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4 thoughts on “City hires first community engagement specialist

  1. Why do we need a “community engagement specialist,” who, with benefits, will cost us over $100,000 per year?

    1. Michael,
      Although the price may seem high for employing a community engagement specialist, the city of Bainbridge Island really does need to do a better job of telling its story.

      Since I started covering the city in September, I’ve been amazed at how many people have a negative attitude about the city. Simply put, Bainbridge — like many other cities — has a lot more going right than wrong. But many people wouldn’t know that because unfortunately a lot of media outlets that cover the island only report on the negative and the community engagement specialist will be able to help turn that tide.

      As City Council member Steve Bonkowski told me in January when the new community engagement specialist position was posted, “The council in the last two years has said an improved ability to communicate with the public and all the social media attendant to that is a priority. We need to make sure we have someone that does that in a coordinated and professional way.”

      I’d say try to reserve your judgment on Bainbridge’s community engagement specialist Kellie Stickney. She has a decade of experience working with cities a little larger than Bainbridge (Sea-Tac and Lynnwood) and knows how to use communications strategies that connect communities.

  2. I had several friends and colleagues apply for the position and they weren’t selected, but good luck to her. It can only benefit us to ensure a fuller story is being told, and the community – even better engaged. Other communities can be served by a similar strategy given society’s increased focus and attention on bad news, tragedies, and what is wrong. Those are certainly realities to be faced and ameliorated, but not to the exclusion of building upon what’s working.

    1. Registered Voter,
      I couldn’t agree more with you and I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

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