March 2020

week ending march 13

Council,

This week was filled with internal meetings and then I was working from home the past couple of days with cold symptoms.  Here are this week’s items:

- Coffee with YMCA’s Interim CEO – Assistant City Manager Charisse Deschenes and I met with Wendy Bart, Interim CEO of Olympic Peninsula YMCA.  Items discussed included the Youth Services Task Force, the Sequim Health and Housing Collaborative, the Olympic Discovery Trail, various recreation serving organizations in Sequim, COVID-19, the upcoming City Parks Master Plan update, potential YMCA in Sequim expansion, and the history of SARC/YMCA in Sequim.

- COVID-19 - We continue to monitor events at the local, state, and federal levels.  We are in the process of evaluating all gatherings of people supported by the City of Sequim and whether, if needed, we can reshape, postpone, or cancel those gatherings.  We’ve made the decision to not accept new facility rentals for the moment.  We are also evaluating how we can shift our operations to serve fewer residents in person while still maintaining service delivery.  We are evaluating further teleworking options for employees and are monitoring illnesses throughout our organization.  We are also taking steps to accommodate employees with compromised immune systems.  Finally, we are keeping a close eye on the fiscal impacts to the City of a softening economy.  We are being more aggressive on this topic than we might be otherwise given concern for protecting the health of our employees (and maintaining services), the high median age of our community, and how this virus has more severe impacts on older residents and those with compromised immune systems.

- Planning Calendar - We are taking some steps to shorten and potentially cancel meetings by deferring items and providing more written reports.  We are also working on developing some virtual meeting options.  We plan to continue to operate with about half of the seats in the Council Chambers.  We are working with our Boards and Commissions to have them mirror actions at the City Council level.  The revised planning calendar was attached.

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager


week ending march 6


Council,

Here are this week’s items:

Council Follow-Through

-    State Transportation Budgets – Funding the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) received last biennium to help plan the 101/Simdars Project remains split between years rather than all together (as it was originally approved last year) in both the Senate and House Transportation budgets.  The split first occurred in the Governor’s proposed budget.  Our lobbyist is working hard, as we also did in meetings earlier in the session, to have all the funding put back together.  If the split remains, Public Works remains confident that we can continue to move the project ahead using some alternative options and strategies, but ideally the funds would be restored to how they were allocated originally.

-    Guy Cole Construction Is Complete – Construction at Guy Cole is complete, as planned, just in time for the Sunshine Festival this weekend.

-    Sequim Health and Human Services Collaborative (SHHC) Meeting – Mayor Armacost and I attended the regular meeting of the SHHC this week.  Items discussed included review of a one sheet information document about the SHHC, a discussion of SHHC media relations, an outreach team update, a software update, and finalization of the funding allocations between the agencies.

Related Items

-    COVID-19 – Staff are tracking developments on this topic and are preparing for potential impacts to the community and organization.  Actions we’ve taken include performing additional cleaning of facilities, implementing social distancing where possible, allowing for remote work of employees where we are able, planning for large numbers of employees to potentially be out of the office at the same time, preparing our Emergency Operations Center for more rapid activation, sharing information we’ve received from state and federal agencies with the public, attending County and State health briefings, and encouraging sick employees to stay home.  We’ve also temporarily suspended the volunteer-driven Concierge Program at the Civic Center.  We are evaluating whether any meetings we are organizing with large gatherings of people need to occur or can be postponed or shortened during this time.  We anticipate postponing several and taking additional measures to shorten City Council meetings (for example, providing more written briefings than normal).  We also had our regularly scheduled emergency management meeting with regional partners this week and used most of the meeting to talk about this topic.

-    Kudos for Community Development and Public Works – We received the attached note complimenting the work of Community Development employees Joel Dressel and Gary Dougherty and Public Works employee Shawnie Peters.

-    Planning Calendar - Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager