Daily Archives: April 8, 2009

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.”

Farmers market opens Saturday

farminternThe Bainbridge Farmers Market kicks off another season this Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the park between City Hall and Bainbridge Performing Arts.

Local farmers say crops are taking a little longer to grow because of unpredictable weather. Many are waiting for temperatures to warm up before they can offer their usual spring bounty.

“It’s a slower growing season this year, even slower than last year,” Jackie Aitchison, executive director of the Washington Farmers Market Association, told Sun reporter Brynn Grimley for a story this week on the county’s markets.

Despite this season’s weather challenges, the Bainbridge market’s growers told Sound Food’s Carolyn Goodwin that customers can expect some popular offerings on Saturday.

Here’s what Goodwin had to say on a recent post:

Early offerings will be mostly in the hardy greens category. But a fresh local salad tastes amazingly good after a winter of grocery greens. Crumble some creamy Port Madison Farm goat cheese over the top and you’ll finally get a taste of spring.

Butler Green Farm also has spinach, bok choy, leeks and carrots. Our favorite Island food blog, Small Potatoes, recently posted a tasty recipe for Spinach Pie that would be a perfect way to celebrate your first bag of local spinach. Brian’s bok choy is fabulous, this week I steamed it with some shiitake mushrooms and cod fillets in a super-simple recipe that is wonderful over some brown basmati rice. It will be even better with some of the fresh halibut that just hit T&C this week.

Betsey Wittick of Laughing Crow Farm will bring some overwintered potatoes and cabbage (I’m working through the box of German Butterball potatoes I bought from her at the end of last season, and they still make great eating). Rebecca Slattery of Persephone Farm always has some interesting early-season crops like cardoons, which are at their best in the late winter.

Read the rest of Goodwin’s post, as well as several recipes using local ingredients, at Sound Food’s Web site.