Very Public Works evening except a woman – YES! FIRST!!- was appointed Bremerton City Attorney. 6-year transportation improvement plan (TIP) approved after public hearing. Profit from redlight cameras to go to Transportation Capital Projects Fund, i.e., the projects outlined in TIP will get $200-$400K extra funding, unless Council decides to exercise their oversight. Which means they’ll have to go out of their way, not the preferred human pathway. Chris Mottner approved, FINALLY, to be promoted to newly-created position of Internal Services Manager. And, foregone conclusion, Pape Construction will do the multi-million $ water main replacement on Marine Drive, as very high development rates have outstripped capacity of 90+ year old water main to deliver water to fight fires in that area. Kylie Finnell (pronounced FINN-ell), Mayor’s appointment to City Attorney, approved by Council. Younger urges posting of positions to the general public if we’re going to increase diversity. He does it twice, first with Mottner, then with FINN-ell (almost no one pronounced this correctly, so I’m emphasizing).
I proposed the WSDOT method of increasing diversity: internships. This would help the City resolve the conundrum of how to increase diversity while hiring from within. Hire unpaid interns from high schools, technical schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges. I point out that Fire Chief McGanney mentioned that many of their current EMTs are graduates of the ride-along program. This would be a ride-along program for Council, Mayor, Dept heads, etc. I think this is a great idea which I owe to Tracy Flood’s husband with whom I stood on the barbecue line on Juneteenth at Evergreen. He’s a top architect at WSDOT and that’s how they’ve successfully introduced racial diversity into the workforce. Many positions don’t need a college degree. This is a real chance for many.
The transcript disappeared soon after I copied Simpson’s long speech about Mottner’s hiring, so there may be a few small errors after that. The transcript is pretty funny, actually,and I recommend it for all those discouraged by voter suppression, rise in white supremacist feeling and violent acts and indifference of elected officials, 62% of whom are white males, (and apparently most Protestant & wealthy too) per Washington Post analysis last month. The transcript translates spoken word into phonics of its own eccentric choosing. It reported on the remarks of President Goldman, for example, when Gorman was speaking. It can NOT figure out the word Kitsap. Kids up. Kid’s app. Kit is up. And so on. It reminds you that technology still hasn’t figured out how to replace humans. Or not at our income level anyhow.
And with that unusually long introduction, here are my minutes & notes on the meeting.
NB: Gorman announces that the next meeting will be hybrid, public can attend virtually or in-person.
2. MAYOR’S REPORT
Jan-June previous high permit valuations $56.8M, this year $87M+. Our golf course is #11 out of best 30 public courses in the country.
3. PUBLIC RECOGNITION
Jeff Coughlin wonders why such short notice on District Four vacancy. (See response under Agenda Item Staff point out that email was sent out 7/2 [I can confirm as I received it then.] Kiaha Long wants more diversity in hiring, understands that new prosecutor is a woman who’s worked with City before, but we need more diversity. Robert ______ wants Bremerton1 app to be fixed as he hasn’t had a response to his last two complaints. Gorman says it works fine for him, Mayor asks Robert ___ to email him. Jeff Campbell would like to hear more details about the Mayor’s report, e.g., where does he get his info from? [See Item B for City Clerk’s reply.] I propose an internship program for Council, Mayor, and Depts to come from a pool of those poorly represented in City. This would be a way to increase diversity and hire from within. I ask Council, Would they like more research & information? Gorman will discuss with Mayor. No direct answer to my question.
4. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Claims and Check Register
B. Minutes of Meeting – June 16, 2021
C. Minutes of Study Session – June 23, 2021
D. Contract Modification Agreement No. 3 with Parametrix, Inc. for Oyster Bay Beach Sewer Upgrades
E. Agreement with Cultural Resource Consultants, LLC for Oyster Bay Beach Sewer Upgrades
Kiaha Long asks how Cultural Resource Consultants were chosen. Bill Davis repeats what he said at study session, they used approved tested techniques & chose the best-qualified. Approved unanimously.
5. PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. Public Hearing and Resolution No. 3340 adopting the 2022 – 2027 Six Year Transportation
Shane Weber presents. He explains what TIP is: basically a pretty certain list / funding available (Tier 1); a probably might happen list / partially funded (Tier 2) and a wish list (Tier 3). The whole thing is consistent with Comprehensive Plan, includes all Capital projects — a project has to be on the list to get grant $$. The State requires that we file one of these every year. Questions? Jeff Campbell: this seems to be pretty car-centric. Is that a good reading of this plan? Shane: There are non-motorized projects. Me: Good work on the nearly $1/2M on studying non-motorized transport in Tier 1. Can I get details on the 15th & Corbett St. improvements? Shane will discuss with me later, so as not to take up everyone’s time.
Discussion: Daugs points out the non-motorized aspects of this plan, e.g., sidewalk improvements. Asks about different Collector roads described in the Plan. Shane explains that there is a subarea plan for the SKIA area or PSIC area (Huh? Huh?) that are referenced. Simpson: This is a good plan. It has a lot of good things in there. A lot of stuff for every district, lots of things for everybody. It needs to move forward. Approved unanimously.
6. GENERAL BUSINESS
A. Confirm Appointment of Harrington Griffin of the Fairfield Inn to the Lodging Tax Advisory
Committee. Replacing previous hotel mgr with current hotel mgr. Approved unanimously.
B. Agreement with Pape & Sons Construction, Inc. for Marine Drive Water Main Replacement
Robert Endsley presents, same as at study session. Basically, 1930 water main can’t deliver water for fire dept at end of peninsula. Kiaha Long asks about bid process — any locals? Endsley repeats that there were three bidders, Pape is from Gig Harbor, doesn’t know where the other two firms were from. Jeff Campbell asks where he can find info on the bidding process, Angela Hoover points him to City web site, where he can info on RFP and RFQs, or he can email her at public records.
Discussion: Sullivan thinks this is a great plan, using local labor a Good Thing. Simpson explains who Pape is. He explains that Marine Drive needs traffic-calming which should be incorporated into the final re-surfacing, i.e., paint the speed limit on the road surface. Daugs asks if this over-budget project will go in this year or will it go in in future. Will costs go up while project is on hold, waiting for consultation with tribes and DFW? Davis explains that the dam project is the one that’s on hold for consultation, this project is starting 2021. Daugs asks about outreach. Endsley repeats the outreach plan and implementation, e.g., postcards sent to every resident before May 6th public meeting, contract includes notifications, e;g., 72 hours for utility shut-offs. Projected water shut-offs 4 hours max. Approved unanimously.
C. Ordinance No. 5426 amending Chapter 10.42 of the Bremerton Municipal Code to include
Section 10.42.070 entitled “Funds Allocated”
Eric Younger presents. Same as at study session. Many Councilors want to avoid the perception of profiting from the red-light cameras. He uses the phrase revenue in excess of expenses. That revenue goes to General Fund. He presents his ordinance as directing that excess to traffic safety, but the actual language is transportation capital projects fund (TCPF). $1.1M goes to local streets and sidewalks. This will bring $200-$400K to TCPF. The City needs $6M/yr to really fix the streets and sidewalks. It’s not enough to close the gap, but it’s a real contribution. Kiaha Long: This is a bad idea. Me: I read the email I sent them, asking that this ordinance not pass, as it’s important that Council retain flexibility during budget process. If they intend to allocate the money, it should go to traffic calming.
Discussion: Sullivan says there’s enough flexibility as Council can direct $$ elsewhere at their discretion. Simpson this is an important measure that moves us in the right direction. He and Sullivan both say the money’s going to Streets and Sidewalks, which, again, is not in the ordinance language. Daugs asks if there’s any fund for traffic calming. Knuckey says it’s a line item, but there are so many capital projects that traffic calming isn’t on the schedule. Daugs: Would the $$ go to the projects you presented in the Transportation Plan? Knuckey: Yes. Younger: According to Riley, the $$ will be tracked. [So what? I ask myself. Tracking ain’t acting.] Daugs points out, very politely, that the language doesn’t say word one about streets and sidewalks — can we add the language? Younger: If you want to “handcuff the administration”, sure. He wants to give the administration the flexibility they need. Daugs backs off as she too doesn’t want to handcuff the staff. [Prediction: This will pass 5-1, Goodnow opposing.] Surprise! Approved 5-1, Daugs dissenting.
D. Approve promotion of Chris Mottner as the Internal Services Manager at Band 16, Rate 8 of the 2021 Management, Professional, Confidential and Fiduciary Salary Plan
Hoover reads the synopsis of study session on this. The motion is to approve Mottner’s promotion. Knuckey repeats the Whole Freaking Presentation he made at the study session 23 June. Questions? Kiaha: How many people does Mottner supervise? When Mottner retires, is the City looking at a replacement? Since he’s been working for 42 years, he’ll be retiring in not so long. Knuckey reviews his last PowerPoint slide. He supervises 16 people. I reiterate the principal points of Knuckey’s presentation. I mention that when I presented at study session, my comments were dismissed because I lacked qualification. My qualification, I said, is that I can recognize and respect expertise. I ask Council to respect expertise, that of Mottner, that of Knuckey in compiling the presentation, and give him a chance to pass on his expertise. Hire him. Daugs: Potential employees shouldn’t have to post their resumes, let’s not have to do this again. Goodnow: A little surprised at how much time we’ve put in on this. To me, it is very clear that this is a win-win: highly-experienced employee at no increase in salary, and I support it. Simpson: These positions don’t require Council approval (huh? HUH??). [Start Transcript] so the question now is whether we’re going to promote someone into, into a state or into the step six position. Okay. So, the difference in pay between step one and step six is is about $16,000. Now, when we were told when we were presented this position in the first place. We were told that there was a there was the possibility of an $8,000 savings. And if the difference between step one and step six is $16,000. That means that not only are we not saving the thousand dollars that we were told that this was going to save us. We’re actually spending $16,000 more. Now, we have an exceptional Candidate who has a very impressive resume. and it’s it’s shocking that the administration would not simply promote him, and then use the civil service rules that are in place to use America promotions to accelerate from step one to step 23456. And that way, this, this exceptional candidate, we have would be promoted with rules as stated, and it is very simple to do that. And I’m surprised and shocked that this has taken so long to come forward. And it should not require council Matic action to make happen. It could have been promoted, and that would have that would have resolved the issue. And then the merit promotions could have happened so that the steps were increased in a manner that was befitting of this exceptional candidates performance. So, this is, this is the conundrum that we have we have a $16,000 argument, and an $8,000 savings it’s never going to appear. So what are we to do about this. Should we stick to the rules and make sure that that this exceptional candidate is presented at step one, where every other candidate would be. And this Candidate is allowed to merit promote based on their performance through the accelerated promotions. This would be the, this would be the right avenue that we should take. And I think that we should be able to reward our employees. But when we, when we forced the council to take council Matic action and present to the council that they’re going to save $1,000 and yet we’re going to spend an additional 16,000 and not save the 8000 I think that’s that becomes a big problem. So, I’m going to encourage my fellow council members, not to support this simply because this is something that the administration could have taken care of without us, and could have fixed on their own. And they’re bringing it to us. And it just doesn’t make sense. [End Transcript]. [WOW! The guy has put his word salad into a salad spinner! Also completely ignoring all his positions and objections from 23 June study session.] Charlotte Belmore explains that this was brought before Council because it’s not covered under civil service rules, but under B&C. Sullivan: Thinks tonight’s presentation was different from the study session presentation. [It wasn’t. Same slides. Same speech, maybe a little shorter.] Younger: Really impressive! Younger chides Knuckey, not by name, saying that if Public Works had simply announced that the job was posted, the most qualified individual had applied and was approved. If that had happened, Younger would have approved it as a matter of course. IMHO, he’s saying that if Public Works hand’t followed protocol, they could’ve slipped it past Council, no problem, no expenditure of so much time. Then he goes into a long argument with which I can’t disagree, that Knuckey simply chose Mottner for this position, and that’s not how things are supposed to happen. Mayor says he rewards loyalty, excellence, and personal observation. That’s who he is, that”s who the people elected, and there you have it. Gorman points out that if Council doesn’t approve the hiring, someone might want to leave a City where he’s not appreciated, and then there’d be TWO open positions. Motion approved 4-2, Younger and Simpson dissenting.
E. Confirm Appointment of Kylie Finnell (FINN-ell) as the City Attorney at Band 23 Rate 6 of the salary schedule; and authorize the Mayor to finalize and enter into the attached Letter of Engagement with substantially the same terms and conditions as presented
Mayor presents. Asks Council to approve his appointment of Finnell. He repeats the presentation he made at study session. Jeff Weaver (sp?) recommends her. Kiaha: The position needs diversity, urges Council to vote No. Jeff Coughlin repeats the recommendation he made during study session. Bill Broughton: Congratulates Mayor on a terrific appointment, sorry to see her leave his practice.
Daugs: Good to have a woman. The first female in this position, she thinks.Sullivan: Heard much of her experience. Simpson: It didn’t work out before, but this is another chance. Younger: I encouraged her to apply, much respect for her, but he’s in a quandary. If she’s appointed, will she divest her interests in Kitsap Law Group. Finnell says she’ll no longer be a member of the firm, AND she recommends that City no longer use Kitsap Law Group for outside counsel. Younger is concerned that position wasn’t posted, quotes diversity again. Charlotte Belmore points out that Patty Lent made this kind of position free of posting requirements. Approved 5-1, Younger dissenting.
7. COUNCIL MEMBER REPORTS
Sullivan: Weeding party at her local park. Goodnow: Comeback Charleston Business District Reorganizing 7/15 at 6pm, via Zoom. Also: grant applications due 7/29 – Any non-profit or orgs and businesses that promote tourism and/or sponsor recurring events or festivals may qualify for funding from LTAC. Pride is taking place at Fairgrounds this year, (7/29?) 4pm, lawn concert at 7pm. Simpson: Congratulates Finn-ELL and Harrington on their appointments (nothing about Mottner!!!!) He’s celebrating anniversary of telephonic communication. Fireworks still going on, Council still talking about it, Administration can ban fireworks if they so choose. We have to amend the Emergency Proclamation because it’s been going on for a year now. Younger: Congratulates Harrington and Finn-ELL. Looking forward to study session in Council Chambers next Wednesday. Gorman: Confirms that next week’s session will be in Council chambers. Repeats that District Four is vacant, applications being considered until noon on Friday July 9th. Hopes to interview candidates at 4pm before next study session 7/14. Announces the closed executive session after tonight’s meeting.
8. ADJOURNMENT OF CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS MEETING and so it came to an end at 7:45.