16 Feb 2022, City Council General 5:30-7pm, the really pretty typical meeting

Two unarmed security guards for 3 downtown City parking garages, 5pm-4am. From the Parking Fund, they’ll take almost $97K of “budgeted funds”, i.e., money already budgeted. They’ll refer homeless to a shelter. After 9pm, when shelters close, they’ll “move them along”. Will call 911 for any dangerous situations. Interlocal agreement with other Kitsap Co. fire depts to dispatch or receive firefighters, a shift or two at a time, if Covid or other emergencies erupt. Other fire depts will pay any OT for our firefighters, and vice versa. $40K to study and do outreach on code amendments to permit cottage housing, like cluster at 15th and Snyder, north end of Arvon Ave., etc. Huge big $$ for transport, see Mayor’s report. Gap in sidewalks to be remedied with new sidewalk, East 11th & Wheaton.

Councilor Simpson appears to think that interlocal agreement among fire depts is a ploy to get extra benefits for our firefighters. He moved to postpone the agreement until November, after union negotiations close. He stated “this would cost us nothing”. [No mention of what it might cost those whose homes or businesses are on fire.] Councilor Younger voted with him to table. It passed, 5-2.

I’m 24 votes ahead as of 5pm today, Thursday 2/17. Kitsap Elections will certify the election at 9am tomorrow. This blog will go snark-free should I be fortunate enough to be sworn in as District Six’s representative at City Council. Well, I will do my utmost to snuff the snark, anyhow.

2. MAYOR’S REPORT

Quick update on legislative session. $25M for Warren Ave Bridge; $6.5M for Kitsap Transit all-electric foot ferry; $74.2M for widening SR3/Gorst; $35M for widening & safety improvements SR3/Belfair area. Also $350M for hiring, training, retaining employees for ferry AND free fares for youth. $1.3B to build 4 new hybrid-electric ferries and electrifying two existing vessels. Wheeler has been working with Sen Murray, others, to make all of this happen.

3. PUBLIC RECOGNITION

Beth Javans (?), Dir of Visit Kitsap Peninsula. They’re here to further circulate the maritime WA National Heritage Area draft plan. I recommend that Council consider amending the Annual Median Income to reflect Bremerton median income, not Kitsap County-wide AMI ($94,100). Jeff Campbell speaks, but only to test the system as the 2 previous attempts to speak here failed due to technical reasons. Mayor had Lori Smith enter her phone # into Chat so anyone who wanted could call in.

4. CONSENT AGENDA

A. Claims & Check Register

B. Minutes of Meeting – February 2, 2022

C. Minutes of Study Session – February 9, 2022

D. Professional Services Agreement with FCS Group for 2022 Utility Cost of Service and General Facility Charges (GFC) Update

E. Acceptance of WA State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) Grant; and Fuel Tax Grant Agreement for E.11th Street & Wheaton Way Sidewalk Gap Improvement Project

F. 2022 Excess Workers’ Compensation Insurance with Midwest Employers Casualty Company

G. Professional Services Agreement with Bremerton Housing Authority for City of Bremerton 2022 Rental Assistance Program

H. Acceptance of Housing Action Plan Implementation Grant; and Interagency Agreement with WA State Department of Commerce for Development of Cottage Housing Ordinance

I. Acceptance of WA State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) Grant; and Fuel Tax Grant Agreement for the Washington Avenue & 11th Street Roundabout Project

J. Public Works Agreement with Vet Industrial, Inc. for Northlake Way Pressure Reducing Valve Relocation Project

K. Public Works Agreement with Pro-Pipe, Inc. for 2022 Sanitary and Storm Sewer Cleaning and Video Inspection Project

L. Master Services Agreement with Wave Business Solutions, LLC for Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Treatment Plant Dark Fiber and SCADA Upgrade Project

M. Professional Services Agreement with Presidio Networked Solutions Group, LLC for purchase of Cisco hardware for WWTP Dark Fiber and SCADA Upgrade Project

N. Reclass vacant Asset Manager Position from Grade 12 to Grade 15 of the Management Professional, Confidential & Fiduciary Salary Plan

I ask about outreach on Item H – Garrett Jackson says they’ll reach out to other jurisdictions & cottage housing, and to citizens, he adds, with no specifics. Garrett.Jackson@ci.bremerton.wa.us for updates & details. I also ask what is an Asset Manager – Knuckey explains that this position assists City in making data-driven decisions about equipment & facilities – some things we should “run to failure”, some we should maintain more. Sounds like a pretty freaking essential position. No other public comment. Motion carries unanimously.

5. GENERAL BUSINESS

A. Kitsap County Fire Chiefs Shared Staffing Interlocal Agreement

No public comment. Goodnow asks for the question. Daugs moves, Chamberlin seconds. McGanney presents, this is a way to deal with possible future staff vacancies due to Covid. [I’m betting this is 6-1 in favor, Simpson opposing.] Daugs and then Younger say, hasn’t this happened before? Chief McGanney says yes, it’ll probably work like this: 1 guy for 1 24-hr shift, then a different guy for any other shift. Younger asks, in long question, why “exclusive”, which has 2 different meanings, he says. McGanney says this is different from our regular mutual aid, where all fire forces converge when one has a 2-alarm fire. This is our employees getting paid by us, then they work for Bainbridge or Poulsbo or wherever, who then reimburse us for the employees’ pay, even if it’s overtime. Younger cedes that the word “exclusive” means this interlocal agreement is separate from mutual aid. Simpson moves that we table this discussion and re-open it in the first week of November, as we are currently in labor negotiations with Firefighters. [See? What’d I tell you?] Younger seconds. Daugs comments that she has a problem with postponing this because it’s a response to the Covid pandemic. McGanney notes that this agreement has no expiration, but it’s a 2-way street – if B’ton loses 35-40 firefighters, we’ll need help from these other municipalities. He doesn’t anticipate using it much. Chamberlin asks, if we postpone, won’t we just rely on mutual aid? McGanney says that mutual aid will make other fire depts, correctly, quite angry. Mutual aid is for unforeseeable emergencies, not routine emergencies like having 35-40 firefighters down with Covid. She asks about this interlocal agreement as a bargaining chip in negotiations. McGanney says, again, that he doesn’t see how this is something that has anything to do with labor negotiations. Chamberlin points out that if there are any overtime charges, the other jurisdictions would pay them. McGanney agrees. Wheeler says this is for our current emergency. Simpson says, Start Transcript: The idea that we are not providing a benefit to the individual firefighters seems kind of counterintuitive, because that’s what we’re doing. We’re allowing individual augmentees to go and work for another fire agency, and they would be working at an overtime rate. This is this is over time that be paid and have, or it can be paid during it. It can be paid with Comp time if it’s paid in comp time. It could lead us to the problem that we talked about with the 300 h of of comp time used during the year. We do not want to put ourselves in that situation I understand that the chief will manage the manning of the of our firefighters. but if we have our firefighters assigned for 2 24 h shifts and basically a 50 h week, because that’s what 2 24-hour shifts are that means that there are 5 days where they have the opportunity to get overtime, not saying that we don’t want our employees to earn extra money outside of our agency, because that’s their right to do that however, we are affording an opportunity to one specific group our employees that is not offered to any other employee. Our police agencies do not do this on a regular basis. We do not have, do not have that same type of inter local agreement. Our teamsters don’t have that we are we are treading into dangerous territory when we offer this to one Union, the opportunity to do things that another Union cannot and that’s why we should we should postpone this until the first week of November, because we have not settled the contract with our union. It’s important that we get this taken care of but we have survived this far. I believe the city’s 119 years old and we have not had this kind of benefit for for our firefighters before, and even though the other unions around us are doing that it does not mean that it would be beneficial right now for us to do that. The point is this costs us nothing. [Emphasis added.] If we have. if we have a problem where we lose a catastrophic number of folks and have to put away a shift, it costs us nothing, because, as the chief stated, the other agencies have to come in because of the mutual aid agreement and take care of that and it will cost us time and a half. We’re going to do the same to help the other agencies. End Transcript.

Goodnow says what if we have a catastrophic fire here, many firefighters injured & traumatized, this is an opportunity to offer help and receive help when needed. [Go Goodnow!]

Simpson’s motion to postpone is defeated, 5-2, Simpson and Younger opposing. The original motion passes 5-2, Simpson and Younger opposing.

B. Contract Modification Agreement No. 1 with Merchant Patrol Security Services, Inc. for Security Services

Mottner presents. Foot patrols, 8 hours a night, 7 nights a week. This is in addition to increased police patrols and additional security cameras. City Facility staff will oversee these foot patrols & review the camera footage. Merchant Patrol, he says, has a good record with “unauthorized loiterers”, and will offer any houseless persons a reference to available shelters. If anything escalates, the patrol calls 911.

Mr Ennis comments – everything stated is plainly obvious. I ask why the foot patrol will be patrolling 5pm-4am. What’s happening 11pm-4am? Goodnow reminds me that this is not Q&A. Jeff Campbell says it’s privatization of stop and frisk. Kiaha Long echoes my comment and also asks if private industry is going to fund this. Mr Ennis is allowed to comment again to say that he had a truck stolen from a hotel garage only 2 weeks ago. He frames this patrol as offering assistance to the homeless.

Chamberlin moves, Coughlin seconds. Chamberlin likes the unarmed foot patrol, but where will they refer homeless people to at 11:00 at night? Salvation Army closes at 9. She wants to know what kind of training they’ll receive Start Transcript: to deal with the houseless population and people who perhaps some of these houseless individuals have mental wellness issues what kind of training do these patrol officers receive to deal with that population from the perspective of de escalation and kindness and compassion. End Transcript. She also calls for all-night shelter for houseless. Coughlin says people in his district really want this extra security. Daugs asks again about what Patrol is trained to do if a situation escalates. Mottner says, call 911. Run if necessary (paraphrase). Mottner (I think) says 11pm-4am is a time when few officers are on shift and those who are are plenty busy with drunk & disorderly, etc. This patrol will take up the slack during those hours. [But they will only be in three parking garages! How does this work? Are parking garages a flash point for crime in the small hours? Questions I would like to ask.] Goodnow says this is a good thing. He expands on that statement. Motion carries unanimously.

6. COUNCIL REPORTS

Younger has no report. Simpson talks about community theatre, he had an opportunity to watch Death of a Salesman on Lebo Ave, over in East Bremerton. Tickets are inexpensive, acting was great. It’s playing this coming weekend. Dennehy has no report. Coughlin puts up slides. [Again, he’s exactly what you think of when you think, City Councilman.] He details recent past community meetings, nothing about what was discussed. Highlights upcoming meetings where communities have concerns, no details. Except 3/1 meeting re E 11th St & Perry Ave improvements. WarrenAveBridgeProject.com has opportunities for community members to comment on the Multi-Modal Project. Lauds the Pedestrian Safety Improvements near the ferry (flashing signs, etc.) Daugs: Watch out for your neighbors in these cold nights. Chamberlin: people don’t like paying the high rates for water. Many are gardeners. She recommends the Blueberry Pea-Patch, which provides the water for raised beds, $14/yr. And the chance to bond with your community! Lack of sidewalks on Pine Rd, she understands that steep grades make drainage problems, which raises costs, but still has to be some way to keep Pine Rd safe! Goodnow announces, again, the Charleston Clean-up on 4/23. Same as 2 weeks ago. Mentions that we’re seeing pretty good numbers, Gov lifting mask mandate for large crowds. King Co lifting their requirement for vaccine card or recent negative test at restaurants and bars.

7. ADJOURNMENT OF CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS MEETING and so it came to an end at 7:00pm.

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