Introducing the City Council’s goals for 2015

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On Mayor Patty Lent’s whiteboard.

This weekend marks the a yearly tradition in Bremerton: a time for the City Council to get together and hash out goals for 2015.

If you’re interested, the Council, Mayor Patty Lent and other city leaders will get together from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Cascade room at the Gold Mountain Golf Club, 7263 West Belfair Valley Road. The marathon session is open to the public, though there’s no chance for residents to comment and the Council will take no official action.

If you can’t make it, or would like a sneak preview to the session, have I got a deal for you: The Mayor and every Council member but one shared with me their own goals for the year ahead. Here goes:

Mayor Patty Lent: The mayor’s goals are outlined on a white board in her office (pictured), atop the Norm Dicks Government Center downtown.

They include:

  • Annexing Gorst into the city
  • Using the Rich Passage 1 ferry and putting it into some kind of regular service
  • Repurposing building sites — a nod to Harrison’s departure to Silverdale
  • Develop plans to redevelop some vacant commercial properties
  • Focus on fixing transportation choke points around the city.

As far as the Council members: Only Councilman Roy Runyon did not respond to my request, saying he wanted to wait until Saturday to talk about his goals publicly.

UPDATE: I was able to request a copy of a list of goals he submitted to Council President Greg Wheeler. See below.

Councilman Mike Sullivan said his priorities are for “roads and public safety” for 2015. He didn’t go much into detail, other than to say that he’s hopeful to improve the city’s road network and ensure emergency response in the city is expedient.

Councilman Dino Davis was quite detailed:

  1. Improve walkability
    1. Build on 6th and Callow improvements to create a bow wave of neighborhood pride
    2. Invest in sidewalks on streets in Southwest area of the district (Preble, Farragut & Rodgers). Run off and erosion is causing havoc with stormwater and depressing neighborhoods.
    3. continue to create new and improve pedestrian crossings.
  2. Increase public & civic interaction
    1. Bi-weekly lunch with a councilperson
    2. attending Block watch meetings with Officer Sexton
  3. Economic Development for Historic Charleston Business District
    1. Actively support Cinco De Mayo celebration
    2. Leverage support of other elected. (Commissioners, Representatives and Congressman)
    3. Revitalize Business owners and citizen community group.
  4. Annexations
    1. Navy Yard City
    2. Rocky Point
    3. Ghorst Gorst
      1. Sewer versus septic agreement
      2. Volunteer Fire agreements
      3. Utility rate savings for coming into the city

Councilwoman Leslie Daugs targeted projects within her district:

1. Plan/Implement how to get rid of Red-light Cameras (is it necessary or not)

2. Continue to move District 2 forward with growth (Wheaton Way), this also includes Harrison Hospital.  (to look at ways to not lose current businesses in this area)

3. Continue work with East Park neighbors…to ensure a safe living environment for their familiesAs well as Hanford neighbors to ensure a safe living environment (Speed Humps).

Council president Greg Wheeler added these goals:

1) Work with City Staff and Council to develop home improvement incentives; and/or remove barriers, to single and multi-family property owners.

2) Continue working with the Harrison Medical Center; Bremerton Community Healthcare Advisory Group, to ensure Bremerton residents maintain access to acute and urgent care in the Bremerton City limits.

3) Work with commercial property owners; in Bremerton, to attract businesses to long vacant buildings.

4) Return Kitsap Transit’s cross sound foot ferry, the Rich Passage 1, to Bremerton/Seattle full service.

Councilman Jerry McDonald had these priorities:

…Economic Development:

What do we do to make Bremerton Business Friendly?

Can we extend the “one year” time requirement to be current with all codes? Too many of our building do not meet current codes and have been empty for more than a year.  Do we have any flexibility in these requirements?

…Annexation discussion:

Let’s build a schedule/time-line for these annexations to happen…

Riddell Road North (we have negotiations to complete with the county…is this happening?

Rocky Point

Gorst

…Marketing:

Join Visit Seattle

Discuss a “Visit Bremerton” Website

Chamber/City/(whomever) create a welcome store front

Better direction signs

And finally, Councilman Eric Younger‘s goals:

1. Decide on a business model/funding plan going forward for the Parks department.

2. Performance audit/review of the Fire department (similar to what we recently did for our Police department).

3. Increase home ownership ( i.e. implement a “Move to Bremerton” campaign).

4. Planning for the void after Harrison moves to Silverdale.

And finally, Councilman Runyon‘s Goals:

  1. EMPHASIZE FUNCTION OVER FORM FOR FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
  2. Restructure the Parks and Recreation Dept.
    1. Merge Parks Maintenance Div. with PW Facilities Division.
    2. Place Recreation Div. under Finance Dept.
    3. Streamlines government while enhancing core functions (recreation and parks maintenance).
    4. Potential cost savings up to $250K less additional funds dedicated to Parks O&M.
    5. Parks Commission to continue role.
    6. 2015 to be transition period with full implementation Jan.1, 2016.
  3. Revive the effort to create a Regional Fire Authority (RFA)
  4. Purpose 1: “Through consolidation, find administrative and operational efficiencies that maintain or improve current core emergency service levels without subsidizing or raising tax revenue significantly.” Bremerton Fire Department And South Kitsap Fire Rescue Consolidation Fact Finding Financial Report August 2010, pg. 15.
  5. Purpose 2: Control govt. costs. “The net potential cost savings from a Bremerton Fire Department and South Kitsap Fire Rescue consolidation would be approximately $140,000 the first year, $935,000 in the first three years and $655,000 each year thereafter.”
  6. First step: Update information by third quarter of 2015 in preparation for consolidation discussions with SK&FR and possibly, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue.
  7. Second step: Initiate discussions with applicable fire district boards to gauge interest.
  8. Adopt a policy regarding City-owned commercial property to reduce City’s role as a landlord…Is this a core function of our government and at what cost?
  9. Negotiate with tenants of the MLK Library building, the Bremerton Community Theater building and the Naval Museum Building (Bldg. 50) to have tenants pay some or all of the O&M costs.
  10. Offer to sell properties to existing tenants.

 

  1. ADOPT NEW INITIATIVES FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  2. Obtain Certified Local Government (CLG) status by adopting an historic preservation

ordinance in order to:

  1. Become eligible for State Historic Preservation Office technical assistance, grants and information exchange.
  2. Conduct state and federally recognized historic preservation.
  3. Enable registration of local historic properties in the National Register.
  4. Facilitate property eligibility for Federal tax incentives for historic preservation and for the WA State special valuation tax incentive defined as: “A revision of the assessed value of a historic property which subtracts, for up to ten years, such rehabilitation costs as are approved by a local review board.” Special Valuation Flyer, Washington State Dept. of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.
  5. Leverage a portion of City CDBG funding through the HUD Sect. 108 loan guarantee program for assistance to the private sector.
  6. Tool for helping finance rehabilitation of privately-owned commercial buildings and correct code deficiencies in those buildings.
  7. May be used to finance special economic development activities under CDBG program.
  8. City can issue loan guarantees worth up to five times its annual approved CDBG entitlement.
  9. Can be used in conjunction with other federal (and state) tax incentives like New Market Tax Credits, CLG-related tax incentives for historic preservation and Community Empowerment Zone incentives (BMC 2.15).
  10. There is an element of risk but there have been no documented HUD Sect. 108 defaults.

 

III. CREATE A MORE OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE AND EFFECTVE GOVERNMENT

  1. Create a Utilities Advisory Committee (UAC)
  2. Modeled somewhat after City of Bainbridge Island UAC.
  3. Membership consisting of one ex-officio member from the council and a combination of up to seven resident and non-resident City utility rate payers including at least two commercial rate payers.
  4. Provides somewhat of a buffer between council desire to raise rates to increase PILOT revenue for the GF and Street Fund and helps represent the interests of the rate payers.
  5. Provides a body whose sole focus is City utilities.
  6. Video tape all council committee meetings, study sessions and special meetings.
  7. Preserves record of meetings.
  8. Make recordings available via BKAT website.
  9. Establish an official City Facebook presence.

 

Document

 

3 thoughts on “Introducing the City Council’s goals for 2015

  1. I’m fairly impressed with Councilman Davis & Councilman Runyon’s goals for this year (mostly because they’re detailed rather than vague – which makes me think they’ve put some thought into this;). I hate it when the our representatives default to road projects as their platform – ugh – no one is going to care abut the roads if there is no one here to drive on them (Councilman Sullivan). Sustainable economic development in this city in sorely needed and Runyon’s focus on historic preservation (particularly applying for grants and assistance) is huge if the city is going to foster and build upon the existing character that it has – rather than rape and scrape these older buildings that could be re-envisioned. I LOVE the fact that Davis is taking a lead in re-developing the Charleston and the Callow Corridor – in some ways, I could see it taking shape the way that Georgetown has in Seattle or the Brewery District in Tacoma – those neighborhoods have managed to blend tattoo parlors and ice cream shops into some hip and eclectic, yet family friendly environments. Don’t push out the punk that is Charleston but embrace it with some edgy graffiti projects and industrial coffee shops. Fill up those vacant storefronts with some temporary public art or let some kids create a mural. I live just off of Burwell near Naval – and love the fact that there is a punk band that practices in the alley every Sunday while my neighbors are at church. Also – some street trees would be nice… but really, can we please get a coffee shop to anchor these stores? Wish I could be at this public meeting, but I’m sure my 2 year old has different plans for his Saturday. Looking forward to the outcome and a chance to put in some real public comments.

  2. 1. How about eliminating the cities business relationship with Redflex Inc., a company that is known for engaging in fraud and corruption.
    2. How about adjusting the yellow light times in the city of Bremerton in order to reduce red light running and increase safety? (proven method)
    3. How about installing a sign at the city entrance (in order to comply with the law) that warns ALL drivers that the city of Bremerton is a zone that uses automated infraction cameras that are owned and operated by a for profit, foreign company?

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