For Week Ending June 30
Here are this week’s items:
- EDC Presentation – Bob Schroeter, Executive Director of the Clallam County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will be presenting to you at your 8/14 meeting. I intend to include money in the 2018 budget for a possible long-term EDC contract. I’ve also talked with Bob about what a smaller contract might look like for the rest of this year. I’m confident at this point with EDC staff and operations that we will be able to put together a contract that meets our needs and requirements, and that helps us accelerate and enhance the implementation of our economic development plan. I will be negotiating some details with Bob during the month of July for a possible future contract.
- AWC Conference – I attended the Association of Washington Cities conference last week with Councilors Bob Lake and John Miller. It was an informative and productive time for all of us, where we also celebrated Sequim’s Cathy Dao winning a college scholarship from the AWC Center for Quality Communities. In case you missed it, here is a video that AWC produced and if you watch closely, you’ll see our Councilors featured!
- GED Pilot Project – Assistant to the City Manager Charisse Deschenes and I attended a meeting this past week with representatives from the United Way, the EDC, Peninsula College, and other organizations to discuss efforts through which we might increase the success percentage of people going back to school for their GED. The United Way is regionally seeking to remove barriers for people. Charisse will be continuing to work with this regional group long-term. People who get their GED have a significantly higher income. This is workforce development, a part of our economic development strategy.
- Council Planning Calendar
- RFP for Liability Insurance – We’ve prepared an RFP that will allow us to consider options for our liability insurance coverage starting in 2019. We’ll cover this a bit more at a future meeting. It is proactive due diligence that ensures we are getting the best possible value out of our coverage. We did something similar during my time at the City of Prosser.
Kudos of the Week
- Another Great Week for Public Works (PDF)– Please see the attached message from Doug Wright on some work done by our crew and another from Severne Johnson for assistance that we provided at Maple View Estates. Also, Public Works employee Doug Bridges was featured in the State’s Department of Health newsletter for his work on our cross connection program
- Naval Embark – I got an email from Mike Welding, with Naval Air Station Whidbey, this week. I’ve worked with Mike in the past to coordinate a speaker for my Rotary Club and regarding jet noise complaints. He asked if they could submit my name for an aircraft carrier embark (24 hours deployed on an aircraft carrier as a distinguished visitor) and I indicated my interest. It would be a way to gain a better perspective on how naval operations regionally connect to the Navy’s bigger mission. I’ll keep you posted if this ends up happening.
Week Ending June 16
Here are this week’s items:
- Habitat for Humanity National Partnership Request – We received an invitation this week to be a part of a bigger national neighborhood revitalization experiment, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. It dovetails well with our Holistic Neighborhood Plan City Council Priority. Tad Monroe, Habitat’s Organization Development Consultant for Neighborhood Revitalization (NR), is planning to join us for our meeting on 7/10. We’ll also have our recommended neighborhoods map for you that evening. Here is a bit more from Tad on the opportunity we are being presented: NR department has set a Big WIG to have 10 measurably improving neighborhoods by 2021. We want to identify at least 25 affiliates, coalitions, and neighborhoods in which we will put focused attention on reaching that goal and with which we will “test” and refine the framework through our learnings. These 25 partner affiliates, coalitions, and neighborhoods will receive concentrated consulting support in applying the Quality of Life Framework (PDF) (QLF). They will also be invited to be a part of a co-learning community/cohort (which we are still designing), they will receive priority consideration for fundraising efforts from the NR department to support both affiliate/coalition capacity and financial investment for implementation of projects in the neighborhoods, and they will receive support in documenting and sharing their learnings and successes in the form of case studies and best practices. I have asked Colleen to consider whether Clallam County and the Sequim Coalition would like to be a part of this work. We want the 25 partners to be somewhat diverse, so we want examples of efforts at smaller affiliates in more rural or small town contexts as well as many of the large urban usual suspects that will likely be a part of this – Charlottesville, Los Angeles, Orange County, Milwaukee, Muncie, Memphis, etc. Colleen Robinson, our local Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, is interested. Staff’s recommendation will be that we participate, including the whole city but also evaluating data by whatever neighborhoods we define this summer. Along with these efforts, Habitat has also created the above referenced Quality of Life Framework, which has great potential for application in Sequim. It may lead us into a few areas where we’ve not traditionally gone, like health, but as you know, we play the role of convener on these types of issues well. The framework is adaptive and we can choose to emphasize different areas as we see the needs. Data would be collected through scientific surveys every few years and through other means.
- Rubber Marks on the Plaza – We continue to work with the Farmer’s Market on this issue.
- Planning Calendar – Attached for Council review.
- 2nd Meeting in August Cancelation – The date on the agenda, which I placed there, stated 8/24 but should have been 8/28. We’ve concluded that this does not require another action by the Council, but I also wanted to let you know about it.
- Sequim Population Estimate – The latest estimate from the State’s Office of Financial Management for our population is 7,280. That is up from 7,075 in 2016 and 6,915 in 2015. Our 2.9% growth rate is well ahead of Port Angeles (0.52%), Forks (0.42%), and Port Townsend (0.19%). Interestingly, Unincorporated Clallam County (the areas outside of cities) still led Incorporated Clallam County (the areas inside cities) in population growth at 1.17% vs. 1.07% respectively. As an aside on growth, as you know, we manage growth through our comprehensive plan, zoning, fees, and standards. We have a 20 year Comprehensive Plan to guide and accommodate growth during that time. The plan maintains levels of service to the community and a small town feel. The philosophy reflected in our policies is that growth should pay for itself, as much as possible, rather than having existing residents pay for the growth that occurs.
- Employee Engagement Webinar – We’ve been asked if we are willing to be featured in an upcoming webinar, along with Spokane County, about our recent employee engagement survey. The statewide Government Performance Consortium is putting together the webinar. I’ll be speaking for sure, and Joe may join in as well. The last time we were involved with one of these, there were around 700 viewers.
- Annual Planning Forum on Homelessness – Sergeant Sean Madison will be representing the City as a part of the round tables planned for this regional event next week, on June 21st. Sean has been heavily involved in the Police Department’s outreach efforts on homelessness and with our internal team working on homelessness, human services, drug addiction, and mental health services. The team will have an update for you at a Council meeting by the end of this year.
- Evaluation Memo – I’ll have an evaluation memo out to you in late June/early July. It will recap progress towards your priorities over the rating period, and other things we’ve done.
- No Weekly Update Next Week – I’ll be attending the Association of Washington Cities Annual Conference next week with Councilors Lake and John Miller. We’ll be gone from Tuesday through Friday night. I’ll be available by email and cell phone intermittently. Joe Irvin will be the Acting City Manager while I am away.
Week Ending June 9
I’m back with a busy week after a great vacation week last week. Here are this week’s items:
- Homeward Bound – I attended a Homeward Bound meeting this week to continue the discussion of “rebooting” this organization, which serves as a two-county (Jefferson and Clallam) affordable housing land trust. Another meeting is planned for next week and I’ll be talking with you about my potential involvement on the Board Monday night.
- 6/3 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Exercise – Approximately 200 CERT volunteers practiced search and rescue at a school district facility last Saturday. The teams were all from the county area surrounding the city. A variety of groups and volunteers worked together to make the training possible. We also had a presence at the exercise, primarily in the form of Barb Hanna. We’ll be sharing more about the exercise at our 6/26 meeting. The next step is to train CERT teams in the city at a level sufficient to do search and rescue. We will be putting some money in the recommended 2018 budget to help fund CERT team equipment and the Fire District has agreed to train and support the teams. We anticipate having up to 7 teams in the city.
- Emergency Management Committee – We had our monthly meeting this week. It included a review of city disaster supplies, which we’ll be exercising with at next month’s meeting. There was also discussion of the Ruckelshaus Center report from the University of Washington that cited Clallam County as a model of preparedness for the Cascadia Quake. Much of the work done for Cascadia has been right here and around Sequim so we certainly feel good about the independent recognition that we are on a positive path that should be replicated elsewhere. Here is a link to the report: http://ruckelshauscenter.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Executive-Summary_Washington-Coast-Resilience-Assessment-Report_Final_5.1.17.pdf. Progress continues in many areas and the next big step you will see will be an updated Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, which will come before you this summer.
- Rally in the Alley – We also conducted a Rally in the Alley on 6/3, focused upon the eastern side of Downtown Sequim but inviting the entire community to dispose of items. The dumpsters filled in the first 2 hours of this 4 hour event. For our next one, we’ll double the number of dumpsters. This was our first time widely advertising the event beyond the neighborhood of focus. We received several kudos from the event, including a nice compliment for our street crew in their work to help clean up areas where dumpsters had been placed after the event was over. A heard another story about someone with a hoarding problem who was able to remove a lot of debris from their house and yard, with the help of volunteers. Overall, we learned a few things and the event was another success.
- Guy Cole Kitchen Design – I attended a design charrette (study) this week with some of you. There will be more on this for Monday’s meeting and the 6/26 meeting. We made progress towards a kitchen design vision, which is now being itemized and budget analyzed.
- Economic Development (Eco Devo) – Eco Devo lost a couple of volunteers while I was on vacation and a bit more momentum for our Business Retention-Expansion (BRE) Program. We are running a few weeks behind with implementation. We should be able to pick it up with Joe Irvin returning to town after attending the Senior Executive Institute for the past 10 days and our new Manager of Community Development also starting next week, freeing some of Joe’s time to work on this. Today, we also had a volunteer expand her role on the team so that will help. We are getting close to launch on BRE. With our plans for a large neighborhood event in September, I’m now thinking that we’ll focus our BRE Business Blitz (50 visits in one day) towards October.
- Tour of Peninsula Behavioral Health – I attended this tour, which took place in Port Angeles, with Councilors Bob Lake and Candace Pratt. We received a comprehensive overview of PBH services from Executive Director Wendy Sisk and also had an opportunity to tour a 16 bed facility in Port Angeles, besides the PBH main offices. The tour was helpful in gaining an even better sense for PBH services and needs.
- Cascade Bicycle Club Ride – I’m attending a bike ride in Port Angeles, along with Ann Soule, this Sunday. We’ll be discussing progress on the Olympic Discovery Trail with Cascade Bicycle Club members and we’ll also be talking about future projects and needs with which they may help.
- Timber Harvest Revenue Meeting – Jim McEntire, on behalf of the Port of Port Angeles, visited with Mayor Smith, City Attorney Kristina Nelson-Gross, and I this week regarding timber arrearage and a possible resolution that the Council might support that would encourage the State Department of Natural Resources to conduct additional logging activities in our County. These activities would financially benefit junior taxing districts. We let him know that the Council had a prior conversation on this topic and that we don’t plan to bring it up again unless the junior taxing districts that receive direct funds from the activities (Sequim School District, North Olympic Library District, Fire District 3, etc.) decide to take affirmative action on the matter. Of course, any of you can always bring this item up if you have a change of heart. Mr. McEntire offered to present to the Council if we have further discussion. At this point, we are neutral on the topic, based upon our prior conversation.
- Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Meeting – Mayor Smith and I attended a regional meeting with the State’s Commissioner of Public Lands to learn about DNR’s new community partnership program, which launched this week. It may provide some opportunities for some unique partnerships with DNR around recreation, farming, etc. I need to do some more research on DNR’s assets around Sequim, after attending the meeting. DNR will be picking 5 “partner” communities to start and will then be expanding the program. It appears that Forks is poised to be one of the initial 5 and that should be great for them. I could see us joining a bit later.
- Coastal Farms Grand Opening – Coastal Farms, the new store in the QFC Plaza on East Washington, had a large grand opening that some of you were able to attend. I attended it as well. It was really impressive and a nice demonstration of our community spirit.
- Sunrise Rotary Presentation – I presented to Sunrise Rotary this morning on Council priorities and other things going on with our city.
- Electric Vehicle Charging Stations - DCD issued the building permit for the 8 new EV Tesla Charging Stations. They are to be located west of the Holiday Inn Express at 1431 E. Washington.
- Museum Building Permit – We issued a building permit for the Sequim Museum and Arts Center expansion today. The new building will be on Sequim Avenue north of Fir, towards the Sequim Avenue (western) side of the museum’s existing property. It is 6,000 square feet.
- Sales Tax for May – Our May sales tax report (actually covering activity through February as reports are always delayed by 2 months from the state) showed us at 104% of budgeted revenue, or $9,000 over for the month. Year to date we are at 102% of our budgeted revenue, or $24,000 over. This is continued good news and evidence of solid local economy.
- Council Planning Calendar – The planning calendar was attached for Council review
Kudos of the Week
- Mowing on North Brown Street – We got a nice compliment a couple of weeks ago from a resident who requested mowing on the west side of Brown Street south of E. Hendrickson. This mowing allowed residents to walk down the hill into the rest of town. Our crew provided same day service in response to this request!
- Rave in the PDN – A mid-May rave in the Peninsula Daily News mentioned how beautiful Carrie Blake Park is looking this year. Kudos go out to our Parks staff, Roger Gilchrist and Gary Butler, for their work at Carrie Blake and elsewhere. We got a similar unsolicited email kudo from Bob Schroeter, the new Clallam County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director.