Week Ending June 12
Here are this week’s items:
Council Policy Direction
- Resolution on Racism – The organizers of a community petition asking the Council to pass a resolution against racism submitted the petition and a draft resolution for consideration. Councilor Janisse asked that the resolution and petition be presented to the Council at the next meeting. Deputy Mayor Ferrell and I (Mayor Armacost was unable to attend the agenda meeting) placed the item on the agenda. Councilor Janisse will present the item at the next meeting.
- Clallam County CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) – Sequim, both Charisse and I, are leading the countywide team tasked with determining how to support childcare. We briefed the Board of County Commissioners on our progress yesterday. The Commissioners are considering allocating money to the effort, which will need about $100,000 per month countywide. We’ve split the problem into 1) pre-school and younger and 2) school aged children. We have a subcommittee of subject matter experts working each area. A consortium of YMCA, Boys & Club, and William Shore Pool District will expand their existing serves in this area to address the issue of school aged children countywide. Pre-school children and younger will be addressed through an effort to keep existing centers operating and to increase the supply of available babysitters through training. Over 4x the number of facilities are needed, due to social distancing, to address childcare for school-aged children and an effort is underway to locate and secure those facilities. County funding will go to support staffing, which also needs to be increased over what is normal due to COVID-19. We have yet to address teens and children with special needs. The team is continuing to meet weekly and there is a new grant opportunity available this week that could result in $100,000 of additional funding for this area. This challenge presents an opportunity to develop new service models for youth across the County.
- Sequim Downtown 4th of July Event – Charisse will have an update on this topic next week. She’s outreached with Downtown businesses and, based upon that outreach, we are continuing to move ahead with the concept of closing Washington for at least a portion of 4th of July weekend.
- Equity and Inclusion – We were planning an internal initiative for 2021 that we are pulling it into this year, given all that has been happening in the world and in Sequim with the deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and ongoing protests. Senior staff will be meeting in the next couple of weeks to talk about how we approach reviewing our services, policies, and approaches for bias and additional training we may want to pursue with our employees. We are doubling down on our core values of Respect and Continuous Improvement, amongst others. We anticipate engaging the community in limited areas, as we explore our service delivery, and more fully pending Council discussion and potential support.
- Chamber Board Meeting – I attended the Chamber Board meeting last week, along with Councilor Smith, Barbara Hanna, and Charisse Deschenes. The Chamber approved a statement opposing racism at the meeting.
- Community Services Check-Ins – I had meetings last week to check in on youth services, business services (organizations we fund), and with my fellow city/county managers/administrators on the Peninsula. With the exception of youth services (we’ve gone to every other week) these meetings are happening weekly.
- Community Points of Distribution (CPOD) Video – I previously mentioned the community food distribution system that the Sequim ECC established on behalf of Clallam County. It operates on Wednesdays each week. We created a video to help promote it. The promotion is working as the CPOD distributed over 500 boxes of food last week, about double the amount of the first week.
- My Evaluation – My employment contract includes a provision for a facilitated evaluation once per year in August. We hire an outside facilitator to conduct a numeric survey of the Council on key areas of performance, to meet with each of you for an hour, and then to bring it all together in a closed session with you and then with all of you and me. Dave Mercier has served as the facilitator of this process during my 5 years here and for my predecessor as well. We have him under contract for the 2020 evaluation and he’ll be starting the process in the next few weeks. Also, to kick off the process, I will submit to you a memo with our accomplishments over the past year, including items I was asked to improve in my last evaluation. I should have the memo out by the end of this month. Historically, Councilors with less than 6 months of experience (our two newly appointed Councilors) have not formally participated in the rating process but have had an interview with Dave and participated in the closed sessions. We would anticipate continuing that practice with this evaluation.
- Planning Calendar - Was attached
Week ending June 5
Here are this week’s items:
- Clallam County CARES Act CRF Funding – I participated in a Clallam County workshop on Monday on this topic. The goal was to begin the process of how the County might spend its $4.2 million in federal CARES Act CRF money. I shared our perspective on that topic from our discussion last week. The County Commission formed several countywide work teams on different topics. The topics included childcare, utility relief, business assistance (including job training), food security, and homelessness. There is a lead for each area. Nathan West, Port Angeles’ City Manager is taking on utility relief, which could include electric utility relief for our residents, and I am taking on childcare, which we’ve been working on anyway. We’ll report back to the County Commission in a couple of weeks with thoughts and potential investment recommendations from meeting with stakeholders. Charisse and Barry are engaging on the business assistance topic to inquire about whether some of the funds could go to our already established program with the Chamber.
- Guy Cole Event Center – We’ve had an initial conversation with the Sequim School District regarding the potential use of Guy Cole for childcare needs, in the event that schools are not open on a normal schedule next year, leaving parents with gaps in childcare when their kids are not in school. These was a preliminary discussion but we are holding back on fall rentals for Guy Cole at the moment until we know more about the School District’s plans for the fall. We should know more in the next few weeks.
- Community Points of Distribution (CPOD) – We used a concept designated for disasters this week to distribute special food shipments that are coming to Clallam County. Sequim is receiving 500 nonperishable boxes of food per week and the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) received a request, and then a delegation of authority, from Clallam County to distribute food locally in East Clallam County. In partnership with the Sequim Food Bank, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members are managing a distribution system on Wednesdays from 11-2 at the Sequim High School. The CERT Team is managed by Fire District 3. City staff have been involved in public information, working on the delegation of authority, and providing cones and other equipment to support the CPOD. CPOD operation would be critical in any mass disaster that we might experience and this effort is a good test of our capabilities. We will be distributing food for the next 11 weeks. The food is coming to the County through USDA and WSDA. Seventy-five families benefited in the first week of the program.
- Today’s Protest – Today’s Black Lives Matter protest was peaceful, as was everything around it. Once again, the Police Department did a great job ensuring everyone’s safety in and around the event. To our knowledge, no further protests are planned on this topic in Sequim through the weekend.
- Planning Calendar - Was attached.