andrea Spencer: (now the East Side Village Plan). Design complete (?), now have to work with Harrison to make sure demolition is complete, working with lobbyists to make sure we have the funding. No code changes needed, just “Implement the Plan”. Daugs supports follow-up. Wheat asks: do we have a formal, enforceable agreement with CHI to demolish? or just rely on their good faith. Wheeler says no enforceable agreement now, Matt Wheelis, COO of Harrison (CHI?), who has said in recorded calls that his Board approves beginning demolition mid-summer 2021 after ER closes.

o New Item — Quincy Square

Per Goodnow’s suggestion that we add this, Gorman added it.

3. Improve Intra-City Traffic Flow and Reduce Parking Congestion

Update and Improve Parking Signage throughout the City Remains as is.

(How does this reduce parking congestion???!!) Knuckey says Melinda is the lead on this, there was some implementation this year. Riley: Interns completed an assessment, signage being completed by DPW in a five-year plan to get the signs replaced. No discussion of improving vehicular traffic flow within Bremerton.

Increase and Measure Active Transportation Options Multi-Modal Transit Options

Daugs: firm supporter, but what can we do? We can’t make more buses appear, or light rail appear. But we can make more bike lanes & bike parking areas. Wants a more specific goal that the City can achieve. Gorman agrees, something like “2 more miles of bike lanes”. Knuckey talks about Joint Compatibility Planning, which just met.  Planning for Park & Rides, for example, is one element that will set us on a 20-year plan to increase non-auto transit. Wheat: wants the word “bicycle” to appear specifically throughout this goal, perhaps connect to the Complete Streets Committee and their work. For example, an ordinance that deals with abandoned bikes, more focus on secure bike parking & include that as part of our general “Parking” planning. Even though 4 of us (Daugs, Gorman, Goodnow, and Wheat) supported bike lanes during specific projects, e.g., 6th St., it fell by the wayside. Gorman proposes setting bicycles in a separate category, with sub-bullets for East-West corridors, road diets, etc. Knuckey expresses intent to consider looking at non-motorized aspects in some future year’s planning. Younger says, we need a policy on e-scooters before e-scooters migrate from larger towns like Seattle. Simpson: “we shouldn’t just talk about people”, we should also consider drone delivery into residential areas, as it will come up in the future, and better than big delivery trucks. Establish goal to have a certain percentage of our residential streets require bike lanes! Bike licenses would be a funding source. Something about bike insurance is required in Japan and people have sued the City over potholes etc — his sound disappeared for a while. Goodnow suggests a presentation on this item for deeper dive. He says bike parking is parking (Critical Mass — We are traffic!) so we should consider it as part and parcel of all planning. Sullivan supports more bike parking downtown, apologizes with a non-apology to Wheat that there were no bike lanes on Sixth St., because DPW explained that re-structure of road was impossible under the grant. Wants to emphasize that this is a big priority for the Council. Knuckey says because there was a need to re-construct, somehow the grant funding wouldn’t have been enough. Also, a public hearing would have been required, and DPW just “ran out of time”. New painted bike lanes can be implemented at some point in the future. Sullivan deplores e-scooters for a while, wants pedestrians prioritized for sidewalk use. Wheat says let’s get bikes off sidewalks and into bike lanes. She points out that no research was done to find out how much it would have cost to paint bike lanes onto Sixth St., when repainting of all lines had to be done anyway. Knuckey points out that DPW has developed “a very robust plan” over the past 8 years and making “major changes” “at the last minute” could cause us to be forced to repay federal funding. (That is, we have worked on this plan a long long time and a Council majority isn’t enough to overturn that plan.) Gorman urges more focus on bike policy this year. Let’s add Complete Streets Committee to this item. Gorman applauds all the support for bike use & infrastructure that he’s found on the Council. Notes that we have changed, we have progressed since he first got on Council; and Council should be able to measure and quantify this goal. Daugs recommends that we bring up related goals at Committee meetings, then report back to Council on measurable achievement when reporting on Committees. Wheeler points out that City has a lot of data that he’ll make available re achievements and plans on bike use. Simpson: repeats need for % of residential streets as easy metric to hit. {Easy, yes. Useful? Not imo. Bike routes are corridors, routes, assigning by percentage makes no sense I can see.}

Three new bullet points under Item 3:

o Establish Complete Streets Committee

o Review bike policies (includes parking, rentals)

o Support the planning and review of regional trail systems

Gorman spoke about Hungarian trail system that followed the Danube; learned about Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT); wants to ride his bike from Bremerton to Neah Bay. West Sound Cycling Club took him on a tour of the ODT. He wants more trails through our area, and he wants them to be funded, e.g., the Leaf-Lined Trail Association, already up and running in Kitsap County. All we have to do is pledge to connect trails throughout our region. Knuckey: doesn’t want to associate with Leaf-Lined, apparently because there are already so many associations that we coordinate with, and doesn’t want King and Pierce counties to dominate, “I don’t care what King County does”, we shouldn’t become part of some broader bureaucracy. Younger: “not a heavy lift” to make this pledge, and is in fact an achievable goal. Wheat: does see the value of regional coordination, as we do with Puget Sound Regional Council, others. We can learn from what other municipalities are doing. Simpson: We should be talking about maintaining our existing trails, what about resurrecting watershed trails [sound garbled] down to Gold Mtn golf course. Knuckey: Security must the #1 issue in allowing people to enter the watershed, as they might cause fires, illegal camping, etc. which we can see already through our many surveillance cameras. Simpson: describes the miles and miles of paved trails south of the old Belfair Highway — Knuckey has never heard of them. Daugs: wants to look at trails within our parks, like the well-maintained Magnuson Trail. Wheeler: several good forested trails in Bremerton we’ve fought hard to preserve. Sullivan: some of those trails are not safe for a woman alone, or even two women, because the public can’t see you, while Silverdale trails are safe. A good point. Gorman agrees, regional trails are safer because they are higher-use. Elevado wants to connect the in-park trails so that people can walk all day throughout our city. He mentions kayak trails, as another multi-modal transit option. Goodnow: likes this type of goal, where we’d establish it with measurable achievements.

12:00 Noon to 12:15 PM… LUNCH  12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

4. Code Enforcement

Review Revise Noise Ordinance

Lubovich: Brother Don’s (I’m pretty sure) sued City for vague and unenforceable ordinance after it was hit by numerous noise complaints, principally from a single neighbor (I just know this, Lubovich didn’t say it all). Revised ordinance has been put on hold for “a while”. Wheeler: seemed moot since no restaurants are open. Daugs: let’s get this policy set up now before businesses re-open. Wheeler and Lubovich demur, should be studied at some point down the line. Goodnow: This is gonna happen, because the ordinance has been reviewed by a judge, who tossed it out. Wheat: if there’s a court order in place that invalidates our current ordinance, what’s our danger? Lubovich says we can’t enforce the ordinance. Wheat is concerned about this. “We don’t have an enforceable noise ordinance on the books!” Wheeler says this hasn’t been a priority, and we aren’t liable. Wheat says beyond liability, we have a responsibility to address residents’ noise issues (fireworks, boom cars, etc.) and adequately represent them. She wants to make sure there’s an enforcement method. Burchett appears: “we have other remedies” when we answer a noise complaint. Most offenders just turn it down. There’s traffic code for traffic noise. Daugs: Code refers to decibels, how do we measure that? (WITH A DECIBEL METER! I shout to my empty room). Simpson: It’s in the works, it’ll be accomplished this year. Sullivan: asked to put this on the Agenda 2 years ago. Gorman: Why do we even need this? Younger: Change “Review” to “Revise”. Gorman says let’s take lunch, come back at 12:30.

5. Quality Affordable Housing (ADU’s was also discussed at Jan 27 Study Session…)

Rental Housing Safety Program         Struck as this program is now well-established.

Gorman asks Wheeler to update, who will tag team with Spencer. Monitoring real estate listings “kept our staff fully engaged”. Many unsafe conditions were being listed; either purchased and flipped, or purchased and doing unpermitted renovations. The goal is zero displacements, he says. Spencer: shows resources for tenants and landlords on website built this year. Guidelines for landlords and property managers, residential rental inspection checklist, managing your relationship with tenants, evicting tenants. For tenants: what to look for to make sure unit is safe and up to code, info re security deposits (which require completed checklist), resources for utilities help, how to respond to notices from landlords, tenants’ rights resources. Goodnow: Is there a link for landlords to get involved with Section 8 housing? Are we directing tenants to KCR? Spencer: Link to BHA website, but need to check on Rental Assistance program, update with CARES Act funding options. Goodnow: We should do outreach on water bills, which now go to both landlords and tenants, per Riley. Daugs: How do we enforce? Spencer: Landlords attest that they meet all safety requirements when they apply for or renew their license. Daugs: Are people using this? Spencer thinks they are [garbled]. Younger: Goal could be removed. Ties in with Good Neighbor Handbook, which is another way to reach out to tenants and landlords. He doesn’t want to place undue burden on good landlords, thus he doesn’t support any outside inspection. City doesn’t need to make it their business, can be done with existing tools — Tenants have many rights, and they can sue their landlords. He agrees with zero replacement goal. Asks Spencer, have we fixed our forms so that we can keep track of all landlords and their units? Spencer: We’ve modified it. Younger: refers 3rd time to City of Pasco as a model for Bremerton. Wants a new ordinance that penalizes landlords who falsely attest that their units are safe and/or registered. Proposes that this item be removed since it’s underway. Wheeler requests recap — Younger says we need to tweak the website (to be like Pasco’s) so it lists every registered & licensed property so tenants can look up a unit to see if it’s legit. Gorman will strike the item, as it’s moving forward, an established program now.

Continue connection with Bremerton Housing Authority and Kitsap Community Resources  Remains as is

Wheeler: does Council think it’s sufficiently in our DNA that we can omit this item? Spencer: Demonstrated tremendous value to this partnership, as shown in presentations to Council with unanimous or near-unanimous approval. Daugs: let’s keep it on the Agenda as the need will not only remain but probably increase post-pandemic. Wheeler: This is Covid $$ that has both social justice and environmental components, we should retain. Gorman: Wants to keep item on this list.

Consider Zoning Code Changes to Encourage the Development of Affordable Housing including:

o ADU Design Guide          Struck as we have created our own

Younger wants to follow City of Tacoma’s ADU Design Guide, since we’re doing that with our own tweaks, let’s drop it. No opposition. Struck.

o Explore adopting Tiny Houses on wheels (with Design Standards) as Permanent Housing Options (check my language on this – several changes proposed)

Gorman: Put this on because he wants tiny houses to become permitted dwellings in City of Bremerton. It’s now allowable for municipalities to permit tiny houses as permanent dwellings, and it would be an economic driver, with clear WA building codes. Spencer: we haven’t worked on anything, and there’s been no push from the administration for us to work on anything. She recaps the work DCD has done on lot size and cottage housing. Gorman: wants to change our code to mirror State codes, i.e., allow tiny houses as dwellings / ADUs. He sees them as excellent safe temporary housing, no need to pour a concrete foundation. Wheat: Supports allowing tiny houses, even on trailers or wheels, at least explore changing the code. “So far, all I’ve heard from the community is that they want it.” She relates several examples. Daugs: Is their language to distinguish between motor homes and tiny houses? Spencer: The language exists in the State code, asks Gorman to send along that language. Gorman: The old language about motor homes comes from those shabby uninsulated things that went big in the 70s, but tiny houses are well-insulated. Younger: Just wants to make sure that his agreeing to explore this doesn’t mean he agrees with houses on wheels. Wheeler: I’m still mulling this too. Gorman: Yes, we’ll just explore this. Spencer: If you just want information, we can provide that, but we can’t get as far as permitting this year. Sullivan: Wants to make sure that tiny homes don’t become embryos of larger houses with added annexes, porches that are then enclosed, etc. Wheat points out that tiny houses without wheels are already permitted, so this Item needs to say “on wheels”.

Secure Additional Funding for Affordable Housing Programs Remains as is.

Wheat: Reminds Council of her 2020 presentation on this subject. Meanwhile, State has set aside the 1/10th of 1% tax to be devoted to creating affordable housing. Note that counties get to choose to do this; if they don’t, then Bremerton & other municipalities gets to administer. However, if counties DO choose to use the $$, she has no idea what Bremerton can do. Asks for input from Council and advisors, as Jefferson County has already chosen to grab the $$. Wants City to go back to the $100K originally planned, and add the $75K from the sales tax (? or CARES? — too rapid for my typing. Wants to keep it as a goal. Younger: I too want to keep this as a goal. Wants to use Airbnb and BRBO (?) sales tax to fund affordable housing.

1:00 to 2:00 PM…  (started at 1:26, not bad!)

6. Environmental Stewardship

Implement Kitsap Lake Water Quality Program Remains as is.

Wheeler: We’re in this for the long game. Congratulates all for having kept on fighting for things like this during pandemic. Gorman approves and agrees. Any discussion? Younger: We’ve had great results, thank you Mayor. Started implementing in 2020, residents are thrilled. Particularly since previous attempts have fizzled out. Wants this to be a model for surrounding area, we are on the forefront of something here.

Convert Street Lighting to LED  Remains as is.

Gorman: This is for arterials, not residential streets. Asks DPW how he sees this upgrade? Knuckey: Got info on cost of conversion. 1630 PSE-owned lights in the City. $300 per light to convert, so would cost a bit less than $500K to make the conversion, we’d break even in 10 years or even longer, since PSE does the conversions in batches. Would save $3/month per light. Knuckey: Transportation Improvement Board may soon have grants for cities to subsidize, in whole or in part, this type of conversion. Simpson: Let’s continue to look for grant opportunities to do conversion.

Seek out Environmental Stewardship Opportunities  Removed as being too general.

Gorman: Though this was my goal, it served us poorly since it was too general. He wants to replace with “Seek out further stormwater improvement projects”. Daugs: Asks City staff if this is something we’re already doing. Knuckey: We’re actively working on stormwater water quality improvements. Daugs: Aren’t there state regs we have to follow? Knuckey: No. Lever: We do a lot with stewardship, have a long list of stewardship projects, e.g., creation of a mitigation bank for beach / sewerage projects. Goodnow: This was a larger issue when we discussed in 2020, much more than stormwater. Simpson: Wants to strike because it’s not specific. Lofty, but ambiguous, “doesn’t give us an opportunity to create framework”.

7. Increase Public Outreach Access and Transparency in Government (last five words added)

Outreach Program with Bremerton High School Youth Advisory Council  Remains as is

Discussion — keep.

Develop and Communicate City Mission, Vision, and Values Statement 

Since we’re under Emergency Proclamation, let’s remove this for 2021.

Continue Strengthening Relationship with Naval Base Kitsap and PSNS-IMF  Remains as is

Gorman: I think we should keep. Simpson: Feds are thinking about installing three power plants on Kitsap Peninsula, possibly one in Bremerton. He thinks we should investigate using that power plant as a source for local users.

Develop a “Good Neighbor Handbook”  Remains as is.

Wheeler: I had to prioritize, so there was nothing done on this in 2020. Daugs: Even though it wasn’t implemented, let’s keep it on. Younger: Keep it on. Gorman will see if staff has time for this. Spencer: Developed a template, but it affects every single City department, so that’s the work that needs to be done next. Gorman requests the template for staff to review. Younger suggests using SharePoint so all depts. can weigh in. Simpson: Wants a Committee or Councilor as “someone to metaphorically pin the rose on.” Gorman: let’s leave it on and continue the discussion.

Make Utility Taxes more Transparent as part of transition to Monthly Utility Billing  Removed as having been accomplished

Gorman: This has happened. Sullivan: she hasn’t received. When was it implemented? Riley: Recently, in two stages, second stage just sending out.

Develop Policies and Continue to that Encourage Civic Engagement (Gorman has a wordier version of this)

Goodnow: Keep Zoom, even post-pandemic, to permit easier opportunities for public comment. Riley: New monitors & TVs as result of Chamber renovation with automatic Zoom capability. Daugs: Approves the upgrades to Council Chamber but … make the podium ADA and child-accessible. Simpson: Wants to continue using Zoom for study sessions. Gorman: We’ve made strides, but let’s keep it on. Wheat weighs in on Item 7 title, change adopted.

2:00 to 2:50 PM… General Council Business

Daugs reminds Council that we were going to set up Parks as an Agenda Item. Gorman proposes adding an 8th bullet, or combining #1 and #3. Daugs: Bullet 8 — Looking into the Future. Wheat: likes combining 1 and 3, but either option is ok. More discussion on this procedural point. Gorman decides that consensus is to combine #1 and #3, and make Bullet #7 Parks, Looking into the Future. Younger: make sure Secure Funding is all sustainable & long-term.

New Bullet 7: Parks — Looking into the Future (?)

Secure dedicated, sustainable, long-term funding for capital projects [and their upkeep].

Elevado reports on capital projects that would restore the capital fund designed to design, install, and maintain capital projects. Points out that this fund included maintenance. (I’m going to shout about this: MAINTENANCE as it’s so often left out of funding for capital projects. We have the photo op, then we let it deteriorate.) A long discussion about moving content from one Agenda Item to another, or re-ordering bullets, or clarifying language and making consistent. Nothing shared on screen or on Chat, so these details will show up in the final Council document.

Back to Parks: Wheat comes out strong for MAINTENANCE (still capitalizing this). Huzzah! She wants the word specifically included throughout. Supports Younger’s use of “sustainable” for long-term secure funding. Younger thinks maintenance should come out of General Fund. (In fact, when this is the case, maintenance rarely occurs, in my professional experience.) Sullivan: Notes that she can’t use her local park pavilion because there’s no money to raise its floor, basic upkeep / maintenance. She thinks that maintenance like mowing & replacing toilet paper should be in general fund, but upkeep of capital projects should be in the capital fund. Simpson: Wants to add the word “dedicated” re maintenance & upkeep. Wheeler weighs in on how awesome it would be for Parks to preserve existing capital projects with regular maintenance and upkeep.

Wheat: Though all Council Members announce volunteer parks clean-up meetings (or did!), she wants to make sure that Parks does not rely on volunteers when budgeting for normal maintenance like picking up garbage, weeding, etc. We shouldn’t expect volunteers to pick up the slack. Gorman: This would be good for a study session or in next budget. Wheat: I brought this up during Budget meetings, and was specifically told we should move this to Council Retreat. Gorman: Ah yes, we’ll get back to that. Calls on next in line. Simpson: It’s all about stakeholder involvement. It helps them take ownership of these things, less likely to vandalize, or leave trash. If they’re involved, then it means that government has to be less involved. Goodnow: What is this goal supposed to be? Seems like all we’re doing is allotting $$ for Parks. Gorman doesn’t understand why this issue is glitchy. Younger: Other Councilors have convinced him that we need secure funding not just for streets, but for Parks too. “We’re really going into dangerous territory.” He states that Dept Heads have to come to the Mayor with budget needs before Budget Meetings, but coming around to Council Retreat with these requests is after the fair. Bring it up next year. (My phrasing) Wheat: Again, when I brought this up in Budget, I was specifically told this was appropriate for the Retreat.  Riley discusses the Capital Fund, which is filled only when a grant falls from the sky. He wants the secure, dedicated, sustainable long-term funding for capital projects and their upkeep. Daugs: (Responding to Goodnow) You know, we don’t have goals to our police or fire department, so wouldn’t it be useful to define goals for our different City departments? Gorman: That already happens within departments. Daugs: Since police and fire are such a large part of our budgets, shouldn’t we define their goals?

Review of Council Rules & Procedures

Gorman: Our agenda change with Zoom, omitting Pledge and Invocation, should we keep that when we return? Also, public input that Public Recognition being right before Council Member reports puts an undue burden on the public who want to comment, any thoughts? Question re REAC to see if that non-defined, organic committee should continue.

 Pledge and Invocation — Daugs: I was early voice in removing Invocation, since pandemic no-one has complained, so let’s remove it and replace it with Land Acknowledgment. Gorman: Let’s sketch broad outlines since it’s 2:58. Simpson: keep the invocation, even if it’s only 2 minutes silence, as it satisfies public outreach. After all, we have representatives of all the different types of religion. (Yes, true if you are talking most forms of Christianity. Though there was the one atheist in 2019, that was fair. Muslims? Jews? Buddhists? Korean churches? Filipino churches? Latinx congregations? We’re in a diverse place, mind you.) Wheat: No one has complained about removal of Pledge and Invocation, in fact they actively want replacement of both. I support Councilor Daugs. Younger: It’s time for this meeting to end. I can’t believe there’s any discussion about it. Gorman: We get the same people in Invocation over and over. He says that the Invocation, if we keep it, should reflect and represent Bremerton. Moving on. REAC is an ad-hoc committee, where is it going? What has it done? Why should we keep it on? Wheat: Well, I don’t know how I can go to the committee and say, yeah, the City thinks you’re important but they’re getting rid of you. Gorman: OK, so we’ll revisit this. No further reference to moving Public Recognition back to head of General Meetings, so residents who want to comment or appeal to Council will have to wait for two or more hours for the call from Council President, which can come at any time. In other words, residents who want to speak can not leave the Zoom meeting for more than three minutes.

 Confirmation of Committee Assignments and Committee Procedures

Gorman talks about normal Zoom etiquette, importance of “creating a distraction-free environment” like outside sounds, sidebar chat (interactions with household, typing something). There should be nothing controversial in your background. He repeats this. Remove anything controversial from your background. He discusses other normal user introduction. Simpson: just discovered the Raise Hand function, glad as it’s better than physically raising hand especially before virtual background. Wheat: Yes, I agree that we should agree on Zoom etiquette norms. Gorman: Any questions on Committee assignments? Move on.

 Responsibilities for following through on Council Goals — wrapped up into wrap-up, below.

2:50 to 3:00 PM… Wrap-up by President Gorman

Gorman congratulates everyone on having made it through until now. Sopecific goals recapped, one by one, to Council: Question is, who should take on this goal’s measurable achievement?  Disposition of each bulleted point will be available in a few days — this was all done with screen share and audio, so I can’t be sure enough of my facts to pass them on. He asks for acceptance by acclamation, and receives it. Yet he yields his time. Daugs wants to mention Council decorum. She wanted to bring that up.

Gorman thanks everyone, everyone thanks everyone else, ends in a diminishing Zoom of hands waving farewell, at about 3:30pm

One thought on “Council Retreat, 30 Jan 2021

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