Wednesday is judgement day for Bainbridge courthouse

Bainbridge courthouse

The City Council is scheduled to decide on Wednesday whether to begin the process of moving the Bainbridge Island Municipal Court to Poulsbo’s new city hall. The discussion begins at 7 p.m.

The issue drew quite a bit of comment at the last council meeting. Over a dozen people spoke in favor of keeping the courthouse on Bainbridge; none spoke against. Moving it to Poulsbo, they said, would cost residents time and money, dissuade some of the least fortunate from seeking the court’s help, and reflect poorly on the community’s values.

No one at the meeting spoke in favor of moving the court to Poulsbo, but the pro argument is laid out in the Joint Court Task Force’s report. The task force, which is made up of elected officials from both cities, noted that the move will save Bainbridge about $15,000 a year and finally put the court in a building specifically designed for a court (the current Rolling Bay courthouse was designed for retail and storage use).

Read more about the pros and cons in my STORY from Saturday’s paper. There’s also a good debate in the comments section.

Head down below for a packet of documents related to the issue, including a Bainbridge city staff assessment of the Rolling Bay building, the task force’s recommendation and Judge Kate Carruthers’ dissenting view that the courthouse should stay on Bainbridge.

Courthouse Move Docs