Dr Karen Bolton demands investigation into BPD laxity in response to her being spat at — they didn’t even file a police report; 2 calls for greater diversity and inclusion; Warren Ave bridge redesign to study feasibility of Iverson proposal (1 wide passage for non-motorized); 3 FTEs at DCD and DPW approved to start 7/1 on 6-1 vote, Simpson opposing; body cams contract needs further study; VACCINE FOR ALL OVER 18 as of 4/19!!! Frank Shaw settlement at $100K plus $3400 mediation costs.
City Council 7 April 2021, Virtual, Minutes by Anna Mockler
1. CALL TO ORDER: 5:30 PM
2. MAYOR’S REPORT Almost $37K in permit fees in 1st quarter of 2021. 410 permits so far, v. 1265 in all of 2021. Complete Streets Committee needs 2 people to represent interests of bikers and walkers. As member of KPHD, he warns of the new UK variant in Kitsap County, please please wear your masks, keep your social distance. 20% vaccinated, but please reach out to hard-to-reach folks.
3. PUBLIC RECOGNITION Dr Karen Bolton, School Board member, recaps the incident where she was spat at 500 yards from her home. She is quite disheartened by the lack of formality when it comes to a potential hate crime. REAC is good, but we need more. BPD should be held accountable for their lack of response; as a retired Navy vet, a retired Olympic professor, an elected official with Mayor Wheeler on speed dial — if she can’t even get the police to file a report without the Mayor’s intervention, then what chance do ordinary people have? I thank Council for moving Public Recognition to a place where we can hear from Dr Bolton, with whose conclusions and recommendations I concur. Kiaha Long: There needs to be diversity and representation on City staff. More research needs to be done on the Arizona company that City proposes to contract with, as they’ve had lawsuits against them. Eric Gonzalez: Exec Dir of Urbanist Collective, a local non-profit that combines art with community healing. Proposes a mural festival with a cause to bring community together. Seeks support and direction from Council; has 7 years experience curating festivals in CA and some experience in WA. He and Mayor discuss bringing this before the Arts Commission.
4. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Claims & Check Register
B. Minutes of Meeting – March 17, 2021
C. Minutes of Study Session – March 24, 2021
D. Accept Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Transportation Grant; and Approve Local Agency Agreement for the 6th Street Preservation Phase III Project
E. Sole Source Public Works Agreement with Seton Construction, Inc. for the 2nd Street Stormwater Treatment Project
F. Sole Source Professional Services Agreement with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. for the McDougal Creek/Wheaton Way Culvert Repair Permit Support
G. Confirm Appointment of Ashley Walchok from the Fairfield Inn & Suites to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee
H. Confirm Appointment of Ash Printy from the Hampton Inn & Suites to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee
I. Confirm Appointment of Mike Huey from the Washington State Science & Engineering Fair (WSSEF) to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee
J. Confirm Appointment of Virgil Valdez from the Filipino-American Association of Kitsap County to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee
5. GENERAL BUSINESS
A. Bremerton Kitsap Access Television Service Contract with the Kitsap Public Health District
Presented by Public Access Mgr Jon Rauch. Will record KPHD monthly board meetings for 3 years. Approved unanimously.
B. Local Agency Preliminary Engineering Participating Agreement with Washington State Department of Transportation for Warren Avenue Pedestrian Improvements Project.
Presented by City Engineer Ned Lever. This is the first design contract, another to be brought forward soon that will cover off-bridge improvements, including feasibility analysis of one 12′ shared use path on bridge, which WS-DOT will support. Scope of work changed recently (in light of Dianne Iverson’s proposal for single shared-use path, confirmed by Lever) New scope doesn’t change contract amount of $315K, 100% grant funded by state legislative earmark. I ask Lever if WS-DOT was able to figure out ways to inspect the underside of the bridge under the Iverson proposal — was it a dealbreaker? Lever: No, there were several alternative ways to inspect. Daugs: Perhaps incorporate some recommendations from the very recent Hwy 303 study so that the two projects can be fused at some point. Wheat: Thanks all, glad to see this project moving forward, especially appreciates Iverson’s suggestion. Simpson: Thanks DPW and says how important it is to incorporate community’s wishes and desires. Good that the lanes didn’t get narrowed. Cites narrowed lanes causing accidents in Seattle. Talks about the RV that crashed. [Not sure where he’s going with this, he ends abruptly with more thanks.] Gorman: Thanks Iverson and Paul Dutky for the proposal, and Younger for pushing it forward. Approved unanimously.
C. Master Services and Purchasing Agreement with Axon Enterprise, Inc. for Body Cameras and In-Car Recording Equipment for the Police Department Further study of contract terms needed; will appear at subsequent study session
D. Authorize three additional positions (3 FTEs) in the 2021 City Budget to support Bremerton’s Permitting Development Review and Inspection Services
Presented by Andrea Spencer of DCD and Tom Knuckey of DPW. Last time there were new hires was 2017, and we’ve nearly doubled the volume department is dealing with. Normal is 225 housing units per year; now about 800. Russ Shiplet strongly urges City to hire these FTEs, especially since the new ADU permissions will increase permits. I urge the City to use these new hires to increase diversity and inclusion — if City promotes from within, then at least let the entry level hires needed to replace them reflect diversity and inclusion. Wheat: Yes! Do this! And yes, diversity and inclusion. Daugs: It’s good to see that our city is moving ahead well. Simpson: Still in favor of exploring other options, like getting hours from other agencies in other municipalities. We can use this to embolden our city to grow in a better way. Say we’re using 10 hours from Gray’s Harbor, 10 hours from Anacortes, etc., those counties have lower pay rates, so we’d be paying less. And we’d collect votes from each of those places when we vote on Puget Sound Council, as we now have one vote on that Council; this would give us 4 or 5. All we’d be doing by creating these new FTEs is creating more government, because we don’t have the moral backbone to fire people. We don’t know this growth we’re experiencing is going to continue. If we contract this out, it lessens the burden on the people who are here already. Knuckey: We have trouble recruiting and retaining engineering staff. It’s a long-term problem that needs a long-term solution. Council asked DPW to look into consultants, but they get a much higher hourly wage. Part-timers borrowed from other municipalities works for a little while, then stops. Even the interlocal with Kitsap County was cancelled by them. Echoes Shiplet: all jurisdictions are feeling this same level of growth. We need a long-term solution. Spencer: We can’t coordinate with other places to do inspections, and she knows of no jurisdiction that has excess staff hours to spare. Sullivan: Reads from Mark Goldberg’s letter, who applied for a multi-family permit in July 2020, and still has no permit. Spencer: This one has had multiple re-designs, each time he goes to the back of the line. On this permit, we’re using contract services, and they’re already backed up. Goodnow: Andrea and Tom, you’ve supported us, now it’s time for us to support you. We can’t only right-size to make it smaller, we have to right-size to make it larger too when that’s necessary. Younger: Is DCD staff revenue-neutral? Spencer: We strive for that, but we’re not an Enterprise Fund like the County. Y: do permit fees cover payroll etc.? S: no, because we have many unfunded mandates. Y: Aren’t permit fees supposed to bear a clear relation to costs? S: Yes. Y: So it seems like the DCD’s one FTE will be covered by the permit fees. Y turns to Knuckey: Wants to know why hiring 2 inspectors will have a negligible effect. K punts to Michael Riley. Riley says inspection fees will increase as inspectors increase. Y turns to K: K punts to Riley; K interrupts Riley. He describes the construction process as a series of inspections of plans and on-site review, which is done by DCD, which is DPW (e.g., streets) and Water (e.g., water mains & stems from mains to housing unit). Spencer explains that right now she’s filling in gaps with contract services, so quite unlikely that these positions will have to be fired. Motion carries 6-1, Simpson opposing.
6. COUNCIL REPORTS
Sullivan: Shredding event 4/10, 9-1pm, Elks Parking Lot.
Daugs: 4/10, Marvin Williams Comm. Ctr, 10-1, vaccinations for all 18 and over. Make a reservation (check the MWCC website). REAC meets tomorrow night, 6pm.
Wheat: Well-attended District 4 community meeting in late March, robust hr.-long community convo. Echoes Daugs’s urging to stay cautious, vaccines available next Thursday, April 15th.
Goodnow: Also lauds vaccines and urges others to stay cautious until they are immune through vaccination. Stay the course. Kitsap is a hot spot right now. Stay safe.
Simpson: Hope you had a good Easter or other special time last weekend. It’s important that we understand that the mobilization of the economy has to be recognized (?). Wants Pledge and Invocation re-instated. Here in the military, we re-affirm our Oath to the Constitution by pledging the flag. Our budget needs to be split into two pieces so we can vote separately. One part is public safety, utilities, and infrastructure. The other half of the budget can be done later. The utility tax is too high, needs to be reduced, especially since we’re now planning to use part to cover the FTEs. “We are depriving people of their life-energy” “We should be allowing people to keep their money because they are the best determiners of its use”
Younger: Wants a study session dedicated to how much we’ve grown, how have FTEs grown as City has grown, wants to explore an FTE cap. Seeks support for this idea.
Gorman: No report, but Council about to enter Executive Session.
7. EXECUTIVE SESSION
A. 15-Minutes to discuss Pending Litigation as allowed under RCW 42.30.110 (1) (i);
Lubovich announces a settlement to Frank Shaw for $100K plus $3400.00 claimants’ costs for mediation etc. Approved unanimously.
8. ADJOURNMENT OF CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS MEETING And so it came to a close.