July 2020

for week ending july 31

Council,

Here are this week’s items:

-    Board of County Commissioners CARES Act Coronavirus Relieve Funds (CRF) Discussion - I participated in continued conversations with the Board of County Commissioners on Monday regarding their CARES Act CRF funding allocations. Commissioners remain committed to the funding allocation agreed to previously and are working through the final details of the funding contracts for each area, plus making plans for potential future funding rounds. 

-    Monthly Meeting Between Mayor Armacost and Commissioner Ozias - We had this meeting this morning. Items discussed included COVID-19 response statewide , COVID-19 recovery efforts (including business assistance), State transportation funding, opportunities within COVID-19, behavioral health trends, and behavioral health services. 

-    Virtual Job Fair - The local Economic Development Councils (EDCs) are partnering with the State to put together a virtual two-county job fair.  I have been involved a bit in the planning process, which is being coordinated by the Clallam EDC in our County.  The City of Sequim will be represented at the fair, which will occur in a few weeks.  According to the involved State agencies who are hosting the fair on their software at no charge, if it goes well this platform will be the new standard for job fairs statewide even after COVID-19.

-    Transforming Local Government Conference – Several staff attended the Alliance for Innovation’s annual Transforming Local Government Conference, which was offered virtually this week. We presented twice and facilitated another session.  Our presentations were: 1) The People's Project; and 2) how to focus on outcomes and align resources towards those outcomes.  The conference features emerging practices in local government. We came away with a list of great ideas to explore and new approaches to consider.

-    EDC Business Recruitment/Expansion Activities - The Clallam EDC continues to market areas in Sequim that are zoned for wealth generating employment to potential developers and companies that would help create said employment . We got an update recently on a lead they had. Unfortunately, the property owner involved was not interested in selling to the potential developer at a price they could agree upon, so it did not go any further.

-    Election Season – As we are in the middle of a Presidential election year, here is a link to an article from MRSC with good reminders about what you can and can’t do legally in your position as an elected official in the political process: http://mrsc.org/Home/Stay-Informed/MRSC-Insight/July-2018/Answers-to-Common-Election-Season-Questions.aspx.

-    Planning Calendar - Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager


for week ending july 24

Council,

Here are this week’s items:

Council Direction

-    State Legislative Agenda – With no special session of the legislature apparent at this point, we are beginning work on the legislative agenda for the regular session next winter.  We are also working to schedule a debrief and a check-in with our legislative delegation over the next 1-2 months.

Council Follow-Through

-    Sequim Health and Housing Collaborative (SHHC) – Beginning next Thursday at noon, the PATH navigator team, supported by Peninsula Behavioral Health through the Sequim Health and Housing Collaborative, will be offering free weekly brown bag lunches at the Civic Center Plaza from 12-1.  The goal is to connect people with the services they need.  In addition, the Sequim mobile service van developed and staffed by the SHHC agencies, is scheduled to be in service next week.  The van will be moving around the community to different places where services are being delivered, like the food bank and the free clinic, to further help people find services.

-    Community Broadband Funder’s Webinar – In anticipation of the completion of our countywide broadband assessment and the Council’s interest in addressing communitywide broadband, I attended a FEMA western states webinar this week to learn more about a variety of philanthropic and government financial resources to help address broadband deficiencies.  There are a lot of options and tools that we can help align once we have projects defined through the assessment.

Related Items

-    Meeting with Derek Kilmer’s Staff Regarding CDBG Funding – Along with the City of Forks, the City of Port Angeles and Colleen McAleer from the EDC, I met with Derek Kilmer’s staff this week to discuss the difficulties of accessing and administering CARES Act Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.  We are still awaiting the Washington State Department of Commerce’s release of the funds and besides all the extra strings attached, the funds must be spent by the end of October (AWC is lobbying for an extension until December for all CARES Act funds).  Commerce recently furloughed for one day a week the staff working to get the grants out, further delaying their distribution.  This is the grant that Port Angeles is stepping up to administer on behalf of the region where we will have an interlocal agreement to consider at some point.  We also talked about improvements that could be made to the distribution process with the next federal stimulus package.

-    Evaluating the Future of the Community Points of Distribution (CPOD) Food Distribution Effort – We have just a few weeks of service left for the planned distribution of food at the high school.  The food is supported through federal funding.  As our distribution numbers each week have risen to support nearly 500 Sequim area families, we are talking with the food bank about what happens a few weeks from now so people relying on the service are not suddenly without food.  We’ll keep you posted.

-    Planning Calendar - Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager


FOR WEEK ENDING JULY 17

Council,

Here are this week’s items:

Council Direction

-    Anti-Racism and Discrimination Resolution – Our subcommittee met this week and will recommend that we not revise our resolution at this time, but instead do so after further community engagement.  We will bring a community engagement plan to the City Council for feedback and review at the July 27 meeting.

Council Follow-Through

-    Special Legislative Session – Davor Gjurasic, our lobbyist, let us know that a special session is looking unlikely at this point as the necessary parties have not agreed to convene.  He’s reaching out to check in with our legislative delegation.  The attached email provides a bit more detail.

-    Road Island Project – We are awaiting an additional legal opinion on the topic, which we discussed at Council a couple of meetings ago.  We anticipate having that opinion in the next few weeks and should then be in a position to decide how to further proceed.  We’ve been in touch with the impacted parties.

Related Items

-    Sequim Business Support Check-In – In our weekly meeting of agencies that support businesses that we fund (Economic Development Council - EDC, Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Development Center, and the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship - CIE), I learned that the CIE hired their new staff member to assist businesses with COVID-19 reopening/retrofits.  The EDC has an application for business assistance grant funding from the County’s CARES Act on their website and applications close tomorrow.  They have a total of $350,000 allocated by the County, I believe $75,000 that came through Jefferson’s County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation (meant for both counties), and some additional CDBG funding pending.  The Chamber has allocated all but $3,000 from their Small Business Rapid Relief Fund.  They’ll be forwarding us some of the thank you notes they’ve received.  Anji recommends that we let the Chamber’s process play out for a while before considering additional local business support.

-    Dungeness River Audubon Center Virtual Groundbreaking – We assisted in helping to encourage the State to fund the expansion of the Audubon Center through some last-minute legislative work a couple of sessions ago.  As a result, I was invited to the virtual groundbreaking this past week and attended.

-    Planning Calendar - Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager


For week ending july 10

Council,

Here are this week’s items:

Council Follow-Through

-    Criminal Justice Study – On Monday, three of you will be attending a joint meeting with the Clallam County Commissioners and the City of Port Angeles City Council to hear the results of the Criminal Justice Study undertaken jointly by all three agencies.  The interlocal agreement that launched the study dates back to 2018.  Here is a link to the agenda item where the Council approved the interlocal agreement that supports the study https://www.sequimwa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11891/Item-6---CJL-Study-ILA.  The study was originally intended to be completed last year but got delayed for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19, turnover by the consultant staff, longer time than expected to collaborate on decision making amongst staff and elected officials from the three agencies, and elected official turnover.

For additional background, here is a link to a joint meeting we had with Clallam County where the County originally described its concerns about a change in State law negatively impacting costs in the existing interlocal agreement with us (where they provide municipal court, public defense, prosecution, and jail services).  That item starts 1 hour, 14 minutes, and 23 seconds in to the recording https://sequim-wa.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=215.  Following the meeting, the County sent contract cancellations to both the City of Port Angeles and the City of Sequim.  Through further conversations, the County agreed to rescind their cancellation letter and instead to conduct the study, with the potential for further contract related conversations after the study was complete.

You may be wondering why we don’t provide these services on our own.  Some (prosecution and public defense) would be easier and less costly than others (court and jail).  All together, we are saving money by consolidating services with the County.  As an example, we studied the cost of establishing our own municipal court during 2019.  Here is a link to that report https://www.sequimwa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/13380/Item-1-Court and the audio from that meeting (it is the first item) https://sequim-wa.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=242.  In short, it would be significantly more expensive than our current contract with the County to have our own court.

We’ll have a verbal update after the joint meeting on Monday afternoon at our meeting Monday night and plan a more formal discussion for the future, likely at the July 27 City Council meeting.

-    Anti-Racism and Discrimination Resolution Update – Our subcommittee met this week to edit the resolution and discuss community engagement plans.  We have another meeting planned for next week and are targeting the July 27 City Council meeting to have a revised resolution for consideration.  As a reminder, if you have any edits to the approved resolution, please send them to Sara or I.

Related Items

-    Chamber Board Meeting – I attended the Chamber of Commerce Board meeting along with Councilor Smith and Barbara Hanna this week.

-    Economic Development Council (EDC)’s Coffee with Colleen – I represented the City of Sequim in a report out from Clallam County cities regarding their COVID-19 responses during Coffee with Colleen.

-    Check-Ins – We vitually hosted Sequim area and regional meetings to check in on childcare (countywide), youth services, and business services.  We also virtually hosted a general government meeting of administrators and managers (Clallam and Jefferson Counties) to share information on a variety of topics.  Further, I attended the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Monday to represent the countywide committee coordinating on childcare.

-    Community Points of Distribution (CPOD) Update – The food distribution effort being managed by the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC)’s Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) on behalf of Clallam County had its largest day yet this week, serving 243 cars and 432 families.

-    Planning Calendar - Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager


For Week ending july 3

Council,

Here are this week’s items:

Council Follow-Through

-    Anti-racism and Discrimination Resolution Revisions and Follow-Through – Our subcommittee is meeting on Wednesday the 8th and may or may not have revisions to propose at the 7/13 meeting.  If not, we would plan to have a revised resolution in front of Council for the 7/27 meeting.  As a reminder, if you have edits to the approved resolution (emailed by me previously), please send them to Sara and she’ll compile them for the committee’s consideration.  Internally, we’ve done some planning regarding community conversations and our overall approach to engagement.  We recently joined the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE, https://www.racialequityalliance.org/) for additional support as we move forward.  I’m waiting to meet with the subcommittee on the 8th to run some ideas by them before we brief you and begin to move forward.  Charisse will be leading our efforts internally while Barbara Hanna and I will be leading our external efforts.

Related Items

-    Small Business Rapid Relief Program – The City of Washougal is the latest city working to model our program.  In related news, we are nearly complete with our additional $60,000 contract addendum with the Chamber of Commerce to further fund the program.  We had to run something by the Department of Commerce as we plan to ask for federal CARES Act reimbursement for some of the program’s expenditures.  In the meantime, the Chamber already had an application process running that ended on 6/30 so they will be applying the new $60,000 to that process.

-    Countywide Childcare Efforts – The attached email is a good summary of our current situation.  You may have read as well that the County Commissioners are prioritizing some of the business assistance grants they will provide through the EDC (about $60,000) for childcare providers.  If the County is able to fund the full amount of the attached request, we’ll have a turnkey solution for Sequim (we won’t need to do much more) and the rest of the County that should be attractive to private foundation funders as well, helping with sustainability hopefully through COVID-19’s duration and beyond.  We’ve unlocked a new level of countywide collaboration with this challenge and are already hearing from some statewide organizations that they want to learn more about the work we are doing.

-    Planning Calendar – Was attached.

I hope that you all have an awesome long 4th of July weekend!

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager