26 Jan 2022 Council Study Session, 5-5:55pm, The Mostly-Golf-Course Meeting

Gold Mtn Golf Course buying > $500K of used equipment to replace even older equipment. Apparently 100% fossil fuel powered. All $$ comes from golf course revenue of $5.5-$6M / yr. More about golf course income & expenses. Should we consider fireworks ban like Port Orchard? Younger asks. Rest of agenda was Committee reports: 2 grants rec’vd for street improvements, wastewater internet gets a big upgrade that will add high-capacity internet to “our City” (maybe all, maybe parts, not known). Public Safety Committee being re-constituted, Chamberlin on it. Simpson wants to rewrite City Charter to let Councilors go to Japan, for instance, for as long as they like because with Zoom, all things are possible. As he has said before, a representative can be equally in touch with his district from Japan as he is from here. Finally, of interest to avid Council-watchers, yearly Retreat, where Goals & Priorities are set, postponed from usual late January to mid-March. When all the election returns should be in.


1. Purchase of Replacement Equipment from Turf Star Western and Pacific Golf &Turf for Gold Mountain Golf Course

$512K for various tractors, sweepers, etc. Elevado and Dary Metheny present.

Chamberlin asks if there’s anywhere else Enterprise Funds can be used, Elevado explains that it’s a stand-alone. She also asks about ecological implications of using old, fossil-fuel (oil) equipment. Abel Anderson, Golf Course Superintendent, says no leaks go off-property. Chamberlin says, isn’t that inefficient? Wouldn’t new equipment be cheaper in the long run? (Less repair, less maintenance, etc.) Elevado says yeah, it is inefficient to buy this cheap (scrap, Chamberlin calls it) equipment, and answers her questions about return on scrap and surplus by saying they have to pay people to haul stuff off, value is so low. They can cannibalize some equipment. Anderson says the new equipment has sensors to alert to low levels of oil, electrical system, etc. This 30-year-old stuff doesn’t have that. Chamberlin asks what is annual revenue? About $6M, $5.4m, and operating costs are around $4M. Plus debt service, e.g., $500K/yr. on clubhouse, lease fees, insurance, all paid by City out of the Enterprise Fund. Chamberlin’s last question is about reserve fund – Elevado answers that course doesn’t spend money unless there’s revenue to support that spending. Coughlin asks one broad question – could any of this equipment be used elsewhere in City? Elevado says equipment on golf course generally stays on golf course, but if there were an urgent need, of course they’d supply. Coughlin asks about specifics on the heavy equipment, particularly for why the optional canopy wasn’t put on the budget. Anderson says add-ons are, in general, excluded – they go for bare-bones to avoid adding extra costs. Goodnow says, looking at the age of equipment, it’s a testament to the good maintenance of gold course staff. Moved to General Business.


o Public Works Committee Monthly Briefing

Eric Younger, Chair, presents. 2 grants received, for TIB for sidewalk improvements, $140K, and $1.7M for roundabout at Washington Ave/11th St. PW is using dark fiber to communicate among pump stations and wastewater treatment station, this will add high-capacity internet to “our City” with this expansion. Improved surveillance cameras and connection to police (I think) in City’s parking garages. There’s a model for setting sewage (wastewater) rates which needs to be revisited and re-tested.

o Finance, Investment & Parking Committee Monthly Briefing

Chair, Mike Simpson, presents. Topics covered were election of Chair and Vice-Chair (Chamberlin). Gold Mountain Golf Course presented there last night. Asset manager replacement (huh?). Other topics were brought up that they may go forward with in future, like helping out seniors and low-income folks. Chamberlin adds that use of cameras in public safety was discussed. She adds that the difficulty of recruiting an Asset Manager was discussed.

o Race Equity Advisory Committee Monthly Briefing

Chair Dennehy, Vice-Chair Chamberlin, Coughlin also on committee now. REAC meeting with its sister committee in Bainbridge, tomorrow. Going on retreat for the March meeting.

o Other General Council Business

Council Retreat is set for March 12th. Younger proposes a ban on fireworks like that recently instituted in Port Orchard, as it was put forth by many of his constituents. It’s not just pets, it’s vets with PTSD. Daugs points out that even if fireworks were approved by Council, not put to voters, it would still not go into effect in 2023. Chamberlin asks tech questions about Public Safety Committee, what’s its charter? How do we resurrect it? Coughlin asks if retreat will be in person? Goodnow says yeah, we’re trying to do that – we’ll see. He wants the more human interaction. Simpson wants an ad hoc committee for reviewing our City Charter (Eric Younger is smiling so widely all of his teeth show, because of course this is Simpson wanting to let Councilors live wherever they want so long as they participate via Zoom). And yes, Younger spells this out. Finnell says as long as Council votes to bring back Public Safety Committee, should be an easy fix & better to do it formally. More technical discussion of how to do that – Finnell repeats that it’s a simple change to Council Rules & Procedures. Moved to General Business for 2/2 to be put to the vote. Public Safety used to include Parks, will be excluded in future.

C. ADJOURNMENT OF STUDY SESSION and so it came to an end at 5:55pm.

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