Sequim, WA - Official Website - January 2017
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January 2017
Week Ending January 27
This week's City Manager Report is also available on video.

Here are this week’s items:

- Transportation Benefit District (TBD) – We’ve formed an internal team around this topic and had our first meeting this week. In February, we will be bringing you a briefing on transportation, which will include the TBD. Our TBD began collecting revenues early in 2010, meaning it would stop collecting revenues under current authorization in early 2020. Renewal for 2020 collections would therefore need to occur in 2019. We are discussing the possibility of running it early, in 2018, and will be talking more with you about this shortly. If we were to do that, and renewal were to fail, we’d still have time to consider feedback from the public and run it again, if we were so inclined, before it stopped collecting revenues in 2020.

- Assisting Homeless Residents – The City Manager’s Office (Joe Irvin) teamed up with the Police Department (Sgt. Mike Hill) and staff from Serenity House to respond to a resident whom has been helping several homeless people over the past weeks as she’s encountered them spending time at Carrie Blake Park. They were able to find housing for one homeless person and were reaching out to two other people. These actions represented fantastic cross-departmental and cross-agency teamwork in direct service to the community. Kudos to Joe, Mike, Serenity House, and one of our big hearted residents.

- Attending Meeting with Prospective Airline – I’ve been invited to attend a regional meeting next month at Fairchild Airport with the prospective airline that may provide service there. I’ll let you know more when I have it, after the meeting.

- Economic Development Plan Implementation – We began implementing the business retention-expansion part of the Eco Devo Plan this week. We are in the process of preparing and gathering materials and fine tuning our business survey. We also heard a presentation by the firm Buxton (, which helps retailers locate in communities and communities attract retailers. They have an impressive software platform that is an impressive display of big data.

- Cold Weather Bench Installation – Our Public Works crew was hard at work again this week, and receiving more kudos from the community. What follows is a recap from Public Works Operations Manager Ty Brown in his message to Streets Lead Rick Irish. I just received a very emotional phone call from a resident. She wants to thank you guys for what a great job you did placing her bench down at the reuse park. She was crying saying with all the snow and rain and ice you were able to poor the concrete and place the bench in time for her family to show up from out of town, and everything was placed perfectly. Great job guys against all the elements, Thank you.

- Alliance for Innovation, Innovation Lab on Civic Engagement – I got back this morning from an Alliance for Innovation event I attended in Bellevue yesterday where I learned about some innovative approaches to civic engagement, including using the arts for creative problem solving, fostering more powerful dialog through social media, and better engaging under represented communities. The networking was timely and will help to inform an upcoming conversation on community inclusiveness. I also got to do some personal recruiting for a couple of our upcoming vacancies.

- BIG Ideas Summary – The attached summary provides more details from the Alliance for Innovation BIG Ideas Conference I attended in October. I thought you might find it interesting and thought provoking.

- Reclaimed Water Statutory Changes – We have provided Representative Steve Tharinger with the statute language he requested around the use of reclaimed water (purple pipe). City Attorney Kristina Nelson-Gross and the Public Works Department (Ann Soule and others) did a nice job pulling it together and we’ll have it for future sessions if it doesn’t gain traction in this session. We’ll see where it goes from here…


Charlie Bush

Week Ending January 20

     This week's City Manager Report is also available on video.

 - K9 Update – You asked me about this topic at the Council Advance on Wednesday. Chief Crain let me know that Sgt. Mike Hill and Officer Tony Bush have narrowed their interest in dog providers. They plan on doing a site visit to the final possible vendors as a part of their dog search in the February or March. They want to go when these locations actually have dogs there to evaluate. Mike is also narrowing down dog handler training so we can get that done in the first half of this year.

- Police Staffing – Chief Crain has determined that the best approach for Police Command staffing right now is to promote a 5th Sergeant and not to fill the her vacated Lieutenant/Deputy Chief Position. Funding from our vacant Lieutenant position will more than cover the extra Sergeant position. At some time in the future, we will consider filling the Lieutenant position with an internal recruitment from our existing Sergeants and then would drop a vacated Sergeant position at that time. In short, we are keeping the same staffing but trading a Sergeant for a Lieutenant. She has also restructured some duties amongst the Sergeants to facilitate more cross training and development. Most importantly, please congratulate Officer John Southard on his promotion to Sergeant! He’ll be assigned to patrol. The Chief’s memo on these staffing changes is attached if you’d like further detail.

- Council Advance – Thanks again for taking most of your day on Wednesday to work through revisions to our goals and a few other items. We are deeply grateful to have such a collaborative, civil, and talented City Council and we look forward to delivering progress in many areas in 2017!

- 2016 Annual Report – Our attached 2016 Annual Report is at the printer. We’ll provide you all hard copies in a few weeks and at that time will also make them more available to the public. We had a productive year and Barb did a fantastic job of capturing it!

- Community Conversation on Hate – I attended a Community Plus discussion centering on the topic of hate in our community Thursday evening. It was partly generated by a recent incident of hate in the School District. There was a lot of emotion in the meeting and towards the end we were asked to possibly bring in a speaker, or several, on this topic. We’ll talk a bit more about it on Monday night. This is an important topic and we plan to be active on it. Hate, discrimination, and bias are present everywhere in different forms, including in Sequim. We can all make progress by focusing on our thoughts, words, and actions. One of the initial steps is identifying the issues present in our community and talking about them. I want to partner with Community Plus and others on next steps but we don’t have the capacity to lead an initiative for east Clallam County without taking some other things off of our plates. I will be recommending that we partner on any efforts focused on further uniting our community but that we do not become the primary lead at this time. This will preserve our capacity to deliver on the projects we’ve agreed with you to deliver this year. As a bit of background, a 10 year review of crime stats by the Police Department indicated that no hate crimes had been reported in Sequim in the last two years. Like a lot of crime categories, crime trends ebb and flow and as a small city, our numbers are so small that reading too much into a year where we have a handful of crimes in one category versus a year where we have none can be misleading.

- North Olympic Legislative Alliance – I also attended the North Olympic Legislative Alliance meeting in Port Angeles Thursday evening. NOLA has narrowed down the topics being considered into several “buckets” and we discussed those topics. NOLA does not anticipate having a formal agenda ready for this legislative session but is continuing to work through getting organized. We’ve been asked to consider joining NOLA. I’ll have more for you on that topic shortly. I will recommend that we join. The legislative items on the draft agenda well represent our interests and those of the region.

- AFI Innovation Lab – The Alliance for Innovation (AFI) is planning an innovation lab (peer learning and sharing opportunity) in Bellevue next Thursday afternoon and evening. It will focus on Civic Trust and Engagement. I plan to attend.

Report for Week Ending January 13


Here are this week’s items: 

-          Meeting with Senator Van de Wege – Mayor Smith and I had an opportunity to sit down with Senator Kevin Van de Wege on Friday to go over our Legislative Agenda for this session.  It was an engaging conversation that lasted about an hour. 

-          Ribbon Cuttings – I attended Chamber of Commerce ribbon cuttings last week for the Sequim Consignment Shop (154 W. Washington) and the Sequim Sunrise Rotary’s 30th Anniversary.

-          Meeting with Doc Robinson – Early in the week, I met with Doc Robinson, Executive Director at Serenity House, to talk about homelessness in Sequim.  We explored some joint strategies that could be implemented as we get into this mid-term City Council goal.  We also talked about ongoing day-to-day coordination between our organizations.

-          Growth Management Compliance – We received written confirmation from the Washington State Department of Commerce that we are in compliance with the Growth Management Act and will continue to be so pending our update of our Critical Areas Ordinance this spring.  This ensures all of our state funded projects can continue as planned.  Thanks for your recent resolution on this topic.

-          City Annual Report – We have a final draft circulating of our 2016 Annual Report.  This is our first and we should be ready to unveil it shortly.  2016 was a productive year!

-          Opportunity Fund Update – I’m attaching an update from Sharon DelaBarre, our representative on the Opportunity Fund Board, regarding status of the fund a recent application from the Boys and Girls Club and PHA, benefitting greater Port Angeles.  It appears that, unless it is for small amounts, opportunity funding will not be a viable funding source for a while, given recently funded projects.

-          Next Rally in the Alley – The next Rally in the Alley is planned for Saturday, February 4th, from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM.  It will focus on the area from Washington Street to Fir Street, from Sequim Ave. to 5th Ave.  We are in the mode of final preparations with Habit for Humanity.

-          Community-Focused Services – I’m attaching a story shared by Jim Stoffer about Del Singer in our Public Works Department and his efforts to work with our Methodist Church to help get some lights replaced that both illuminate their space and our skate park.  Kudos to Del and the Public Works Department for living out our core values of stewardship, customer service, and teamwork!

-          Fort Collins, CO Wins Baldrige Award - I serve on the Alliance Board with Darin Atteberry, the City Manager in Fort Collins, CO.  By the way, our former City Manager, Steve Burkett, served as City Manager there years ago and Darin credits Steve with helping to get Fort Collins culture going in a really positive direction.  This article below talks about their success in recently winning the Baldrige award.  It is a major step for any city that is rarely accomplished  We could conceivable do something like this someday.  Some smaller hospitals and companies have won the Baldrige.  It isn’t about your size, it is about the heart of your employees, the quality of your services, and your commitment to continuous improvement.  We’ve got a lot of work to do before we are ready to consider something like this but we are on our way!


Charlie Bush