No Weekly Update for Week Ending September 25
Week Ending September 18
Here are this week’s items, which cover last week as well:
- Sequim Health and Housing Coalition (SHHC) – I attended the SHHC meeting this week along with Chief Crain. Items discussed included Sequim connections to the Recovery Center in Port Angeles, possible future SHHC partners, preparing for community needs in 2021, and general updates from the involved agencies.
- Anti-Racism and Discrimination Steering Committee – Our committee met last week. We discussed the first two meetings of the Community Engagement Committee. In short, the Community Engagement Committee is a combination of community members and City staff and is still in the forming/team building stage. The Committee’s goal is to plan and execute, pending Council’s support, community conversations on race and discrimination. The second meeting was better than the first and the third is scheduled for 9/23. The Steering Committee’s next meeting is scheduled the same day, in the evening. The Steering Committee plans to provide an update to the City Council at the September 28th meeting. Any Community Engagement Committee plans at that time are likely to still be in the early stages. The Steering Committee also reaffirmed its commitment to take a wide lens on equity and inclusion, not just focusing on issues of race.
- Another Clean Audit – Congratulations to everyone (Council and staff), and especially our Finance Department, on another clean financial audit! I believe this brings our streak to 28 years without an audit finding. Financial management is everyone’s responsibility. Great job!
- Meeting Regarding Community Concerns – Chief Crain and I met with a group of concerned citizens this week regarding the early June Black Lives Matter protest. Concerns raised included protester safety, enforcement of laws, and protest planning, support, and management. It was a positive information exchange and a follow-up meeting will be planned at some point.
- Black Ball Ferry – I participated last week in a conference call of agencies working to support the Black Ball Ferry. Besides regional funding supporting the Black Ball Ferry, there are several federal bills in play that could further assist. The Black Ball Ferry has a large impact on our region’s tourism and while we have not specifically talked about our support for it, I’ve been staying connected to discussions about it in case there is an action from us that we might consider that could help.
- Clallam County Board of County Commissioners Meeting – I attended the County Commission’s meeting on Monday morning to provide a brief update on countywide childcare.
- Onboarding Meeting with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) – Sequim’s newly formed internal team working on this topic met with a representative from GARE to get oriented to GARE’s services this week. GARE’s resources will be invaluable in assisting City staff in their review of City policies and procedures related to equity and inclusion. GARE also has valuable training for staff.
- Youth Services Task Force – The Youth Services Task Force met last week. Items discussed included homeless youth services, going back to monthly meetings, childcare, and housing.
- Sequim Business Check-In – Sequim’s business supporting nonprofits met last week. Items discussed included supporting the Boys & Girls Club’s rapid hiring of staff to provide additional childcare services, the North Olympic Development Council (NODC) hiring employees to support eCommerce and grants (both two year temporary positions), business community response to the Lifeboat grant program through the Economic Development Council (EDC) - it sounded quite strong, COVID-19 adaptation support through the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE), and rent support.
- Regional Meeting with City Managers and County Administrators – We had our Jefferson and Clallam County meeting last week. Items discussed included providing for public comment at virtual public meetings, CARES Act funding, and community polarization.
- Planning Calendar - Was attached
Week Ending September 4
Here are this week’s items:
- Additional CARES Act CRF Funding On the Way – We found out this week that the Governor’s Office will be releasing another $115,000 in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funding (CRF) to us and that the deadline for spending funds is now extended to late November. I’m working with the Finance Department regarding the best way we might be able to seek reimbursement for things that we’ve done. We’ll connect with you at the next meeting on this topic to check in regarding whether we want to consider further spending of these funds or reimbursement from what we’ve already done (how we handled the first $230,000 in CARES Act CRF funds).
- Sequim Health and Housing Collaborative (SHHC) – The SHHC met this week. Items discussed included the collaborative’s van, the ongoing navigator lunch program, and improving coordination to support people quarantining and isolating from COVID-19 in the Sequim area (we are supporting the County Health Department through a delegation of authority in this area).
- CARES Act Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funding – The State has finally opened its application period and Port Angeles is moving ahead today on behalf of the region to apply for funding for all of us. The Council provided direction on this topic months ago and we have been waiting for the application to post ever since. The money allocated to Sequim, approximately $66,000, is projected to go to microbusiness grants through the EDC (15% of the $66k, limited to businesses inside the City limits) and the PUD (the remainder) to benefit Sequim residents with electric and water bill (some Sequim residents get water from the PUD) relief. CDBG funding is limited to supporting low and moderate-income people. The money would flow directly through the City of Port Angeles to the PUD and EDC, meaning we have no administration requirements, which we don’t want for a small CDBG grant. We also may not need an interlocal agreement, which would save some time for everyone. Regardless of the scenario, I’m working to make sure that the funds allocated to Sequim get spent in our city limits.
- Clallam County Childcare Committee – The Childcare Committee met this week and discussed support for a grant proposal that is about to be submitted that would support more strategic planning and coordination in this area after COVID-19. The committee also checked in on the situation with schools and childcare and talked a bit more about pre-K services. For now, with County CARES Act CRF funding in place to support childcare, the region is settling into a COVID-19 system that we’ll continue to evaluate periodically.
- Employee Childcare – With all the varied school schedules faced by our employees and COVID-19 continuing, we developed a temporary program over the past couple of months to support our employees with children and their childcare needs. We implemented a temporary childcare stipend this week to support employees with childcare needs during work hours. The program supports employees at up to $10 per day ($50 per week) per child. This lines up with the cost of Boys & Girls Club services offered all day during COVID-19.
- Sequim Police Department Honored by the Sequim Dungeness Valley Chamber – The post below was on the Chamber’s Facebook page yesterday. The Chamber honors a business of the month and picked the Sequim Police Department this month. Congrats to the PD!