City Manager Weekly Updates will resume after Labor Day.
Week Ending August 11
Here are this week’s items:
- County Transparency Website – Councilor Bob Lake asked me to forward the link below on to all of you. The County has been using OpenGov to help it display its financial information. We’ve considered OpenGov in the past but to date have not put it at the top of our priority list. We are working on key performance indicators and metrics for our lines of business. I anticipate having dashboards for internal and external use that we implement in 2019. OpenGov may or may not be the right fit for us at that point so for now my recommendation would be to hold back a bit. We are also working on scoping a project with LaserFiche that would help us to digitize, catalog, and make available to the public more of our records. Here is the link: http://clallamcountywa.opengov.com
- EDC Housing Discussion – The attached email (PDF) has more information on an Economic Development Corporation (EDC) housing forum that will be occurring on Wednesday, August 23. Barry Berezowsky will be attending for us, for a staff perspective. We’ve allocated money in the recommended budget for 2018 to commission a housing study. The outcomes of the study could inform any policy changes that the Council would like to make towards its housing policies.
- International Fellow – We’ve been asked by American Councils, a nonprofit contracted with the US State Department to foster international exchanges, if we’d be willing to host in our office another young professional from Azerbaijan for about 30 days. We’ve agreed and I’ll share more details soon. The dates are from mid-October to mid-November. If any of you have an interest in hosting, please let Charisse or I know. So far, we have 2-3 of the 4 weeks covered by people who hosted our previous Fellow from Azerbaijan, Seymur Aliyev.
- Japan-America Grassroots Summit 2018 – The Sequim Shiso Sister Cities Association authorized me to be their lead for anyone we host for this conference in the fall of 2018. We have identified 5 host families and will be asking the Japan America Society for their support in having 5 instead of 10 host families. If they are OK with this approach, then we will be putting together a joint program with the City of Port Townsend.
- North Olympic Legislative Alliance (NOLA) – We’ll be attending their meeting on 8/22. Joe Irvin is going to be taking more of a leadership role for us on state legislative issues and will be our representative at the meeting. Kristina may attend as well. Joe will be sending a marked up NOLA charter to all of you that we plan to share at the NOLA meeting. We’ve let them know that we’ll be asking for some changes to the way they operate and their board has been agreeable to the discussion. Your candid feedback, in reference to the charter, prior to that initial conversation is appreciated. We’ll then loop back to you after it happens. We won’t be recommending joining NOLA, which we think is a good concept, until the charter works better for us and public agencies in general. We would have done this sooner but NOLA has made a habit of meeting on our Council Mondays in the evening.
- Petition from Downtown Business Owners About Street Trees – I received the attached petition from 17 Downtown business owners along W. Washington Street from Sequim Avenue to 2nd Avenue asking for street trees to be limited in size so that they do not obstruct signage. They asked for us to take action up to and possibly including the removal of street trees. The next step is for us to meet with them, which we’ll be setting up, to further explore options. We’ll keep you informed.
- Planning Calendar was attached.
Week Ending August 4
Here are this week’s items:
Council Policy Direction
- Meeting with Bob Schroeter – Last Friday, Joe Irvin, Assistant City Manager, and I met with Bob Schroeter, the Clallam County Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) Executive Director. We began work on the outlines of a potential contract between the City and the EDC that would cover the remainder of this year (at $5,000) and several future years. We are in the process of drafting a contract at this point. Bob will be joining us at our City Council meeting on 8/14 to provide an update. I anticipate that we’d have a contract for your consideration, if you have an interest, at our next meeting following that, on 9/11. Potential benefits to our community that we discussed included guaranteeing a certain number of business retention-expansion (BRE) visits per month by the EDC in the Sequim School District (outside of the City), support for our BRE program in the City, marketing of our Economic Opportunity Areas and High Technology Light Industrial Areas, developing a more structured workforce development effort, retail recruiting (in the long-run), assisting local nonprofits, and remote worker recruiting. The draft contract will represent an opportunity to deliver our Eco Devo Plan more forcefully and quickly. We’ve planned $10,000 into the 2018 budget for a potential EDC contract.
- Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Outreach – Police Department Sergeant Darrell Nelson and I attended a Block Watch Annual Cookout on Tuesday evening with the 7th Avenue Neighborhood. It was a great opportunity to connect with residents and to continue to strengthen the connections between our Police Department and our neighborhoods.
- Emergency Management Training – While we were involved with my evaluation this week, staff continued to work in the area of emergency management. Attached were a couple of pictures from a session where staff who attended the recent Incident Command System Forms class at Clallam County shared what they learned with the rest of our staff assigned to the Emergency Operations Center (photos courtesy of Gary Neal). We’ll be having these more intensive, primarily internal, trainings 8 times per year and we’ll be having a regional policy/project discussion on a quarterly basis. Our next regional policy/project quarterly meeting is planned for September.
- Monthly Meeting with Mark Ozias – Mayor Smith and I had our monthly meeting with Mark Ozias on Thursday. Items discussed included the Lavender Festival, Monday’s joint meeting with the County, and local government budgeting.
- Tax Initiative Calendar Under Development – One of the projects that Charisse Deschenes is leading for the City Clerk’s Office is an effort to develop a calendar of local taxing districts and their plans to go to the voters for various taxes. We’ll provide more details through the budget process. The calendar will help us in our efforts to find an appropriate time to run the TBD renewal. Once we have all of the data, we’ll send it your way. It will help to form a backdrop for our TBD renewal discussion that we are planning for January.
- Clallam Transit Executive Director Interviews – I’ll be serving on a panel to Skye interview semi-finalists for the Clallam Transit General Manager position today. Finalist interviews are planned for next Friday. I’ll be taking part in those as well. Similar to when I helped the EDC select Bob Schroeter as their Executive Director, when invited, being a part of these panels provides us an opportunity to make sure that our interests are reflected in the selection of this key position. It also provides an early rapport with the person selected, allowing us to get right to work in collaborating with them. Given the importance of Clallam Transit service to Sequim, there is a nexus here between local and regional interest, which is why I am participating in the process. As we continue to do this, we can also ask folks from the region to participate in our processes in the future.
- Lunch with Transportation Improvement Board Staff – Public Works Director David Garlington, City Engineer Matt Klontz, and I will be traveling to Olympia on Monday to meet with Ashley Probart, the new Executive Director of the State’s Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), and other TIB staff. While I’ve known Ashley for many years (we went through the same graduate program at Syracuse University and he worked at AWC as a lobbyist when I worked in Intergovernmental Relations for Bellevue), the goal of our lunch is to make sure that David and Matt get to know Ashley. We’ll also provide some updates on our W. Fir Street project, where TIB is a major funder, and we’ll talk about some future projects on our radar where TIB might be a partner.
- Planning Calendar and 8/14 Draft City Council Agenda – Were attached
- Charisse Deschenes Getting to Work in New Role (and the role explained) – Now that we have been able to back fill for Charisse’s position in Community Development, she has been able to fully engage in work with the City Clerk’s Office and the City Manager’s Office, in a similar split role to her predecessor, Bobbie Usselman. We changed her title to Assistant to the City Manager and job description to better reflect our current and future needs and to have a better chance of attracting the right types of candidates we needed to do the work. Those changes were almost entirely limited to the City Manager’s Office portion of the position. As was the case with Bobbie even preceding my time here, Charisse reports to me on paper overall and not to Karen, but we share her supervision. Karen and I, with a broader team at times, developed this refined role and jointly made the decision to hire Charisse for it. Charisse is off to a fast start in the City Clerk’s Office portion of her job, which we made her initial priority, having already taken on full management of the Volunteer Program, our efforts with the United Way of Clallam County, and Music in the Park. We eliminated the role that Bobbie played as an administrative assistant for the City Manager and instead Charisse is doing the more analytical work that we need to support the City Manager’s Office. In that portion, Charisse is engaging as a part of the communications team in backing up Barb Hanna (something that Bobbie did at a more minimal level), engaging with our Senior Management Team (something that Bobbie did as a back-up to Karen), and will be a part of our Senior Leadership Team after the first of the year. Combining this revised role with a 0.50 FTE staff shift in the budget to the City Clerk’s Office, and with consideration to the duties that we’ve moved out of the City Clerk’s Office over the past year (ex. facility rentals, donations, support for the Planning Commission, passports, citywide customer service requests, etc.), we’ll free the capacity to better address public records management through the City Clerk’s Office over the next couple of years. This is an area that needs more attention. We’ll explain this all more in detail as we get into the 2018 budget presentations. Karen will be taking a well-deserved two week vacation early this fall, partly reflecting how much Charisse has been able to take on in a short time. Barb will be taking the longest vacation of her career (two weeks) starting next week and Charisse will be back-filling for her during that time. So far, Charisse is off to a great start filling the needs that we had in the Clerk’s Office and the in the City Manager’s Office.
- Broader View of Innovation – This article made the rounds of the Alliance for Innovation Board recently. It illustrates how the Alliance views innovation and some of the skills that our GREASE Team will be honing in the Alliance’s Innovation Academy over the next year. While flying cars would be innovative, the broader definition of innovation as it relates to creativity and problem solving is well described in this article and relates directly to communities like ours, which is why we are engaged with the Alliance.
- Thanks For My Evaluation – Thank you all once again for providing me feedback this week. I’ve already put some of it into practice. I appreciate your support and honesty.