Tag Archives: city staff

Study indicates Bainbridge boasts large tenured city workforce

During a presentation on a citywide study of job classification and compensation by Milliman Inc. of Seattle, Bainbridge City Council members learned during Monday night’s meeting that Bainbridge Island city employees receive approximately 9 percent above the market median (50th percentile) when comparing actual salaries.

The compensation analysis was from 34 cities that responded to Milliman’s request. Most of the responding cities were primarily from Washington, but some were from Oregon, said Greg McNutt, a compensation consultant and principal with Milliman. Yakima, Renton, Spokane Valley, Marysville and Lakewood were some of the municipalities that responded.

“You have a lot of tenured people here,” McNutt told the Council. “You have 86 percent of the people that are at the top step.”

Some of the recommendations given by McNutt for managing the city’s staff included:

— Managing base salaries toward its intended market position. This action will maintain desired market target.

— Maintaining benefits in their current form. This will provide employees both the opportunity to save for retirement and act as a safety net against unforeseen health issues.

— Maintaining salary structured at their current range width, but create mores steps within each grade with annual increments of approximately 3 percent between steps. This would cause pay progression problems to diminish over time.

— Manage high fixed costs of base salaries.

McNutt’s presentation to the City Council was for information only and no action was taken on it.

BI controversies cause burst of cartoon creativity

Recent dust-ups over the Bainbridge city manager and the police department has inspired a burst of island-related cartoons from editorial toonsmith Milt Priggee.

We couldn’t run them all in the paper but Milt has posted them on his blog, which you can find here.

Head below to see more of Milt’s recent Bainbridge-skewering work. Be warned – two of the cartoons involve beheadings.

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UPDATED: City loses key shoreline planner

City shoreline planner Peter Namtvedt Best has resigned just as the city prepares for the daunting task of updating its shoreline master plan.

Best, who joined the city in 2001, turned in his resignation late last week. He will continue on a part-time basis until mid-September.

“This is a big loss to me and the department,” Planning Director Kathy Cook said. “We’re working on a transition plan now because he was working on so many big projects. We want to keep him on a part-time basis as long as we can.”

Best said he’s leaving the city to be a stay-at-home dad for his twin toddlers.

“It’s with a lot of mixed emotions that I’m leaving, and I have a lot of hope and pride for the projects I’m working on, but my kids will only be this age once,” he said, noting that he might be open to returning once his children are older.

Best’s position is an important one for a city that boasts 53 miles of shoreline.

He lead shoreline research, reviewed shoreline permits and was successful in obtaining shoreline restoration grants worth millions of dollars.

As founder and coordinator of the city’s Shoreline Stewardship Program, Best led a corps of volunteers and professionals on hands-on conservation and environmental education projects. The program’s 2005 salmon study startled marine biologists with data that debunked old notions about regional salmon migrations and revealed that some federal and state protections were falling short for the most sensitive salmon species.
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City of Bainbridge’s staff cuts impact the Port Townsend City Council

Brent Butler
Brent Butler
Well, here’s an odd twist of fate.

As I reported here, city planner and affordable housing specialist Brent Butler was trimmed from the city’s roster during the last round of layoffs. Wouldn’t you know it, but Butler was also a member of the Port Townsend City Council. As one of those rare city councilors who requires a day job to pay the rent, Butler went looking for a new gig. Elmore County, Idaho came calling and gave Butler his new job: director of growth and development.

“I won’t be able to do both at the same time,” Butler told the Peninsula Daily News this week, shortly after resigning from the Port Townsend council. “I’m going to have to leave the community to take the job.”

The council is now looking for Butler’s replacement.

Butler was a staunch advocate for affordable housing in Port Townsend. He voted against the city’s budget because it lacked funding for affordable housing.

Port Townsend has shifted from a working class community of boat builders and paper mill workers to one increasingly populated by retirees.

“I hope I am replaced with someone who is also in support of the housing issue,” Butler told the Peninsula Daily. “It’s the most concerning issue the city is facing, and I hope to see the city support it in the future.”

On Bainbridge’s two rounds of layoffs, Butler had this to say:

“[The city of] Bainbridge Island laid off most of the people they hired in the last two years,” he said. “I’ve heard they will now be looking at laying off people who have been with the city as far back as 10 years.”

Council to debate new cuts to staff and community groups

The City Council is scheduled to discuss steeper revenue shortfalls than had been expected earlier this year. Some on the council want to focus new budget cuts at the staffing level, laying off as many as 30 employees. Others want to focus the cuts on the amount the city doles out to arts, social service and business nonprofits. Read my story here.

The council is expected to begin their workshop on city finances at 5:30 p.m. today. The regular council meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Employees accept 10-day City Hall closure

It’s official. City Hall will lock its doors an extra 10 days next year. The cost savings, according to the city, means fewer employees will be dragged on to the chopping block.

The story’s below.

City employees voted Tuesday night to accept a plan to close City Hall 10 extra days next year.

The unpaid furlough proposal developed by the city administration and endorsed by the City Council as a cost-cutting measure to help avoid layoffs.

The furlough will shut down City Hall for 10 nonconsecutive days in 2009.

The Bainbridge Island Police Department will not be affected by the furlough.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union representing most city staff, approved the furlough by a vote of 77 percent, according to the city. Almost 80 union members participated in the decision, which required a participation minimum of 30 percent.

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Cutting costs by closing City Hall’s doors

Shutting down City Hall and sending workers home for 10 days next year may save enough money to avoid a new round of staff cuts.

“Instead of more permanent layoffs, this is a tool that a number of cities are using to balance budgets,” said Mayor Darlene Kordonowy.

Following the lead of King County, the city may institute unpaid staff furloughs to fill growing budget gaps. The City Council on Wednesday will consider approval of a mayor-backed agreement with city workers that would shut down all nonessential city services for 10 days spread throughout the year, typically on Fridays.

Under the proposal, the city would save an estimated $371,000 in 2009 and $387,000 in 2010.

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Another of the city’s senior managers resigns

The city’s deputy finance director resigned this week after just over a year on the job.

Carol Badzik’s resignation is the latest in a series of recent senior management departures from the city.

While Badzik declined to say why she is leaving, her boss, Finance Director Elray Konkel, hinted that Badzik has been frustrated with the long, drawn-out processes that have become a distinguishing feature of Bainbridge city government.

“When you put in 60 or 70 hours a week, you want to see it produce something,” Konkel said. “The good people…the really hard working people are finding it difficult to stay.”

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