Tag Archives: City Hall

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.

City needs volunteers for its advisory groups

Are you passionate about particular issues on Bainbridge Island?

Until 5 p.m. Friday, May 16, the City of Bainbridge Island will be taking applications for residents who would like to volunteer their time to one of nine citizen advisory groups.

Opening are on the Design Review Board, Environmental Technical Advisory Committee, Ethics Board, Harbor Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, Roads Ends Advisory Committee and Utility Advisory Committee.

Advisory group volunteers are appointed and receive no compensation for the time.

If you have questions, contact City Clerk Roz Lassoff at RLassoff@bainbridgewa.gov or (206) 780-8624.

City hires first community engagement specialist

Kellie Stickney beat out at least 29 other applicants to be named the city’s community engagement specialist – a new position that aims to help Bainbridge Island do a better job of telling its story.

The advertisement for the opening boasted an annual salary ranging from $62,595 to $78,499.

Stickney, 31, comes to the island with 10 years of experience working with nonprofits and cities such as Lynnwood and Sea-Tac. For the past four years, she has worked as the marketing and outreach director for Seattle’s SustainableWorks, a nonprofit general contractor and energy efficiency program.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to use my skills and experience to serve the residents of Bainbridge Island as their community engagement specialist,” said Stickney, who will start her new job March 10. “I’m looking forward to working with residents and city staff to build an even stronger and more connected Bainbridge community.”

Stickney, who was born and raised in Hermiston, Ore., earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Gonzaga University in 2004 and a master’s of public administration from the University of Washington in 2009.

Kellie Stickney starts working as the city of Bainbridge Island's first community engagement specialist March 10.
Kellie Stickney starts working as the city of Bainbridge Island’s first community engagement specialist March 10.

30 apply to be Bainbridge public works director


The city has chosen eight semifinalists for its public works director position. The semifinalists were selected from a pool of 30 applicants from 17 states, according to the Friday city manager’s newsletter.

Six of the eight semifinalists are from Washington. One semifinalist is from Texas, and one is from Indiana. The semifinalists will complete a brief online interview. Finalists will be selected Oct. 1. The finalists will visit the island in mid-October for more extensive interviews.

The city is searching for a permanent replacement for Lance Newkirk, who resigned this spring. John Cunningham is serving as interim public works director.

Islanders hold vigil for peace


About 65 islanders gathered for a peace vigil outside Bainbridge Island City Hall Monday evening. The vigil was held, in part, to protest potential U.S. military strikes in Syria.

blog.vigil4Organizer Norm Keegel, 74, said it seemed the nation was marching toward another war this summer.

“Lately I’ve felt a sense of helplessness,” Keegel said. “What can a person do?”

He reached out to representatives in Congress  and discussed Syria with staff from Rep. Derek Kilmer’s office. Keegel felt a vigil would show solidarity for a non-violent resolution.

“What a wonderful way to show (Kilmer) there are people on the island who care about peace,” Keegel said.

Participants in the Monday vigil gathered in a wide circle and shared their thoughts on the conflict. They stood for 10 minutes of silence, then sang and danced as the evening grew dark.


Rep. Derek Kilmer and Sen. Patty Murray remained undecided on action in Syria as of last week. You can read their statements on the issue here.

(Photos by Tad Sooter)

Bainbridge making strides in online outreach




As promised, new City Manager Doug Schulze has made public outreach a priority.

City Hall has taken gradual steps to up its web presence over the last year, including the launch of a city manager Twitter account this week. It’s also experimenting with new online tools for residents.

Here are some outreach improvements the city has made recently, in no particular order:

  • Schulze sends out a weekly city manager’s report via email (sign up here). It’s become useful resource for staying on top of city news.
  • Public works utilizes a system called SeeClickFix (sample pictured below). It allows residents to use their mobile devices to report hazards like oil spills and potholes, and track the city response.


More improvements are on the way. Schulze is putting the finishing touches on a communications plan to present to the City Council soon and expects to launch a new city website in late November.

Bainbridge off-leash dog park up for discussion tonight


As we reported back in May, the park district is interested in leasing 15-acres of city-owned property surrounding the Vincent Road transfer station for an off-leash dog park. It took quite a lot longer than expected for the proposal to make it before the City Council, but the dog park is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.

The memo attached to the agenda item (PDF here) lays out the history of the site and provides a preliminary design. City staff identified a number of concerns for the council to consider. The proposal is complicated by the fact that a portion of the property rests over a former landfill. The landfill was capped, and the land is safe for surface use, but any park development at the site cannot interfere with environmental remediation efforts.

City staff concluded the plan is feasible but will require “additional attention and research” to carry out.

Larry Steagall, file photo

City turns down property adjacent to Waterfront Park


Waterfront Park will soon get an upgrade, but for now it won’t be getting any larger.

The city recently declined to make an offer on a residence for sale adjacent to the downtown park. The city had a long-standing right of first refusal on the property, which is listed at $428,000.

City Manager Doug Schulze said the potential acquisition was discussed during a City Council executive session. Council members decided the property was too expensive and not necessary for the park, he said.

The 8,000-square-foot lot borders the northeast corner of Waterfront Park.

Search for Bainbridge police chief begins in earnest

Bainbridge Police Chief Position Profile by

Have a decade of law enforcement experience and a bachelor’s degree? The City of Bainbridge Island may have a job for you.

The city is advertising nationwide for a new police chief, with the help of executive search firm Strategic Government Resources.  The job description, posted Monday, asks for applicants with 10 years of “progressively responsible” law enforcement experience, and five years in a senior command position. A bachelor’s degree is required but a master’s degree in administration or criminal justice is preferred. The new chief is required to live on Bainbridge.

SGR consultants were on the island earlier this month to gather input from residents and talk to city officials. They created a glossy brochure for the position, as they did for the city manager search last summer.

As with new City Manager Doug Schulze, the incoming police chief will fill a position with a turbulent history.

Recent controversies at the police department are hinted at in the position profile. Under the header of “Issues and Challenges,” the profile lists trust building between police and community as a top priority. The new chief will need to improve accountability within the department and promote public outreach, especially with schools, the profile says.

The ideal candidate, according to the profile, will need to “facilitate change, while respecting the island’s culture and responding to the needs of the community.”

The deadline for applicants is Feb. 22.

Police chief forum tonight; fraud prevention workshop Friday

The city will host two police-related outreach programs this week. The first is a forum on the search for a new police chief, as we noted with a brief last week:

Bainbridge seeks input on new police chief

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Bainbridge Island is seeking input on its search for a new police chief.

The public can weigh in on the search at a forum from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 15 at City Hall. Comments also can be emailed to cityadmin@bainbridgewa.gov.

The city is searching for a replacement for former Chief Jon Fehlman, who resigned in September. Texas-based firm Strategic Government Resources was hired in December to lead the search for a new chief.

“It’s very important to me that SGR hear directly from island residents about the qualifications and characteristics desired in potential candidates,” City Manager Doug Schulze said. “The consultants will then use this input when developing the police chief position profile.”

SGR also led the city’s search for a new manager, which resulted in the hiring of Schulze last fall.

Fraud prevention workshop

Bainbridge Island Police Department has also organized a fraud prevention workshop for Friday. The program will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Waterfront Park Community Center (a nice opportunity to check out the recent renovation).

A panel of experts will discuss common internet scams, mail scams, and identity theft. The program will include information on how to prevent fraud and resources available to fraud victims.

“The purpose of the workshop is simply to educate islanders about the latest scams and to help them avoid being the victims of fraud,” Interim Public Safety Director Larry Dickerson said in an announcement. “While the workshop will be geared toward the island’s senior citizens, any interested members of the public are welcome to attend.”

The workshop is free and no advance registration is necessary.


Liveaboard plan again saved from the brink, business groups merge and Inslee speaks

Liveaboard plan saved again
Just when about half of Eagle Harbor’s liveaboards were about to give up on the city’s open water marina plan, a few last minute changes on vessel boarding and sewage disposal rules appear to have shifted sentiment back in favor of the plan. Read more here.

Business groups merge
Fewer dollars and staff have brought the Bainbridge chamber of commerce and downtown association together as one organization. Get the details here.

Inslee speaks
U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is set to speak in his own neighborhood tonight. He’ll be the guest at a Bainbridge Rotary dinner at the Wing Point Golf & Country Club. More info here.

City statement on Ostling shooting
If you haven’t seen it yet, head over here for the city’s statement on the police shooting of Douglas Ostling. The city offers condolences to the Ostling family, mentions the city is undertaking an internal review of the shooting, and refers readers to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office investigation and the county prosecutor’s letter responding to the Ostling family’s outrage over the shooting. The prosecutor’s letter follows the city letter.

Bainbridge’s union blues and other notes

City breaks state labor laws?
The fight between the city and its union workers is heating up. The union, after having filed a grievance over layoffs earlier this month, is now claiming that the city violated state labor laws.

Read more here about how the layoffs went down, and why the union thinks the city will have to give a lot of that $2 million it got from Washington State Ferries to pay laid-off workers.

County Commissioner Clarence?
In other news, islander Clarence Moriwaki is one of five candidates vying for a soon-to-be-open Kitsap County commission seat. He aims to replace Commissioner Steve Bauer, who is stepping down. Moriwaki has been a radio news reporter, a spokesman for Gov. Mike Lowry, a Tukwila City Council member and a regional office manager for U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee. Recently, he was Kitsap County’s public information officer and helped lead the development of the Japanese-American memorial on Bainbridge Island. He was a finalist for Bauer’s commissioner position when he was appointed in 2007.

Bailey Manor open for business
A reader asked me to check in on Bailey Manor, the adult care facility that raised a ruckus in the Commodore neighborhood back in October.

Well, despite opposition from neighbors, the business did open in December, and now has two live-in clients and four employees.

“There’s no more signs in the yards, no more theatrics, no more drama,” co-owner Marti Bailey said this morning. “We’re just trying to be good neighbors.”

She even got a wave recently from a neighbor who had been opposed to the facility.