Week Ending March 30
We’ve got a bunch of things going on at the moment. Here are this week’s items:
- Port’s John Wayne Marina Evaluation Process – Staff are recommending that the Council consider a resolution clarifying and strengthening the City’s position on John Wayne Marina at the 4/23 meeting. We heard from Port officials late last week that they plan to reach out to us in the next few weeks to hear the City of Sequim’s perspective. We are not sure what form that conversation will take but we’ll keep you up to date as it develops.
- Clallam PUD Meeting – We have a meeting scheduled today with the PUD to discuss a long-list of items that have arisen in recent months. We’ll keep you posted on how things go. This will probably be the first of several meetings. The Council’s appointed PUD Liaison, Councilor States, will be joining the meeting, as will Public Works Director David Garlington, by phone.
- Youth Services Task Force – Notes from last Friday’s meeting (PDF) are attached.
- Meeting with Eric Lewis – I met with Eric Lewis this morning. OMC is planning $15 million in construction projects in Sequim through the end of 2019. Their Board will be taking action in the next few weeks and then we’ll be fully engaged with OMC in the permitting process on the first two of three different facility projects. The first two are the expansion of the cancer center (scaled down from previous plans) and a new primary care building. The third, running 3-5 months behind, will be a surgical center located on the west side of Sequim Ave. OMC will be renovating an existing building they bought there that currently houses some surgeries and other medical offices. We’ve scheduled Eric to brief us in a work session at your first meeting in May. We also discussed the resolution we passed regarding an emergency medical facility. OMC is interested in the mid-term in working with us on an urgent care center, which could relieve some of the ambulance visits that currently go to PA. We also talked about a longer term possible hospital in Sequim. Eric will share more about all of this in May and we’ll loop in Fire District 3.
- Sequim Chamber ServiceFest Lunch Presentation – I presented with Colleen Robinson on ServiceFest at the Chamber lunch this week. We have several additional presentations planned for April, including Sequim Sunrise Rotary.
- ServiceFest – We evaluated the Guy Cole Event Center break out rooms for a ServiceFest project this week. There are several issues that make it a challenging project. The biggest one is that we are using Guy Cole during those two weeks as an operations center for ServiceFest. If we do major construction, it will create a conflict with the operation of ServiceFest. It is also a project that would require significant staff oversight and involvement at a time when we are going to have other public projects going on all over the community, spreading our resources thin. As you may recall, we discussed budgeting for this project last year, when we decided to move forward with the kitchen, and the Council preferred to do community fundraising to accomplish it. Several Councilors were planning to lead those efforts, including one who is no longer on the Council. My recommendation at this point is that we budget to get the work done in 2019 and that we plan it with our other capital projects for the year so we can sequence it and make sure that we have the staff support available to do it right. This is a perfect project for the expenditure of one-time funds, like some of the funds Sue described on Monday night.
- Off Dungeness Reservoir – We confirmed this week that despite many letters from partners written to discourage it, Governor Inslee line item vetoed funding for the Off Dungeness Reservoir because the source was from funding for projects related to the Hirst Decision. We’ll continue to push for funding for this item next session.
- Legislative Debrief – We are planning a debrief with our legislators in June. Senator Van De Wege mentioned to me this week that they passed a bill that fixed the issue we encountered during the Cascadia Exercise, where medical professionals only had insurance coverage for practicing in their typical facility. The issue we encountered was with not having medical personnel available to practice, due to having no insurance coverage, after their facility was destroyed. OMC teamed up with us on our push to see the law change.
- Sequim Warming Center Statistics – I received the attached statistics (PDF) on our warming center’s activities this winter.
- Homeless Connect Data – I’m attaching data from this annual event (PDF). It provides more information about our homeless community.
- 4/9 Celebration Meeting – Plans are coming together for our unique meeting on 4/9. Karen is taking the lead on planning it so please contact her if you have questions. It will be a small packet and the meeting will mainly be filled with information presentations and fun celebratory items. We will unveil our 2017 Annual Report as a part of the meeting. We’ll be back to normal business on 4/23.
- Council Planning Calendar – Was attached
- Sequim Vege-lante Pilot Project 2 – We’ll have more goats out for a second pilot project, now that things are growing, in the next few weeks. Stay tuned and go visit the goats!
- ATVs on City Streets – This item came up at Coffee with the Mayor recently and residents may bring it to a future Council meeting. The Council heard from residents desiring that street legal ATVs be allowed on City streets back in 2016 and declined the request, partly due to concerns about more serious accidents resulting from collisions with cars and the resulting drain on police resources.
- Opportunity Zone Designation – This is a reminder to thank Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe representatives, when you see them, for their support of our Sequim census tract (Downtown and the south side of East Washington) as the recipient of their automatic designation as an Opportunity Zone under new federal legislation. The Department of Commerce, and the Governor’s Office, will review all of the potential designations in our state over the next few weeks and will then recommend zones to the federal government. Our zone should be included as it was designated by a Tribe and clearly meets the criteria to qualify. The Tribe also submitted a competitive application for two of their tracts that we supported. Designation results in federal tax benefits, capital gains tax deferrals and waivers, for people who invest money with funds that invest in the zones. Our Eastern Economic Opportunity Area is included in our designated tract, as is the Downtown Core. I anticipate that we will receive confirmation of designation from the federal government and/or state in the 2nd or 3rd quarter. We’ll let you know when we hear something. We’ll then be able to market this benefit to potential developers.
- Crossing Flags – Thanks to observations by Councilor Leonard-Ray, we’ve noticed that people desire to use the crossing flags on Sequim Avenue for other crossing movements other than simply crossing Sequim Avenue, for example crossing Fir Street. At the intersections where we’ve placed them, we are now adding some additional flag holders to reflect these movements.
- Municipal Excellence Awards – Our applications, submitted this week to the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), are attached. If we win, we’ll be recognized at the AWC Annual Conference in June. Karen sent you some information on the conference this week. Charisse Deschenes, Assistant to the City Manager, will be attending this year representing City staff. Emergency Management Program (PDF) - photos (PDF)
- Peninsula Housing Authority Annual Report (PDF)– I received this report to share so I am attaching it for you and others.
- Harvard Scholarship Announced – The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) announced the news I shared with you recently about my plans for July. We’ll put out a press release locally in the next 7-10 days. ICMA appears to be working on a more in depth announcement to be released in the next few weeks, but I’ve been hearing from a lot of my colleagues in city management over the past 24 hours, which is nice. I’m really excited to learn through that program! Thanks again for your support. Here is a link to the ICMA announcement
Week Ending March 23
Here are this week’s items:
- Low Interest Loan Application for Prairie Street Design – We were able to work out some language with the state before submittal that recognizes that you have not had a chance to provide direction on this topic prior to the application deadline, while still allowing us to apply. The result is that we could pull back our application after Monday night, if needed, with little impact on our relationship with the funder. We didn’t want to put you in a corner. We are also still recommending that we move ahead with our application.
- Jamestown Tribe Sewer Agreement – We had another negotiation meeting this week on the sewer extension agreement to discuss a few remaining issues, particularly some properties that we serve that are outside of our boundaries and that could be connected to the Tribe’s new main. After writing a little bit more into the agreement over the next few weeks, we should be ready to bring it to you for action. The Tribe has received USDA financing approval so all of the pieces are falling into place for this extension to occur, pending agreement approval by both organizations.
- Outreach with PUD – I’m working on getting a meeting with Doug Nass, General Manager with Clallam PUD. It will likely be next week. I haven’t met with Doug in a while and want to talk with him about several issues. I’m inviting your appointed Council Liaison, Jennifer States, to join the meeting.
- Chamber Presentation – I’ll be presenting next week about ServiceFest at the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon with Colleen Robinson. Last week, we presented to the Sequim Lions. We’ll be continuing the tour to Sequim Sunrise Rotary and other organizations as spring continues.
- Homeless Sheltering – Staff are reaching out and exploring multiple options at the moment, beyond just Serenity House. We’ve slowed this part of our analysis and our recommendations down for the moment until we gather more information.
- John Wayne Marina- We continue to monitor the Port’s discussions on this topic. Next Tuesday is another meeting, in Port Angeles, where the Port has indicated they will be deciding upon a public engagement process for getting input and forming strategic direction about the Marina.
- Opportunity Zone Application – Our competitive application, from last week’s regional meeting, is nearly complete and will be done well ahead of Monday’s deadline. We’ve been enjoying a great working relationship with the Jamestown Tribe’s Economic Development Department as a part of this process.
- Admin. Building Mock-Ups – A part of ServiceFest will be the concept of A Day of Color, where we paint things around town consistent with the City’s logo color pallet. To demonstrate the concept for the community, a number of churches have agreed to help us paint the Administration Building in late April. I’m attaching a mock-up that Barb put together. We intentionally want the building to be bright. Our initial use for it will be retreats, leadership meetings, and projects that we can leave set up for periods of time. That concept constitutes an Innovation Lab. A number of other complementary uses are possible and we will be talking about those with you as well over time. southwest side (PDF) northeast side (PDF)
- AWC Municipal Excellence Awards Applications – We are submitting our efforts in emergency management and our neighborhoods program for separate awards with AWC this week. If we win, the awards are presented at the AWC Annual Conference at the end of June.
- Transforming Local Government Conference Presence – Sequim will be well represented at the Transforming Local Government Conference (TLG) in Tacoma at the beginning of April. Besides the GREASE Team’s Goats Project, I’m also going to be presenting on developing an innovation culture, along with Boulder, CO Deputy City Manager and fellow Board Member Tanya Ange. Further, we’ll be talking about our work in the Amazon Alexa Pilot Project on a panel with 8 other cities and counties that also participated. Our Alexa skills, developed via hackathon and promoting tourism in Sequim, are close to going live and as soon as I feel comfortable with how they are functioning, we’ll present them to you as well. During TLG, I’ll be mainly talking about the process we used to think about and take on the challenge of the pilot project. We are already thinking about TLG 2019, in Reno, NV. We are eyeing up ServiceFest for one of the revered Alliance for Innovation Awards.
- Sister Cities Association Retreat – The Sister Cities Association had a three hour retreat this afternoon, agreeing upon a vision, mission, organization type (501c3), some strategic partners (City, School District, Chamber, and possibly Rotary), a general organizational structure, and some next steps. It was a pleasure to facilitate their retreat and I will continue to be involved in helping the Association make the transition from being under the Chamber of Commerce to standing on its own.
- Planning Calendar - Was attached
- MRSC – I made a decision this week to not accept reappointment to the MRSC Board when my current term expires in June 2019. I’ve informed MRSC of my decision so that they have plenty of time to think about a replacement. I will have been on the MRSC Board for 8 of a possible 10 years at that point and felt that the time would be right to step away next year, given all that we have going on in Sequim, commitments with the Alliance for Innovation, professional development plans, etc. MRSC is in a good place and I’m glad, and thankful, for the opportunity to have served there. MRSC Board service includes three one-day meetings in Seattle each year and at least one two-day meeting at the AWC Annual Conference each year. Next year’s AWC Annual Conference will include my last MRSC Board meeting. I’m not going to go to this year’s AWC Conference or the MRSC Board Meeting there, given my professional development plans in July.
Week Ending March 16
There are three items for the update this week:
- Port Marina Sale – We attended a meeting Friday at John Wayne Marina and I did an interview with Matt Nash that afternoon. It was quite a week for the Port. They are now talking with the public about what strategic direction they should have for the marina, essentially creating a strategic plan after talking about selling it earlier in the week. We’ll keep monitoring things. I reiterated our position with Matt Nash that we respect the Port’s role as a separate government entity in handling their own assets. We also intend to monitor and weigh in on the situation, given that the Marina is in our city and is valued by our residents. We’d like to see public access remain and the Marina continue to be available to the public. He asked about it getting folded into a Metropolitan Parks District and I let him know that is one of many potential options that could be explored if the Port wants to explore partnerships with us and others. Kristina attended the public meeting on Friday. People generally were upset and asking the Port to keep ownership of the Marina public.
- Sequim Becomes Second City in Washington State to Graduate from the Innovation Academy – We joined Bellevue this week as the second city in Washington to graduate from the Alliance for Innovation’s Innovation Academy. Our GREASE Team, with representatives from most departments in the city, is now trained in empathic design thinking, in addition to facilitation. Design thinking is the process through which organizations analyze and apply ideas to challenges. The empathic part is putting ourselves into the perspective of the customer and better understanding what the customer really wants and needs. We’ll be using the GREASE Team’s new skills in taking on challenges throughout the organization and community. I sat in on our final presentation, which was done virtually by web conference with the other participating cities and counties. Our team represented Sequim incredibly well with their presentation about their project on goats, which demonstrated creativity, grit, and a diversity of skills and abilities. The GREASE Team will receive recognition at the Transforming Local Government Conference in Tacoma (1st week in April) and we’ll also show one of our videos there. Please congratulate the GREASE Team members who worked on the Innovation Academy - Ann Soule (Public Works), Charisse Deschenes (City Manager’s Office), Barb Hanna (Communications/Marketing), Connie Anderson (Finance), Erika Hamerquist (City Attorney’s Office/City Clerk’s Office), Janine Pfeffer-Taggart (IT), Joe Irvin (City Manager’s Office), Sarah VanAusdle (Public Works), Sue Hagener (Finance), and Ty Brown (Public Works). The team will be presenting to you as a part of our celebration meeting on April 9. Here is a link to a video we recently posted on YouTube about the project.
- Planning Calendar - Attached
For Week Ending March 9
Here are this week’s items:
- Youth Task Force and Bus Passes – The Task Force identified bus passes for youth as a priority a while back and I’m now working with Samantha Troxler (Sequim School District), Clallam Transit, and the United Way to see if we can get some bus passes funded by those agencies for homeless kids in our community.
- Emergency Management Trainings – We had a training this week with the Washington State Military Department on the Public Assistance Program, which covers funding for cities and counties after federally declared disasters. We learned a lot about proper record keeping and the process for getting reimbursed for emergency response activities and restoration projects that are directly related to the disaster; we don’t get reimbursed for our typical staff costs during the response or recovery phases of a disaster and the maximum the state and federal government will pay for those extra costs is 87.5%. We continue to run some numbers on the Cascadia Scenario to see if we can develop an appropriate target for the savings we would need to have in place.
Another training is on the horizon, for 4/25. It covers the incident command system interface between field operations and emergency operations centers/emergency coordination centers. I’m attaching a flyer for a training (PDF) that was out near Forks this week as it includes the same content that will be offered here on 4/25. We have one Councilor attending the 4/25 training already. If any of the rest of you, based on the attached flyer, have an interest, just let Karen know. Much of our team will be there on 4/25.
- Homelessness Strategy Update – It appears that Clallam County did not restore much funding to the Serenity House shelter after all. Serenity House is now approaching us and Port Angeles to help close the gap, which is almost $60,000 in total. We were considering the possibility of funding anyway to support our homelessness strategy. I paused a bit to consider some data about safety at the shelter in PA, which turned out to be extremely limited, from our Warming Center. Given that the Serenity House shelter is critical to the region, and is at risk of significant curtailed services by early summer, I’m likely still going to recommend that we contract with them, at least for this year, to keep it going and to get our strategy in place at a basic level. I’m also going to recommend that we lobby the County, in partnership with Port Angeles, to more strategically manage how they fund human services. Losing the regional shelter would have cascading impacts for every city and the county so we have a vested interest in working to keep it open.
- Shifting Duties – We are moving a number of things around in the organization to clarify roles, to align around projects, to reflect new programs, and to respond to current and emerging priorities. One shift that we are making is that Barry Berezowsky, Community Development Manager, will be reporting to me. Barry will also be taking the lead with our economic development program. He is well suited for the role, has experience in it, and has a master’s degree in economic development, in addition to planning. That will help free up Joe Irvin to focus more on organization development. I am also altering Joe’s title to be Assistant City Manager/Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), which gets him into the CIO forum with the Alliance for Innovation where he is going to learn a lot that will benefit us. We’ll be make that update in the budget. No additional compensation is involved. It will help to have a key position focused on growing our innovation culture and propelling our organization development. Joe is a nice fit for this role given his training, experience, and oversight of HR. This change is effective immediately.
- David Garlington Working Remotely – David suffered an injury last weekend. He’s going to be working from home part time for the next few weeks. He’s available starting on Monday by cell phone or email if you need to reach him.
- Planning Calendar - Was attached
- Bicycle Friendly Community Status – We are in the process of renewing, and hopefully upgrading, our Bicycle Friendly Community status. We are currently at the bronze level and are shooting for the silver level or higher this round. If you click on Washington in the previous link, you will get a lot more information. As a part of renewal, we are doing a survey. Please feel free to participate or to share the link.
Week Ending March 2
Here are this week’s items:
- Homelessness Strategy – I spent a part of a night at the Sequim warming center this week. I met four homeless people (they average 8-12 a night) and the manager during my 3 hour shift. I heard some concerns about safety issues in the Port Angeles shelter and as a result have decided to slow down our potential contract with Serenity House so that we can better understand the concerns. The organizers of the Warming Center offered, and I accepted, to run a survey the next few nights of attendees to try to better understand their concerns and desires for a sheltering experience. I’ll apply this information as I continue to work on a contract for sheltering. My overall impression of the warming center was that it is a valuable service for our community. It does not require a lot of funding to operate and may be something that we want to consider helping to fund as a part of our human services program in the future.
- Leadership ICMA Project – The team was here on Wednesday and Thursday, using interviews and focus groups to build on their research to date. Councilor Miller met with them on your behalf. They’ll have a few more interviews by phone or video conference and will then begin to write their report. They will come back to present to you at a meeting this summer, date to be determined. We’ll have a draft report in late May. We are still aiming to have revised city codes for your consideration in August and to have recommendations from the team, if you are supportive of those involving policy changes, in place by mid-fall.
- Civic Center Plaza Banners – We’ve had a long-term plan with the Civic Center to have triangle banners on the plaza. Below are a couple of images showing how they will appear when installed. The City’s Arts Commission recommended, and the City Council approved, the design in 2017. The banners use the City’s logo colors. Blue and green banners will be up from December through May. Yellow and lavender banners will be up from June through November. We are moving ahead with purchase and installation of the banners, which are budgeted. I wanted to remind you of the history, since you took action on them a while ago.
- Neighborhood Revitalization Presentation – Charisse is presently at a Habitat for Humanity Regional Conference in Portland, OR. Our Clallam County Chapter of Habitat was able to provide her a scholarship to attend. Local Habitat staff and Charisse will be presenting on our neighborhood revitalization work in Sequim during the conference.
- Slide – We had a small land slide recently that impacted Miller Road, on the south end of town. Crews responded and stabilized the road and utility lines. The cause appears to be a drainage issue stemming from nearby private property. We are working with all of the impacted parties to see if we can permanently improve the situation.
- Heritage Loop Sewer Problem – Please see the attached kudo (PDF) from residents regarding our response to a sewer issue.
- Goats – Our goats came, they saw, and they ate some blackberries at the Public Works Yard this week. If you want to experience a bit of the experiment, which turned out well despite it being early in the season, our Facebook feed is a good place to do that (logging into your Facebook account is recommended). We plan to conduct another experiment in one of our storm water ponds once things start growing more.
- School Safety – This topic is receiving a lot of discussion throughout the nation and here in Sequim. Gary Neal is working on a letter to the community and we are talking with him about putting together a town hall discussion. Chief Crain is taking the lead on this issue for us. This is a complicated issue where a number of policy choices at other levels of government have limited our options to be effective. We continue to work on our response capabilities in the schools and advocacy for issues such as mental health funding. If we want to further impact this issue, we may want to consider advocating for additional, and more specific, state legislation as we update our agenda in the fall.
- National Civic League – We are now members. This may be an organization some of you want to explore. We plan to work through a lot of what they have to offer over the next 1-2 years, saving the All American City process for the future.
- Planning Calendar - Was attached