Week Ending January 26
Here are this week’s items:
- Interlocal Agreement with Fire District 3 – I’m working on an administratively driven agreement with the District that would clarify the financial situation for joint training that we are conducting, streamline and clarify our relationship related to the training and deployment of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in the City this year, and assist the district in receiving surplus military equipment for emergency preparedness that our Police Department is able to access. I’ll be sending a draft agreement to Chief Andrews this week for his review and will get something to you on a future Council agenda as soon as we hear back from the District.
- Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Sewer Connection – Late last week, the Tribe and the City’s staff teams met for a final time to review language in a draft interlocal agreement between the organizations. The agreement would connect the Tribe to the City’s sewer system, allowing for additional development at their casino in Blyn. Face-to-face negotiations are essentially complete and we are wrapping up a few loose ends at this point. Once complete, Tribe Chairman Ron Allen will review the agreement and either talk directly with me or we will go directly to our respectful governing bodies for consideration. We are on schedule for your consideration of the agreement by the end of the second quarter, at the latest. The agreement is modeled after the Carlsborg Agreement with Clallam County.
- Emergency Medical Facility Priority Update – I attended a meeting with Fire District 3 representatives and Councilors Lake and Miller this week. The general topic was emergency care for Sequim residents. We talked about basic and advanced life support services provided by District 3, plus potential alternatives and service enhancements. Eighty-percent of District 3’s call volume is within the Sequim City limits. The District will be reviewing some data in coordination with area medical providers to consider further optimizing services to achieve even better patient outcomes. Fire District 3 did a study a couple of years ago that resulted in a recommendation that they pursue the location of an emergency medical facility in Sequim. As you know, that is one of our long-term priorities as well. In the meeting, I agreed to work with Chief Andrews on a joint resolution between our organizations expressing our desire to realize a facility. We would then advocate together towards this goal. I am also conducting background research on the parameters for locating emergency medical facilities, as the state has regulations and limitations for the types of facilities that locate in different areas. I will take the lead on the joint resolution and should have something for our consideration, and the District’s consideration, before the end of the first quarter.
- Outbound US State Department Project to Azerbaijan – Charisse and I learned last week that our potential outbound project to Azerbaijan, related to hosting Aydan Rzayeva last fall, was listed as an alternate for funding. This means that we are on standby but generally that we are unlikely to go. Both of us are pursuing other plans for the end of June.
- Arts Commission Funding Objectives – I plan to be a part of the Arts Commission’s upcoming strategic planning retreat to discuss options for funding arts programming. The Art House discussions we’ve been having are revealing a desire to find more sustainable ways to support arts programs through the City and in the community. There are a multitude of ways that communities have addressed that challenge, from arts ordinances, to funding allocation formulas, to low effort/high impact fund raisers, festivals, etc. I’m looking to better understand the Commission’s intentions so that staff can better frame and support their desires while then connecting with you to consider ongoing support and strategic investment in the arts at the level you desire.
- Planning Calendar - Was attached
Week Ending January 19
Here are this week’s items:
- Legislative Action – The Legislature passed a capital budget and a major rural water bill this week. We are analyzing both at this time but initial review appears that both are helpful to the City. The capital budget is expected to contain low interest loan funding for some utilities projects and the water bill appears to honor the Dungeness Water Rule, while providing additional clarity for rural development.
- ServiceFest – We applied for a $5,000 grant to help us cover the costs of Peter Kageyama and found out this week that we were successful in our application. The grant will help us stretch our budget further for the event and we’ll provide more information on the funder soon. We also had our first team meeting this week. There is a lot of energy in our team and there is a lot to do between now and June.
- For the Love of Cities Stencil Project – Remember the winning $500 project that a team submitted and volunteered to complete the last time Peter Kageyama visited Sequim? It was stenciling the sun on our sidewalks using Rainworks so that sunny Sequim always has sun, even when it rains (this is when Rainworks art is visible). The team has a stencil, has the materials, has a conducted a test, and is ready to stencil sidewalks as soon as the weather is right. We’ve asked them to complete the project before Peter is here in June.
- Code Enforcement and Leadership ICMA – We received the great news this week that we were selected by a Leadership ICMA team for their capstone consulting project. We were tied for the highest ranked project by the class, out of over a dozen projects. Our project is to have them help us significantly improve our code enforcement operation by working with us to better define processes, recommend changes to our codes, and research leading practices in the field. They will be doing work that we have been struggling to find the time to complete. The team will be here in late February and early March to talk with some of you, staff, community organizations, and members of the community. They’ll be back in mid-May to present their recommendations to the Council. We’ll have a final written report by June 1. Kristina will take their code recommendations, assuming your support at the time, and spend part of June drafting them so we’ll have something to consider in July. By September, we should be full speed ahead on a new system. We will only be paying for the team’s travel, but not for their working time. Our team includes:
o Brian Koral, Town Administrator, Town of Atoka, TN
o Chandler Merritt, Director of Strategic Services, McKinney, TX
o Andrea Muskopf, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Clayton, MO
o Janet Jimenez, Assistant to the City Manager, City of West Hollywood, CA
- PenCom’s User Fees – We had a question from the Council Finance Committee about PenCom’s user fees. While we provided all of you some information earlier in the week, the attached information provides more detail.
- Habitat for Humanity Regional Conference in Portland, OR – Assistant to the City Manager Charisse Deschenes will be attending this conference, in early March, on a scholarship from Habitat. She’ll be participating, with our Clallam County affiliate, in a presentation about our Neighborhood Revitalization efforts here in Sequim. They include our Rallies in the Alley and Sequim ServiceFest. Joe Irvin attended this conference on a similar scholarship a couple of years ago.
- Planning Calendar - Attached
- Out of the Office – I will be out of the office next Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. I’ll be working remotely on Wednesday.
Week Ending January 12
Here are this week’s items:
- Remote Working Study – We recently received a small Port of Port Angeles grant to work with the EDC on a remote worker study for the Sequim area. We are going to approach OMC to see if they’ll match it, considering that they have issues with doctors accepting positions given limited positions for trailing partners (promoting/supporting more remote working could be a partial solution to this problem). Our study will evaluate gaps in infrastructure. We are seeking an external research partner to conduct it for us.
- Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Sewer Connection – We’ve been in active negotiations again since early fall and are getting close to a complete contract. I’m anticipating that we’ll have something for your consideration late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter. One unresolved issue remaining involves connection charges. We are working to keep this agreement consistent with the Carlsborg agreement, wherever possible.
- AWC Legislative Action Days – Plans are set for Action Days, occurring next week (1/23 through 1/25). Historically we’ve had a joint dinner or meeting with the cities of Port Angeles and Port Townsend. This year, we’ve carved out some time for ourselves to meet with a couple of our legislators. In years past, we were finding that we did not have enough “air time” in the joint meetings to really converse with our delegation on our issues. Thanks go to Joe Irvin for his efforts in organizing us this year.
- ServiceFest Execution – We are beginning weekly meetings of our committee this week to plan ServiceFest in detail. We’ve got a list of projects, have confirmed that we’ll have Peter Kageyama For the Love of Cities, joining us again for the first couple of days, have 8 of our 20 Habitat Care-a-Vaners confirmed, recently engaged in a helpful discussion with the Kettering Foundation where they’ve offered us some additional resources, and have determined that ServiceFest represents a perfect opportunity to exercise the National Incident Management System for planning and execution. I anticipate another round of neighborhood meetings to confirm projects before the event in early June. We’ll keep you posted.
- Council Mentor/Mentor Relationship Established – This concept, of mentor/mentor, came out of a book that I just completed called Turn the Ship Around, by David Marquet. Councilor Bob Lake has agreed to work with newly selected Councilor Jennifer States as a mentor. The book describes the mentoring relationship differently than typical (mentor/mentee), acknowledging that Bob will learn from Jennifer as well. Bob identified this in agreeing to be a mentor. The book is a great read and we are applying a lot from it here internally.
- Leadership ICMA Presentation – We’ll be making our pitch to the Leadership ICMA Class of 2018, which includes Joe Irvin, to complete a capstone project here in Sequim. If completed, the project would help us revamp our code enforcement operations. Our project proposal (PDF) is attached and work would be completed in quarters 1-2. I completed one of these, as a part of the program, in 2008. We should know this week if we’ve been selected.
- Old Baja Cantina Sign Removal Update – We continue to work on this issue with the property owner. It requires a bucket truck. While our code calls for 45 days to remove a former business’ sign, given case law they have at least a year to comply. We are seeking voluntary compliance weekly related to the complaint we received. I will provide an update this week to the person who reported this issue to us in 2017.
- Planning Calendar and Draft 1/22 Agenda – Was attached
- Stock Plans Innovation – The Community Development Department continues to look for ways to streamline the permitting process. This time, they’ve developed a procedure for a “Stock Plan” review where the same floorplan (house) is submitted more than once in the same approved subdivision. When this occurs, the plans now go through a streamlined review process than our previous standard process. This new multi-department review process initiated from Ann Hall using our 2nd Floor idea board.
- National Civic League – We were approached late last year about joining the National Civic League and we’ve been study at what level of membership to engage. The National Civic League is working with a number of active cities at the Alliance for Innovation and with the Kettering Foundation. A couple of the benefits of membership are technical assistance from Civic League staff and access to a wealth of case studies on civic engagement. Once we’ve completed our analysis, we’ll let you know what we plan to do. The costs of membership are relatively low but we want to make sure that we can commit to engaging at the level of membership we purchase before we do it.
Week Ending January 5
Here are this week’s items:
- Monthly Meeting with Commissioner Ozias – Mayor Smith and I had our monthly meeting with Commissioner Ozias on Thursday morning. We discussed city/county collaboration, communication, and Sequim’s regional agenda.
- Opportunity Fund Balance – I received the attached update from Jim Jones (PDF) this week regarding the County’s Opportunity Fund.
- Homelessness Report – The attached email includes a report from HUD (PDF) regarding the 2017 Point in Time Homelessness count.
- Downtown Trees – We spent time this fall meeting with an arborist and again with Downtown business owners and the arborist to discuss trees of concern on Washington Street brought to our attention by Downtown businesses. Everyone has agreed that doing some selective pruning is a sensible next step. Pruning will occur as the trees leaf out this spring. We’ve focused on Washington from Sunnyside to 2nd for this work and the arborist will be training our staff regarding how to prune these trees in the future as a part of this work.
- King 5 Disaster Preparedness Story – This ran on King 5 back in November, related to our well regarded disaster preparedness efforts here on the Peninsula. If you have trouble loading it, please turn down the quality. We are widely recognized as the best prepared city on the Peninsula and have used our monthly meetings to help propel regional collaboration.
- Sequim Botanical Garden Video – This video, which does a nice job of telling the story of the Garden, comes to us from students at Peninsula College and Faculty Member Renee Emiko Brock. Please note the railings at the Garden as well. They were constructed by Public Works employees in the past couple of years.
- Cross Training of Staff Between Departments – We’ve been cross training office staff between Finance and other Departments to provide more citywide customer service depth. You may see some faces in different places from time to time. Kudos go to our staff and departments for their open minds, initiative, focus on our customers, and willingness to be flexible! This was not something dictated by the City Manager’s Office. It was a choice made entirely by employees and departments to collaborate for the greater good.
- Winter Road Operations – Kudos as well to Ty Brown and the rest of the Public Works Crew on an awesome job over the holidays with our city roads! The Mayor received several compliments, I got one this week, and we got the attached message (PDF) on Christmas from Sergeant Dave Campbell, in the Police Department. Thanks to you as well Council for supporting our operations with the necessary equipment and supplies to do a fantastic job for the community! You may not be aware that we’ve been collaborating with Port Angeles this winter, sharing notes on winter road operations and jointly buying supplies. We are refining a model for winter weather that will optimize road treatments, using data and our experience. We are looking to minimize impacts to the environment while maximizing impacts to the roads.
- Council Agenda Planning Calendar – Was attached
- John Miller’s Sequim Memorial Service – This is a reminder that the service for John in Sequim is tomorrow from 2-3 PM at Sequim Community Church. I plan to attend.
- Serenity House Homeless Shelter Funding – You will recall that we sent a letter to the County Commissioners in December about funding the shelter. They were responsive to the letter by allowing Serenity House to spend allocated funds on any of their requested projects, which includes the shelter.
- Letter to Clallam County Regarding Direct Filing – You will recall that we also sent a letter to the County in December about Judge Porter’s decision to change the filing process for cases in District Court. The City of Port Angeles joined us with concerns about this change and Judge Porter has since modified his position in ways that are not as problematic for either city.
- University of Washington Evans’ School Master of Public Administration Class – I’ll be team teaching an evening class at the University of Washington in Seattle on Wednesday, 1/24. The topic is “A day in the life of a City Manager”. I’ll be gone from Sequim that day starting in the early afternoon.
- Alliance for Innovation Workforce of the Future Workshop - I’ll be at this workshop in Kitsap County on 1/30. I’m introducing the session on behalf of the Alliance for Innovation Board of Directors and get free admission. Patrick Ibarra is well regarded, I’ve seen him speak on other topics before, and I’m excited to bring back information from this talk.