December 2016

Week ending December 29

No update due to the holiday schedule.

Week Ending December 22

Here are the items for the last weekly update of the year:

  • Police Officer Tony Bush Serving on the Peninsula Behavioral Health (PBH) Board – We are super fortunate to have a compassionate and caring Police Department culture. A reflection of that on display was Officer Tony Bush recently deciding to volunteer his services on the PBH Board of Directors for a three-year term. His service there will help to bring policing and mental health services into an even closer relationship here in Sequim. Tony’s background includes mental health services so this is real win-win for PBH and the City. If you see Tony, please congratulate him! If you don’t know Tony, he leads off the Hall of Fame Lip Dub video with first lines of the song. You can’t miss him, he’s got talent!
  • Tree City – We’ve been approved by the State of Washington as a Tree City and our application has been forwarded to the Arbor Day Foundation. The attached email (PDF) has more details. Kudos to Joe Irvin and members of the Public Works Department for their leadership on this topic and to all of you for supporting our application.
  • Ask Why – I’m a big fan of the author Simon Sinek. I shared one of his talks with you at last year’s Council Retreat. Over the past 10 years, he’s been a big proponent of helping people to find meaning in their work and lives by asking them to ask themselves why they do things. I believe that most all of us here at the City have a handle on why we do what we do here. Nonetheless, the end of the year is a time of reflection and I found this 5 minute talk thought provoking and inspiring. I hope that you will as well.
  • Thank You – This has been a year where we’ve asked a lot of you and a lot of ourselves. Thank you for coming together as a team with open minds to start 2016 and for working well together throughout the year. What we accomplished this year is a direct reflection of the direction that you set for us and the support that you provided to us. Thank you and please enjoy this well-deserved break.
  • Next Update – I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off and the next update will be the week of 1/9 to 1/13. Joe Irvin will be Acting City Manager while I am away.

Week Ending December 16

Here are this week’s items:

  • Audit Success – Kudos go out to all of you, our staff, and especially our Finance Department on our completing our 25th consecutive year without an audit finding. We just completed our State Audit of 2015 with hardly a blemish. Great work everyone!!! Let’s keep the run going!
  • Dungeness Off Channel Reservoir – We had a successful open house yesterday at the possible site of the future reservoir. Several Councilors were in attendance, as were many partners and future funders. Kudos go out to the Public Works Department for organizing an effective overview and tour of the site, besides all of their work on the project to date. It was helpful to me and I’m sure to all in attendance. The effort is a perfect illustration of the type of regional collaboration needed to tackle many of our goals and emerging issues.
  • Council Advance – I will be bringing some materials and a draft outline to you at our 1/9 meeting for our 1/18 all day advance. Initial thoughts are: 1) Retire completed goals; 2) Shift some mid-term goals to the short term; 3) Discuss the possibility of tweaking or adding goals (I’d prefer not to dump a bunch a bunch of new goals into our list as we are already taking on some big stuff and are running at capacity at the moment); 4) talking about some of our organization development efforts and how they interface with the City Council; and 5) other to be determined. We’ll be at the Transit Center on the 18th. Lunch will be provided.
  • Makerspace – We met with a number of partners this week to talk about the needs for a possible recreational Makerspace in Sequim. It was an exploratory meeting. There is definitely interest and energy in seeing something come to fruition. Makerspaces are places where people make things, sometimes with their hands and sometimes with technology. The 21st Century economy of the United States is expected to be more about craft businesses than large industry, especially in rural areas. A Makerspace in Sequim would help to advance our potential to realize more of these businesses, while also providing a positive activity space for people of all ages. We will have more on this. The initial meeting was to talk about site requirements, zoning, etc. A Makerspace is like the industrial version of the office CoLab we discussed recently. Many of them are nonprofit operations. Here is more on Makerspaces.
  • City of Sequim Lip Dub – Those of you attending our Employee Appreciation event will be part of the world premiere of our first Lip Dub Video. We’ll be using the video to assist with future recruitments. It is a great celebration of our employees, our culture, and especially our ability to not take ourselves too seriously. It is this mix of authenticity, fun, and professionalism that will be critical to our success going forward. Lip Dubs are really popular with school districts and some grassroots community efforts but have not been used too frequently by cities for employee recruitment. We are excited to give this a go. Part of the message we want to deliver with our video is that by joining our team, you have an opportunity to help achieve greatness for our community and in turn be a part of something really special and meaningful, all while having fun doing what you love. I’ll share a link on a future update. We hope the video is seen far and wide.
  • Hiring Decisions – We have had a number of recruitments out over the past 4-6 weeks. We’ve conducted interviews and expect to be announcing hires for Information Technology Manager (recently vacated), two 0.75 FTE Temporary Public Works Project Managers (one was in the budget and the other is replacing a recently vacated full time Engineering Technician position), and Community Development Specialist (new in the budget) by the end of the year. We just sent you a separate message about how we are handling human resources. Chief Crain is also giving significant thought to how to backfill for the position vacated by her promotion. Whatever decision she makes will likely be announced during the first quarter of 2017. I’m delighted with how our team appears to be rounding out in 2017! We’ve had great candidates for our open positions!!!
  • Vacation – I’m going to take a couple of weeks off during the Holidays. I’ll be out between Christmas and New Year’s the week following New Year’s, returning the day of our first meeting of the New Year, Monday, January 9th. Joe Irvin will be Acting City Manager in my absence. I’m here next week.

Week Ending December 2

Here are this week’s items:

  • DNR Crew Work Plan – The attached email (PDF) has more details from Public Works regarding the exact plan for our incoming DNR Crew. They probably won’t get to everything but we wanted to have a good long list in case they have time.
  • Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Consortium – I mentioned a while back that we were joining a partnership through AWC to continue to advance our GIS services. We are working with a firm on an assessment of our GIS program and had a series of great meetings this week. We confirmed that we are doing well for a small city (kudos to our GIS expert Willie Dueno) and began to further clarify our goals moving forward. One will be to provide more data and tools to the public and another will be to have more internal data analytics tools available for widespread staff use. We expect our assessment to be complete in January and then will start to determine our next steps for implementing various projects. We are getting a great value as a result of the AWC partnership!
  • Workforce Development Meeting – Joe and I attended a super meeting today convened by the Port of Port Angeles at the John Wayne Marina. Attendees were workforce development partners, including Peninsula College, WorkSource, the Olympic Workforce Development Council, the Port, the SBDC, the EDC, and others. We heard a series of presentations and then had the opportunity to network with partners. We will benefit from this meeting both as an employer seeking employees and in our pending economic development efforts to cultivate more effective workforce development in our community.
  • Joe Irvin Accepted into Leadership ICMA (International City/County Management Association) – Joe recently applied and was accepted into a highly selective international leadership development program focused on city/county management. Steve Burkett and I both wrote references for him. The program is heavily underwritten by ICMA and its partners. I am a graduate of the second class of Leadership ICMA, in 2008. The program includes participation in the Senior Executive Institute (SEI) at the University of Virginia, a capstone project, and classroom session time with some of the top city/county managers of our time, including retiring ICMA Executive Director Bob O’Neill. It also features excellent networking with other people at similar stages of their careers. I continuously encounter my classmates from the program in similar circles, including on the Alliance for Innovation Board of Directors, where three of us from the same year will now be serving, along with several other graduates from different years. The program lasts two-years so Joe will graduate in the fall of 2018. He will also receive his Master’s Degree in Public Administration in the second quarter of 2017. Both experiences will greatly aid his performance as Assistant City Manager. If you see Joe, please congratulate him! Leadership ICMA was one of the best experiences of my career and I know that both the City and Joe will significantly benefit from his participation. Here is more on the program.
  • David Garlington Completes LEAD Training – David became the first person besides me to be trained in the model of organizational management that we are implementing here and also did some leadership development work by completing the LEAD program at the University of Virginia a couple of weeks ago. David is immediately beginning implementation of what he learned in his department and we all continue to work on getting things in place citywide. When Joe attends SEI as a part of Leadership ICMA next summer, he will be receiving much of the same information as David, and some additional information. We have three other senior staff members confirmed for LEAD training next year in addition to Joe’s SEI experience. Here is more on LEAD. I intend to provide all of you more background on what we are doing at our Council Advance in January. You will continue to see a transformation here towards higher and higher organizational performance.
  • No Update Next Week – I have another shortened week next week due to a Lean Conference several of us are attending in Tacoma on the 8th and then a full day focused meeting with Public Works and Finance staff to work on our Transportation Funding and Implementation City Council goal on Friday the 9th. As a result, I’m going to forgo next week’s update so that I can spend the other three days in typical meetings and preparing items for our City Council meeting on the 12th.
  • Municipal Research Services Center (MRSC) Board Meeting This Week – I’ll be away at MRSC in Seattle from tomorrow afternoon through Friday for a Board of Directors meeting. Joe Irvin is Acting City Manager while I am away.
  • Mindfulness Meditation and the Brain – Here is a really interesting article talking more about the wellness and cognitive benefits of meditation.


Charlie Bush