Sequim, WA - Official Website - July 2017
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July 2017
Week Ending July 21
Council,

Here are this week’s items:

Council Follow-Up

- Emergency Management Committee Meeting – Ed Evans, of KSQM and also our Police Chaplain, shot this video at our monthly meeting this week. We are in the process of making several structural changes to how we are collaborating with our partners to advance our emergency management operations. We are shifting annually now to quarterly project meetings with our partners with 8 training sessions for staff and partners (optional for them) in between. A number of agencies, including us, got pushed pretty far by the Cascadia Exercise, which generated a long list of items to complete, but we are now in a place where we need to step back and make sure that we’ve covered the basics before we continue to push forward. The City’s emergency preparedness efforts were significantly less advanced just two years ago. We are considering making some changes to how we staff the Emergency Operations Center, which will be fully outfitted with a generator this summer. We are also preparing to work with our partners on a full overhaul of the City’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan during 2018.

- 2018 Budget Balanced – We completed our “budget scrub”, our annual budget balancing exercise, yesterday in a record 3 hours. Kudos go out to the Finance Department for organizing an effective exercise and to all of our departments for working so well as a team. You can expect the things I mentioned previously to be in the budget, including no increase to sewer rates, a 2% increase to water rates, and allowing our property taxes to grow by the state limit of 1% (likely dropping the actual amount paid by property owners to the City again, due to new construction). We are currently hitting maximums on most of our reserve levels so we are focused on prepaying debt and building up replacement reserves with the 2018 budget (as well as the 2017 mid-year budget amendments). This will allow us to fund those areas on the margins in the future, as opposed to the multi-year “catch-up” we’ve been doing. We are going to take time during 2018 to evaluate other reserves that we may want to create.

Related Items

- EDC Town Hall Reminder – This is a reminder that the Clallam County Economic Development Corporation will be holding a town hall meeting at the Sequim Transit Center on July 26 from 4-6 PM.

- 2018 Japan/America Grassroots Summit – Progress continues on this project, which I mentioned last week. Messaging went out to the Chamber of Commerce Board and the Sequim Gazette will be covering the story next week. We are looking for 9 more host families.

- Council Planning Calendar - Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

Week Ending July 14
Council,

Here are this week’s items:

Council Follow-Up

- Court/Prosecution/Public Defense Meeting with County – We have an annual review meeting coming up in early August with the City of Port Angeles and Clallam County. We entered into an interlocal agreement for municipal court services, prosecution, and public defense late in 2015 with Clallam County. Overall, things are going really well with the contract. At this meeting, we expect the County to ask to open the interlocal agreement to request additional funding from cities due to increases in public defense costs. Since those increases are tied to a court case from 2012 and since most cities and counties in our state made adjustments to their public defense contracts well before 2015, we plan to decline the County’s request unless there is something else that you all might want in return. Unfortunately, we do not know the amount of the request at this point. The contract does not allow for opening for this type of request, without our consent.

- Budget Season Has Arrived – We’ve been working on the 2018 budget for a while. At the end of next week, we’ll be doing our annual internal “budget scrub” to review all line items and to fully balance everything. At the moment, largely due to community growth, we plan to recommend a 0% sewer rate increase and a 2% water rate increase. We will be recommending allowing 1% revenue growth (limited by citizen initiative) in our sliver of overall property taxes and there is a good chance that people will again see the amount that they pay in property taxes to the city decrease due to the growth we are experiencing.

Related Items

- EDC Town Hall – The Clallam County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is planning a town hall meeting from 4:00-6:30 PM at our Transit Center on the 26th of July. Joe and I plan to attend. If you plan to go, please let Karen know in case we need to post it.

- 2018 Japan America Grassroots Summit – We hosted representatives from the Japanese Consulate in Seattle yesterday and from the Japan-America Society of Washington. The Japan-America Grassroots Summit occurs every year. It celebrates the friendship between our countries and represents an opportunity for us to expand our relationship with Japan. It is open to anyone who wants to participate. The conference alternates between Japan and the United States. Last year it was in Atlanta and next year it will be in Seattle, from September 18-24. We were asked if we could help by providing up to 10 host families for three days in support of next year’s conference. The dates of hosting would be 9/20 to 9/23. The Shiso Sister Cities Association met after the visit and decided that, in partnership with the City, it would investigate whether we can locate enough host families over the next few weeks to accept this request. We have an early August deadline to get back to the Japan-America Society. Obviously, we are looking for hosts. If any of you are willing to host, please let me know. We’ll have more out on this topic shortly. The City and the Sister Cities Association are working jointly on this effort. Port Townsend is also participating and we are going to explore working with them on it. Here is more on the 2017 conference, if you are interested http://www.jasgeorgia.org/2016-Grassroots-Summit.

- Puget Sound Regional Council/Seattle Chamber of Commerce In State Study Mission to Olympic Peninsula – I attended a dinner last night at FinnRiver Farm & Cidery in Chimacum as a part of their multi-day economic development tour of our area. It was an opportunity to talk with some high level federal legislative staff who were also a part of the tour, in addition to staff from both organizations and elected officials and business leaders on the tour. The tour continues in Port Angeles today, with stops including the Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) and a meeting with the North Olympic Legislative Alliance (NOLA).

- Council Agenda Schedule was attached.

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

For Week Ending July 7

Council,

 

Here are this week’s items:

 

Council Direction

 

-          Restricting Political Campaign Speech During City Council Meetings – We have an opinion from the Public Disclosure Commission, another from MRSC, and a policy from the City of Spokane Valley that may cause us to change the way we’ve been handling resolutions in support of ballot measures, and other discourse.  We’ll be bringing this forward to you in a work session.  Kristina and I both had this topic come across our professional listserv and we think it is worthy of conversation and potential alterations to our Council policy.

 

-          Assumption of the Transportation Benefit District by the City of Sequim - In 2015, our state enacted Senate Bill 5987 that authorizes a city (that has established a TBD with the same boundaries) to absorb the TBD and assume all of the TBD’s “rights, powers, functions and obligations” with the result that the TBD would cease to exist as a separate entity.  This would allow us to eliminate duplicate budgets, duplicate financial reports, duplicate council items and separate insurance assessments and financial audits.  This fall, you will see multiple items come before you to propose just this – effective December 31, 2017.    That said, as we prepare the 2018 budget, we will be assuming that the TBD will be folded into the City and therefore part of the City’s street funding and projects.  There really isn’t a downside to making this adjustment, other than the time required to consider it and take action, which is minimal compared to how much time we will save in reporting, accounting, etc.

 

Council Follow-Up

 

-          City/County Joint Meeting Draft Agenda – I’m attaching our draft for our 7/31 meeting, which I am also sending to Jim Jones today for the County’s consideration.

 

Related Items

 

-          AWC Magazine Article – We found out this week that our partnership with the Jamestown Tribe, particularly as it relates to the potential sewer line agreement, will be featured in an upcoming article in the Association of Washington Cities’ Magazine.  David Garlington will be our lead for the article and Ron Allen will speak for the Tribe.

 

-          Monthly Meeting with Mayor Smith and Commissioner Ozias – We had our monthly meeting this week and talked about the items involved in the upcoming joint City/County meeting.  We also discussed human services and economic development.

 

-          Council Calendar – Attached for Council

 

Thanks,

 

Charlie Bush